People Who Work 9 To 5 Reveal How They Pretend To Stay Busy

Roll out of bed and tumble to the kitchen; it's time to start your day and head to your 9-5.

What a way to make a livin'.

Somehow there really doesn't seem to be enough work to carry you through an 8 hour day, but if you're not working, your brainwashed-by-capitalism bosses just get angry.

So what do you do to fool them?

u/pliantkitchen asked:

Redditors with a 9-5 job in a cubicle, how do you pretend to stay busy at work?

Here were some of those answers.

Straight Out Of A Spy Movie


I worked at a call center that allowed reading between calls. I bought a thick *ss hard backed history book and used an exacto knife to cut out the shape of my phone midway through. I made the phone shaped hole about an inch thick and happily browsed Reddit, watched YouTube, and even live tv.

When I was scheduled during a event I didn't want to miss I would have my AirPods in underneath my headset and with the help of Reddit I could find any stream for any sport I wanted to watch. I even watched some votes in the house/senate. I hated the job but loved being able to be on my phone whenever I wanted. :)


Doin The Job

It's all about multiple tabs. My problem is that my cubicle is up at the front of a line of cubicles, with my boss a few cubes back. So every time he leaves to do anything, he walks right by me and can look directly at my computer. So I panic and click on my tab with my emails or some website related to my job. He has told me he doesn't care what I do as long as my job gets done, but panic still sets in every time he walks by. I would do so much less work if I had a different cubicle position.


A New Math Postulate

I operate on the 4:00 principle, in which my day hinges on 4 o'clock:

I either work all day up until 4, and then I coast until I leave at 530, or I coast all day until 4, and then I do a full days worth of work from 4-5.

This has served me well for years.


Tip Tip Tip


  • Over-the-ear headphones with a mic. If I don't want to be bothered, I point to the headphones and pretend to be on a call.
  • Ted Talks in the background. Learn shit while doing shit. Also, great way to make it sound like I'm in a call...I just nod and agree with whatever point is being made in the talk.
  • Typing speed challenge. Tab back and forth between the challenge when work is slow. Helps keep my typing speed up while making it sound like I am always working furiously.
  • Interesting subreddit - copy paste thread contents in email, read at leisure.
  • Every 15-30 minutes, take a deep breath/exhale.

Extended Lunch


When I was in college, I had an internship that wasn't as great as I was hoping. I was given 1 task for the summer to complete. That task took up maybe 30 minutes of my time each day. This was a full-time internship, though. I worked 7am-4pm, M-F, in a cubicle with low walls. I was given nothing else to complete for the 3 months I was there. What did I do with my time?

Well, I couldn't browse the internet, so I would find books, or documents, or what-have-you, and retype them all. One day, one of the women in my area even commented "Wow, they keep you busy!" Unbeknownst to her, no. Also, my co-interns, who were scattered all over the building in different departments, used to send each other random emails. Some times one word each or pictures made up of keyboard symbols. We'd also spend about 2 hours at lunch.

thutruthissomewhere Work

From where my boss sits, He can't see the bottom left 1/4 of my 2nd monitor if I sit with good posture. I live for this corner. Online games, Reddit, youtube etc. all exist in my corner. But all my boss sees is work around it. Also makes me sit with good posture so that's cool too.

-Sent from my corner.


Boredom Slows It Down

Have something important on my screen and my phone on the desk and browse on my phone.

But honestly the time goes a lot faster when working. Especially if you find something you feel like doing. A challenging issue or documenting something that can be used again to save time the next time. Anything where you're feeling like the juice is worth the squeeze.


Breathing Down My Neck

Can't. Everything is monitored. I work for a bank and people call us or I call them to talk about payment plans for debt, either creating them or adjusting them. If I haven't made a call (or received a call) for a given period of time, my team leader gets an IM and then she in turn visits my cube or she messages me. My team leader is really laid back and doesn't care as much, but her boss is also looking at our activity statistics and can say something to her if she stays silent.


Careful What You Wish For

I don't have to pretend I'm busy. My co workers know I'm not busy. I've been working here for five months and I do nothing. I've had maybe five projects to work on that each took a total of two days to complete. I ask for work all the time but everyone is too busy with their own work to bother giving me anything to do. I openly browse Reddit, Twitter, the Internet, and no one seems to care at all. You'd think this would be a great gig but browsing Reddit for literally 8 hours a day is not as fun as it seems.




