cross-posted from: https://linux.community/post/767456

I read posts about people quitting jobs because they’re boring or there is not much to do and I don’t get it: what’s wrong with being paid for doing nothing or not much at all?

Examples I can think of: being paid to be present but only working 30 minutes to 2 hours every 8 hours, or a job where you have to work 5 minutes every 30 minutes.

What’s wrong with reading a book, writing poetry or a novel, exercising, playing with the smartphone… and going home to enjoy your hobbies fully rested?

Am I missing something?

  • @alyth@lemmy.world
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    351 month ago

    What’s wrong with reading a book, writing poetry or a novel, exercising, playing with the

    They have the wrong idea here. Most people who have nothing/nothing meaningful to do at work still have to be present and give the semblance of working. Or do bullshit tasks that nobody will ever check, but if you don’t do them you risk losing your job and your income.

    and going home to enjoy your hobbies fully rested?

    Being bored out of my mind is extremely exhausting to me.

    • DontTakeMySky
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      111 month ago

      This. And even if you do have time to let your mind wander you can’t actually “do” your hobbies at work. At least for me I can’t do any personal programming projects while working or my job will own whatever I do.

      I don’t even plan to sell anything, I just want ownership of it so I can’t even fill my time with that.

        • DontTakeMySky
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          11 month ago

          Easier said than done, but yes this is very true. It’s way too easy to fuck up and touch the wrong account, or sync the wrong data, or otherwise contaminate your personal projects with work.

  • @ShunkW@lemmy.world
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    171 month ago

    I had a job like this for about 2 years. There’s only so much content you can consume before you really just start to lose your mind. Also losing skills is a real thing. And to be perfectly honest, when compensated fairly, some of us enjoy our careers.

    • Bakkoda
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      41 month ago

      I’d rather be at home where i can enjoy my life as i choose if I’m not working. End of it for me. I get it, paid to do nothing but i just don’t like doing nothing. Not saying i want to beat my body or mind up non stop but full stop, hurry up and wait… No thanks.

      • @wizardbeard@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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        41 month ago

        There’s more in person hurry up and do nothing jobs than work from home positions, and I would imagine most people complaining are not working from home, or have to maintain availability showing in a chat program, or are just busy enough to not be able to get into what they want to be doing.

  • @Infynis@midwest.social
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    111 month ago

    I’d be interested in the backgrounds of the people answering this question too. I come from a poor family, and spent the first few years of my working life doing manual labor, and this attitude absolutely baffled me. I have a work from home desk job in tech now, where I routinely have hours of downtime, and I’ve been loving it. This is the best my mental health has ever been. I’m getting time to read my miles long backlog of books, and develop skills I wouldn’t have time for otherwise. I don’t reach the end of the day exhausted to the point where all I have to look forward to is sleep, and then doing it all again, like I used to. I have an under-desk treadmill for exercise, and I’m eating healthier and saving money because I’m feet from my own kitchen, and I have the time to cook real meals while at work. I hope to continue increasing my salary, but I think I would be happy doing this same work for a very long time.

    • @wizardbeard@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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      71 month ago

      The key is that you are working from home, where you have the freedom to use the down time productively, or at least in whatever way you desire. You also have complete control over the space you work in.

      Most jobs with downtime don’t have that kind of freedom. You’re still in the office, in the lobby, at the cash register. You have to be at your post, maintaining appearances for whoever happens to walk by. You might be able to do some light web browsing, but you have to watch out for anyone coming within view of your screen. The suits, or customers if you’re any sort of customer facing, feel slighted when they see people appearing to not care about their work.


      I lost a job for playing a computer game at my desk while things were slow so I could be available whenever something came up, while multiple co-workers were literally out playing basketball in the gymnasium for our customers, not even at the front desk able to work when a rush hit. A rush did hit, someone got handsy with the one other coworker there (of the six clocked in and supposed to be there), they pulled the tapes, saw what I was doing during the literal hour of nothing, and I was fired. I had previously been told that while they preferred I didn’t, I could do what I was doing during downtime so I would always immediately be available to assist customers. No one else even got in trouble, not even the handsy fucking customer.

