Thought Catalog
November 3, 2011

Stuff You Say When You’re Avoiding Work

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What is the issue?

“I’m just going to take time out from work to watch this kitten video. And that related video of the koala hugging a labrador retriever, that one is OK to watch too. Oh, there’s a video of three koalas fighting here… I’ve never seen koalas fight before. OK, we can watch that, it’s no problem. I’m expanding my knowledge here so it’s fine — I’ll know what it looks like when koalas fight. It’s good for me. I’ll be a smarter person.”

“I’ve been working for one hour now. Well, it’s probably only been half an hour, seeing as I’ve mostly been focusing on this Gchat with this person I really want to sleep with, eventually… Well, I’ve been sitting at my desk for an entire hour, at least. I need to stretch. I need to take a little walk around the office right now, it’s healthy for my body. Your actions are justified — you’re being healthy. You need to burn calories.”

“I can’t get any of this work done with the dishes the way they are. I must clean them! It is the right thing to do!”

“It’s fine to have Gmail chat, Facebook chat, and Twitter open right now. They’ll just provide ‘micro-breaks’ every minute or so. That way, instead of taking like one or two longer breaks, I’ll just sit in front of the computer all day, occasionally chatting and stuff, and it won’t be an issue. It’s just a different way to organize my time — almost constant distraction.”

“Oh! Occupy Oakland got in another skirmish with the police. And the cops in NYC took away Occupy Wall Street’s generators!! And what?! Herman Cain has received yet another sexual harassment allegation?! I must read these stories right away — I must stay informed! Work can wait, I need to know what’s happening. Solidarity! And news!”

“I’m going outside for a cigarette. I’ll start on this after smoking.”

“Am I hungry right now? I think I might be hungry. What’s in the fridge? Hm… doesn’t look like much. I definitely don’t feel like preparing something. A bowl of cereal? Nah, only the end is left — hate that. I should probably get to work. I’m not really hungry. But… I feel like I should snack on something. I need to go to the fridge again, maybe I missed something.”

“I can’t get any of this work done with my email account in such disarray. I have to clean it up. It must be cleaned now! It is imperative!”

“If I drink a little… it’ll loosen me up. I can’t think of how to start on this project, and if I just have one glass of wine, and maybe smoke a cigarette, I’ll feel less stressed and better able to really dive into this project. This is a really solid idea, it’s totally justifiable. This is justified. Don’t worry that this isn’t justifiable. You’re not being an alcoholic here.”

“Is that water I hear? What is that sound? I must inspect this sound. It must be dealt with! I can’t work with this weird sound bothering me! No work will happen until I locate the mystery sound and stop it.”

“Oh my god, the internet went out. I know that I don’t need the internet for this project and have been working on it in a Word doc, but I can’t be without the internet. What if someone emails me something important? The internet is not coming back on. The lights keep flashing and going out. I hate my ISP. That’s it! It’s been too long. I have no other choice — I’m walking to a coffee shop with WiFi!” TC mark

image – susansimon

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