Any Tips: On How To Look Busy At Work While Doing Nothing

Cherebourg

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Hi guys,

I've been doing this now for 5 months and am running out of ideas.

If you could include excuses, tricks, alibis, sneakiness, subtle lies........



I absolutely loath my job in case you were wondering, but have to endure it for another 3 months or so....


SO again. A twofold thread:

1) Ideas On what I could be doing to keep my sanity while at work while not doing what I am suppose to be doing.

2) Any ideas on excuses to spend as little time as possible doing what I am suppose to be doing.


Thanks,

Cherebourg
 

Bigsheed920

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haha............depends what ur job is :laugh: :laugh: Although I would recommend putting in same effort u have since u been there. It is a sign of good character.
 

juniper456

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i put my MCAT books in the top drawer of my cubicle, and lay out a bunch of "work related" documents on my desk. this way, i can study away at work, but if i hear someone coming all i have to do is shut the drawer and it looks like i'm hard at work! ;)
 

lightnk102

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i stride up and down the cubicles importantly while on my way to the printer to pick up the online coupons i printed out.
 

beastmaster

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Scott Adams has written several books on how to do exactly that. I believe each of those books has "Dilbert" in the name.
 

LNpisces

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Great thread!

I type all of my emails in Word then copy and paste them
 

dancinjenn

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Work related doc on the computer and a couple of important looking papers. Some multi-colored pens/highlighters...and the real stuff you are working on next to it. Try active studying like making flow charts and lists. Even if they are in plain sight most people wouldn't think to actually check what is written on the flowchart/list because it LOOKS business oriented. Also anytime anyone is spending time on charts and graphs loosk more impressive than just reading a random book. You could also be "editing" (studying) an article or reviewing materials for a "meeting" (class later that day).
 

rockstar2525

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I also spread work papers all over my desk and put out pens, calculator, etc. so it looks like a big mass of "work." I read magazines and books (when I'm not surfing the web) then when someone comes by I pull the papers over my magazine and pretend to be studying the papers until they go away. I also walk with a lot of purpose and always carry papers around. Sometimes I literally just walk around the building a few times, but if you look serious and are carrying papers then people will think you are busy. I've also learned who I have to please, and I do things for them REALLY fast so they think I am a good worker, then I totally blow off anything that someone else gives me to do. Why should I do work for people who don't have the power to fire me? OMG, Three more months then I am done with this he11 hole.
 

cammy1313

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www.epinions.com

www.friendster.com

www.cnn.com

http://games.yahoo.com

And I always have an excel file open with lots of pretty looking data so that I can switch to the work-related window should anyone come by to harrass me :) Should anyone question me I alway say, "I'm brainstorming on what I have to do tomorrow," or "I'm waiting for my samples to thaw," or "I'm on an incubation step." Course, some of this wouldn't help you much if you don't work in a lab, haha!
 

lightnk102

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i've also trained myself to sleep while sitting upright.

this of course, only works if your back is towards the opening of your cubicle. put a spreadsheet up on the monitor, your hand on the mouse, and sit very very straight and very very still. close your eyes.

it works like a charm. of course, sometimes the screen saver gives me away.

a few more:
1. always ask what the expected turnaround time is for a task that's assigned to you. finish it real fast, and then goof off for the remainder of the time. then, submit it one day before the expected deadline to make yourself look good. never be too good at a task otherwise a) they'll just assign you more work and then be mad when you can't finish it just as fast b) if they realize you're good at something, you'll never get to do anything else.

2. get in just 10 minutes before your boss does, and he'll assume you've been here a whole half hour earlier. and always always ALWAYS put your things down at your desk (and open up a spreadsheet) before you go downstairs to get your morning coffee. this way if your boss swings by while you're downstairs enjoying your latte for the past half hour, it looks like you've just stepped away. disable your screen saver.

