don't you have a boss on your ass?
September 21, 2006 1:12 PM   Subscribe

don't most of the people on this site have jobs? even if you work on a computer how do you get anything done?

i just find myself mystified by how some people on here can maintain several discussions everyday and still pay the rent/mortgage.
posted by jmarq to Work & Money (81 answers total)

This post was deleted for the following reason: try a blog for your rants instead?

 
Yeah. Me too. I should really cut back.
posted by GuyZero at 1:14 PM on September 21, 2006


at my posting peak I really did not achieve much at work.
posted by Frasermoo at 1:15 PM on September 21, 2006


They used to be called smoke breaks.
posted by togdon at 1:15 PM on September 21, 2006


We're smarter than you.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 1:15 PM on September 21, 2006


I pop over here when my brain wanders -- I don't post everyday, I just read most of the time.
posted by wonderwisdom at 1:16 PM on September 21, 2006


Isn't this more something for MetaTalk? Flagged because I think so. And some people are just good multitaskers.
posted by easternblot at 1:18 PM on September 21, 2006


Die in a fire.
posted by majick at 1:18 PM on September 21, 2006


We're smarter than you.
good one. i should spend less time working on the ambulance and more time masturbating my ego on here.
posted by jmarq at 1:20 PM on September 21, 2006


Partially retired(20 hrs per week on my own schedule), only like 3-4 television programs, read 3-4 mysteries a week, NYT on Sundays, children grown and gone, wife does not work, run 45 minutes a day, coffee with with friends every AM, 2-4 hrs daily on internet + while watching TV, and and active social life. Thats my story
posted by rmhsinc at 1:21 PM on September 21, 2006


Before this gets deleted...

I reckon most people perform way below their abilities at work. This was true even before the days of the Internet. (so, I guess, employers just come to expect less on average?)

Anecdotally, during my worst "wasting time online" period I'd say my work/online ratio was about 20/80 - yet my employers were happy with my performance and would've re-employed me after I quit (this still baffles me to be honest).
posted by ClarissaWAM at 1:22 PM on September 21, 2006


I cram this into my downtime. My job means there can be periods when I've done everything I can and am waiting for other people in the chain. This is one of them.
posted by bonaldi at 1:22 PM on September 21, 2006


First of all, you're assuming that everyone posts at work. People sometimes visits websites from their home on their own time. I'm assuming you didn't park the ambulance and pop into an internet cafe to post this retarded question.

Second of all, most people are more productive when they take a few short breaks throughout the day, especially when they are doing jobs that require a lot of deep thought.

Third of all, I'm sure I'm not the only one whose work has peaks & dips. My job is task oriented, not time oriented. This means that some weeks I'm actively working 10-12 hours a day, whereas other weeks I might really only have 4-6 hours of actual work to do, so I take more mental breaks.

This was just a really bad, obnoxious, mean-spirited question. Wouldn't your time have been better spent pulling the giant stick out of your ass?
posted by tastybrains at 1:26 PM on September 21, 2006


This is a MeTa question, if you are are truely interested post it there and take your lumps
posted by edgeways at 1:31 PM on September 21, 2006


How is this such a horrible question. I understand how it's chatty and may not belong here, but why is everyone being an ass because this person is asking how people get work done when it seems as though theres a lot of posting going on here during work hours. To answer your question, I don't work much (work 9-4, not a lot of projects most of the time), but I also don't post much.
posted by killyb at 1:32 PM on September 21, 2006


mean-spirited question.
wasn't my intention to be. just honestly surprised by how some people can have such a pervasive presence on here. so i asked, maybe the wording was wrong. just meant to be a light hearted question.
posted by jmarq at 1:32 PM on September 21, 2006


Hey, easy on the poster. It may not have been the best question for AskMe, but it certainly wasn't mean-spirited, IMNERHO, and the reactions he's getting are way out of line. Flagging a number of you for being jerks.

