I think working for the state has really honed my ability to look like I'm working when I'm not. For example, yesterday I did about 2 hours worth of work over the course of 8! When I was working for a non-profit I had my own office, so this was easy enough to do. Facebook, blogs, the news, whatever I wanted. I was in my own office and no one could tell that I was putzing around instead of working. Hell, two years in a row I did my damn taxes at work. However, at the state I do not have my own office; quite the contrary, actually. My desk and computer is in the lobby, facing AWAY from the receptionist, so everyone that walks in can see my computer screen. Needless to say, I'm quite proud of my ability and I'm willing to share it with all (3) of you.
1. Make sure your desk is really messy. No one will believe you've done a lick of work if your desk looks the same as the custodial staff left it. I like to make sure I take out some books and open them, preferably with highlighters and pens scattered around. De-organize some notes. Unfile your files, which leads me to...
2. File things. Trust me, nothing says "I'm working so hard!" than filing, especially when working as a bureauocrat. Rachel taught me this one, but if at all possible, take out things that you filed in your one hour of work yesterday, pretend like you need something in them, and refile them (as slowly as possible of course).
3. Make lots of trips to the copy room. Most of the time I open a Word Document, do something useless like make a schedule for my day, or map out which courses I want to take, delete it, and print off a blank sheet of paper (I wouldn't want to waste paper now!). In fact, the more you can type and print, the better you are. If someone walking by sees you have a Word Document open, they won't try to figure out what it is, that'd be rude. You should always count on other people's consideration when slacking off.
4. Go to the bathroom. This is easy for me since I drink a travel mug of coffee every morning and then continuously drink ice water to stave off my inevitable headache. In all honesty, though, its basically the same as number 3. No one wants you to spend 30 minutes of your day going to the bathroom, so sometimes I'll stop by the copy room and pick up discarded things to bring back. And then pretend to file.
5. Look things up. These days, everyone's looking things up. Especially because I'm young, new, and an intern, people are pretty much expecting me to not know anything. Lo, I must Google. I enjoy a good Wikipedia search, myself. Their homepage has all sorts of interesting things (again, no one will actually look at what you're searching!). Or, look for other jobs. (Not that you would necessarily find another job any less boring, but it's always fun to imagine!) And finally...
6. Do other people's work. This is really only effective if you're an intern. I don't know about you, but there's something inherently less boring about doing work that isn't yours, and sometimes I feel so accomplished I'll even do some of my own work afterwards! Being an intern, this is the most utilized strategy; people are always asking me to proofread something (this is becoming my specialty), or copy something (my favorite!), or file things (jackpot!)
So Godspeed, my lazy worker bees, may you never have to really work another 8 hour day again.