3. lastly, if you have linux on your computer (it's a Godsend), you can keep all your personal stuff (i.e. SDN, email, instant messenger) on one desktop, and a bunch of work files open on the other desktop, and switch between desktops. no more hastily closing windows! not only will you look smarter for using linux, but you won't have that pesky window tab at the bottom that says "student doctor network" even when you alt-tab.

just think: i almost got promoted before i quit! :cool:
 

Dr. Donkey

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always be holding a piece of paper and look at it quizically if someone walks by
 

donuthead

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this thread is funny. I quit my job a couple of months ago after my first couple of acceptances but this thread brings back fond memories.

what worked for me was to always display a combination of a semi flustered, semi perpetually annoyed demeanor/facial expression while at my desk. When my supervisor would walk by, she would frequently comment how much she appreciated how hard I was working and not to stress myself. This kept me low on her radar and free to do anything on the computer whether it was surfing the net, chipping away at secondary apps, or obssessively clicking the check mail button on my yahoo account.
 

Blue Scrub

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cool thread! Alt-tab is good, but its all about the "show desktop" icon as well.....although when u push it to cover up the SDN page right before your boss walks in your cube, he'll be wondering why you're staring intently at your desktop...

i do all my work really slowly, and when i actually finish it the first time, i go really slowly thru it again and again and again....as many times as it takes! Before you know it, 5pm! :D
 

Blue Scrub

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by the way, is anyone who currently or did work a 9-5 desk job really paranoid when trying to use the internet? Im always so cautious, and my heart drops when im on it and i dont hear someone walking towards my cube and i dont close out the window before they pass or even come into my cube.....i hate that feeling!
 

AnotherDork

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rockstar2525 said:
I've also learned who I have to please, and I do things for them REALLY fast so they think I am a good worker, then I totally blow off anything that someone else gives me to do.
This works, but if you REALLY want to look busy while doing nothing, you'll want to do the opposite, to prevent more work from being dumped on you. And for this, you'll have to do some planning. For the sake of argument, I'll assume you work in a lab tech job like a lot of people on here. Now, if your boss gives you something to do, like an assay to run, take an extra day or so before you get the results back to him. Then, the NEXT time you have to run that same type of assay, you'll have doubled or tripled the time you can spend reading SDN or contemplating your cuticles, because your boss won't be expecting results for a while. The key is to always take the same amount of (artificially expanded) time, since it will look like you truly are doing it as fast as you can. And if your boss asks you where the data is before you give it to him, viola! "I just finished it, sir. It's right here."

I am an expert, having perfected this technique over the past few years.
 

CoffeeCat

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"Well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late, ah, I use the side door - that way Lumbergh can't see me, heh - after that I sorta space out for an hour. Yeah, I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I'm working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch too, I'd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work."

Watch Office Space for more suggestions...you may even be promoted!
 

sidewalkman

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Nice thread. I agree that you gotta have stuff lying all over your desk at all times to make you look busy. But don't stop there! Put stickys all over the edge of your monitor, clip meaningless memos to the walls, tape labels to the shelves, label labels, etc. Then, once you get a sufficiently hectic-looking desk (which should take hours), rearrange the entire thing. If anyone asks, say you're organizing your space to increase your productivity, and point to the mess you have. No one will bust you for getting more "organized." Likewise, I carry things back and forth from the supply closet, and make backup copies of things, shred the backups, and make copies again.

As for what to put on the desktop, Excel's good, as are .pdf's of boring 100 page manuals and regulations.

I am paranoid when using the company's Internet. Therefore, I only read health-related sites (geeky, but it's helped before), so if anyone calls me on it, I say I'm researching trends in our sector or something. Don't do this very often, but it takes up lots of time.

I take full advantage of company-wide meetings, lunches by sponsors, and supervisors in other departments with liberal open-door policies. I also read documents kept on the central server. Pretty informative. Try to hit it off with the chatty secretary, so it's easy to make it look like you're talking business.

