More to the point, I've already given up today. My mind is out to lunch and is sitting at the Thanksgiving table being forced to eat my own cooking.
I know I'm not alone. Millions of American workers have already checked out mentally for the holidays, and they're sitting right next to you seriously pretending to work with an Angry Birds game tucked underneath the spreadsheet. Everyone at work is plotting his or her escape this morning, assuming he or she hasn't already successfully flown the coop. It's like the movie Chicken Run, only with employed people instead of Nick Park's claymation chickens. How can I leave two hours early today? God, I'm so bored. Get me out of here! Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do at your company to keep from having to work very hard today. It's hard to soar with the eagles when, well, you know.
Maybe you feel the same way. Hey, you're reading a useless blog written by an under-worked workplace columnist turned stay-at-home-parent-for-awhile-longer, which means you've checked out, too. It's okay. It happens. Let's be honest. Walk right in, the water's roiling at a slow, pinch-of-salt rate. Just don't overcook the mashed potatoes like I do.
The experts like to call this being-at-work-physically-but-not-mentally problem "presenteeism," which I've always thought was a very strange word probably thought up by a consultant promoted one or two steps above his or her competency level. Or by an anxiety-riddled journalist trying to be punny after being promoted one or two steps above his or her competency level. After all, if you call it an "ism," then it's a real problem, right? Right. So let's just call today what it really is: Calendar-enforced lazinessism.
You're living the lifestyle right now, in real time, as an unlucky schlub stuck at work, updating the traffic report constantly on your smartphone and pushing paperwork around your desk. You don't want to start a new project because...well, why on Earth would you do that? Why aren't any of your clients taking your calls? And why God why is the company even open today? Anyone? Anyone? How many hours until you can leave? If you take the beltway, will it be any faster? Can one really go home again? Why does someone else's cooking always taste better? Stop being philosophical and update the traffic report on your smartphone already, because your holiday-induced boredom is making you even more compulsive.
So yeah, I could offer tips for pretending like you're working, or maybe a few tips on how to point fingers over a billion-dollar mistake. Can't anyone take the blame anymore? No, not really, but they can search for ways to take the afternoon off and get a jump on the traffic.
I'll be pondering tips for looking busy at work on the day before a holiday, some of which I've already covered in past posts. For now, I'm choosing to focus on the future. Specifically, I'm trying to figure out where to stock up on Tums today since I face the impending doom of eating my own Thanksgiving cooking.
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and don't cut off every driver trying to merge into traffic, okay? If you let in every second or third driver, then we'll all get there faster. Wherever "there" is, and let's hope there's some there there if we're talking in terms of "they're." So here, here (sic) my friends: I raise a toast to you. Keep up the hard work! Just not today.