Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Art of Trying to Look Busy

I am this art.

Being in between projects, I find myself with a lot of free time. I feel badly cheating the company out of money (Dang ethical system! What's it even done for me?), so I look for little things to do throughout the day. However, even with these little jobs, I find myself with a lot of extra minutes.

Side note: I didn't always feel badly about not working when I used to work for a telemarketing company. Towards the end of my time there, I was so upset with having to call and irritate people that I would just dial six of the seven necessary numbers to make a phone call so that it would look, to my unsuspecting supervisor, like I was working (Mwa-ha-ha! How clever I was!) Relatedly, given that I worked the same job, I find it odd that I don't have more compassion for telemarketers now. I suspect that I am taking out my aggression on my previous employer on them, though they don't deserve it. I'm not really mean, but lately I've been answering the phone in a way that amuses me (which is the cornerstone of what will be my grand thesis on the Ethics of Amusement which I will discuss at a later date and time). Last night, one of them called, and I just pretended to cry into the phone. I didn't greet the person; I just sobbed into the phone in a quiet and (I think) believable way. When I heard the person on the other end of the line say, "Hello?", I hung up.

So, I said all that to say, I didn't really feel badly then, but I do now, because this is a good job, even if it's stealing my will to live. And eat, but that's not necessarily a bad thing as this is my picture.

But back to my point. Between the little jobs that I find for myself, I still have a lot of free time. I used to spend this time surfing the internet (the only more cliched phrase I could think of is "Surfing the Information Superhighway," but I couldn't bring myself to use it outside of parentheses), but with the recent addition of a new staff member in the cubicle across from mine, I find myself PARANOID BEYOND ALL RATIONAL FEAR that this person will discover me checking my email, and I will be subsequently let go. Therefore, yesterday, for the better part of a half hour, I spent my time looking at a database full of things that I don't have to remember because, well, it's a database and, as we all know, the definition of a database is: a base to store data so I don't have to remember it. Plus, this database is in excel , so it looks like what I would be doing if I had anything really to do right now.

It's an art. I promise.

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