It's all worked for months so far! :cool:
 

scrappysurfer

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LNpisces said:
Great thread!

I type all of my emails in Word then copy and paste them
genius

when i took on my job as an engineer, my boss explained that he knows everyone needs a certain amount of #*$&-around time. as long as i step up when @#!* hits the fan and get my job done he doesn't care. when i come across a solid internet joke or video, i forward it straight to him. guessing my next pi won't be quite so laid back.
 

Acherona

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use a text-based program for web browsing like lynx. It really looks like you are doing some important data analysis!

actually I pretty much gave up trying to hide goofing off when my PI walked in several times while I was IMing and didn't really seem to care. As long as they get their results, ya know.
 

Jeffy

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Convince everyone that you're a big health nut by drinking lots of water. Get up frequently to refill your big paper cup with water and go back to your desk. Drink that bad boy down at least every half hour. The getting up and going back routine will kill some time but the true payoff comes later. You'll have to take a ton of bathroom breaks (justifiably so since everyone sees you downing copious amounts of water. why? because you're a health nut and no one can argue with you taking care of yourself and serving as a good example to other employees) and can then just kick in the restroom for a while. Read a magazine for 10 minutes or do what I do and call your friends on your cell phone while sitting on the can.

Take an extended lunch and be the office hero at the same time by offering to pick up lunch for everyone. Take a lot of time going around the office getting everyone's order and verifying them. Then enjoy the fact that you get to spend extra time out of the office by ordering people food in a restaurant instead of sitting at your desk. Plus you can take forever since "that order took forever" and "there was a huge line of other people buying the office's lunch." Extra points for going to a sandwich shop or other place where orders are long and complicated to order and make. The same can be done with coffee in the mornings.
 

TripleDegree

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Here's what a friend of mine used to do :) He actually published these guidleines

- Always leave a spare coat and glasses in the office, and leave a light on - it will look like you're working late
- Master the art of sleeping with your eyes open. Invest in a screen saver that makes key-clicking sounds, and periodically toggles between Word, Excel and email
- Set your computer brightness to minimum, and slant the computer so that no one can look in and see what you're doing
- make the Internet explorer window as small as possible, and fill up the rest of the screen with other applications
- swing by the printer, pick up a sheaf of printouts, and spread them around your desk
- fill up your calendar with bogus meetings, and then open it up to the rest of the world
- come in to work 5 minutes before everyone else, log in to your computer, and then immediately head out to mcdonald's for a leisurely breakfast


:D
 

Bigsheed920

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TripleDegree said:
Here's what a friend of mine used to do :) He actually published these guidleines

- Always leave a spare coat and glasses in the office, and leave a light on - it will look like you're working late
- Master the art of sleeping with your eyes open. Invest in a screen saver that makes key-clicking sounds, and periodically toggles between Word, Excel and email
- Set your computer brightness to minimum, and slant the computer so that no one can look in and see what you're doing
- make the Internet explorer window as small as possible, and fill up the rest of the screen with other applications
- swing by the printer, pick up a sheaf of printouts, and spread them around your desk
- fill up your calendar with bogus meetings, and then open it up to the rest of the world
- come in to work 5 minutes before everyone else, log in to your computer, and then immediately head out to mcdonald's for a leisurely breakfast


:D
Air makes the glue stick my friend. you will notice even the bit of glue left at the tip of the glue container becomes hardened. And yes this is a great thread......i have nejoyed reading it very much......office space is the best movie ever....."Who has a case of te mundays?"
 

Scrubz67

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Blue Scrub said:
by the way, is anyone who currently or did work a 9-5 desk job really paranoid when trying to use the internet? Im always so cautious, and my heart drops when im on it and i dont hear someone walking towards my cube and i dont close out the window before they pass or even come into my cube.....i hate that feeling!
ditto...we've had people "escorted" out due to internet activity, so I'm always feeling like the good girl turned truant in an after school special. :scared: