There are many clichés regarding life in the workplace, but the worst part about working in an office setting isn’t the six bosses who neg you over the same task or the douche who emails you viral videos two weeks after they come out. The worst part is simple: You have to be there for the majority of your non-sleeping life and it’s boring as fuck. Nine straight hours of staring at dual monitors and pretending to be busy is an exhausting task, and you need to come up with something—anything—to ensure you don’t put a stapler through your temple. Here are some things that can help prevent suicide by Swingline.
Ah, the Internet. A glorious place where you can kill literal days at a time reading message boards, shopping, or getting sucked into six-hour YouTube benders that started when you harmlessly Googled “unforgivable” to see if it had an “e” in it. (It doesn’t.) But work internet isn’t like home internet, is it? Work internet is diet internet. It’s got no taste, no flavor. It’s the 100-calorie Oreo thin-crisp version of its already perfect self. You can’t get on Gmail, you can’t get on ESPN. If you’re lucky they’ll give you access to CNN and you can learn shit all day about world issues. No.
So what’s a cube monkey to do? This: You know that Indian dude who works in the extreme corner of the side of the building you never go to? The one who wears jeans to your company softball games? He’s a regular guy like you and me, only a lot fucking smarter. If you’re a dude, invite him to your place one day to smoke weed. If you’re a chick, offer him a lunchroom handy.
Trust me, it’s totally worth it. Because once you get in tight with IT, they can hook your Firefox up to Australian IP’s and rogue proxies that’ll have you browsing PornHub by your lunch break. It's great.
Here’s some of my go-to time sucking websites:
For the sports fan: Grantland, Deadspin
For the latest on the interwebz: BroBible
For all kinds of "news": Fark
For people who couldn’t give less fucks about getting fired: Sporcle
Assuming you’ve mastered the art of being friendly to another human and are granted access to internet invincibility, you’re gonna need something to fill the gap between Jimmy T’s last article and Rihanna’s last tweet. You ever wonder how different your friends’ jobs were from yours? If you’re a Gchat vet like me, you know they’re exactly the fucking same. I don’t care what industry you’re in—if you work at a computer for the majority of your day, you’re spending at least half of your day chatting with your friends.
Why Gchat and not Facebook chat? Because you don’t go on Facebook at work, idiot. That’s how people get fired.
Gchat bonus tip: set yourself to “invisible” so you can IM the people you want instead of having them talk to you. Green dot status is way too inviting and red dot status is just rude.
Be Productive With Things Outside of Work
Let’s cut the bullshit. You get to work at 8:30 every day and you’re done with your entire workload by 10:45 a.m. I know you because I am you. Sometimes the internet just isn’t cutting it or maybe your boss keeps coming by your area a few too many times for you to watch Cousin Terio jiggle down the sidewalk. So what else can you do to kill time?
Put your life in order. Pay your bills. Make a spreadsheet of all your personal finances. Make grocery lists. Freelance for an increasingly popular bro site :). Google “whether or not a man can use smiley faces and still be heterosexual." Whatever you choose to do, you’ve literally got all day. I don’t do any of this shit at home because home is where I go to relax, and work is where I go to get paid to catch up on life because I don’t have a TV there distracting me. I may or may not keep a weekly spreadsheet of my NFL-related profit (loss) margin. Say what you want about being a degenerate, but it kills 20 minutes every Tuesday.
Bring Your Phone Into The Bathroom
I feel like this goes without saying, but I’m gonna spend 6 sentences on it anyway. I probably take 11 shits a day at work, and maybe only actually shit once depending on whether or not I had Chipotle for lunch. What’s your boss gonna do, call you out for going to the bathroom too much? In today’s politically correct world you can get sued for $4M for something like that. Take a few 10-15 minute breaks a day and catch up on fantasy football news, Instagram, whatever. Once your legs fall asleep it’s time to get back to your desk.
Take Your Lunch Break
One of the few perks of an office job is the up-for-interpretation hour-long lunch break, and there’s nothing worse than the cake-eater who stays at his desk and “works through his lunch break” because he cares about promotions and shit. Take your lunch, bro. It’s freedom. It's the outside world. Take 30 minutes if you’ve somehow got a really busy day. Take two hours if your boss is out of town. I promise you nobody ever got fired for going to eat instead of fake entering data into the spreadsheet they finished hours ago but still have open just to cover up the internet when their boss walks by.
Sometimes it’s fun to see if you can do that one task you have to do all afternoon with a little buzz on and not fuck it up. Plus, time always flies by when you’re drunk. I feel like my weekends are 28 seconds long.
Talk to Your Coworkers
Sure, some of them are insufferable. But most of them are just as bored as you are, and probably are in the stall next to you right now taking a fake shit and reading the same article you are on their phone. Get to know these people. Start email chains. Make lunch plans. Use the company Instant Message program to ask the hot girl in the office something work-related but then eventually branch off into casual flirting. You’ll be amazed at how much better your days are when you’re making friends and getting winky faces and “lol’s” from Debbie in Accounting.