Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Problem with always being busy at work

Motivation was always low to non-existent
A couple of gigs ago, I worked at the Low-Rent Consulting Company.  It was a basic project, software implementation, break-fix, and support shop.  There were a lot of periods of downtime between assignments and projects.  One particular week there apparently wasn't anything going on that she could assign me to.  This is of course bullshit because you can always assign someone to tag along and shadow another engineer, you just cannot bill for it.  This went against the Fly-By-Night business model of make as much money off a newbie engineer as quickly as possible because they will leave as soon as they gain enough skills to find a better job -- one that didn't treat them like a piece of garbage.

It is really hard to look busy or stay focused you don't have something to work on right in front of you.   I did my best but we weren't supposed to sit on email chat or surf the web unless it was for something that could benefit the company.

This Cracked Article sums it up nicely:

Every waking moment of your working life does not need to be given over to doing something, no matter how unnecessary. That's not how work works. If your job is to sell computers and no one is in to buy a computer, your boss is an asshole if he wants you to clean spiderwebs out of the loading bay. Loading Bay Spiderweb Guy should clean that shit, that's why we hired him. Creepy fuck.

Forbes tells me 64 percent of people surveyed admit to visiting non-work-related sites at work every single day. Those are the people who admitted it, so the number is obviously higher. Various articles over the last five years have suggested that the average worker wastes anywhere from one and a half to two and a half hours out of each workday doing whatever the hell. When I worked at a Staples, I used to look for better jobs on their computer (that'll get you in trouble, by the way), but the point is, people have time during their day, no matter what the job. If you flip burgers, the moment will come when no one is hungry. If you stock shelves, you'll get them all filled. If you sell heroin, everyone is going to be high one day. So then what? Polish your heroin bags? Shut up with that.

The reason most people give for workplace slacking is that they don't feel challenged. Take that out of workplace speak and it means you literally had nothing worth doing, because polishing the doorknob is not something worth doing. When people literally have nothing to do, by making up new tasks for them like they're annoying 5-year-olds that you need to get out of your hair, you're just ensuring that the next website they look at is going to be a job board where they can find a less shitty workplace that doesn't treat them like a lazy maid.
Read more: The 5 Most Useless Motivational Tactics Every Workplace Uses |

The Engineering Coordinator (EC) was never a friend and hardly an ally.  She didn't want me hired in the first place.  By not keeping me busy with work, she was trying to punishing me, and indirectly the person who hired me.

One afternoon that week, I made the mistake of shutting down my laptop at 4:51 pm.  This pissed the EC off because how dare I have the audacity of wanting to leave even 5 minutes early after spending an entire day twiddling my thumbs doing nothing.  What if something came up in the last five minutes!

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