So your boss asked you to screen share and you accept... without realizing that you've got another job application you've been working on still up. Perhaps it wasn't a job application but, rather, a Slack message from you a colleague to whom you were complaining about your boss or the company. Or maybe it's just your shopping cart full of cocktail dresses you shouldn't be buying while on the clock.
Whatever the case, you're not alone. Plenty of people have screen-sharing horror stories of their own. So, we asked five women to share some of theirs to hopefully make yours feel a little less mortifying...
1. My manager caught me applying to other jobs.
"One time, my manager asked me to share my screen with her during a call, and I didn't have time to quit what I was working on (while I should have been doing my actual work)," says Emelie, 24. "I was applying for other new jobs because I was planning on quitting. Of course, she didn't know I was planning to quit soon. Neither she nor I brought up the fact that my resume was up, along with a cover letter for a new job opening. I exited out of it quickly and pretended like nothing happened. But, shortly thereafter, she called me into her office to talk about where I see myself down the line with the company and what my goals were. She called it a catch-up, but I think she was trying to get it out of me to see if I planned on staying with the company."
2. My business partner saw my online shopping cart.
"I had to screen share with my business partner during one of our video calls, and I totally didn't realize that I'd left up a few pages of shopping carts," says Audrey, 25. "I was shopping for sundresses for a baby shower I had to go to that weekend, but I definitely shouldn't have been shopping on the clock. It's my business, but still, I didn't want my partner to think that I wasn't taking our work seriously. She called me out on it, which was a little awkward. I explained the situation and it was fine, but she wasn't thrilled and asked that I don't do personal shopping while trying to get our work done..."
3. I got caught watching reality TV.
"I got caught watching 'The Bachelor' while at work, which was incredibly embarrassing," says Taylor, 26. "Of course, I was supposed to be working, but it was a really slow day at the office, and I had fallen behind on Arie's season. So, I had ABC up and was catching up on a few episodes, which were mostly playing in the background of my work. But when my boss randomly pinged me to share screens, he saw it since I'd only quickly minimized it. At the end of the call, he asked me 'S,o who got roses today?' I kind of laughed it off, but he then asked me to please not watch 'The Bachelor of all shows,' on his watch."
4. My boss saw my texts about him.
"I was working on stuff when my boss came up behind me," says Jennifer, 24. "I was showing him what I was doing when my text messages popped up from a coworker, and we were venting about my boss. That day in a meeting he lost his temper, so we were complaining about that. I swiped it away really fast, but he definitely knew that something was said. It was horrible..."
5. I was caught chatting about my love life.
"I was in the middle of screen sharing with my manager when my best friend had pinged me on G-chat asking about my tinder date that I'd gone on the night before," says Valerie, 27. "She asked me if I'd actually hooked up with him and since I had my email up, my manager saw it. She just laughed and jokingly said, 'So, did you?' It was pretty embarrassing, and I also didn't want my manager to think that I just spend my whole day gossiping with friends on Google Hangouts. So, I exited out of the message as quickly as possible, laughed it off and changed the subject immediately!"
AnnaMarie Houlis is a feminist, a freelance journalist and an adventure aficionado with an affinity for impulsive solo travel. She spends her days writing about women’s empowerment from around the world. You can follow her work on her blog, HerReport.org, and follow her journeys on Instagram @her_report, Twitter @herreportand Facebook.