To answer the question re me: I spend alot of time at work waiting for servers to reboot, watching logs scroll, and listening in on conference calls. I *could* be doing useful multitasking, but I'm not that motivated and I get all my work done.
posted by jammer at 1:32 PM on September 21, 2006


Work in 48 minute increments. Then take a 12 minute break. You don't need to spend all day on the internet, surgical strikes are much more effective.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:33 PM on September 21, 2006


Not everyone posts from work.

Many people work hours other than bankers' hours / work shifts / are unemployed / are students / live in other time zones.
posted by raedyn at 1:33 PM on September 21, 2006


I pop over here when my brain wanders

Yes, brain wandering, aka creative diversion. I'm working on a difficult or just boring problem... I come here and read/discuss something interesting... return to the problem and voila, a solution presents. Usually.
posted by scheptech at 1:39 PM on September 21, 2006


Even if people do post from work.. that's how most office jobs are nowadays. You spend about 30 minutes per day actually being productive, several hours per day finding fake work to justify your employment, and the rest of the time loafing off and browsing the net.
posted by wackybrit at 1:40 PM on September 21, 2006


We're smarter than you.

good one. i should spend less time working on the ambulance and more time masturbating my ego on here.
As for me, I surf only when all the little puppies and kittens and precious bunnies are all safe and cozy, the orphans are fed, and the elderly (all of them) are feeling loved and warm.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:40 PM on September 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


It's not like it takes that much time to read a thread and post some off-the-cuff response.
posted by smackfu at 1:44 PM on September 21, 2006


Well, for what it's worth, this question has a purpose for me because it makes me feel less guilty and, ironically, that makes me less anxious and more productive. (20/80, I can do that!) Before I worked a desk job, I often wondered the same thing about peak posting periods on all my favorite sites. I'm on the perceiving end of the Myer's Brigg P/J continuum. P's play first to get ready to work. J's work first to get ready to play. I do my work in fantastic spurts that I hide from my coworkers. These spurts are often facilitated by a brainstorm that I wouldn't have gotten as easily if I wasn't goofing off. It also helps that I'm the equivalent of an intern around here, so just about anything I do blows everyone's mind. I also get along with my supervisor really well and we have a lot in common, so there are some pretty bad boundaries.

I saw this great book at Urban Outfitters (I know, bleck) one time that was a tongue in cheek how to guide about how to slack at work and still succeed. There's some great secrets in there, which I'd share, but I've probably already said too much, dontchaknow.
posted by Skwirl at 1:47 PM on September 21, 2006


I am sorry if my response was downright jerky. I read the question as a veiled accusation of those of us who post a lot as being slackers, and I'm sorry if I misunderstood and it wasn't intended this way.
posted by tastybrains at 1:49 PM on September 21, 2006


Sometimes, mr. compiler is compiling, or mr. database is chewing on something, or mr. tomcat is being bounced. Then mr. orthogonality comments.
posted by orthogonality at 1:53 PM on September 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


ever heard of freelancing?

or a boss who isn't always on your ass 'cause you get your job done and done well? sheesh.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:53 PM on September 21, 2006 [2 favorites]


What Clarissa said.

After the first two months at work, I didn't even care to alt-tab when my manager was passing by. I'd say what he saw on my screen was mostly the blue, the green, gmail, pages linked from the blue, and, occasionally, work.

I'd say her estimate is accurate for me too. About 80% slacking and 20% work. Yet, I met all deadlines, and got good evaluations. I work very fast, but, unless it's something really challenging (in which case I can sit there for 4 hours without even blinking), I can't work much without taking a (mental) break. And I can wander in my breaks for very long. In the end, even with the slacking, I can still be among the most efficient employees.

Of course, every time my manager changes, I get paranoid that he hates me and thinks I slack all day, until they have time enough to check my production.
posted by qvantamon at 1:53 PM on September 21, 2006


I work in software so I have slack time while programs build or tests run or systems re-boot. Or sometimes I just get burnt out and need to veg out on Metafilter for a few minutes before I dive back into the code.
posted by octothorpe at 1:54 PM on September 21, 2006


I barely work, and don't have computer access at my job anyway, just to put a blip on the ol' chart.

Flagged, btw.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:54 PM on September 21, 2006


smackfu,i was referring to people that have several links within lenghty discussions and holding a continuing debate all the time. like some of the political discussions that go on at length and get real involved.

mrmoonpie, my point wasn't that i'm a all warm and fuzzy inside. just that i'll have time to sit down on occasion but then work gets in the way unexpectedly throughout the day. which mentioning my job describes in one word. so i was wondering how other people can make that work since i'm not familiar with the setting many people (i'm guessing) have that come to this site.

thanks to those that answered without resorting to school yard taunts.
posted by jmarq at 1:56 PM on September 21, 2006


Have you noticed that most people who post here work in like six different fields? Do you know what these have in common? I'd start there.
posted by dame at 1:57 PM on September 21, 2006



well, I am being paid to have ideas.

I have a job where I can come in and leave whenever I want. nobody cares if I take a five-hour lunch or decide to fly to LA a day early. all that matters is that I take my meetings and get my projects done. the idea is to prevent burnouts, which are costly.

surfing the web is something that is implicitly expected of me. I am expected to know about things before the suits do. surfing metacritic is helping me. I could make a similar case for snorting coke or wearing flip flops to a board meeting.

not all jobs operate with punchclocks. the higher up you get, the less controlling the environment gets anyway and the less you are under the gun, the more you force yourself. I notice I wake up at three in the morning and just have to get out of bed to write down this brilliant idea I just had in my dream. most ideas you have at three a.m. look like crap in the morning but I still do it.

by the way: I am writing this while sitting in a chicago boardroom after just having proposed to the client to use steven colbert in a new $30 mil campaign. the account services ditz is giving me one of those are you looking at porn on that thing? looks.
posted by krautland at 1:59 PM on September 21, 2006


masturbating my ego

hey, that sounds neat! how do you do that and do you orgasm just as nicely as you do when masturbating in the subway?
posted by krautland at 2:00 PM on September 21, 2006


Eh, am still in school and thus have very real consequences to not doing work. It's not like I can somehow slide underneath the radar or pretend to work - I don't hand in an assignment, it's a zero. So while Ask MeFi definitely is procrastination heaven (right along with LJ; yes, yes, that drama infested piece of crap, I know) unless I want to ruin my future, I do have to pull myself out eventually.

Reading the few threads a day that end up being interesting doesn't take that long, mind you.
posted by Phire at 2:17 PM on September 21, 2006


I personally would be embarassed if I couldnt listen to some bozo on the phone and solve his problem while typing a response to an ask.me thread.

I'm doing it right now!!
posted by Megafly at 2:21 PM on September 21, 2006


This is a MeTa question, if you are are truely interested post it there and take your lumps

Lumps is right. Better to just not question MetaFilter.
posted by Doctor Barnett at 2:30 PM on September 21, 2006


I'd be really scared to post this question to MeTa, but yeah, it belongs there, if anywhere.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 2:50 PM on September 21, 2006


Megafly -- I can hear your typing. And what's with calling me a bozo?
posted by ericb at 2:50 PM on September 21, 2006


I spend a lot of time thinking, in what I call background mode. I think while I poke at the internet and then my idea springs. Then I jot down my idea. It really depends what kind of job you have. I probably actually "work" 20% of the time when I am work.
posted by stormygrey at 3:03 PM on September 21, 2006


good one. i should spend less time working on the ambulance and more time masturbating my ego on here.

This response is a great start towards your new goal!

You're new here, but you're already self-righteous *and* hypocritical! You'll fit right in.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 3:03 PM on September 21, 2006


I think time zones have a lot to do with it. The Europeans rule MeFi during the American day.
posted by c:\awesome at 3:07 PM on September 21, 2006


I'm a consultant and I work when I want.
posted by acoutu at 3:08 PM on September 21, 2006



wasn't my intention to be. just honestly surprised by how some people can have such a pervasive presence on here. so i asked, maybe the wording was wrong. just meant to be a light hearted question.


