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Ways to feign productivity at work

Submitted by cocaine at 2009-12-16 14:34:04 EST
Rating: 1.92 on 31 ratings (31 reviews) (Review this item) (V)

If you're gainfully employed and reading this, odds are you shirk responsibility most of the time and get *maybe* an hours worth of real work done in per day. Congrats! You're pretty awesome.

But there are always those times when you hear someone around the corner....is it your boss? The talkative coworker? The nudge who always complains about not being appreciated? Regardless, you probably don't want them to think you just stare at your screen all day, idly looking at the bottom-right of your screen...begging for 5 pm to roll around so you can go home and probably get right back on your computer and do nothing.

In those instances, I've devised some easy strategies to employ when you think someone is coming by to check on you / talk:

1) Put a pen in your mouth - you're way too busy to have the pen just laying there on your desk! Having a pen in your mouth while typing something on the screen implies that you *will* be writing something shortly. Your boss see the pen and think' "Wow! What a forward thinker and a multi-tasker is what you are!"

2) Reach for a blank sheet of paper and start writing something vigorously - it really doesn't matter what you write (not as if they're going to actually look at your paper)...just scribble something. Draw circles, it doesn't matter. What matters is that it it *appears* as though you actually are doing something productive.

3) While staring at your screen, quickly mumble as though you are proof-reading an email - "Thank you again for your time. I hope to hear from you soon. All the best, ______" should cut it. Then press down on your mouse really hard as though you're sending it. It'll look even better if you hav a pen in your mouth while doing this.

4) Email your boss random, job-related questions every other day - it shows you're staying on top of your job, inflates your bosses ego, and will keep him/her off your back. *Warning* Your boss may follow up with you with regards to some of the questions you send. So be cautious and send innocuous questions and requests like "Do youXXXXXX's contact info," "Are we still on for later?" "I just got the info on XXXXX, please advise how to proceed."

5) At random points throughout the work-week, loudly curse at your computer - You may already do this, but just in case, this is a surefire way to make believe you actually care about what you're doing. After all, why would anyone curse at their computer screen if they were doing nothing? A random "GOD DAMN IT!" or "SHIT!" will likely suffice. When someone pops their head up and asks what's the matter, just say "Sorry, nothing....just gets frustrating sometimes." Vague, involved, emotional. Perfect.

6) Take advantage of that stockpile of Post-Its in your desk - On one, write someone's name and a phone number. On another, the name of a company and their main line. On yet another, in bold print, write out "DO NOT FORGET TO FAX PATTY THE PLANS!!!" Then stick them in random places around your desk / cubicle. You can go in so many different directions with this.

7) Keep a day planner on your desk in front of you - Write random plans throughout the week in different color ink so it would appear as though you wrote them in at different times. Ideas? At 3pm on Wednesday you have a conference call with Jim and Alex from accounting. At 9am on Friday you have to be at 1443 Broadway to meet with a prospective client. Again, use your imagination here.

8) Have a bottle of water nearby - When the bossman rolls by, start chugging. Drinking water implies that you're parched from talking so much. When he/she stops at your desk, say "sorry, wow, been on the phone all morning. <clear your throat> What's up?"

9) Always keep a random article from Yahoo Finance tabbed - For instance: http://finance.yahoo.com/q/op?s=HPQ . You'll likely need to quickly change screens when people are coming by. If you work for a publicly traded company, boom, you're doing research on your own firm. Way to be on top of current news! You are SUCH a good employee.

10) Have a random gym bags near your desk - Fill it with twinkies, it doesn't matter. People see a gym bag and they assume you're going to the gym. If they assume you're going to the gym, they'll assume you're an active person. If they assume you're an active person, they'll assume you wouldn't waste time futzing around on the computer. So not only do they think you work out, but they also admire you work ethic. Gym bags...they're like nature's way of saying "you're special"

Now get to work and stop working!



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Submitted by Average_Dan at 2010-08-13 12:02:13 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

For #10 alone. Brilliant post.

Submitted by Kyala6 at 2010-04-21 18:38:51 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

"If you're gainfully employed and reading this, odds are you shirk responsibility most of the time and get *maybe* an hours worth of real work done in per day. Congrats! You're pretty awesome.