I don't have to pretend. I either have work to do or I don't.

It's nice working at a place that understands that. My previous job they expected us to always make sure to have at least 7 hours clocked in on a project each day even if there was nothing to do.

So that's how I massively overstated how much I worked on projects and had hundreds of hours in our companies site redesign project. It was such a dumb waste of time. Projects I finished in 10 hours became projects that took "30" hours.

These days I really don't have to pretend to be busy. I'll watch twitch streams or whatever at work and browse Reddit. They know that if I do have something to do I'll do it (and do it well).

e: For the people asking, I'm a front end web developer at an agency. I do have plenty of times where I'm busy as fuck but it's a good balance. I also do spend time on my own learning new stuff just because sitting there on reddit all day gets really dull.


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While we still have a long way to go before we can find out what's next for June/Offred in the Republic of Gilead, we can, at the very least, regale you with some cool facts about one of the most enduring stories of the last three decades.

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Perhaps the best thing that came out of the Super Bowl––aside from the memes haggling Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine, that is––was the trailer for the third season of the Hulu series.

The trailer lampoons former President Ronald Regan's 1984 "Morning in America" political campaign television commercial.

"It's morning again in America," you hear over a soundtrack and images that resound with boundless optimism. Things turn dark from there. Soon the camera freezes on Elisabeth Moss's face: "Wake up, America," she says.

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Margaret Atwood will release a sequel to The Handmaid's Tale titled The Testaments in September 2019. The Testaments is unconnected to Hulu's adaptation and will feature the testimonials of three female narrators from Gilead.

This literary device keeps with the metafictional epilogue that follows Offred's story in the original novel. The novel ends much in the way Season 1 ends: with Offred entering the van at Nick's insistence. The epilogue explains how the events of the novel were recorded onto cassette tapes after the beginning of what scholars have come to describe as "The Gilead Period." An interview with a noted academic implies that a more equitable society, one with full rights for women and freedom of religion restored, emerged following the collapse of the Republic of Gilead.

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As the series goes on, we learn more about Serena Joy Waterford (Yvonne Strahovski) and her beginnings.

Serena was a conservative activist who, along with her husband Fred, spearheaded the Puritan movement that ultimately gave rise to Gilead. Inspired by women whom she perceives to have "abandoned" their families in the name of female autonomy, Serena Joy delivers impassioned speeches at venues around the nation calling for policies that would place women back in the home. She even wrote a bestselling book, A Woman's Place, that served as the vessel for much of her conservative dogma and inspired many of the Commander's Wives who become her friends and neighbors.

Serena was likely based on conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly, who established herself over many years as one of the fiercest antifeminist and anti-abortion advocates in the United States. Schlafly was also a vociferous opponent of the Equal Rights Amendment, which she considered an attack against traditional gender roles.

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A film version of The Handmaid's Tale was released in 1990. It starred Natasha Richardson as Offred, Faye Dunaway as Serena Joy, Robert Duvall as Commander Waterford, Aidan Quinn as Nick, Victoria Tennant as Aunt Lydia, and Elizabeth McGovern as Moira.

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It became … a hotchpotch. The whole thing fell between several shoots. I worked with Karel Reisz on it for about a year. There are big public scenes in the story and Karel wanted to do them with thousands of people. The film company wouldn't sanction that so he withdrew. At which point Volker Schlondorff came into it as director. He wanted to work with me on the script, but I said I was absolutely exhausted. I more or less said, 'Do what you like. There's the script. Why not go back to the original author if you want to fiddle about?' He did go to the original author. And then the actors came into it. I left my name on the film because there was enough there to warrant it—just about. But it's not mine'.

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There are several different adaptations of Atwood's seminal work, including, but not limited to:

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Pray God you can cope
I'll stand outside
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Now starts the craft of the FatherI
know you've got a little life in you left
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I know you've got a little life in you yet
I know you've got a lot of strength left
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I should be hoping but I can't stop thinking
All the things we should've said that I never said
All the things we should have done that we never did
All the things we should have given but I didn't
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Make it go away

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