Friday, September 2, 2016

Men At Work


There's a meme that floats around on social media that I see every couple of months. It may have a different picture associated with it each time, but the message is always the same. It points out that men always put up construction barriers and "men at work" signs whenever they're working to draw attention to the fact that they're actually doing something.

There is a large number of men and women who have an amazing talent for appearing to be working yet not really doing anything at all. This topic came up recently. I won't say where, when or why it came up, or who mentioned it, because I don't really feel like pointing fingers quite that deliberately. Let's just say, we all know people like this and they can all feign offense even though I'm not pointing out anyone in particular. 

There is an 80/20 rule that seems to apply to many things in life. Even though I know all of you take everything I say as the rock solid truth, I Googled it anyway. It's called the Pareto principle. The idea behind it is that for many things, "roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes." I've heard it used in my years of retail sales where about 20% of our customers provided about 80% of our total income. Or, how 80% of wealth (and the associated taxes) are the responsibility of about 20% of the population.

I believe (so it must be true) that the same applies to the workforce. Roughly 20% of the workers do 80% of the work. Now, you may be thinking that's not possible because there's no way the 80% slacker workforce would keep there jobs. That's just not true because many of them understand the "appear to be working" principle. 

If you have the ability to appear to be working, producing and/or adding value of some sort while actually doing next to nothing, then you fall into the 80%. You probably even think you're pretty smart and "putting one over on the man." In reality though (which I think we're drifting away from a little more each year), you're only fooling yourself. 

Eventually, you are weeded out and you have to learn how to appear productive at a different job. That's the easy part though. The harder part, which I think is hilarious, is that you're probably expending more energy trying to appear busy that if you were to just do your job in the first place. The other kicker is that it has to make your days drag on when you're doing nothing all day. I don't know about you, but for me, my busiest days go by the fastest. 

I think you get the idea. It's about time for me to move onto some other activity. This whole looking busy writing a blog thing only lasts so long. Pretty soon my wife will realize that I'm not really being productive and find something for me to fix or clean. So, off I go to my next work avoidance activity. Until next time....