Thursday, January 17, 2008

I Am Bored 75% of My Work Day

I will admit it. I am bored. Especially when my boss is in a different country and I fibbed and said I have about a gazillion projects to work on while she is away. In short, I spend most of my time 'looking busy' and preoccupying my time by surfing the net and talking to my fellow Working Girls while they are too suffering from the 9 to 5 grind. Looking busy while really putzing around is an art form, one that I feel I have perfected enough to let you in on my secrets. And then, and only then, will I reveal the best sites to scroll around on when bored at your workplace.

First off, open up at at least six or seven programs on your computer. This indicates that you are working on several different things at once and if you happen to be g-chatting with your Working Girl best friend then the people who pass by your desk just assume that you're flipping back and forth between work and your frivolous conversations. No one needs to know that you've actually been chatting with Working Girl One since 9:03 a.m. 

Always makes sure your desk is mildly messy. I say mildly messy desk because 'too messy' tells your boss that you're overwhelmed and therefore not good at handling pressure. But a 'messy enough' desk says you're busy, but not too busy. My boss also requires me to keep a to-do list (please refrain from your chuckles), so I always try to keep that as bulked up as possible so when she roars past my desk she can see all the things I haven't checked off yet. 

The major (said like Posh Spice) trick to looking like you have no time for 'extra projects' (which by the way are my most hated because they mean 'no one else will touch  this with a ten foot pole but you have no say in whether you will touch it because you're an assistant'), is to partake in a little thing I call the Internet (insert oohh's and ahhh's from the peanut gallery). There are many blogs and games that can take up time and look inconspicuous. 

The trick to browsing around the net during work is to pick sites that aren't too flashy or scream 'I'm really reading about useless facts instead of making Excel sheets'. So, in no particular order, here are some of my favorite 'how to avoid work' websites. 

1. Free Rice - Maybe it's because I'm an English major, but this delights me to no end. The website give you four definitions for a word like 'inception' and you have to guess the best match. Greatest part is that for every word you get correct, the United Nations will donate 20 grains of rice to help end world hunger. 

2. MASH - Not as inconspicuous, but I couldn't resist adding this to my list. And yes, this is the old school kind of MASH where you marry Jonathan Taylor Thomas, live in a shack, drive a garbage truck, and have 100 kids. Play on my friends, play on. 

3. The Pioneer Woman - To put it lightly, I am obsessed with this blog. I could read about her beautifully uncomplicated rural life all day if you asked me to. I have to admit that the credit to finding this blog goes out to Working Girl One.

4. Dlisted - This celebrity blog is one of the less colorful (a.k.a. Pink is the New Blog) and less popular (a.k.a Perez Hilton), so it goes unnoticed when you are reading at work. The blogger is also merciless, evil, and sometimes downright mean, which is exactly how I like my celebrity blogs. 

5. Shop Bop and Bluefly - Two great sites to 'window shop' in. Unfortunately, the price tags on these little numbers only allow me to do that. 

6. Fashion Under $100 - So after I skip around Shop Bop and Bluefly, I trickle onto this site and remind myself that dresses under $50 are more in style for my pocket book. 

And one more Working Girl warning, turn your sound off before you start surfing your way out of boredom. 


Andrea said...

I have officially added those sites to my bookmarks. They are filed under the title "Fun Things To Do" however, on my 'work computer' they will be under "Important Sites for Work". Fact.

new(york)comer said...

I wait for 'Black Heels to Tractor Wheels' updates like a 4-year-old waits for Santa in December!

Nancy said...


I'm going to have to check out D-Listed, I like those brain-fart sites to pass the time away at work =) Oh yeah, and to go incognito, I just close my office door!

Thanks for your comment the other day, about your First Communion dress ... that is an awesome story.

Ad Girl said...

Unfortunately for me, I work in a very open environment where someone could be walking behind me at this very moment, hovering behind my ever so open cubicle waiting to catch me wasting time at the company's expense. My favorite trick is to keep my email open while I surf the web. I keep my safari window small enough so that if I need to click over to my email in a hurry, it completely covers the safari page. I know what you're thinking -- touche Ad Girl, touche. A great way to pass the day without staring at the clock and clicking the "refresh" button on my email every 3 seconds because it refreshes itself every 5 seconds is to do the USA Today crosswords puzzles online -- Enjoy! Also - I adore the Free Rice website. I'm increasing my vocabulary by the click and feeding children across the world. Does anybody have info on the credibility of that site? Am I actually feeding the children?

pseu d'onym said...

When I started working I honestly believed that I would be busy every single second of the day. Yeah, right. I'm probably bored about 92.5% of the time. There was even a of couple weeks when I was completely work-less. Thank goodness for Google Chat (shout out to long lost friends), Mental Floss (I love random facts) and Free Rice (my personal favorite).

I also sit in a very open environment. Everyone is always walking by my desk. So I pull open lots of windows, including blank Word documents or really really old ones and "grown up" websites such as CNN and The Weather Channel. Then I quickly pull one of those screens on top if someone walks by. Too bad people in my office are so darn sneaky...

Anonymous said...

Your tactics for avoiding being bored kind of remind me of being in high school. In class when you would flip through your assignment notebook and doodle or pass notes or read another book instead of the assigned reading. Or was that just me?

Anyway, this makes me not want to get a real job. Just live off my Dad forever. Works for me.

kymberli q. said...

Thanks for the comment left on my blog - not only do we both read the Pioneer Woman, but I am a "D-listed" fan as well! :) Love your writing, by the way!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the sites, I've now added them to my 'looking busy' routine. I often spend my days with very little work to do and when I actually have something to do spend as much time as possible doing it. I'm also a fan leaving around lunch time and window shopping (although not so much fun when its freezing out.) While I'm out I'm always wondering if people are wondering where I am or if somebody needs me and sure enough when I return NO emails or im's and then I think, what was I hired to do?

i am but a stranger here, heaven is my home said...

i just checked out free rice...i couldn't get myself off of it! 1. fun 2. educational 3. saving lives! great site! i just found out about your blog and i'm working my way through all of the entries...wg1, wg2, you are both great writers!

BrightCrayon said...

Thanks for the sites. Unfortunately, we have a WONDERFUL filter here that pretty much destroys anything I love. (Facebook.. and the MASH site - which was equally depressing because I still have notebooks full of old MASH games..)

I do plan to mess around on FreeRice. and I love your blog. I know exactly how you feel.. except.. I'm in an office at a warehouse.. so instead of heels I wear steel toed boots.. but the boredom is the same.

Also -WHOA
I didn't realize there were so many people like me who have literally nothing to do at work. It's not even like I have work to ignore. I'm here for "help when needed" essentially, and .. well.. there really isn't much I can do inbetween.

Glad to know I'm not alone :-D

(If you find anymore sites (anyone) send them my way, we can see if I can get them through the filter..)

Becky said...

I just found this blog and I LOVE it! I am bored most of the time at work too...but a couple of my co-workers know about my blog so I don't really discuss work there. This will be a great outlet for good ideas and working girl solutions!

Janelle said...

I was totally surprised to find out that so many others are bored virtually most of the work day. Fortunately for me, I work in a very small office which is occupied often times only by me, so I'm pretty much free to browse and search and play (read: important research for work). Like another commenter said, I'm here for whenever someone needs something, so I have to be available, but beyond that I'm not really limited to certain internet sites. Thanks for your boredom killer suggestions, I'll definitely put them to good use. I already knew about Free Rice, and I agree, it's totally awesome and addicting!