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Monday, December 18, 2006

Alternative to Boredom

Today is one of those days where I find myself wondering why I'm at work. In fact, the rest of this month looks like it will be feeling pretty much the same way. There's just not much left for me to do this month. And today there's really nothing for me to do. Tomorrow, we might be filing a patent application, but today, there is nothing to do. Nothing. And it's only 11:53 am. So why am I here?

Good question. In a perfect world, I would just say, "Well, I'm just wasting your time and mine here, so I'm going home." But unfortunately that's not how the working world works. You have allotted amounts of time for vacation and sick leave, and you are supposed to approve your vacation time, and actually be sick for sick leave. And although I have a few more days I can take this year, I neither am sick, nor have I approved vacation time for today. And since I already went through the worst part of the day (aka, waking time (before god wakes up)), it wouldn't make any sense to slough off now. Well, it would at least give me a day to play, but not a full day complete with the luxury of sleeping in. What's the point of a vacation day if you don't sleep in?

Anyway, so here I am, trying to fill the time and look occupied. I have one of those jobs where you feel like you need to at least look like you're doing something productive, even if there's nothing productive to do. It's not that the work environment here is particularly nazi-esque. I don't think you could say that of an office where alcohol is a part of every evening's post-5:00 regime. But still, while some things like milling about and engaging in non-work-related conversations with coworkers are considered acceptable wasting of time, other time-wasting activities such as interneting are considered non-apropos. And that is unfortunate, because I don't much care to converse casually with my coworkers. But I do enjoy reading articles on the internet in my downtime.

So unfortunately, I have to do that toggle-window maneuver when someone walks by my desk. Not that I think it's fooling anyone. And of course I am aware that my internet usage can be tracked. After having been told a month into my job that there was generally too much interneting going on around these parts, I did attempt to curb my usage. But it's not as if I have ever been interneting in lieu of working. I get my work done first. And I'm pretty damn efficient at it. But for a long time, I had very little to do, and it was driving me nuts. So I decided I either needed to quit or take the Office Space attitude of not caring if I get fired. So I resumed interneting in my downtime. And nobody has said anything since. In fact, they gave me a raise and a good review. I think they figured out that I'm a good employee who gets my work done really quickly. Well, being a legal secretary isn't rocket science. Nor even a lame science, like geology, nor a so-called science, like psychology, nor a pseudoscience, like parapsychology. So it's not exactly hard to do my job well and in an efficient manner.

For a long while my internet time-wasting sites of choice consisted mainly of advice columns. I find them amusing. But having already exhausted the archives of Dear Abby, Dear Margo, and Dear Prudence, I find myself needing something new to soothe my boredom. And so far I'm at a loss, so I think for the time being I will try to catch up on some blogging. I've planned blogs on the subjects of the annoying tendency of attorneys to leave out the final comma in a list of items (me, myself and I, instead of the correct me, myself, and I), and the annoyance of being told to smile by a complete stranger (or even an incomplete acquaintance). So stay tuned for these blogs and more…

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