Tuesday, August 17, 2010

10 Interesting Things to Do Out of Sheer Boredom in the Workplace

1. Fake your own death.

    Of course, this takes a bit of preparation, but anything is better than answering another pointless email about whether or not you made your quotas this month. Stage your cubicle thusly:  Turn your chair on its side, optimally breaking one of the arms so it appears that you fell to the ground really hard and/or that there was a tremendous struggle before your demise.

  You’ll need signs of serious body trauma. Knifings are always violent and messy, so that’s a good choice. Take the leftover ketchup packets from McDonald’s and squirt away. Don’t forget that knife wounds can generate a lot of blood spray, so be sure to get some goo on the walls. Take the plastic knife from Wendy’s, smear some ketchup on that, and throw it down the hallway from your cube. Don’t just set it, throw it. Killers fleeing a scene who drop things do so sloppily, not tidily. We want realism.

  Take the phone off the hook, maybe stretching out the cord a little bit, like you were conducting a serious conference call that might have saved the world if only Lizzie Borden hadn’t wandered into your cube, mad that her cake fell. Writing out some fake minutes from the meeting would be a nice touch. (“Take aways: 1. Get with payroll about bonus checks. 2. Speak to M. Alexander about providing doilies. 3. Send email to Michelle Obama about-”  Then draw a jagged line to the bottom of the page, pressing hard enough to cut through several pages, and snap the ballpoint off your pen.)

  Knock over a plant or two, ensuring that some of the soil spills out. Random clumps of dirt cause people to envision graves, so this will help people make that leap to thinking that surely you must be dead. You might even want to leave one of your shoes, crushed under your chair or perhaps tangled in the phone cord. Better yet, steal someone else’s shoe (maybe from that guy who always brings his gym bag but has never been seen working out?) and use that. Using the unrelated but possibly familiar shoe will drive folks to wonder if your assailant is still nearby, possibly documenting expense receipts in the copy machine room, waiting for his next opportunity to kill.

  This last step is optional, and requires a partner, preferably a female who can scream really loud. (Try to find a former cheerleader, as this would be an ideal resource.) Have her crumple in a ball outside your cube, making sure she positions her head so she can gaze in shock and horror at the abrupt remains of your short life. Mess up her hair, because everyone knows that people in the movies who find victims never have pretty hair. It’s a rule. Now, tell her to wait for your signal, then go hide in an empty cube, camera phone ready, giggling.

2. Periodically shout random, unrelated words for no apparent reason, especially when it gets really quiet.

  “Bush”, “thunderclap” and “rhubarb” is a nice combination. And don’t forget that whatever you bellow, banging something on your desk at the same time achieves better results. And if someone comes to investigate and determine what the hell your problem might be, be sure to stare at the occupant of a neighboring cube, as if completely outraged by their behavior.

3. Deactivate your voice mail, so that the call-forwarding will not kick in, and your phone will simply ring into eternity.

 Then call your office phone from your cell. This will allow you to look like you’re on another call, thereby justifying your inattention to the annoying ringing phone. If you can make it to 30 rings before someone snaps and comes at you over the cube wall, you get extra bonus points.

4. Use your cell phone to record part of a very animated conference call.

  Then go into the bathroom, choose a stall, lock the door, sit on the toilet tank so your feet are not visible, and then keep hitting “play” on your recording, making it sound like there’s a crowd of people in there with you. Count the number of heads that can’t help but peek under the stall door. Wave at them when they do. (Always drive friendly, you know.)

5. Play “Grieving Postal Worker”.

  Go to the nearest company mail distribution room, gather up missives for people that you don’t really know, find their cube, hand over their letter, and then say “I am SO sorry for your loss”. Then pat them tenderly on the hand, smile with saintly compassion, and then slip out of their cube, sniffling quietly. If they follow you, run. (It may be necessary to scream “she touched me in the bad place!” if they almost catch you.) But they will most likely just stay in their cube, trying to find out what tragic thing happened in the Company Fitness Center monthly newsletter.

6. Destroy workplace morale and trust.

  Wait until everyone in your section goes on break. Quickly scamper into each cube, turning all family photos so that they face the wall. Hide all writing implements. Scribble “I told you not to mess with me!” on everyone’s whiteboard. Unplug all phones. Then take something personal from each cube and place it in another cube, carefully considering who already doesn’t care for whom. Wait until you hear the gang clattering back from break, late as usual, and then loudly proclaim. “Hey! Who took my stress ball?” Then sit back and wait for the exclamations of surprise, thievery and vengeance.

7. Have an obnoxious and startling fake phone call that every one can hear.

  Some clever talking points to share with the person that doesn’t exist at the other end of the line:

  “No, that was NOT my underwear.”

  “A little shot of vodka in the baby bottle should take care of THAT.”

  “Look, I’M not the one that got pregnant in church.”

  “If you change your name again, people are going to get suspicious.”

  “Do you think grandma will fit in the trunk?”

  “Didn’t I tell you what would happen if you bought a gun that was too heavy?”

  “You just can’t get bloodstains out of wool.”

  “Do you know how hard it is to find everything we need for the Black Mass?”

8. Change your email footer to read “Anything I say can and will be used against you in a court of law”.

  Then draw a little picture of a noose.

   If anyone questions you about this, wave an empty antidepressant prescription bottle and say “Sorry, didn’t make it to Walgreen’s this morning.”

9. Call everyone “Buford”.

  Refuse to stop doing this. Pretend that you don’t know why this makes people upset.

10.  Go to lunch and never come back.

  You can probably only get away with this one once. Save it for a special day.

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