The Pissing Contest of Work

The laptop I was given to use at work has a 15.6-inch screen, Intel Core i5 processor, spillproof keyboard, and a host of other fancy specs that render it far better for watching TV than the blank wall I have at home. As such, I quite happily drag my 8-pound work computer back to my apartment every evening. This comes with an added bonus – it allows me to log on to Lync Messenger, the unified communications system that we use at work. It displays coworkers’ online statuses, thus I can appear to be hard at work even when I am actually in bed watching Top Gear on BBC!

Jenny, my wonderful friend and colleague, has given me plenty of crap for my disingenuous use of my work computer. She works in the fab, and legitimately puts in long hours. For me to screw around at home with the guise of being industrious is fair justification for her resentment.

See, at our soulless company, the appearance of doing work earns far more merit than the actual accomplishment of any work. At 7:00 pm today, I sat fidgeting in my cubicle as I waited for my boss to log off from Lync, indicating that he had gone home. Nope, his status stayed green. By 7:20, I had refreshed facebook and cnn about 50 times apiece trying to wait out this pissing match. By 7:30, I had read everything worth reading on the internet and was too tired and bored to care anymore, so I threw in the towel. Screw it, I thought. I got better things to do. I closed my laptop and went home, reflecting deeply on the events of the day during the 4-minute drive. Oh, yeah, I only live a mile-and-a-half from work — I really should bike, or even walk, but I have to carry that 8-pound behemoth of a laptop with me every day, remember?

When I got home, I took off my shoes, got an apple from the fridge, went upstairs, opened my laptop, and saw THIS:

I may have lost the battle, but I guess I also lost the war, which is evidenced by the fact that I am at home writing a blog post about this.

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