Fredericton — A couple of employees in a Fredericton office are reportedly caught in an endless cycle of explaining to each other just how busy they are now, and how overworked they will be well into the foreseeable future.
“I am just absolutely swamped these days!” cried Jeremy Hornsworth, an account manager whose job mainly consists of sending about three emails a week to customers. “First I have to email one customer, then I need to go for lunch with another, then reply to another email!”
“You’re telling me,” sighed Hornsworth’s colleague Rachelle Anders, whose role is kind of a secretary/personal assistant hybrid.
“I don’t know when I’ll be able to come up for air. I’m just snowed under! I mean, I had to work unpaid overtime every night last week! Just burning the midnight oil,” she asserted, using every metaphor she could think of and silently praying that no one would check the validity of her claims.
“Huh, yeah, I mean at this point I’ll be tied up till summer. I have to jump on a call here in a minute, and I have a Zoom meeting right after that,” huffed Hornsworth, making no move to “jump on” said call.
“Oh me too, I’m in calls practically all day today,” countered Anders. “Then I need to make another pot of coffee, then I have to step out to mail something. It just never stops!”
We consulted a psychologist to find out why people feel the need to compete over who has less time.
“People think that if they constantly claim to be busy — whether they ever do anything meaningful or not — their bosses will take note and reward them with promotions or pay bumps. The cycle can only be broken when one admits that the other is, in fact, busier,” said Daniel Tilley, PhD.
“When you go out of your way to say how busy you are, or you show up an hour late to a meeting you scheduled and claim you just ran short on time, what you’re really communicating is that your time is immeasurably more valuable than the other person’s. It’s incredibly rude.
“And let’s face it: the people who never shut up about their packed schedules are usually the most useless. Instead of doing things, they talk about doing things.”
At press time, both employees stood fastened to their spot in the break room, ignoring multiple notifications from Slack, in which they were asked to join urgent process improvement meetings aimed at increasing productivity.
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