Given that your initial response was also incredibly holier-than-thou, I'm going to go out on a limb and say one of the two applies:

1) you are an asshole.

2) you are an asshole.

I'm not sure which is right, but I know it's one of the two.

Don't wuss out and pretend it was a wording error, mister ambulance man. Either be a prick and admit that you're a prick, or don't be one in the first place.

Me? I'm a huge fucking prick.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 3:12 PM on September 21, 2006


I have a job where I can come in and leave whenever I want. nobody cares if I take a five-hour lunch or decide to fly to LA a day early. all that matters is that I take my meetings and get my projects done. the idea is to prevent burnouts, which are costly.

by the way: I am writing this while sitting in a chicago boardroom after just having proposed to the client to use steven colbert in a new $30 mil campaign. the account services ditz is giving me one of those are you looking at porn on that thing? looks.
posted by krautland at 1:59 PM PST on September 21


*scrambles for résumé*
posted by Optimus Chyme at 3:20 PM on September 21, 2006


*scrambles for résumé*

advertising creatives don't write resumes. we also don't show school or university transcripts. all that matters is your portfolio, reel and awards. and well, if you and the cd dig each other, which is a question of money.

I think this whole thread illustrates merely how much jmarq's job must suck. pick your careers wisely, kids.
posted by krautland at 3:24 PM on September 21, 2006


Tacos Are Pretty Great
of course misinterpretation never happens. think whatever you like ya lazy no good bum.

krautland, the job is actually pretty amazing at times. but it's just a stop on the way to other things. i've tried office life and couldn't do it, even if the money is way better.
posted by jmarq at 3:29 PM on September 21, 2006


thanks to those that answered without resorting to school yard taunts.

...which has of course grown remarkably sophisticated. I mean, check out the kids on TV! Nevertheless, who knew that the time-honored taunts of You Smell! and "I Saw London...I saw France..." had turned into things like:

Many people work hours other than bankers' hours / work shifts / are unemployed / are students / live in other time zones.

They used to be called smoke breaks. [Note: Did you even smoke on the playground?]
posted by desuetude at 3:31 PM on September 21, 2006


think whatever you like ya lazy no good bum.
that's sarcasm, just to make sure you follow me on that one. i'll make sure you know when i'm being an asshole.
posted by jmarq at 3:31 PM on September 21, 2006


are students / live in other time zones

That would be me. Which is why I'm here at home posting to ask.me at 10.30 am on a Friday. I can organise my experiments just as well from home, so why go into work until I need to?

Most of the time I limit myself to two hours of internet per day (and never ever use it for non-work purposes at work, they already provide way more than I'd get if I was based at the University rather than in industry so I don't abuse it) and still keep up here pretty well. It's actually not that difficult.

The original question has so many wrong assumptions in it (hint: we don't all live the same type of life), and arsehole wording to boot.
posted by shelleycat at 3:38 PM on September 21, 2006


I have a hurry up and wait sort of job. When I've got an all-day project, I'm not here. When I've got a string of meetings with 15 minute breaks inbetween and I know I can't get anything accomplished in that time, I'm here.

Also, this means I work late nights, weekends, etc.

This is "creative time shifting" of my social life. Yes, this is my social life.

OK, I'll go cry in a corner now.
posted by Gucky at 3:38 PM on September 21, 2006


Worst. Question. Ever.
posted by fixedgear at 3:41 PM on September 21, 2006



good one. i should spend less time working on the ambulance and more time masturbating my ego on here.

that's sarcasm, just to make sure you follow me on that one. i'll make sure you know when i'm being an asshole.


I'll just assume that you're always being one, since so far that appears to be true. It'll save us both time.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 3:43 PM on September 21, 2006


Oh, and I can do this because I don't actually spend that much time doing it.

Most threads are absurdly predictable.

