Will I breach the Privacy Act by producing bitchy emails?

Dear Aunty B,

I recently read your last article on bitching in the office and wanted to find out your thoughts on my particular case.

I have access to email accounts of two employees and found that they were bitching about me. How would this be best handled? I’m not sure if the Privacy Act would be violated if the emails were produced.

Kind regards,


Dear Jay,

Alright. Here is what you must do. I gather you are not the boss. In that case you do nothing. Your job is to come to work, understand the company’s vision, understand your important role in that vision, understand you are valued and then put in an honest day’s work to achieve that vision. That’s it. That’s your end of the bargain.

It is not to come to work, spy on people’s emails and then pick fights with your fellow employees.

Who cares less what they write in their emails to each other? Ignore their dross! The only time to take action is when you are being bullied or prevented carrying out your job. At that point you go and see your boss and point out why you can’t do your job properly and ask for a meeting to sort through the issues.

Stay focused on the big issues. Not people’s petty thoughts.

If you find yourself obsessing on what people think of you, hire a shrink for a few sessions and find out why you care so much and what you can do about it.

Be smart,
Your Aunty B

Aunty B is kicking back on holiday, but her advice is timeless, as evidenced by this Aunty B classic from April 2010. To read more Aunty B advice, click here.

Email your questions, problems and issues to auntyb@smartcompany.com.au.


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