Just wondering: Is it 5 O’clock yet?
Wasting time occupies a good majority of the day in almost any office setting.
Clock watchers are a special breed of people, who unknowingly take pride in the quirky tasks they invent to conquer those slow-ticking, thin black hands on circular wall keepers of time.
As for the two of us, we never, ever clock-watch. So, based purely on observation, we have documented 50 ways to waste time:
connecting tiny dots imprinted on important work-related papers; making new words using the letters in your company’s name; sketching the profile of unsuspecting co-workers; repeatedly checking the fax machine, even though you’re not expecting a fax; painting your fingernails with White Out; making out your shopping list; checking your home answering machine; changing your voice-mail greeting three times in one day … it just didn’t sound right; being a one-man rock band with some pens, a rubber band and your trash can; seeing how long you can stare at your computer screen without blinking; testing how much water you can gulp without taking a breath, which spurs another great time-waster – bathroom breaks; blacking in the zeros on your calendar and drawing gigantic stars anywhere there’s space; making paper airplanes; getting up for the seventh time to read the memo on the break room bulletin board; making shapes out of paperclips; dreaming of that perfect date with your perfect bod in that perfect dress; applying lip balm more often than not … moist lips are happy lips; yelling “Fire!” to evacuate the office, if only for a short time; tying loose knots in your hair; calling friends in Amsterdam; seeing how long you can bite on a pen before it breaks; watering your desktop plants; asking your boss stupid questions you already know the answers to; looking up hot celebrities on the Internet to replace your company-logoed computer wallpaper; devising a strategy to sneak the Corn Nuts off your neighbor’s desk without him noticing; pretending to skim over a document that was outdated last week; pondering life’s big questions … How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?; chomping your teeth to beat of “We Will Rock You;” perfecting your wastebasket jump shot; hurling newly sharpened pencils up to the ceiling to see how many you can make stick; highlighting useless information in your employee manual; spinning around on your chair while staring into the glow of buzzing fluorescent lights; scrounging change for your eighth Diet Dr. Pepper of the day … “Would I like to be a pepper too?;” getting a tissue to clean off your eyeglasses, which should take about 10 minutes if you’re doing the job right; thinking up “good” reasons to call in sick tomorrow; cleaning out the evidence of stolen Corn Nuts from underneath your fingernails; sending your cubical companion ESP messages; doing impersonations; making up songs about office enslavement; pressing your red marker into a Post-It until it bleeds through and makes a hole; looking for funny names in the phone book; making up clever nicknames to describe co-workers; balancing your checkbook; retyping your phone list; strengthening your thumbs by clicking your pen, over and over and over; practicing different ways to answer your phone; flaring your nostrils while making fish faces until someone catches you and bitching about how much work you have to … Where will you ever find the time to get it all done?
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