But there are always those times when you hear someone around the corner....is it your boss? The talkative coworker? The nudge who always complains about not being appreciated? Regardless, you probably don't want them to think you just stare at your screen all day, idly looking at the bottom-right of your screen...begging for 5 pm to roll around so you can go home and probably get right back on your computer and do nothing."

Oh ... my ... god. It's seriously like you have a camera pointed at my desk ... right down to the "bottom-right of your screen" comment ...

I've also come up with one that works very well for me:

Any and all real work should be done in 30 minute intervals and always when you think your boss is looking. This real work should last no longer than 10-15 second and notes should be input that in no way coincide with what actually transpired on the call. I average that "gets *maybe* an hours worth of real work done" in a day and all of it, every last bit of it my boss witnesses ... or at least I think he witnesses. If he doesn't, it was a good time to do it anyway because he was near me looking in my general direction. Sometimes I don't do work, but I feign it. I'll scroll through accounts and write down random jargon on a piece of paper. As my years here progress I learn new ways to look as if I'm working but not get a damn thing accomplished. I feel this in and of itself is my biggest accomplishment!

Oh, one other thing, I've found that most upper management are retarded enough that they have no clue with Mozilla Firefox is. So, I have a copy of this running at all times with a copy of Internet explorer running. I have a page on my Firefox that I made and says something work related in the title. I change the title daily since all it is, is the simple html. Something like:

<html>
<title>Profit Versus annual Income</title>
or
<title>how to improve work ethics</title>
</html>

... save as index.html, open with firefox ... do not look at this page again until boss is near, and even then only long enough to hit the minimize at the top of the window.

The IE I have open has work related sites open. When the boss is coming I hit my "home made" webpage tab, then minimize and enter an account number into the Internet Explorer. I look as if I've accomplished more than anyone else while maintaining my dignity in the art of doing nothing.

Anyway, thanks for writing this, I loved some of your idea. I've got a pen in my mouth as we speak and a glass of water at hand ... gym bag huh ... nice touch. I'm going to go pick one up this weekend. Sorry this reply was so long, but man, I had to add a couple of my ideas to this amazingly, wonderful thread!

<3<3 Kudos! Keep up the good slacking :)

Submitted by lare26 at 2010-04-17 02:34:39 EDT (#)
Rating: 2

Very good ideas. Get's me thinking about ways to let people know I actually do work because finishing my work every day just doesn't seem to be enough of an indicator to my boss and co-workers. I like the post-it note idea.

Submitted by alragusa at 2010-03-30 13:38:12 EDT (#)
Rating: 2


Submitted by Caulaincourt at 2010-01-08 00:06:45 EST (#)
Rating: 2

excellent.

i do some of these already.

i've also become a pro at switching to personal subjects when someone asks a work question. people prefer to talk about themselves rather than work it seems.

Submitted by Liquidice281 at 2010-01-06 15:09:25 EST (#)
Rating: 2



Had to spit the pen out of my mouth while reading. Nice one, padawan.....

Submitted by scourge at 2009-12-21 12:50:01 EST (#)
Rating: 2

nicely done, pirate fucker

Submitted by tiaprae at 2009-12-18 16:13:03 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by cheerios at 2009-12-18 14:00:50 EST (#)
Rating: 2

pretty sad, really.

Submitted by William_Q_Percy at 2009-12-18 13:45:25 EST (#)
Rating: 1

You are forgetting about "walking around with an irritated look on your face and a piece of paper/report in your hand".

Submitted by Lib at 2009-12-17 13:18:13 EST (#)
Rating: 2

All day long

Submitted by orphelia at 2009-12-17 10:58:25 EST (#)
Rating: 2

you could have made an entire 2nd post out of that

Submitted by cocaine at 2009-12-17 10:35:48 EST (#)
Rating: 0

Thought of more:

11a) Always have random print jobs ready - Need to print out Berkshire Hathaway's latest annual report? Sure you do! That's a 15 minute break right there. Print jobs are the easiest excuse to get up from your desk. The best part is that there is always something that *could* be printed out. Your train schedule, the first chapter of your autobiography, a picture of a kitten hanging from a string...

