Goof-offs not uncommon

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 27, 2005

One of the benefits of working around a chamber of commerce office is that we get sent an inordinate amount of reading material covering a plethora of subject matters.

I don’t know how we get on so many people’s mailing lists, but most come at no charge to us so we don’t complain.

Now, most of the material is either mind-numbing boring (kind of like my weekly column) or is more applicable to larger metropolitan areas.

Email newsletter signup

But, fortunately, there are those snippets that come across my desk that make wading through all the other junk worthwhile.

Such was the case a couple of weeks ago when an article caught my eye that dealt with worker productivity.

Now, I know that for some of you, your eyes are starting to glaze over like a Krispy Kreme donut.

Just the mention of such an academia study brings to your mind pie charts, weighted mean averages, and metro-statistical gobbledygook, thus, producing an ennui in you that would make the makers of any sleeping pill envious.

Well, get you a cup of coffee, splash cold water on your face, and try and pay attention, for I think this study will actually be of interest to most of you.

When I said the study dealt with “worker productivity,” I don’t want you to think that it dealt with something as inane as widget production numbers.

No, it was a study that looked at the average amount of time that workers “goof off” each day.

I immediately thought to myself, “what a great study!”

The article was a real page turner, as good as any John Grisham novel.

Those that undertook the study and who were responsible for doing the compilations found themselves in a quandary.

They had some very heated discussions among themselves; such as:

What standards of “tests and measurements” would they use to establish what qualifies as definable “goofing off?”

And, should the study include upper management or only lower-down-the-line workers?

Well, after all of the parameters were established, here are some of the more interesting findings of the study:

first, the average American worker “goofs off” more than two hours per day.

Second, younger workers goof off more than older workers (I found that not surprising, at all, since younger people have more energy and are more imaginative).

Third, insurance employees were shown to goof off more than any other segment of workers studied.

(I’m just reporting the findings, not making any comments on this one, because some of my best friends are workers in this category).

Fourth, for some inexplicable reason, it was found that workers in Missouri are the biggest goof offs in the nation.

(I guess since it is the “Show Me” state, everyone sits around and waits to be shown how to do everything).

And fifth, I am pleased to report that the study showed that men and women waste about the same amount of time, meaning that there is indeed equality between the sexes in goof-off-ability.

(I guess the time it takes to re-do makeup in the ladies room is about the same as it takes to go on the internet and find the points spread and injury report for the upcoming big games).

I will not bore you with the pathetic reasons that were given by workers on why they goof off.

I just simply close this column with reporting the fact that I took no more than three refreshment breaks and logged on the internet for non-work related reasons, less than six times, while writing this column.

All total, according to my calculations, I have thirty-nine more minutes that I can waste today and still be below the national average.

Just to play it safe, however, I have asked the paper carriers not to deliver today’s paper to any of my board members, so please keep this column quiet.