Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Ok, it's not that I want to work but....

I like to take it easy as much as the next person. But my forms of “taking it easy” include reading, watching television, and web surfing. I rarely just sit. Even if I’m waiting for someone, I usually have a book to read. I don’t like to be bored. At all.

You might not think this is such a big issue, as most of the time I can plan ahead and avoid a painful death by boredom. But you are wrong. You see, I have a job that one week a month is insanely busy. And the rest of the month is smattered with moments of work among hours of nothing to do. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be busy all the time, just rather steady. It makes the time go faster.

Let me back up and explain a little of what I do for a living. I work for a large company that builds utility trucks. That is, they build the huge trucks with buckets and diggers on them, used by utility and tree trimming companies and the like. Of course, I’m not involved in the building of the trucks (anyone who knows me will agree that wouldn’t be good). I invoice the customer for the truck. I also do various administrative tasks. We have just come off an extremely busy post-9/11 period. We’re still steadily building, but things have slowed down a bit. That, coupled with the fact that I am apparently pretty quick about getting my work done (I don’t rush, I just don’t dawdle either) makes for a lot of down time.

This wouldn’t be such a problem. My boss is extremely cool and has said in no uncertain terms that if I have nothing to do and I’ve checked with the others in my department, I am welcome to use the internet—read news sites or whatever so I’m not just staring off into space.

So that solves it right? Wrong.

No. Our company has a pretty strict internet policy. Many sites are blocked. We are prompted for our username and password fairly often. And they have just cracked down, big-time. It started with an email reminding us of the policy. I blew it off. After all, I had my supervisor’s permission and I wasn’t looking at anything inappropriate. However, another email soon followed, forcing us to take a mind-numbing quiz regarding the internet policy. A coworker who has done a lot with computer and tech support in the past warned us all that this was serious, that we were definitely being watched. So bye-bye recreational internet usage.

And hello hours of boredom at work. Sure I listen to music (If they try to take that away I’m outta here). I try to stretch my work. I email a friend throughout the day (not allowed, but I’m not giving that up either). I even sneak in some work for my part time jewelry selling business (check it out www.liasophia.com/melissalong ). But most of my time is spent trying desperately not to fall asleep. For example, today I got to the office at about 7:30 am. By 8:30 am all of my invoicing for the day was finished and I was BORED. All of the other people in my department at in a training class this week. So there is no one to ask for work.

So here I sit…wasting 10 minutes typing up a blog that I’ll have to email to myself and post from home.

But sitting here is paying the bills…right?

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