Charles Langworth

At long last, it's five o'clock. Another day, another dollar, as they say, and I'm just about wrapping up. All that's left to do is switch off my desk lamp, grab my coat, and head home. Maybe when I get there, I'll have a beer. Nothing hits the spot like a nice cold beer after putting in a solid seven hours of shirking responsibility at the office.

Yes, I think my lack of work here is done.

Few things bring more satisfaction to a man than maintaining the charade of an honest day's labor. It's not always easy. There are times when it feels like I'll never make it to lunch without having to at least reply to some e-mails, but somehow I always find a way. And when that clock strikes five, I can close my DivX player and clear my browser history with pride, knowing that I once again managed to put not one ounce of effort into the job I am paid to perform.


I was on fire today! I listened to the phone ring; I took papers out of drawers, made a concerned face at them, and put them in other drawers; I restarted my computer twice. And on top of all that, I also drank some coffee. Didn't brew a new pot when I finished it, of course, because as soon as I was done organizing the sugar packets I had to get back to my desk and spend a half hour fantasizing about how I might look with different hair styles.

Yes, I complain. But that's only so people think I'm working. Truth is, I've just been sticking this pushpin into my cubicle walls over and over when I should be preparing for tomorrow's presentation. And as long as there's still work to be done, I'll be right in this chair, updating my OkCupid profile. Because I'm proud of everything I don't do for this company, and because my boss works two floors up and almost never comes down here.


No one thanks me for it, but day in and day out, I'm draining valuable company resources while contributing next to nothing.

Perhaps I get my work ethic from my father. I still remember coming home from school to find him sitting on the couch in his bathrobe after a long day of faking a herniated disk to get workers' comp. He'd say, "Son, listen to me. These places are paying you to show up in the morning and leave in the evening. If they want you to do some work in-between, that's their problem."


He was a wise man, my Dad. If he were here today, I think he'd be proud of me and all I haven't done.

Are there times when I feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of things I don't do in a day? Of course. That's why it's good to have a little routine, so you don't find yourself accidentally falling into long bouts of productivity. I like to start the day around 10:30 or 10:45 by rocking back and forth in my chair for a bit. I find it sets a nice tone. Then, it's mostly just a mixed bag of e-mailing friends, commenting on Fail Blog videos, and hitting the "random" button on Wikipedia until lunch.


After that it gets pretty hairy, because it's the afternoon and you've just had a break, so everyone expects you to be working. That's why I like to jump right in, roll up my sleeves, and drop by Ted's office to talk about the game last night. Because when we don't work together, nothing gets done twice as fast.

If you keep to a routine, there's no limit to how much you can deliberately not achieve. In college, my goal was to get a job in an art gallery. So what did I do? I buckled down and concocted a completely fictitious resumé in order to lie my way in, and before I knew it, I was sitting around trying to remember the names of my fourth-grade classmates at my dream job!


It just goes to show you. Circumventing hard work pays off.

And now it is time to go. A bunch of my coworkers are having a drink at Houlihan's, and I'm going to join them. Not to make friends or anything. I just need to start planting the seeds of a toothache excuse I'm going to cash in for a half day on Tuesday.


That's the hardest part about avoiding work: It's a 24/7 job.