Editorial Assistant’s Note: Hey. I wasn’t supposed to write this, but my boss decided to blow off work and take a Summer Friday… in Bermuda. “Summer Fridays can be more than just a long lunch -- I’m going to an island,” is what she told me right before she hopped a cab to the Delta Terminal, leaving me here to write a piece about, of all things, Summer Fridays. Is that ironic? I don’t know, I’m just an Editorial Assistant. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this story as much as she’s enjoying herself.
There’s nothing less productive than an office full of people unjustly called in to work on what should be a Summer Friday. Here’s what these people are occupying their time with, from taking obscenely long lunches to saying “Nobody we work with is even at work right now,” like, 57 times.
1. Sit and complain under their breaths
Probably the most obvious one, but come on. Who isn’t going to sit and complain about being at work on what should be a day off? Whether or not you hear it all depends on what time it is -- the later the hour, the louder the mutterings will be. Ten o’clock might bring a mild “Ugh, this sucks,” but four-thirty will be a seething chorus of “IwassupposedtocatchatrainoutofherethreehoursagoUGH…” in-between harder-than-necessary keyboard clicks.
2. Refresh ‘gram at least 300 times
Looking at the same photos of your (freer) companions can get boring, so most of us will just keep refreshing the same damn page to make sure we’re not missing anything. They could’ve met your ex on that beach in the last two seconds! Better check again. Hey, weirder things have happened.
3. Start an online argument
Nothing passes the time as effectively as comments sections. Get into it with a complete stranger about the appropriateness of capturing them all, absolutely anywhere, and the hours will fly.
4. Make doctor’s appointments for the afternoon
How long has it been since you’ve made sure your spleen was in proper working order? And actually, your eyelashes are starting to look a little clumpy. Better start calling all those doctors to see if they have open spots for early this afternoon. Can’t take any chances, after all.
5. Go down the search engine rabbit hole
The Internet is a well full of knowledge just waiting to be plumbed. So no one will really judge that you’ve been tracing all the czars of Russia, one by one, starting with Ivan IV, just because you’ve “really always held a passion for the topic.”
6. Chat friends over the most menial things
What better time to ask your buddy if Muffin the Pomeranian has been adjusting well to her new fish-only diet than during all those hours on Friday that’re made for wasting? Or getting into a (potentially heated) discussion over why Pluto like, totally still counts as a planet.
7. Make office supply sculptures.
Everyone took your creativity for granted in high school and college (looking at you, Coach Battenberg), telling you that it “isn’t practical,” and that “you’ll never amount to anything” with your talents. Well what do they know? They should see your super-impressive miniature paper-clip-and-Post-It-notes replica of the Taj Mahal. Is it seriously only 11:04-?
8. Steal one snack at a time from from Jason in Accounting’s stash
It’s not lunchtime yet, but you’re peckish, and we all know Jason’s been hoarding the best snacks from the office supply. And, since he’s one of the (many) people who took off for Summer Friday, the best (and really, the only) way to exact petty revenge is to steal them back. But, if one of his coworkers is just as unlucky as you are to still be sitting in the office, he might take notice, so be sure to steal that precious sustenance one piece at a time, saying, “Oh, he just texted me and said I could swipe one” while ignoring that judgmental look. Here’s hoping he’ll have already forgotten about the previous 4 times.
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9. Take a way longer lunch than is necessary
It doesn’t take two hours to eat a burrito (no matter how big and difficult to eat it might be), but it will today. The more-than-half-empty office won’t notice anyway, right? Not that you’re bitter.
10. Sit in the lounge and pretend to work
It’s very important to take time to digest that huge burrito you just stuffed into your face. You might get a cramp! It’s probably best to move from your desk to the more comfortable office couch and work. Still, that deadline is far ahead anyway, so it’s totally okay to just catch up with the news real quick -- or, more realistically, the latest TV show fan theories.
11. Indulge in online shopping
There’s an entire list of things you’ve been eyeing for a while now. And good thing it’s payday, ‘cause you’re about to get a few of ‘em. But wait! Those shoes are exactly what you needed, too. And that oil painting of a poodle would look great in the commode…
12. Actually shop. Outside.
It’s already 2:30. No one’s gonna care if you duck out to real quick to buy those boards for that tree house you’ve been meaning to build in your backyard. (No one needs to know you don’t have any kids and that it’s totally for you). And you might as well go to the mall while you’re at it, ‘cause you’re gonna need some sweet glow-in-the-dark posters for those bare walls once they’re up.
13. Visit the three other people in the office, frequently, for a “chat”
You haven’t checked in with Marge in the cube across the office for a while. Last you heard, her parakeet had a cold. Better ask how things are going!
14. Browse adorable baby animal pics.
When the news gets too depressing, you know exactly what to do, and that’s searching for baby animal photos. Because there’s no better way to forget all about the day’s politics (or the fact that you’re still at work) than with a bunch of squishable puppy and kitty faces.
15. Try to get a group of friends together for that night.
Have you ever tried doing this? This isn’t easy. First you have to figure out if everyone is free, then you have to list a few venue options. Once you get the majority to agree on a place for dinner, you find out it won’t work because Pete has an unfortunate and fatal crème fraîche allergy, so the shuffle starts again. This could (hopefully) take a lot of time.
16. (Covertly) watch shows and/or movies.
You need to be up to speed on your shows, this goes without saying (or it should). You usually have your headphones in to drown out the office chatter anyway, and you’ve always liked the spot against the wall where nosey co-workers can’t peep at your screen, because you’re working on important company business, of course.
17. Make a list of things they’d rather be doing
This probably includes chilling on a beach, sleeping on the beach, eating lunch on the beach, swimming at the beach...