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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Spacing Out
Bob Slydell: You see, what we're trying to do is get a feeling for how people spend their time at work so if you would, would you walk us through a typical day, for you?

Peter Gibbons: Yeah.

Bob Slydell: Great.

Peter Gibbons: Well, I generally come in at least fifteen minutes late, ah, I use the side door - that way Lumbergh can't see me, heh - after that I sorta space out for an hour.

Bob Porter: Da-uh? Space out?

Peter Gibbons: Yeah, I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I'm working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch too, I'd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work. You see Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care.

Bob Porter: Don't... don't care?

Peter Gibbons: It's a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and Initech ships a few extra units, I don't see another dime, so where's the motivation? And here's another thing, I have eight different bosses right now.

Bob Porter: Eight?

Peter Gibbons: Eight, Bob. So that means when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled, that, and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.
It would seem that Americans agree with Peter Gibbons.
U.S. Workers Waste Two Hours Every Day

Boston - American workers say they squander over two hours a day at the workplace, with surfing the Web, socialising with co-workers and simply "spacing out" among the top time-wasting activities, according to a survey released on Monday.

Most United States companies assume about an hour of wasted time, but workers admit to actually frittering away more than twice as much time at a cost of $759-billion in annual paid salary that results in no apparent productivity, an online survey conducted by America Online showed.

Wasted time did not include the standard lunch hour.

Of the 10 044 employee respondents, 33 percent said they engaged in time-wasting activities because they didn't have enough work to do. Nearly a quarter of those surveyed said they squandered their work hours because they were underpaid.

Men and women wasted an equal amount of time at work, but older workers were significantly more attentive than younger workers, the survey showed. Workers over 55 years old wasted an average of just 30 minutes a day, according to the survey.
How many hours a day/week would you say you waste? Take the new poll to the right. Don't worry---if your boss was paying attention, you'd be fired by now.

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