Now I you might be thinking “oh you’re so lucky to have time off….I would loooooove to take time off….I’m just soooooooooo busy right now….like sooooo busy…I haven noooo time to get lunch and can only eat tea at my desk because I’m just sooooooo busy”. But just think about it for a second. If you’re as dumb as me, you’ve probably signed an employment contract that requires that you come into work every. single. fucking. day. If there’s nothing to do, you still need to come into work and sit here, staring at your screen, contemplating how in your dying moments you will think of how this collective time of “being” at work but not doing anything probably could’ve been put to better use…but too late now because you’re dead. [ok that got a bit morbid…] Anyway getting paid to sit here is technically a sunk cost, and if I’m going to trade off my sweet, sweet leisure time for work, then being bored shitless at work doesn’t seem like the best allocation of resources.
The other issue is that when I get bored, I usually enter into a “Fuck My Life, I’m Doing Nothing And Not Fulfilling My Potential” crisis. Now this is a staged descent into an existential crisis.
Stage 1: Check the news….5 billion times before 10am
You know because a baby panda cross lizard could have been born and if you don’t check often enough you won’t be the first to know about it and send the picture viral.
Stage 2: Rabbit hole internet
Whilst engaging in Stage 1, you won’t notice but you’ll very quickly find yourself at Stage 2, burying yourself into the internet. Somehow you start at reading an article about anti-oxidants in fruit tea, to then wondering about when fruit tea always smells good but tastes like shit, then you’re reading about almond milk and the ancient art of milking almond teats and then before your know it you’re on the Wikipedia page for Jesse from Full House, realising that his character’s age was 26 years old in the show then feeling depressed that you’re now older than Jesse.
Stage 3: Finally shut down your computer. Like actually shut it down.
I’m always a fan of using computer related issues as a reason to waste time, and there’s nothing better than actually finally shutting down your computer probably after over 10,000 continuous hours of being on because you can never be fucked to shut it down when you clock off every day and instead consider just pressing CTRL ALT Delete the equivalent of shutting down. If you listen carefully you might even get to hear your computer breathe a sigh of relief: “ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh” [lol have you ever been in the cubicle and heard someone next to you bust in, fumble with the lock and then just as you know they’re actually shitting their pants, release and breathe a moment of “ahhhh” thankful that for just one more day, they can say that they weren’t the person that shat on the floor, thus reducing the number of toilets available…haha sorry useless anecdote but way too hilarious not to share]
Stage 4: Does your calculator still work?
By this stage, I’ve had so little to do I’m pretty sure my calculator has stopped working. As such it’s important to just test that it’s still working. At Stage 4 of boredom centre, critical tests to assess your calculator’s viability to calculate complex questions include checking that it can spell “HELLO”, “BORED” and of course the all important “BOOBIES” upside down using numbers.
Stage 5: Fuck this shit, let’s go get a 3 hour coffee
You realise that not only are you bored but that your immediate co-workers must also be feeling as disillusioned as you. Together you effectively create a club who’s main aim is to say “I hate work” in as many ways as possible. You go for coffees….loooooong coffees and in some instances those coffees may or may not result in a 3pm beer [only relevant to the functioning alcoholics amongst us].
Stage 6: How low can you go (self-confidence)?
This is by far the most dangerous stage in this descent into an existentialist crisis. Stage 5 is usually accompanied by managing to Google every single 20-30 year old who’s got their own business/is hugely successful in their own field /who seem to have a really happy and fulfilled life on Instagram. Suddenly you’re feel a bone crushing weight on your chest and this bone crushing weight is able to speak and say things to you like “what are you doing wasting your life sitting there” “you’re bigger than this” “you could have this perfectly choreographed Instagram life”.
During this stage, you also hone in your LinkedIn stalking skills to ‘Mr-Miyagi-Sensei Level’ as you’re now able to work out how these high achievers rank relative to you at various stages of life. You suddenly are able to pick up nuances to excuse yourself for your relative lack of success: “oh well they were allowed to work 2 jobs to support themselves at university, so they must have got soooo much experience to now launch their own styling website. I’ve basically been disadvantaged because my parents supported and now they won’t give me enough money from their superannuation so I can launch my app idea which has no product, no identifiable market and no idea really but is definitely will be huge”.
Stage 7: “Fuck this, I’m chasing my dreams”
Finally post blaming everyone in the world for driving you into the pits of boredom, you decide to “take things into your own hands”. Suddenly you don’t care that your dual screen is littered with job sites in full view of others. “Yeah take that, current employer!”
You’ve got the LinkedIn Job app open on your phone and you start sending CVs out left, right and centre. Suddenly the ether is full of your half-arsed job applications where you put no effort into actually applying [cover letters? Fuck that, I should get this job just on my CV and general awesomeness alone]. You send out so many copies of your CV to prospective employers, from totally unrelated fields to your own skills set, that you actually ‘make it rain’ with your resumes.
That start up idea you had? You start investigating how to actually do it…and by “start investigating” you spend the next few days trying to find a name for your new amazing company with no idea and no product. Hell you might even buy a random domain name! Then you decide you need a break and before you know it you’ve gone 5 weeks without doing anything on your start up idea and all that’s left are yearly credit card charges from GoDaddy that you can’t be bothered cancelling, that become a yearly reminder of ‘that time when you tried to give a shit’.
Stage 8: It’s a marathon not a sprint and other useless advice
Finally you enter Stage 8… you decide “fuck it, I’m OUT, I can’t deal with this anymore”….and then just as you have your bags packed and one foot out of the door, off to do a job that would probably be a lot more interesting, you decide to have a one on one with your manager to let them know about that your morale is low. You plan out the meeting in your head, determine key drivers of your low motivation (making sure to include some token attempt at how under paid you are). Your manager responds with concerned looks and the old adage “you know it’s a marathon not a sprint, you need to learn to enjoy the down time when you have it. This is advice I wish I listened to”. [Seriously though, this whole metaphor that work life is like a marathon is TERRIBLE! As if you expect to motivate someone by reminding them that they’re on a seemingly endless slow jog with no changing scenery…you just keep running around and around and around….]
Then your manager throws you a line of [insert some remotely interesting work that sounds amazing because you’ve literally been eating paper at your desk for the last two weeks / insert some new bull shit responsibility that will no doubt be given no credit for later on]. They remind you of how important you are, how incredible you are, how no one could do your job but you [by this stage, your ego is a grinning Cheshire Cat being lovingly caressed by an evil master sitting in a large winged chair]. And you’re hooked….back to complaining about how you get over worked.
Picture: Other activities you can do when you’re bored – try to give yourself a man bun and fail miserably at the ‘bun’ bit