I've just started a new internship (trial period) and a friend of mine is doing a project to document the lives of working people.

He asked me if he could document me which I agreed on, however he asked if I could also ask the company I'm working at if it's okay to document/ record my day-to-day.

Since I've just started working there, I don't know if it's appropriate for me to ask them about it?

  • 3
    Why would asking be inappropriate? It would only be inappropriate if you let your friend come in without asking your boss first (or after they say no)
    – HorusKol
    Oct 6 '17 at 2:57

In principle, there's nothing wrong with it. If you go to your manager and tell him about this opportunity and ask if he's interested in getting in touch with the documentary people, manager can decide what he wants to do.

That said...

  • You are new. You are an intern. You have not (yet!) built up a reputation at the company which would make them want to do favors for you.

  • The other workers may feel like having a filming crew lurking about to be a pain in the (ahem).

  • There is little benefit to your manager or your group in this.


Do not push it hard. Bring it up, and ask "is this sort of thing appropriate for our office?" Be very, very prepared for a "no" answer. And let it go.

  • Who knows - they might say "yes", but with some limits...
    – HorusKol
    Oct 6 '17 at 2:57
  • @HorusKol yep you never know! Such documentaries exist, so someone thinks it's a good idea to allow it. That's why I'm recommending to OP that she bring it up but to expect that odds of a "yes" are low.
    – akaioi
    Oct 6 '17 at 3:00
  • @akaioi There's not going to be any crews involve, since it's just a small school project that my friend is doing. Should I wait until I settled in a few days before asking? (I've only started working for 4 days) Oct 6 '17 at 3:01
  • @TashaN. the amount of time you've worked there is going to be small either way. I'm not sure 4 vs 5 vs 10 days will be a significant difference. Do you have a time constraint on your side? If you can stretch it out to a month that might be worth waiting for. If not, you may as well ask after your first week. Right now, worrying about it is your problem. After you ask, it becomes his problem. ;D
    – akaioi
    Oct 6 '17 at 3:14
  • The person making the documentary should be the person who asks. Tasha should provide only the introduction. Oct 8 '17 at 20:34

It's fine to ask. The company will either say yes or no.

What would be not fine at all is doing this documentary without asking. That could have very negative consequences for you, even if the company would have allowed it if you had asked.

  • +1, pretty sure doing it without permission won't just have negative consequences with the company, I imagine it's outright illegal, too. Oct 8 '17 at 3:13

Since I've just started working there, I don't know if it's appropriate for me to ask them about it?

I don't see how asking that can be inappropriate; in any case it could be an unexpected request.

It is not like working there for longer time gives you more or less "right" to ask such questions. This one would probably also come as unexpected even if it were from an experienced coworker.

You can definitely ask it, but it is also possible that your request is denied. Some companies do not like that some of their processes or assets being stored on video (one reason for NDA's), specially if it is for a public documentary or similar.

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