One of our VP (which does 0 production related work & has nothing to do with our team's work) suddenly joined Slack and subscribed to several of our Slack channels without saying anything before hand. We noticed the XXX has joined #channel message on one channel and found out he also subscribed to several others channels in the past 24 hours including the casual fun random one. We are not sure if it is really him since his username is not fully explicit and Slack does not allow (for what I know) to check users Active directory accounts. He subscribed to some others teams' slack too.

Our slack is not configured 'invite only', we filter by domain. It's open. Members join channels at will when they need, when they join the team, a new project, etc. The company corporate culture is relaxed, there is a very low managers/employees ratio and geeky.

Among our teammates we all feel quite annoyed by this behaviour. We feel it as an intrusion, unannounced, silent and unexplained. Even if we think there is no spying purpose, it feels rude.

What should we do ? Are we little snowflakes for feeling that way ?

  • Don't you feel this will come down to your relationship with this individual? You haven't given any reason to not just ask this person why he/she joined. Not sure we can help. – user8365 Mar 26 '18 at 19:45
  • Sry I don't understand what you say. @snow – Poutrathor Mar 26 '18 at 21:14
  • @Poutrathor Sorry, autocorrect on my phone. Slack admins can view private messages. Nothing you do or say in Slack can be assumed to be private. – user44108 Mar 27 '18 at 6:15

We had a director who would like to lurk because he had (false) reports that we were slacking off.

We simply welcomed him when we caught him. "Hi Frank! come on in!".

We didn't let on that we knew he was spying, but just welcomed him in and asked him if we could do anything for him.

Do the same for the VP who drops in on your slack channels.

Hey! {name} How are you? Can we show you anything? We were just working on X but we've got a few free minutes.

If the person is spying, it will make him feel awkward, if not, it will make him feel welcome. Either way, you win.

One thing we like to talk about in TWP is to assume good intentions. Do that and you'll either have him off your back, or wind up with an ally. This is much better than getting worried, paranoid, or angry.

  • Hey thanks for the advice! I really like that way of thinking and I will try it. Quick question : you avoided answering my questions about our feelings : is it because you think it's wasted time to focus on it or other reason? (TWP == the workplace?) – Poutrathor Mar 26 '18 at 20:17
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    @Poutrathor I focused on the solution to your problem. The feelings aren't the problem, they are the symptom. If he becomes friendly, your group will be feeling better. If he skulks away having been caught spying, your group will feel better. This is a professional solution where your group will win.... and feel better regardless of what he does. – Old_Lamplighter Mar 26 '18 at 20:26

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