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Those with “bullshit jobs” how Is your work with the covid?

(43 Posts)
Acrylicsocks Thu 16-Jul-20 03:05:32

I’ve got a regular busy non-office job and I’ve always been intrigued when reading about people who have office jobs where there is nothing at all for them to do all day?

It made me wonder how they are all going with this covid. Are you “working’ from home? Been furloughed? Been made redundant?

OP’s posts: |
BitOfFun Thu 16-Jul-20 03:10:22

Who are these people?

MynameisHappind Thu 16-Jul-20 05:42:55

The news yesterday said people are doing 2 hours less work. I reckon its more.
I expect if you dont have much to do and older children or none then its happy days. Just have to keep checking emails and be on hand for any calls.

blackteaplease Thu 16-Jul-20 05:49:43

This is definitely not me, I'm wfh on a full workload. Within my company anyone whose job had slowed down was furloughed, but I don't think we have people with bulllshit jobs, it would be evident on the time sheet.

PlugUgly1980 Thu 16-Jul-20 06:12:03

I've worked from home throughout, with a full workload (as has DH), with a 4 and 6 year old at home for all that time. (6 year olds school didn't take her her year back due to space and 4 year old returned to nursery 2 days only). DH and I have taken it in turns to look after the kids during the day and then worked evenings to get everything done. Some days I've done less other days and weekends (when we're normally off) significantly more depending on workload, but that would happen in the office anyway as we have flexible working to manage our time, childcare, etc. Certainly not being easy or less work!!!

Itstartedinbarcelona Thu 16-Jul-20 06:17:11

Wow where are these non-work jobs? Would love one. Working 8-6.30/7 every day with kids at home and no lunch break. Can’t think of anyone where I work (Civil Service) who is twiddling their thumbs.

AgnesNaismith Thu 16-Jul-20 06:17:49

I have a bullshit job - it’s constant zoom meetings to discuss the same thing three times a day - at least. This happens on every single project and I have 2/3z Not much gets done but everyone is extremely stressed all of the time due to having a full calendar of bullshit meetings every day. I’m stressed because having 2dc and mandatory nonsense calls is more time consuming/impossible to manage than fitting genuine work around childcare.

There are redundancies but the company are insistent these are not Covid related. Business as a whole appears to be doing quite well.

Acrylicsocks Thu 16-Jul-20 08:00:35

There is a book called Bullshit jobs if you’re interested. It is a real phenomenon which is why I’m curious as to how people have found them during the covid.

I’m sorry to hear you’ve found it harder Agnes. It must be very frustrating and demoralising.

OP’s posts: |
foamrolling Thu 16-Jul-20 08:03:32

I want a bullshit job instead of my call centre job where we're busier than ever and everyone is angry and ranting at me.

BoggledBudgie Thu 16-Jul-20 08:11:03

I would think it’s rather offensive to say someone has a bullshit job... their jobs clearly aren’t bullshit, they’re real jobs. Perhaps your a bit jealous they’ve not had to work as hard as you through the pandemic, but that doesn’t mean you get to be nasty towards them.

Sittinonthefloor Thu 16-Jul-20 08:14:36

The person I know with a bullshit job is self employed and has seen most of their work vanish.
Bullshit jobs are weirdly fascinating; spending your whole working life doing something that adds no value to society and doesn’t really need to be done and having no to ‘act busy’.

Acrylicsocks Thu 16-Jul-20 08:14:54

No not jealous, I have a very different busy but rewarding job.

And it’s a modern phenomenon. I only heard about it on mumsnet over the years when people post about having nothing to do at work and having to pretend to be busy. And then I’ve read the book.

So I was curious.

OP’s posts: |
HairsprayBabe Thu 16-Jul-20 08:17:59

I have a bullshit job about 50% of the year - just gone on maternity though this time last week.

I ran out of stuff to do about 4 weeks before I was due to go off, I asked my manager for more work and she just told me to "keep myself busy" so I was on hand for phonecall and responded to emails, but mainly just pleased myself on mumsnet, sorting the house out and enjoying the extra time.

I work in environmental education events that run Jan-April. After lockdown was announced all my events were cancelled, so I did the finance side and put together handover docs for whoever picks up my mat leave.

But even if there was no lockdown this would be my quiet time of year where I just bugger about with the format of documents, update a few facts and graphics and send a few emails in the day....

Sittinonthefloor Thu 16-Jul-20 08:18:05

www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/25/bullshit-jobs-a-theory-by-david-graeber-review

Waiting42021 Thu 16-Jul-20 08:27:05

I’d say my job is a 50% bullshit job!

