12 Things That go Faster Than the Last Hour of Work

It’s four o’clock. Or whatever time it is that you have one hour of work left. You’ve put in a good shift—even got a few things accomplished that you didn’t expect to—and now all you desire is to see that last second of work tick off the clock. The only problem is, the last hour of work always, ALWAYS creeps by with the speed of a snail who hasn’t seen a treadmill in a few weeks longer than he’d like to admit. For perspective, here’s a list of things that seem to go faster, and in reality probably do, than that last hour of work.

1. Painting a fence AND watching it dry. You applied more than one coat because you’re a professional and you stand by your work.

2. Watching a Trilogy called The Mechanics Behind Stuffing a Sleeping Bag. It’s not as exciting as it sounds.

3. Driving from Boston to Amarillo, Texas.

4. Folding the laundry. It’s a large load. You had to separate it into two different loads in the wash, and we all know those two loads should have really been three loads.

5. Cleaning a rather large house. It’s approximately 7500 square feet and every inch is filthy because it’s inhabited by a gang of toddlers.

6. The math behind a NASA mission to space.

7. Carving an intricate model of the New York City skyline out of brick.

8. Getting a commitment from your super indecisive friend, Brian, to go on that weeklong camping trip. It once took you two full weeks to get a maybe from him for Wednesday game night. When Wednesday finally rolled around that maybe turned into a I have measles and won’t be coming in to work today.

9. Fixing your printer’s “communication error”. You’ve been talking to a guy who may or may not be trying to scam you for the past two hours and now has complete access to your desktop.

10. Cooking anything in the crock pot. Okay, probably ribs.

11. Packing for a two week trip to Europe. But we all know two weeks could turn into I want to spend the next year in Europe, perhaps finding a prominent piece of real estate to open up a cafe or trampoline gym, so you pack for three weeks.

12. Doing your taxes. Because it’s that time of year and good luck to everybody.

Ridiculous Office Rules

A lot of work environments have some sort of office place rules. Some are mundane and expected—like treat your fellow co-workers with respect and don’t drive the boss’s Ferrari into a dumpster. But some can be pretty ridiculous. The following 18 rules are a testament to that.

1. Fifteen minute mandatory yoga sessions immediately following lunch. You work at a trendy upstart. Jeans are acceptable. Flannel shirts are encouraged; the glasses with no lenses, too. And if you can’t touch your toes by the end of the week you’re gonna have to take a 20 percent pay cut.

2. Wear a bow tie with three colors when two colors was clearly said to be the minimum in the employee contract. They said two colors was the minimum, but that hasn’t been acceptable since before Donny from two cubicles over was born.

3. Wear less clothing on Thursday than you did on Wednesday, but still an appropriate amount. For example, you could wear suspenders on Wednesday and a regular belt on Thursday. Or mittens with holes in the fingertips as to not hamper workplace performance and then no mittens. Or a wool jacket making you physically uncomfortable for the entirety of the day, and regular, sane workplace attire again the next day. That sort of thing.

4. Can’t type the letter ‘A’ in emails. If you do, you have to wear a giant letter A on your shirt for the rest of the day.

5. Nerf War Friday. This may sound cool, and it is the first couple of times, but ever since you took a dart to the eye and a karate kick to the back by the always overzealous Ken, you think it’s less cool.

6. No coffee on Monday. Only acceptable substitute: the instant decaf coffee typically only reserved for an overnight backpacking trip for nobody ever.

7. When somebody finishes a project everybody has to stomp their feet twice, clap once, and do a chair spin while yelling, “Woo!”

8. Replace all ‘th’ sounds in names with an ‘f’ sound instead. Jonathan becomes Jonafan. Nathan becomes Nafan. Bethany becomes Befany. And so on. Anybody who has one of these names isn’t made aware of the rule.

9. 20 push-ups for anyone who says “On Fleek” or “Let me tell you a story about a little biscuit who met some gravy last night” when referring to a date or intimate connection. This one everybody agrees on. Even Jason whose favorite word combination is “transcendent yo.”

10. If you fart, silent or otherwise, you have to claim it by saying, “Yahtzee!” 20 push-ups for not claiming it.

11. Mandatory water cooler talk for five minutes at the end of every hour. Any topic of conversation is acceptable, but borderline inappropriate and invasive questions are encouraged.

12. Drink 48 ounces of water ever workday. To track performance, every employee must fill up a company issued 48 ounce water bottle at the start of the workday. There are checks every other hour to track performance by a guy whose only job is to check water drinking consumption. (And before you even think about dumping water, just know: Becky, a friend of a friend of an acquaintance from a few years back, once attempted to dump water into a flower pot, but was caught by said guy who’s only job is to check water drinking consumption, and was fined by an amount of 5 extra ounces the next day. She never showed up to work again. There’s also supposedly a pretty sizable lawsuit in the works.)

