…But you can still have fun while you’re there.
I enjoy playing little games during my work day to entertain myself. I actually do this outside of work, too, like if I cross the room in an even number of steps I win.
I realize that sounds stupid.
Anyway, one of my work games involves keeping a wrong number on the phone for as long as possible. I generally like to set a goal of 5 minutes to start with, and If I can get to 5 minutes by the end of the day, I win. If I can do it before lunch I’m super awesome, and if I exceed my goal before the end of the day I am the champion of the whole world. It’s also fun when you know someone really doesn’t want to be on the phone but can’t figure out how to end the conversation in a polite way. I once managed to keep a person on the phone for twenty minutes until they finally yelled “I’M SORRY I REALLY HAVE TO GO DO SOMETHING IMPORTANT”. I think it’s the building frustration you can hear in the person’s voice, that fine line of civility they’re trying to maintain that makes it so enjoyable.
Periodically I like to stand up and give my manager progress updates…
Me:“Hey boss! I got halfway to my goal with that call!” or “OH man, I was 30 seconds away from my goal that time…”
Boss: You applied someone?
Me: No, I kept that wrong number call going for 4 minutes and 30 seconds!
Boss: … You realize that has absolutely nothing to do with your ACTUAL goals, right?
Me: Yes it does.
Boss: Um, no… not really.
Me: It does in my reality.
As you can probably tell, I do my best to torment my boss every day. Just the other day, the following conversation happened:
Boss: Hey, you know it’s 4:00, right?
Me: Technically it’s 3:58.
Boss: Well close enough. Shouldn’t you be going to lunch?
Me: IS THAT A FAT JOKE?
I also quite enjoy letting my boss catch me doing something I’m not supposed to be doing. Sometimes I’ll try to convince him otherwise, other times I just like to argue until he gives up. For instance, I was eating banana chips at my desk today when my boss walked by. Instead of trying to hide them like everyone else, I held up the bag and asked if he wanted one.
Boss: I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to be eating those at your desk.
Me: We’re allowed to have hard candy.
Boss: But those are banana chips…
Me: Exactly, nature’s hard candy!
Boss: Well… *sigh* Never mind.
I’m fairly certain I’m his favorite employee.