Work Beginning To Interfere With Internet
Samplings from offices around the country reveal that over 20% of workers say their daily usage of the internet at work has been compromised at least once during the week by the encroachment of work, a figure that has risen slightly since last year.
According to the poll, activities such as attending meetings, emptying one's wastebasket, and mashing one's fingers furiously on the keyboard when the boss walks by are all threatening to decrease the amount of time employees are able to spend surfing the internet.
Systems analyst and one of the workers polled Larry Talbert says that the rising distractions are irritating and frustrating when "all you're trying to do is get some work done on the internet".
"Last Thursday, for example, I wanted to look up Styx on Wikipedia so I could find out their original band name, in order to settle a bet between me and John from Accounting," he said. "But before I could, some asshole calls in and makes me feel like I'm under some god damned obligation to tell him why his network isn't working."
Talbert attempted to hunker down and power through the distraction, but his efforts were in vain, and the work eventually cost him minutes of Internet time.
"By the time I was done writing him an email pretending to be an auto-responder giving notification that I'd be out until the following Monday, I had forgotten all about the Styx Project," Talbert said with disgust. "I was so shaken up that I had to spend an hour or two on the Maxim website just to calm down a little."
Talbert estimates that last week, he spent at least 10 hours having to do tasks involving his job, while at least one coworker admitted to using almost double that on the daily grind.
"20 hours in one damn week doing pointless, repetitive tasks that don't involve me playing fantasy football online," he said. "This damn company is lucky that I'm willing to use the internet on my lunch break, because otherwise my team would be suffering right now and I'd have half a mind to walk right out of here."
The threatening of the internet by the world of big business has many worried about their futures with the internet. Some are already hatching plans to circumvent the possible coming hardships by obtaining jobs directly related to being on the Internet.
"I figure I'll eventually end up being a blog-watcher for MySpace," said Talbert. "I'd pretty much be in charge of keeping an eye on various MySpace pages throughout the day, but if they expect me to do that for more than a few minutes a day, that's total bullshit and I won't even apply. I'm going to need at least five hours today alone to look for this one video I saw once where a dog craps right on a cat's face."
But how bad is the situation? Should workers like Talbert really begin to fear for their internet access time? Some analysts say yes, and that the impact such a recession could have on society could be severe.
"Man, as near as we can tell, needs the internet -- along with food, water, and TiVo -- in order to properly survive," said Dr. Thad Swizel, founder of Swizelology, the study of people with the last name of Swizel. "If the jobs in our society are unable to provide their employees with this basic need, we can expect mass walkouts and the return of the union as a dominant force in the workplace, instead of that silly thing that it does now, where people laugh at it."
Swizel then began to giggle as he thought of 21st century labor unions.
Managers and CEOs, meanwhile, are being advised to crack down on the trend by any means necessary, including removing themselves from the day-to-day operations of the company as much as possible.
"My being here is only going to give the company direction and guidance, which could lead to less time for Internet surfing," said one savvy CEO at a Fortune 500 company. "It would be better for my company if I spent this afternoon on the golf course, I think."