13. Every Friday at 2:30 there’s a 30 minute discussion about underground art. You have to make at least one contribution to the conversation.

14. No chair can recline past a 35 degree angle. There’s a guy whose only job is to measure chair reclining angles. He’s ruthless.

15. Paper airplane competition every Tuesday, with the winner getting the rest of the day off. As a result, this competition is taken quite seriously, and Brianna definitely didn’t smash a computer with a golf club that one time for a controversial measurement.

16. Slow clap every time somebody returns to the room after being gone longer than 5 minutes.

17. Be able to tell the difference between the ten different candles that are used throughout the office. Blindfolded.

18. Show up to work ten minutes early. OK, this is probably good practice. As long as you’re getting paid for it, at least. If you’re not, though, its’s more than acceptable to tell the boss this isn’t a high school basketball game, man.

9 Ways to Appear Busy at Work

Let me preface this by saying I’m a firm believer in hard work. There’s just no substitute for it, whatever the profession. Heck, you could be a fly on the wall with the sole responsibility of being a fly on the wall, but stop working hard and leave your post and all of a sudden you’re not a fly on the wall anymore and you’re fired. It’s as simple as that. That said, though, there are moments during any given day, or entire days for that matter, where you just don’t feel like doing any work (take anytime around the holidays, for example; or Friday’s; or Saturday’s where you get called in unexpectedly; or any day after 4; or that 30-minute grace period after lunch). And understandably so. However, that doesn’t mean you can expect to do nothing and get away with it. For that reason, I’ve provided a few ways to appear busy at work, while actually doing nothing constructive at all.

1. Stare off into space while stroking your chin thoughtfully. Staring off into space is perhaps the easiest way to get busted for doing nothing. And if you’re doing it without stroking your chin that’s exactly what will happen, because it’s quite apparent you’re just daydreaming. However, stare off into space while stroking your chin and you become somebody who is busy creating workplace magic.

2. Look at your co-workers and mimic their movements. Joanne’s crossing her legs? Do it. Trevor’s scratching his nose? Do it. Cindy’s raising an apple to her mouth? Take her apple and do it.

3. Refresh your email. That’s not to say you should read all of your emails. That would involve work, after all. Simply refresh them. Over and over and over again.

4. Organize your desk or work space. Is there a Post-it Note that seems to be crooked? Or a pen or pencil sitting at the wrong angle in your pen or pencil cup holder? Fix it. Oh, is your desk or work space in perfect order? Trash it. Spill coffee everywhere. Clumsily dump old paper files all over the place. Throw the computer monitor through a wall. Then fix it.

5. Look worryingly at your computer while taking a drink of something. Nothing says I’m solving a tough work complication like somebody drinking a Diet Mountain Dew while looking at their computer with a look of despair. The best part about this is you could be looking at anything on your monitor, too. Get caught up on the latest news by reading something from a well respected publication, or knock out a few minutes playing snake. It doesn’t matter. Just keep that brow furrowed and continue to sip away.

6. Sit on the toilet for an inordinate amount of time. Everybody loves going to the bathroom at work and getting paid for it. It’s one of the greater little pleasures of being on the job. So why not prolong the experience and sit there a little longer than you need to. Heck, go for an hour. See what you can get away with. If anybody calls you out, tell them you had bad Taco Bell last night and it’s a battlefield in there.

7. Make coffee. Coffee is to the workplace what cigarettes are to the movie version of prison. It doesn’t matter what time of day it is, people always want it, and Rebecca from three cubicles down isn’t above trading a week’s worth of lunches for a freshly brewed cup. So by being the guy making the coffee, you’re not only doing everybody a favor, but you’re also not doing any work at all. If there’s already a pot of freshly brewed coffee, dump it out and start again. Nobody has to know.

8. Look for something in your backpack or briefcase or purse or whatever it is you use to carry work documents. The main thing here is you’re looking for something that’s not there. That way you can never find it, and how much time you spend looking for it is totally up to you. Pro-tip: start rummaging through said item calmly, but become increasingly agitated as time passes to the point of losing all your composure and throwing said item against the wall. Now that you have everybody’s attention, tell them it wasn’t there and you’re going to go look for it in the car.

9. Take out the trash. This works similarly to making coffee. The main difference, however, is that it’s a thankless job. Nobody wants to take out the trash. There’s no real reward, and, to state the obvious, it doesn’t smell very good. Especially since Tony, your boss, likes to dispose of his half eaten tuna sandwich in it every single day. But that means there’s more opportunity for you. After all, there’s plenty of trash, but not enough willing bodies to take it out. So be the hero your workplace needs.