Using downtime at work constructively

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by eukatheude, Mar 7, 2014.


  1. eukatheude

    eukatheude

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    Italy, Brescia
    At work we tend to have lot of downtime somehow. Since the amount of work depends only on how many customers call/send mail complaining, sometimes I don't even have the time to breathe and sometimes I have almost nothing to do the whole day, aside from the occasional phone call.
    I spend the whole day in front of a computer so I think i could start using this time more constructively rather than refreshing TB hoping to find something interesting... I already started studying some theory but that's not ideal, since I don't have my bass here and sometimes it feels useless without going over the same things at home.
    So I ask you... what could I do? What do you do, if you're in a similar situation?
  2. SnowCal

    SnowCal

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Location:
    Snowier Climes of California
    Same story here. That's what I'm doing right now in fact.

    Things I've done during downtime at work:

    Sleep.
    Ride my bike.
    Take the GF on a date.
    Watch movies.
    Play video games.
    Extracurriculars.
    Go to bars (no booze though) and see bands.
    Solitaire.
    Minesweeper.
    Spread rumors about the company's financial health.
    Do donuts out at the airport.

    What do you do?
  3. GKon

    GKon Supporting Member, Boom-Chicka-Boom Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2013
    Location:
    Athens, Greece
    Would it be appropriate to bring a bass with you to work? Even a small practice bass rather than a full sized one?

    If not, when I worked in a corporate environment, downtime was mind numbing. I made friends with the IT guys and they showed me the link to all of the movies they had uploaded on to the servers which they used for "testing purposes".
    Can you bring and watch a movie on your computer?
    Read a book?
    Write a book?
    Learn a new language?

    Just some ideas.
  4. machine gewehr

    machine gewehr

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2005
    Location:
    Istanbul
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  6. Icey101

    Icey101

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2011
    Location:
    Australia Victoria
    everything is on youtube, train yourself in something you find interesting

    or even better do something extra thats work related, like learning something extra to do at work and they will even like you better maybe let you buy some books with their doe
  7. eukatheude

    eukatheude

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    Italy, Brescia
    Can't watch video and can't listen to anything unfortunately. My boss is about 3m away from we, fortunately with a wall in beteen. But the door is just near my shoulders, so audio is not possible.
    Can't bring my bass because boss doesn't understand that there is downtime, and if there is we should ask him for something to do - the times we tried in goodwill, we got assigned something completely useless.
  8. AngryPig1

    AngryPig1

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Location:
    London UK
    i made pretty thorough use of sound on sounds gear review and recording tips pages... but once again there is only so far that can go without being able to try itout at the same time...

    for a while i used to hide my laptopon my desk too (i sit in the corner so no one can really see) and did some undercover music production at work. had to stop as it was taking the piss really.

    but yeah if you can get on youtube i think harvard and MIT might publish almost all their lectures online for free! get yourself a degree or two.
  9. eukatheude

    eukatheude

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    Italy, Brescia
    Those are good. Still no audio though.
  10. AngryPig1

    AngryPig1

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2012
    Location:
    London UK
    in that case get a JSTOR account, or sign up to 'Science' or 'Nature' the Journal of Worl Prehistory is great too. Or if money is tight find a friend or relative who is a student and ask to borrow their account. Seriously on JSTOR there is all the knowledge in the world in academic texts. You can then go on some university website, check out the reading list for a course you like and work your way though.

    Or download some PDFs of academic texts or just some good fiction.

    I love downtime at work. I learn more here than when I was at university. and I get paid to do it!
  11. 96tbird

    96tbird Supporter Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    READ. THAT IS ALL.
  12. wild4oldcars

    wild4oldcars

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2012
    Location:
    Garner, NC
    Why no earbuds?
  13. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Location:
    west suburban boston
    Doughnuts at the airport? Snowcal has TOO much downtime.
    Any openings where you work bro?
  14. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2004
    Location:
    Madison WI
    Disclosures:
    HPF Technology: Protecting the Pocket since 2007
    Learn programming. Check out Code Academy. Python is a good programming language to get started with. When you get a bit of skill, try writing a program that will improve some minor process at your workplace. Eventually, use it to get a better job.
  15. Dale D Dilly

    Dale D Dilly Monster Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2008
    That's rough. I know its effectively giving yourself more work, but if you want to make a shining impression, you should talk to your boss about taking a little time to set up some kind of useful ongoing project for you to work on during down time. That way he doesn't have to come up with something relatively useless off the top of his head whenever the issue comes up.

    If you don't want to, or you're sure he'd still come up with nothing more than busywork, I say go the online class or non-fiction book route to develop whatever skill you are excited about, work-related or otherwise.
  16. eukatheude

    eukatheude

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2012
    Location:
    Italy, Brescia
    This is all good advice.
    Fdeck, I actually had something similar in mind, in fact i was using Python but didn't go too far because of lack of time (I work 8 hours for which i get paid 4.5€ each, but due to transportation it's 12 hours out of my home everyday), and not trying it during work.
    I also plan on studying more in depth about networking and giving the Cisco CCNA exam, but it's hard to study everything at the same time, plus it's hard for me to study if I have to deal with constant interruptions (be it customer calls, be it colleagues needing support, be it the boss with whatever's on his mind).

    I actually tried this and supposedly it's OK to go. I should translate one of our manuals in Italian since our customers can't be bothered to use google translate (or indeed learn the effing common language) and I have to argue with them about it on the phone. However we're two guys doing this job, so generally if I say I have nothing to do, then the other guy will get assigned some more useless stuff.
    Best bet aside this would be to use programming to create simple "fixers" for customers. For instance an exe to give their computer the static ip address I need, for those cases where the cust doesn't know where the start menu is & won't listen to you. :D

    I don't mean to sound like an ass, but being here 8hrs a day gives me a pretty good perspective on what is feasible and what is not. I already said my boss is 3m away from me, just out of direct eyesight, so if I hear him raise from his chair I barely have time to switch window... Go figure closing the media player, taking the buds off, coiling them and putting them in my sockets.
  17. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Location:
    west suburban boston
    Dullsilver is right- do more work its what they pay you for. Will eventually get you accolades, promotions and a raise or two.
  18. kanonfodr

    kanonfodr Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA, Earth
    Does your company offer education incentives?? I would look into some courses or certifications that will help you in your field (whichever it is, OP didn't specify). Some general ones that are currently being preached around here are Lean and Six Sigma - they transfer across fields rather well.

    Peace,
    Greg
  19. jmattbassplaya

    jmattbassplaya

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    Location:
    Just south of Atlanta!
    Downtime at work? Is that a joke? :bawl:

    Yesterday was the first day in two months that I had a moment of downtime (towards the end of my shift). Do you know what I did during it? I did the work I normally would only have time to do after my shift was over :atoz:
  20. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Location:
    Northern Va.
    Yeah.... down time? I keep hearing about it but errr uhhh..
  21. SnowCal

    SnowCal

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2012
    Location:
    Snowier Climes of California
    Last night I did nothing. Nada. $12/hr to surf TB and catch some ZZZs. Tonight will probably be slow too.

    For a college kid needing a job, this is a sweet gig. They're pretty good about musician stuff too. Need a month off to go on tour? No problem. I'm not complaining. It is a strange, strange job though and some aspects are unpleasant.

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