What I mean is, I DO have work to do all day (quite a lot of it), but if I didn’t do it I doubt anyone would really notice. It doesn’t make much of a difference.

Obviously I’ve just carried on WFH since March. It’s been fine, I’ve enjoyed just managing my own workload. It has made me think that I would like a change in the future though as it all just feels a bit ‘pointless’.

Hardbackwriter Thu 16-Jul-20 08:28:28

You've mixed up bullshit jobs and jobs where people are underoccupied. Bullshit jobs - in the book you're quoting - are jobs that don't add value, but that doesn't mean the people doing them don't work long and hard. Corporate lawyers, who work famously long hours, are given as an example. Digging and filling in trenches all day would be the ultimate example of a bullshit job, but it would also be back-breaking.

People can be underoccupied without their jobs being bullshit. There were many reports that staff in some parts of the NHS were twiddling their thumbs when all non-essential treatment was stopped for Covid, so they were temporarily underoccupied but that doesn't make their jobs bullshit.

I think, in all honesty, that some parts of my job are bullshit but I have a pretty big workload (I have to do the bullshit stuff too, I can't just sack it off!) and it's gone up under lockdown and I've been working around a two year old. So having a 'bullshit' job hasn't made life easier.

Hardbackwriter Thu 16-Jul-20 08:29:43

This is the Wikipedia summary of the concept of bullshit jobs.

AriettyHomily Thu 16-Jul-20 08:32:41

I'm not sure I'd call mine a bullshit job but 50% of the time I'm stupidly busy and 50% of the time I'm not. I don't feel bad slacking on the down time because the up time more than compensates working on deadlines with USA and APAC time differences.

NaughtyLittleElf Thu 16-Jul-20 08:34:12

I know a few people who have jobs that are about "networking and facilitating" in the public sector (usually very senior) who must have been twiddling their thumbs while the rest of us were busy doing immediate Covid response work instead of our normal jobs, I'm not clear what some of them do most of the time most have no teams to manage and deliver nothing directly.

I also know a few people with admin jobs who've been less busy because normal work hasn't been happening, some of them have actively put themselves forward to muck in with whatever was helpful and others kept their head down, both behaviours were noticed and when opportunities come up in future some will be rewarded, even if it's just by having something different to talk about in an interview.

PlatoAteMySnozcumber Thu 16-Jul-20 08:44:42

I have a bullshit job according to the list. In all honesty quite a bit of it feels a little bullshitty, but I am always busy and get treated much better as well as paid a lot more than when I had a real meaningful job where I genuinely made a difference. Covid has made absolutely no difference to my work load.

okiedokieme Thu 16-Jul-20 08:47:50

I've had one of those jobs, well it was periods of activity but lots of nothing however they needed someone to do the role with the correct skills. Occasionally they did get me to cover reception or something else like that but mostly I sat playing computer games waiting for something to happen

Ghostlyglow Thu 16-Jul-20 08:50:25

I've got a bullshit job with the NHS. We have been mostly kept busy working from home (including weekly quizzes and "care cafes" hmm) but to be honest I wish they'd close the office, make us all redundant and put us out of our misery. I'm hanging on in the hope of redundancy but if it doesn't come soon I'm going to leave in the quite near future.

Sittinonthefloor Thu 16-Jul-20 08:52:51

Hardback - are you talking to me? Of course bullshit jobs can be time consuming. The point is that in an economic crisis Bullshit jobs may be more vulnerable as companies make spending cuts. The person I know is a ‘brand consultant’ (or does pr for smallish companies). It’s all stuff that can be done in house, they pay him to advise on the advertising, but he doesn’t make the adverts or take the pictures. The clients tell him what they want and then he tells the photographer etc. It’s pointless, they could just tell the photographer themselves and now these companies are needing to make savings paying him as a middleman can be cut without much impact.

PlatoAteMySnozcumber Thu 16-Jul-20 08:56:39

I don’t think it’s really the jobs that are bullshit but the types of industries we have in general. Everything has moved from actually producing something tangible to service based industries. Financial services, law, marketing and many corporate jobs in general are pretty bullshit but that’s the nature of the beast.

Hardbackwriter Thu 16-Jul-20 08:57:05

I was talking to the OP who, as I said, I think mixed up two different things (and referred to the same book as you). And OP didn't say 'are you worried you're at risk of redundancy?' (a fair question if your job feels pointless), she started from the assumption that they had nothing to do all day, which as I said is a different thing.

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