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by Ian Fortey
There's an old saying that goes "work smarter, not harder," and it's meant to suggest you should probably not be pushing a boulder uphill if there's an elevator specifically designed for boulders around the corner. There's always an easier way to get a job done. Problem is that sometimes people take this a little too much to heart and end up in the outer reaches of baffling laziness.
An Actor Was Replaced By A Bobblehead
Most everyone these days fears that someone younger, smarter or with more arms is going to take their job. There are robots that make burgers ... hell, one time I saw a monkey waiter. No, for real, he actually brought someone a beer. It was the single greatest day of my life.
No story about losing a job to someone else is more tragic than the story of Phoebe Jonas, who used to do commercials for Bayer pharmaceuticals. She sold stool softeners, laxatives, colon health probiotics. It was a good gig, based heavily around buttholes. But someone in marketing realized they could probably save a bit of money on their commercials if they didn't have to pay Jonas to be in them. Instead, why not take the laziest route and just replace her with a bobblehead?
It sounds like a sarcastic metaphor, but nope. It's literal.
The new commercials featured a bobblehead that didn't look all that different from Jonas herself and wore an identical t-shirt branded with the Phillips' logo, just like Jonas had in her commercials. Presumably, the bobblehead wasn't going to get hung up on things like contract negotiations. Or even if it did, you could just flick its head to make it nod "yes" for a really long time.
Jonas is suing Bayer for trying to cheat her out of money and using her likeness without her permission. Bayer is playing the old "this bobblehead could be anyone!" card and not giving in. The rest of us must wait with bated breath to see how it all plays out. Except for Jonas, who needs to look for another job.
There's A Company That Will Quit Your Job For You
Any employment opportunity inevitably has to come to an end some day. Maybe you work there for decades, and retire with a fun office party full of cake and ennui. Maybe you overflow the toilet for the 7th time and get fired like it's your fault you keep eating cheese even though you're lactose intolerant. Maybe your office falls into a portal in space-time and they're like, "Sorry, we don't exist on this plane any longer so you should stay home." Or maybe you're driven to the edge of sanity and have to quit.
For a lot of people, quitting is a stressful situation. Obviously there's a problem with your job already if you need to quit, so why make it worse on yourself by having to actually, you know, quit? That's the thinking behind Exit, a Japanese firm that will charge you $450 to quit your job on your behalf. Only $450? You can't afford not to quit your job at these prices!
"He didn't want to tell you, but he's definitely quitting because of your mustache."
I don't want to bag on this, because there are some circumstances in which this service could be advantageous: maybe your boss was a real d-bag, and you have no desire to see them face to face again. Maybe having a company quit for you is just super hilarious (it is) and you can't pass up the comedic opportunity. There's certainly some reasons you could come up with to support the expense. Still, this is right up at the top of the list of lazy moves to me. Not only are you unwilling to do the job any longer, you can't even be bothered to tell your bosses, "I'm out. Suck it."
Also, has anyone who worked for that company had to quit? Because that would be ironic to hire them to quit for you.
A Guy Uses A Chip Bag To Block His Work's GPS Tracker
We live in a world where we're able to be tracked constantly thanks to our cars and phones and brain implants sending signals to satellites. You can try to turn some of that data off but you're basically using the honor system to hope that people are honestly not following you from space everywhere you go. Unless, of course, you're crafty enough to beat them at their own game like one enterprising Australian electrician. All it took was a love of potato chips and an abysmal work ethic to make this man a poster child for workplace freedom.
Tom Colella's employers kept tabs on him via GPS. However, Tom is not the kind of guy who wants to work on your schedule ... or even work, end of sentence. So, savvy in the ways of electronics that he was, Tom shoved his work-issued GPS device in an empty chip bag. If this sounds silly, you should know that the foil bag actually creates a bit of a Faraday Cage, effectively spin-kicking the GPS signal the hell away. Colella was free to go where he pleased without anyone knowing. He used this ability to golf.
"Is your phone always this greasy? I think you may have an ear problem."
Colella's plan would have worked, but like the Icarus of slackers, he slacked too close to the sun. Instead of taking some of his day to do nothing, he started taking all of his days to do nothing. That means even when his boss couldn't see where he was, they could see where he wasn't. And by that we mean he wasn't doing work. It's easy to tell if someone is doing no work if you go check the work and there's just none there. At some point this came back to bite him on the ass when a coworker dropped the dime that he'd been doing things like golfing all day, and they fired him. But man, at the very least, that guy's method was sound.
A Cab Driver Takes A Nap While The Customer Drives
Sleeping at work is the kind of thing most employers frown upon. It's like, "You should sleep at home, not while you're performing this surgery!" Man, bosses are the worst. But some jobs do lend themselves to nap time more than others. Like night shift security -- do those people ever get through a shift fully conscious? Not if sitcoms are to be believed.
In terms of where you can sleep, behind the wheel is probably in the top 3% of all places to not do that, right alongside inside a tiger cage and perched on the edge of a volcano. But respect to the cabbie in Bangkok who made headlines when he realized three super important things:
1) He was sleepy. 2) The reclined seat of a cab is a lot like a small bed. 3) When you drive a cab, you're driving another person, and that person could also drive while you sleep in the car. That’s some Nikola Tesla level genius right there.
"I hate to be a further bother, but could you tell me a story?"
The passenger in this little scheme was less than enthused and posted photos to his Facebook page of the exhausted cabbie hard at not-work, but riddle me this: would you rather have a cab driver taking you where you need to go and maybe driving like a maniac or taking the long route to your destination? Or would you rather just drive there, yourself? You get to pick the radio station, fart in the upholstery, maybe turn the meter off by accident. There is literally no downside to being your own cab driver. Except he was still charged for the ride, so I guess that kind of sucks.
A Programmer Wrote A Program To Automate Their Programming
Programming is what the guys in that show Silicon Valley do, so maybe that means programmers are hilarious for a living and also nerdy but also rich. Let's be honest, no one who doesn't program for a living knows what programmers do and that's entirely because no one cares. Please don't be offended by that if you're a programmer; no one cares what anyone does for a living. Have you ever heard a toll booth operator try to explain their day? If you can make it more than 15 minutes into that conversation without trying to eat your own face, you're literally Jesus.
So if you're a super good programmer, it looks like maybe you can start running scripts at work that get the job done on their own without you, sack of meat and impulses that you are, getting in the way. One anonymous programmer actually wrote into a self-help site for programmers with that very problem. He had so efficiently automated his own job that he didn't need to do much more than two hours of work per day. Now that he was doing just short of nothing at work, he felt a little bit bad about it. Was he scamming work by not actually doing work? On one hand, he did the work that eliminated his need to do work. On the other, he could spend all day watching unboxing videos and eating Skittles. Tough call.
We assume the whole process looks exactly like this.
How does a dude get away with doing this? He worked from home, so he was able to run the programs he'd written while being a stay-at-home dad. Sweet gig overall, though some folks suggested he was being unethical. But is it unethical if no one catches you doing it? Well, yes. But at least it's not a tiring kind of unethical.