The only weird thing about this thread is that nobody has posted an animated gif to it yet.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 3:47 PM on September 21, 2006


I'd probably feel hurt if I thought for one minute that this question applied to me.
posted by paulsc at 3:56 PM on September 21, 2006


I check AskMeFi as part of my routine each morning. I check my e-mail, I check LiveJournal, I [would] check Facebook [if I weren't boycotting it this week], and I check AskMeFi for new questions and interesting answers to previous questions.

Then I go to work at one of several locations. Regardless of which location I'm at, when I take breaks, I usually check my e-mail and AskMeFi. It's a good way to take myself out of the situation and not think about work for a while.

I'm kind of addicted to AskMeFi...but I think it's more useful than my former addiction to Aqua-Soft, which just led me to spend hours customizing my PC in pursuit of the *perfect* theme/icons/background/widgets.
posted by limeonaire at 3:57 PM on September 21, 2006


i have a boss in my ass

sometimes you need to do a little more
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 4:05 PM on September 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


I'd probably feel hurt if I thought for one minute that this question applied to me.

A quick check of my posting history shows it clearly doesn't apply to me, but it does apply to a lot of people who i like and respect.

This is why I think OP would be well served to say "you know what, I was an asshole." Failure to do this indicates, IMO, that OP is *habitually* an asshole, rather than simply having a single-thread screwup.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 4:05 PM on September 21, 2006


the rest of the time i can mefi

hard to touchtype in this position
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 4:05 PM on September 21, 2006


>don't most of the people on this site have jobs?

That's what I yell at minorities walking down the street after I get off work. I like your attitude, we should get together sometime.
posted by damn dirty ape at 4:06 PM on September 21, 2006 [2 favorites]


That's what I yell at minorities walking down the street after I get off work. I like your attitude, we should get together sometime.

I love you.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 4:10 PM on September 21, 2006



posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 4:14 PM on September 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


The only weird thing about this thread is that nobody has posted an animated gif to it yet.
posted by Tacos Are Pretty Great at 5:47 PM


The prophecy! It has been self-fulfilled!!!

Could someone run over to Mathowie's house and throw some pebbles at his window?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:17 PM on September 21, 2006


he clearly isn't doing his job

he's probably off posting on mefi
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 4:18 PM on September 21, 2006


Oh I've got a job.


I just hate it.
posted by pompomtom at 4:29 PM on September 21, 2006


The secret is pervertedly pervasive computing.

I have at least one computer in every room in the house including all the bathrooms. There's touchscreen in the shower. Two in my pocket, one on my belt, one on my wrist. My underpants run at 1.5 teraflop sustained, backed by switched 1 gigabit and fiber.

At any given time I could be viewing up to 12 physical monitors at once, and hundreds of virtual displays, virtual machines or remote machines - all of which hum away happily supporting the task of monitoring and commenting in hundreds of threads at once.

These systems also play a crucial role in displaying vital, real-world and time sensitive information in an always-on environment. Vital information like geographic locations of posters and thread participants, local weather data at these locations, zip+4 codes, shoe sizes, ambient earlobe temperature, hentai or furry pr0n image-counts on the participant's computers, past Craigslist casual encounter posts and so much more.

So much information. Sometimes it's like I actually hear your thoughts, feel what it's like to be you. But there's no time for that. It's time for the next thread.
posted by loquacious at 4:36 PM on September 21, 2006


Heard of ESCHELON? Good. Thanks for asking!
posted by Smart Dalek at 4:47 PM on September 21, 2006


meta
posted by pyramid termite at 4:50 PM on September 21, 2006


This guy certainly doesn't have time to waste.
/
posted by Mr. Gunn at 5:02 PM on September 21, 2006


Only shitkicking jobs use the work paradigm in which production = output/hr times # of hours worked.