      At another place, our primary duty was answering phones, but an exec made us work a ticket queue as well. Whenever we weren’t audibly talking into our headsets he would make shitty comments about us not being busy, despite all our numbers showing otherwise. One magical day we managed to have literally nothing in the ticket queue and no calls coming in. I got in trouble for browsing a work related subreddit trying to find ways to improve my skills.

      I’ve had other jobs where I was told that I could do my schoolwork during my downtime, then been told to stop because it didn’t maintain an appearance of company values. To the empty fucking entry hallway of an outdoor pool. It’s going to rain today, we aren’t going to get many/any customers. I had great rapport with the customers and other staff too, wasn’t like I was known as an idiot or a slacker. I’d get calls from the more senior workers at the inside desk when they couldn’t figure out basic shit they had been trained on.


      My current job is much like yours, work from home tech, and I enjoy being able to take 30 minutes and clear my mind fucking about in a videogame when I get a mental block with some code, being able to do my laundry, clean shit up around the house, read, do hobbies in between meeting calls or when muted on one.

      That is so so far from the norm though. Only possible with WFH and if your employer isn’t a privacy invading psycho recording what programs you have open and when, mouse movements, etc.

  • @gloriousspearfish@feddit.dk
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    101 month ago

    I want to feel like what I do matters, otherwise I become frustrated and feel bad. My basic drive for curiosity is very strong, and I need to learn new things and do something that has some sort of meaning.

    Being paid to do nothing is soo frustrating, I feel like I am wasting what little time I have here on earth.

  • @ryathal@sh.itjust.works
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    61 month ago

    Downtime gets exhausting too. A day of nothing after a week of hard work is nice. Several days in a row of less than an hour of productive work is draining and makes it hard to actually work once things pick up.

  • BaldProphet
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    51 month ago

    My last job they really didn’t like us doing nothing during down time, they really wanted us to be sweeping the floor or some other busy-work. There was a lot of work to be done like that, so it got boring, fast.

    Now I have a job with tons of downtime and my boss is explicitly fine with us reading books, playing video games, watching Netflix, etc. as long as we are responsive when customers come in. It’s a great gig (although low-paying), especially for a college student.

    Now if I get bored it’s my own fault.

  • @Boozilla@lemmy.world
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    41 month ago

    I love the downtime and use it for personal stuff. I am of course chained to my desk and phone. But there’s always hobbies and interests to pursue. I seldom get bored.

    If I were more ambitious, I could become on of those over-employed people with multiple full-time jobs at the same time. But that lifestyle would stress me out. I also work in a field/area with a gossip network. So it would be risky. Anyone gets caught doing that, word would get around quickly.

  • ℕ𝕖𝕞𝕠
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    31 month ago

    I actually like my job. It’s meaningful and fulfilling.

    But I don’t get paid by the hour, I get paid by the amount of work I do. If it’s slow but I’m still required to be there, that shows that my employer doesn’t respect my time and doesn’t prioritize my income, and that’s offensive to me.

    Reading a book or dicking around on a phone goes against professional standards; even if it wouldn’t endanger my position I still wouldn’t do it. I want to work when I’m getting paid and get paid when I’m working, and make the most amount of money in the fewest number of hours so I can go home to be with my family.

  • It depends on the situation really. hated downtime at my old job because they were strict, if there was nothing to do they would make us do something menial like wipe the counters in a circle over and over until there was something to do, we couldn’t go on our phones. At my current job, I’m on my phone during downtime right now so it’s not as bad, though i still have to do the duck and cover if I see my boss coming around since technically at this one we aren’t supposed to do this either.

  • @MNByChoice@midwest.social
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    21 month ago

    It is hard to get a higher salary if there is a lot of downtime. Better to get a job that could pay more.

    Plus what others said.

  • 🇰 🔵 🇱 🇦 🇳 🇦 🇰 ℹ️
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    1 month ago

    In my case, having something to keep me busy makes time move along faster so I’d rather have constant work than downtime so it feels like I am getting done with work and going home faster.

    Reading/using my phone does the opposite. 30 minutes feels like 2 hours. I want 2 hours to feel like 30 minutes. Factory and routines that never end don’t work this way, though. But stocking shelves or cleaning toilets does; I think it’s because I can actually see that I have accomplished something, unlike when you do 1/100th of building the same exact thing for 8-10 straight hours and don’t even necessarily see the end result.