Look, to a certain extent we all love to be busy — it gives us a feeling equivalent to being high. I get it.
But you’ve all probably worked with one (or more!) guy or girl who is constantly using how busy they are as an excuse to do absolutely nothing else at all. This person does this even though no one has any clue what their output actually is. They can usually get away with it because of one of these factors:
- They are close with someone high up
- It’s a dick move to outright ask someone “Well, what are you even doing today?”
- No one knows how long anything takes in a digitally-driven economy
The forms this takes
You: “Hey, Person A, can you help me with this project that seems pretty important?”
Person A: “Wish I could but digging out of my emails! I’m at 1,500!”
You: “Hey Person A, could I get that document from you that you were supposed to send six days ago?”
Person A: “Sure, but I’m slammed with client engagements through next Friday. It’s on my radar, though! Always something!”
In Situation 1, you walk past them “digging out of emails” and notice they’re in a heated Facebook Messenger exchange with someone about Putin. In Situation 2, “client engagements” somehow meant a gym trip, a 3pm departure, and a 2-hour lunch.
We all know these people.
Why this is allowed to happen
I mentioned this above, so scroll up.
But the other reason is this: work isn’t about productivity. It has absolutely nothing to do with productivity. If it did, the way we structure work wouldn’t be such a fucking joke. Here’s what it has to do with:
- Make money
- Control elements you can
- Surround yourself with like-minded people
That’s what work is really about. If you don’t get that, you’re deluding yourself. Look at how executives behave. Just look at Google News around any executive scandal. That’s all these guys care about: money, control, and like-minded ass-kissers who they can eventually promote and feel they “did right by the brand” or whatever.
If you understand this and fit into the ecosystem properly, you can absolutely do nothing all week, keep making more money, and simply use the excuse of telling everyone how slammed you are.
Why do you think bureaucracy is actually rising? Because it protects this.
Ever work with this pussy ass hat?
Ever work with a guy like this?
- Never responds to emails
- Something urgent is on Slack/whatever platform and he never responds to that either
- Just simply doesn’t show up for a host of meetings, virtual or in-person
- Never gets punished and in fact gets advanced
I’ve worked with 5–6 people like that.
If you understand the system and are close with the right people, this isn’t even a stretch. Do nothing, lie to others about your workload, and keep getting yours. You win.
But unfortunately, you’re also a complete pussy and you need to live with that on the regular.