No Learning English at Work, Please

Many businesses worry about their employees wasting time (not doing what you’re supposed to be doing; being unproductive) at work when they use the Internet. A common solution is to install (put in) special software that will block (prevent; stop) you from accessing (looking at) websites the software deems (decides; determines) are a waste of your (and the company’s) time. Sometimes the software gets carried away (goes too far; does too much), however.

I recently went to a mechanic (someone who fixes cars) in order to get an oil change (when you put in new motor oil into your car’s engine). Like a lot of places nowadays, the garage (place where you get your car fixed) had wifi for its customers, so I fired up (turned on) my laptop and tried to navigate (go to) a few websites.

Since it was a workday (a day I normally work; Monday through Friday), I needed to check out the ESL Podcast website for a few things. But when I tried to go to, I wasn’t allowed to access it. Instead (in place of getting it), I got a notice (see photo) which said:

Block Reason: Forbidden Category “Education.”

Forbidden means not allowed, not permitted.

Apparently, websites related to education were considered a waste of time by the software.

So, folks (guys; informal for “people”), be careful about learning too much at work. It might be considered a waste of time by your company’s software.


Photo credit: Jeff McQuillan


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10 Responses to No Learning English at Work, Please

  1. Vito says:

    Very interesting fact indeed, Jeff, thanks.

    Gonna share it with my friends who are fond of accessing the Internet everywhere they go.
    They will be taken aback for sure, poor lads. 😀

    Have a spotless week, beloved podcaster.

  2. Karl says:

    Some companies consider attending seminars to be unproductive and a waste of time of money. Instead, they offer web seminars (“webinar’s) to their staff. However, this way they disregard the importance of personal contacts for establishing networks that benefit both the employee and the company.

  3. Dumitrizza says:


  4. Peter says:

    Dear Jeff , 
    There is one solution to it. 
    For you to see, my superviser is breathing down our neck the entire time. I mean, one never gets a loophole to get around  him.
    I m telling you, there is no way you can slip on pass  him. I mean Nothing can get pass by him. He is smart that way.
    Besides, when u have customers coming out of woodwork like the entire time  who gets a chance to even sneak a peek at any website what so ever. 
    Let me tell  u , The only time I grt to take  my phone out for a quick browning  is the time I make a pit stop:) 
    So , they key is to have employees busy at all time. Or have sb overhaul them and their productivity.

    Our superviser literally eyeballs us the entire of work shift 🙂

    How about you Jeff? 
    How many times did u catch  Lucy redhanded :))))( joking ,of course)

    By for now

  5. Fernanda - Brazil says:

    I could say that Dr. Jeff and Dr. Lucy are the guilty about this new computer programmes. lol
    When I am at work, I always find a time to spend listening because I have been addicted to this marvelous website.

    I am kidding about the “guilty” part.

    Have a nice week!

  6. Tania says:

    Hi! I can’t listen to ESLPodcast with my PC from my house (not from the work) since Thursday.
    I was worried. I did not know what happened.
    Thank you for warning.
    Please, tell us what can we do to listen to ESLPodcast again?
    Thank you.

    If we can’t listen to you again I wish you
    all the best to you all.


  7. Annie says:

    haha, a very intresting finding.
    Which company could block the eduction website in order to prevent employees from learning? They don’t want their employees to be more competent? Or they are afraid of loosing them?

  8. hubert says:

    My whole life I have had strange feeling that most mechanics are not allowed to educate. Thanks Jeff for illumination.

  9. Øyvor Steinsheim says:

    Guess I`m a bit old-fashioned, when you are a work, you work!! (result of being brought up on a tiny farm with no free time?? well, I`m happy for it=)

    Peter; hehe..alwasy interesting to read your post..these expressions..

    Have a nice day guys

  10. Betty says:

    Dear Jeff

    Thanks for sharing the experience of your shock finding.

    How do you feel when you see that your clean and educational website has been banned from some innocent eager English learners?

    Please let me share my shock ‘equal but opposite’ finding with you.

    It was about ten years ago, it happened in a small town in England, where I discovered something very disgusting.

    I had to go into an electrical component workshop/factory to collect an item. I saw some unbelievably brave female poster on the wall of that workshop. I nearly thrown up.

    I could not understand why we human beings had to display those images at work. What was the purpose? It would be insulting even if they display an equivalent image of a monkey. Yet the female in the poster was definitely a young pretty woman.

    I would not want to set my foot in that place again.

    Shame on them!

    Betty 🙂

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