Tuesday Tiddles

man sleeping at computer 002

Tiddling sounds naughty, but I assure you it’s not.

Trust me, I’m not about to sacrifice my G-rating on this blog merely for some gratuitous titillation.

No, to tiddle means to busy oneself with unimportant tasks.

And if this blog ain’t an unimportant task, then I’d like to know what is.

What better way to top of a day of brain-cell murdering tedium and spirit-crushing pointlessness?

Now, to the untrained ear, that may have sounded like a complaint.  Likewise, to the untrained eye it may have also looked like a complaint.  But I want to assure you that it was neither.  I often feel like I should skulk about furtively at work, for I can’t believe they pay me to do what I do.

Little do they know that they could hire a monkey to do it.   It does not even have to be a monkey that graduated at the top of his class.  He just needs to know his way around an Excel spreadsheet and a PowerPoint slide deck and he’ll do just fine.  It is a plus if he knows Visual Basic, but he could probably make do with a few VLOOKUP and SUMIF functions.

But more importantly, he needs to know how to sit in 3-hour long status meetings and remain conscious the entire time.  It is certainly a bonus if he can toss around a few buzzwords, like engage, facetime, escalate, facilitate, swim-lane, socialize, burn-down, flatten, and de-barrier-ize.  He should also be adept at using nouns as verbs, and vice-versa.

However, it won’t take long for this replacement monkey to realize that he is no longer doing what he was hired to do or what he is good at, but that his function has been reduced to “flinging things” (usually sticky-notes) at whiteboards and calling it “story-boarding”.

He will find himself on the wrong end of a “corporate realignment to core values” and will find himself “free to pursue his own interests“.

Almost none of which involve buzzwords.

Or a salary.



  1. Here was me thinking that you were going for a discussion about tiddly winks, just 40 winks!
    I must admit that playing with the numbers and finding patterns (in my case on warranty issues) was one of the fun parts of my previous job. I don’t think we did ‘story boarding’, I thought that was a film making term? Though brainstorming was fine, as long as you didn’t bother too much with the rules. Three hours is too long to sit in a meeting, unless you are taking an active role it is a waste of your and the company’s time. They need to split it up so only those that need to contribute or overview need to be there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The term “storyboarding” was appropriated by corporations because it sounds much more fun than “brainstorming”. Or “cluster duck”.

      Plus, I have found in my career, that people just love playing with sticky notes and whiteboards.

      And I quite agree with you about splitting up long meetings. Or better yet, just shoot out a quick email to everyone. Some people equate “meetings” with “work”, when in fact they are quite often opposites of each other.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve felt the same, that my brain has sussed out the futility of it, but the physical body does not get the message. Humans love routines, as mice do – we all want to get our cheese the same way. Oh well, Dostoyevsky said, and I paraphrase, ‘to be lazy is a praiseworthy thing’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You are so correct! We do love routine and sameness. At least, I do. Sometimes it borders on a compulsive disorder. Some people call it laziness, but I like terms that are applied to me have a very clinical sound to them.

      Enjoy your cheese!


  3. At school I vowed never to work in an office, which is why I avoided learning how to type – big mistake, how was I to know that we would all be using keyboards in the future? But I did once have an office job for three months on a working holiday. I was a progress clerk, a contradiction in terms. My soul task was to check on progress and phone back customers to report on the fact there had been no progress.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love it! I may just have to use that in a Biff’s World cartoon. A “progress clerk” reporting to people all day long that there has been no progress. That is just too rich!

      I never thought I’d work in an office either. Or, if I did, that it would be a corner office and I’d be a very successful engineer. I later found out that engineers don’t get corner offices. Or rarely even offices.

      I took typing in high school because my counselor told me I needed an elective to graduate. I looked at the paltry list of electives I was eligible for and decided that typing would be the easiest class I could take. Plus I figured there would be lots of girls in there.

      Turns out, typing was the only useful thing I learned in high school.

      That, and that girls at that time were not interested in nerds.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. That would be one smart monkey! Alas, I can’t apply, since I don’t know what a Visual Basic is, or a VLookUp or a SUMIF. Perhaps I should retire to the jungle with a pad of sticky notes and spend my days swinging and flinging.
    Why don’t you put your free time to use and write a children’s book about an office worker who traded places with a nerdy monkey? 😉

    Liked by 2 people

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