Sunday, August 28, 2011

Looking Busy

A long time ago in a law firm far, far away, I was a Litigation Paralegal.  Many of my fellow paralegals would talk about how busy they were.  They would eat lunch at their desk and always have some papers with them.  They may have been creating a deposition abstract or proof-reading an index of a document production.  They would work on these on their Metra train rides home.

This was in the early 90s, back before the days of connecting remotely to the office and working from home meant bringing a bunch of hard copy documents home with you. 

I've never been good at looking busy.  Either I have something to do or I'm looking for the next task.  Often when I finish something, I submit to my Adult ADD and surf the web or find some other activity to stimulate my brain. 

It's one thing to work through lunch in order to leave work early.  It's another thing to consistently work through lunch in order to just leave on time.  That is a sign that its time to look for another gig.  Working some extra hours during a busy season is one thing.  Having a busy season that lasts all fiscal year is another.


  1. I couldn't agree more. I just recently started doing lunch (after 7 years in this job) because leaving early doesn't work anyway even if you skip lunch. It also makes you less productive if you don't take breaks. It seems to be an American thing to 'look busy' or to be proud of hours and hours of overtime which are often unproductive and not much more than simply being there. Being at the office does not equal working. 8-9 hours of focused work, then going home and re-fueling the batteries, that is how it should be. Sad, that it will probably take a nervous breakdown or heart attack for most people to realize that.

  2. I have learned long ago to always either look angry, puzzled or have a random stack of papers on my desk at all times. Even if i am not angry, puzzled or are using the papers in front of me.

    it a sign of leave me alone i have enough to do already, give it to mr drunk by 11am in the cubicle over, or Mrs. cleavage master chick who hasn't opened a spreadsheet since the first day on the job. its not like either of them are busy anyway ;)

    love your friendly neighborhood spiderman,


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