People in professional, creative or managerial work are employed their education, skills and experience, and not for their capacity to slog away endlessly at effort-driven tasks.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:02 PM on September 21, 2006


*for* their education. this does not necessarily entail the ability to string a sentence together.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:04 PM on September 21, 2006


*gets sentenced to stringing entails together*

The ways in which a person could manage to satisfy (and even exceed) the requirements of their job while still spending time on mefi are legion. It depends on the person and the job, granted, but it's not exactly a difficult problem.
posted by cortex at 5:17 PM on September 21, 2006


Hi, I'm Mrs. Flabdablet. My husband regularly stays up til 5 or 6 in the morning fiddling around on his computers, including metafilter. He has networked the five computers in our house and the telephones. Recently he installed wireless technology which means he can waste time in many more creative locations, including the bath. I gave up nagging- I just employ a handyman.
posted by flabdablet at 5:20 PM on September 21, 2006


I am currently employed for my capacity to slog away endlessly at effort-driven tasks. This means that my MeFi reading is crammed into about 15 minutes before work, and an hour or so of free time after work. Thus, my relatively limited posting history beyond "help me get better jobs!" (this, with an Ivy League degree. Go figure.)
posted by Alterscape at 5:21 PM on September 21, 2006


Don't wuss out and pretend it was a wording error, mister ambulance man. Either be a prick and admit that you're a prick, or don't be one in the first place

love it.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:25 PM on September 21, 2006


Well, I don't have a job. And right now I'm on your lawn, playing loud rock and roll music and munching on a shrimp cocktail I paid for with food stamps. I suspect I'm in for quite the tongue-clucking!
posted by maryh at 5:27 PM on September 21, 2006


Hi, I'm Mrs. Flabdablet. My husband regularly stays up til 5 or 6 in the morning fiddling around on his computers, including metafilter. He has networked the five computers in our house and the telephones. Recently he installed wireless technology which means he can waste time in many more creative locations, including the bath. I gave up nagging- I just employ a handyman.

See!? That's what I'm fucking talking about. Wire it up Johnny! Wire it up to your eating holes!
posted by loquacious at 5:28 PM on September 21, 2006


well for starters, I set the preferences to display black text on a white background, read fast, type fast, but i don't really spend that much time on mefi. just a peek for 10 minutes before i start work and during the lunch break. i've been wasting heaps of time looking at fstdt.com lately, but i still get my work done and am a vaguely proactive worker.

where do my deleted posts go?
posted by Tixylix at 5:29 PM on September 21, 2006


UbuRoivas, nicely condescending, plenty of careers that require education, skill and experience require busting your ass on your feet without a break. just two different worlds, one i understand, the other i have no contact with.

the wording was ass in the OP, but i truly didn't mean to point a finger at anyone as though they're lazy. if anything i was being sarcastic, i guess that don't work on these darn picture boxes.

seriously, in the fields i come into contact with it's just impossible for someone to maintain lengthy online discussions, on a daily basis. when i started coming on here i noticed quite a few people posting almost every day and was surprised by that. so i was just wondering how someone pulls off being productive professionally while maintaining such a regular presence on mefi. i have time to come on daily, not enough to participate other than sporadically. also, i understand different time-zones, free-time, etc. isn't it reasonable to expect people that post almost everyday of the week are cutting into a career in some fashion?
posted by jmarq at 5:33 PM on September 21, 2006


I work for myself from home, and I never tell myself to stop pissing about on MetaFilter. Sometimes the worker me wishes the manager me was a wee bit more strict, to be honest.

To be honest, everyone I know, however succesful, spends way more time messing about than working. The only exceptions being people I know at two opposite ends of the spectrum: those doing actual proper hard work on building sites, as postmen &c.; and those workaholic professionals, the lawyers and doctors.
posted by jack_mo at 5:37 PM on September 21, 2006


Dude, I'm a bill collector - every minute that I waste obsessively updating Mefi to see if anything cool has shown up yet is one less call I'm placing to your relatives, threatening to take their homes. =D It's GOOD that I'm distracted!
posted by Bageena at 5:42 PM on September 21, 2006


Work smarter, not harder.
posted by caddis at 5:47 PM on September 21, 2006


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