Busy work

Higgins1980

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 11, 2013
3,032
North Carolina
Today has been an unusually slow day at work with lots of time with no actual work to do. Instead being allowed to entertain myself on my phone until actual real work comes into the lab I have to basically waste time by pretending I’m working without doing anything of any value for the company, just to provide the appearance of being busy. Why the hell do managers require people to do this silly nonsense? How is looking busy a benefit to the company? Rant over. Have a wonderful Thursday evening!

Edit: usually has been changed to unusually.
 
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Baelzebub

Dr. Stratster
Nov 1, 2019
16,040
State of Disbelief
Why the hell do managers require people to do this silly nonsense?
Because if everyone did what they needed to get the job done, there would be a whole layer of middle management that couldn't justify their jobs, which is basically to look over shoulders and nag.

I suspect a lot of the current pressure for everyone to return to the office comes from middle management for just this reason. There's good reason for them to be nervous. In a recession middle management is usually the first to go.
 

Higgins1980

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 11, 2013
3,032
North Carolina
Because if everyone did what they needed to get the job done, there would be a whole layer of middle management that couldn't justify their jobs, which is basically to look over shoulders and nag.

I suspect a lot of the current pressure for everyone to return to the office comes from middle management for just this reason. There's good reason for them to be nervous. In a recession middle management is usually the first to go.
Truer words have rarely been spoken. I work in a factory so everyone was deemed essential from the onset of the plague. Nobody got to work remotely but I get what your saying.
 

thomquietwolf

Dr. Stratster
Silver Member
Dec 2, 2010
21,068
Peardale CA
Today has been an unusually slow day at work with lots of time with no actual work to do. Instead being allowed to entertain myself on my phone until actual real work comes into the lab I have to basically waste time by pretending I’m working without doing anything of any value for the company, just to provide the appearance of being busy. Why the hell do managers require people to do this silly nonsense? How is looking busy a benefit to the company? Rant over. Have a wonderful Thursday evening!

Edit: usually has been changed to unusually.
Do you have one of those transparent green visors..
Yknow, the don't bother me I'm busy thing
 

stratnutz

Senior Stratmaster
Apr 10, 2011
4,296
Gar-land TX
My boss used to sneak up on me to see what's on my laptop.
He got me a couple of times. So I put up a wide eye mirror so I would see the department door open, giving me 10 seconds to minimize and pull up a proper form or website.
 

LedZepconcertvet

Strat-Talker
Jan 23, 2022
430
Sinks Grove, WV
Today has been an unusually slow day at work with lots of time with no actual work to do. Instead being allowed to entertain myself on my phone until actual real work comes into the lab I have to basically waste time by pretending I’m working without doing anything of any value for the company, just to provide the appearance of being busy. Why the hell do managers require people to do this silly nonsense? How is looking busy a benefit to the company? Rant over. Have a wonderful Thursday evening!

Edit: usually has been changed to unusually.
Managers require it because they're TOLD to do so. Logic has little to do with organizations, corporations, etc. Appearances are everything to them, they ultimately fear the shareholders, or whomever. Sad state of affairs.
 

Wrighty

Dr. Stratster
Mar 7, 2013
11,886
Harlow, Essex, UK
Today has been an unusually slow day at work with lots of time with no actual work to do. Instead being allowed to entertain myself on my phone until actual real work comes into the lab I have to basically waste time by pretending I’m working without doing anything of any value for the company, just to provide the appearance of being busy. Why the hell do managers require people to do this silly nonsense? How is looking busy a benefit to the company? Rant over. Have a wonderful Thursday evening!

Edit: usually has been changed to unusually.
It’s a strange but wide spread practice. Another strange phenomenom is the ‘less work, more overtime’ syndrome. I’ve experienced it myself as a manager. Business is booming, everyone’s rushed off their feet and work’s piling up. Anyone want some overtime? Not likely, been so busy today, just want out at 5. Week later, rush over, quiet period. Guys keeping a job that would normally take an hour on the bench for nearly two rather than look ‘redundant’. Overtime climbs. Self protection I suppose.
 

bbarott

Most Honored Senior Member
Mar 29, 2010
7,576
Marietta Georgia
Today has been an unusually slow day at work with lots of time with no actual work to do. Instead being allowed to entertain myself on my phone until actual real work comes into the lab I have to basically waste time by pretending I’m working without doing anything of any value for the company, just to provide the appearance of being busy. Why the hell do managers require people to do this silly nonsense? How is looking busy a benefit to the company? Rant over. Have a wonderful Thursday evening!

Edit: usually has been changed to unusually.

Because this justifies their (otherwise unjustifiable) existence. Fortunately I haven't had to deal with silliness for over 20 years.
 

bbarott

Most Honored Senior Member
Mar 29, 2010
7,576
Marietta Georgia
Your a lucky individual. I often feel surrounded by silliness

Even if you're stuck having to deal with it from time to time the important thing is to remember that it IS silliness, many folks don't and this causes no end of internal stress and unhappiness. They can make you do it. What they cannot do is make you think this is proper and correct, a person has to do this themself.

It ain't of course. Proper and correct. I have always considered that the job of management is leadership, and leadership is achieved not by giving orders, or instructions. Not even by encouragement, although this is certainly a good thing. Leadership is achieved by inspiring your people, to make them become the best they can be. Nobody can motivate a person to a larger degree than they can motivate themselves and you do not disburse this through fear, greed, shame or even praise, particularly when undeserved. You don't achieve this by 'having their back' necessarily although again this is not a bad thing. But encouragement, praise and loyalty although good things generally are not enough. It is done by setting the example and by doing this, making them want to achieve more and convincing them they can.

In other words, lead from the front. I have always considered that if I as a supervisor found myself in a situation where I had to micromanage people I had the wrong people. And I have had the occasion to observe folks doing things on company time like studying for another job, networking, etc etc. I have always encouraged this because I know that someone who leaves what I can offer for a better situation is an asset to me, not a poor reflection. An opportunity that will bear fruit down the road.

Good luck with this, silliness is part of life and you may have to endure it for a time. But you don't have to think it's normal because it isn't.
 

crankmeister

Most Honored Senior Member
Jul 9, 2020
6,676
Republic of Gilead
Today has been an unusually slow day at work with lots of time with no actual work to do. Instead being allowed to entertain myself on my phone until actual real work comes into the lab I have to basically waste time by pretending I’m working without doing anything of any value for the company, just to provide the appearance of being busy. Why the hell do managers require people to do this silly nonsense? How is looking busy a benefit to the company? Rant over. Have a wonderful Thursday evening!

Edit: usually has been changed to unusually.
Do what George Costanza did, just walk around looking frustrated or mad, people will leave you alone.
 


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