11b) Always have random faxes ready to send - Tell your mom hi via facsimile. She'll think you're cute, tech-savvy, and will be so happy to hear from you after all this time. Or maybe you want to fax your girl/boyfriend a print-out (See: 11a) of an itinerary of a dream vacation.

12) Update your resume - You're already on your computer and you obviously are bored with your current job. Why not be productive for yourself on the company's dime?


Submitted by F.J.Bell at 2009-12-17 05:04:45 EST (#)
Rating: 2

As an inherently lazy bastard who will do about one hours' worth of work today before scuttling off home at 5.30pm, and who is reading and typing this in a small window in the bottom right hand corner of my screen...

+ Fucking Two

Submitted by TuTs at 2009-12-17 00:51:26 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by JonnyX (user info) at 2009-12-17 03:37:57 WST (#)
Ranking: 1

of course, if you're on welfare and smoke hand-rolled cigarettes, this post does not apply to you.


Submitted by catscradle at 2009-12-17 00:25:42 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by X54 at 2009-12-16 23:30:33 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Jesus! Feigning productivity is almost as much work as productivity itself.

Submitted by Shlongy at 2009-12-16 21:36:53 EST (#)
Rating: 2

This was pretty good...and fairly obvious.

...but at least it was a post worth reading 70% of.

Submitted by BLITZKREIG_BOB at 2009-12-16 21:29:07 EST (#)
Rating: 2

I multitask.

I keep a legal size notepad on my desk in between me and my keyboard. I write random numbers, jargon, and doodles on it - rarely anything important. Since I'm left-handed, I keep a pen in my left hand and my right hand on the mouse. When somebody happens by, the right hand closes or minimizes what I'm reading/playing/fucking around with, and the left hand starts drawing circles.

This trick has never failed me in six years.

Every once in a while, I'll loudly rip the doodled-up sheet off the notepad, dramatically crumple it up, and throw it in the basket.

It also helps to "take a lap" of the office twice a day. Walk briskly, like you need to be somewhere while carrying with a notepad, cd, blueprint, or something. Visibility is important, but interacting with annoying coworkers isn't.


Submitted by i_can_get_you_a_toe at 2009-12-16 19:13:23 EST (#)
Rating: 2

I do no. 3 all the time. I also throw in a squint of concentration for extra effect.

Submitted by monkeyswithguns at 2009-12-16 17:43:24 EST (#)
Rating: 2

I like the way you think.

Submitted by orphelia at 2009-12-16 16:44:23 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Nothing new exactly, but nicely done.

Submitted by RoadSong at 2009-12-16 16:38:08 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by Tokerson at 2009-12-16 16:07:11 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by The_Drake at 2009-12-16 16:06:30 EST (#)
Rating: 2

why.....this is....something I haven't seen on Uber for....for a long time...


....effort.....a good post.......entertainment....


...B@W!!!

Submitted by Dorfineer at 2009-12-16 15:36:46 EST (#)
Rating: 2

I like it.

Having friends from other companies calling into you through the main secretary and giving their full name and job title(instead of the nickname, like shitbag or douchefuck, that you call them and they go by normally) usually makes people think you're important too.

Submitted by skrapmetal at 2009-12-16 14:57:37 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Ways to feign productivity at work

Submitted by cocaine
-----
Ha

+2 "futzing". Haven't seen/heard that in forever.

Submitted by LoooseSprocket at 2009-12-16 14:55:43 EST (#)
Rating: 2

Submitted by S.I. Co. at 2009-12-16 14:45:23 EST (#)
Rating: 2

B@W

Submitted by no1hasdis at 2009-12-16 14:39:02 EST (#)
Rating: 2

That about covers it.

Submitted by JonnyX at 2009-12-16 14:37:57 EST (#)
Rating: 1

of course, if you're on welfare and smoke hand-rolled cigarettes, this post does not apply to you.


Homer: I suppose you want to probe me. Well, you might as well get
it over with.

Kang: Stop! We have reached the limits of what rectal probing can
teach us.

Treehouse of Horror VII