Get paid to surf the web!? February 23, 2007 12:03 AM   Subscribe

As mentioned in the 2nd podcast: Slack jobs,whether their slack be built-in or sneakthieved, seem to support our participation here. How do you or your industry get away with it? What's the mefi crackmonkey dreamjob? I'll show you mine inside.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur to MetaFilter-Related at 12:03 AM (85 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

Working for a non-profit org. has it's advantages, such as deadlines that aren't really deadlines :)
posted by slater at 12:10 AM on February 23, 2007

I make more by far as a marketing packet assembler for a money manager than I did bookkeeping, and there aren't enough marketing packet orders to keep me busy. Seriously, I print, collate, punch, and ship papers with graphs on 'em. I have a title that eclipses this nicely.
I make my own hours as part of the agreement struck when I was hired (finishing my BA), and as my boss has finally announced her resignation after reading Perez and begging me not to go home and leave her lonesome every day for the past year and a half, I think things are going to be smooth until I transition to grad school in the fall.

Once a quarter I stuff ~4000 envelopes with quarterlies. Trust me, the pay is good enough. Also. Catered lunch every day from varied restaurants, monthly massages and lots of posh company events with open bar and comped taxis. A money managing firm has a very high profit to overhead ratio at our business size. And the growth we've experienced has left my position unexamined for productivity since my pay level is still the lowest.

I usually make myself surf alphabetically so I won't get mired on mefi until at least 9:45.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:11 AM on February 23, 2007

Didn't we have a thread about this before? Maybe it was in ask.

Meh. I know I replied in it but can't find it so it probably got deleted. Something about how we're all bad workers and how do we find time for all this while still doing our jobs properly.

Personally I'm a student so no one accounts for my hours (of course I don't get paid too much either), and I only ever surf MetaFilter from home anyway. I recently had to make a timeline and work plan for the rest of my project and I can see that it won't be too much longer before I have no time to sleep, let alone surf the net, so Meta will get phased out.
posted by shelleycat at 12:26 AM on February 23, 2007

Kinda ironic that you posted this in the middle of the night where you are.

My retail gig just allowed limited (and slow) internet access on exactly one of its twenty-odd terminals. This will likely not allow any better access to MeFi during the day. This website is probably the one thing makes me wish I was a cubicle monkey.

You folks don't listen to what they'ya sayin'— You're doing good work! God's work!
posted by carsonb at 1:05 AM on February 23, 2007

Much of my work is done at the computer, not in a cubicle or office, but at home, running music recording software. So popping in and out of MetaFilter is easy and fun. Like the cigarette breaks that Afroblanco mentioned as comparison. But easier on the lungs!

And I'm definitely in agreement with his assertion about short breaks enhancing productivity.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:54 AM on February 23, 2007

I’m self-employed and about 2-3 hours of work a day is my average. The rest of my time is devoted to various side projects and hobbies, such as lurking around Metafilter.
posted by Tenuki at 2:43 AM on February 23, 2007

I'm head honcho at Maxwelton Worldwide Industries, Inc., and while I'm the president and CEO, I'm also the sole employee. You may remember me from such projects as "Goddamn it, he's still not done" and "Why did we use this guy?"
posted by maxwelton at 2:45 AM on February 23, 2007 [6 favorites]

Part-time sysadmin and roving self-employed technician here. When I'm being a part-time sysadmin, I MeFi in my lunch break.
posted by flabdablet at 2:47 AM on February 23, 2007

Being a freelance journalist who works from home gels rather well with pissing about on the web (sometimes pissing about on the web is work) - if you do too much slacking off one day, you just have to get up early the next. Also, my work isn't regularly paced, and to some extent seasonal - some weeks you do two hour days, others you're working twelve hours, travelling to three different cities in one day, &c.
posted by jack_mo at 2:54 AM on February 23, 2007

I actually mentally taglined as I listened.

Metafilter: powered by employee theft.

I spend entirely too much time here. And yeah, a lot of it's 8-6ish time.

My top-of-the-Korean-heap gig here in Korea is with one of the biggest multinationals, teaching ('western') business and English and doing some language-related proofing and editing. I only actually have about 7 hours of contact time a week, and though I have to contractually hang about in the office for 40 hours, they're totally happy with me doing what I want during my 'office hours', as long as I'm kicking ass in the classroom. Which I am. So ample Metafilter time exists.

I sometimes think about how with all these brains, talent and devastating good looks I could be a Master of The Universe if I valued career achievement and all that stuff, and were living again somewhere other than Korea, but I get paid damn well (by foreigner-in-Korea standards), and I love teaching (but not all the damn time, you know?), I live in one of the nicest places in Korea I've ever seen, and I like my colleagues, and my wife can be close to her family, and hell, I did that corporate thing before. Got paid buckets of money for it but at the end of the day, the only worthwhile thing I took away was the friendships. So to hell with it, for now at least.

So yeah. Ambition's good and all, but I'd rather be slack and happy than busy and stressed.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:33 AM on February 23, 2007 [2 favorites]

I'm a programmer which gives me lots of little breaks while something compiles or a test runs when I can browse.
posted by octothorpe at 3:34 AM on February 23, 2007

travelling to three different cities in one day

Sounds heavenly in the imagination, hideously gruelling in real life. But in the world of the imagination, where travel time is not an issue, I'd love to spend one day in, say:

Bologna, Salvador and Algiers
Barcelona, Savannah and Timbuktu
Lhasa, Ulan Bator and Havana

and on and on...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:47 AM on February 23, 2007

shelleycat, this is the thread you were thinking of, no? I understand why it was deleted, but it was entertaining.

I'm a work-from-home freelancer and, similar to what jack_mo said above, some weeks/days are very heavy and some weeks/days are very light. But I will say I am in awe of how much time some people spend on here. No matter how much time I spend, someone is always spending more, which makes my wasted time totally OK.
posted by veggieboy at 3:50 AM on February 23, 2007

Public school teaching in a Japanese high school. 16 classes a week plus some extras (spending all this weekend marking papers, for example). Add to that lesson planning and class materials creation and there's not a lot of time left. That being said, ten minutes between classes is plenty of time to check out what's on the Filter. I just can't run media files of any kind so those have to wait till I get home. Also done the big corp thing, and find this far more rewarding.

Considering a local move to somewhere I can work less, earn more, and snowboard as often as possible.
posted by dreamsign at 3:51 AM on February 23, 2007

Research scientist (Landscape Ecology) which leaves me (when I'm not wading through swamps getting eaten alive by mosquitoes, and praying I'm not eaten alive by saltwater crocodiles) sitting in front of a computer most of the time. I try to limit Mefi browsing to lunchtime, and times when my PC is churning through a particularly complicated model set or GIS layer...
posted by Jimbob at 3:51 AM on February 23, 2007

So much for mathowie's people-other-than-mathowie-posting-to-MetaTalk-free day.
posted by Eideteker at 4:02 AM on February 23, 2007

Just wanna say this is interesting: hope lots of MeFiers chime in here with info on what they do.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:02 AM on February 23, 2007

I work at a 24 hour network monitoring and dispatch place. Basically, lets say you have a company network with private line connections (i.e. not internet) to Tokyo, London, New York, and Squodekwl. You could buy international lines with multiple companies, and call different companies at different numbers with differing amounts of English abilities whenever you have a problem. Or, you can use us: we hire the lines out from all the locals, and provide you a one-stop contact for any networking problems, manned 24 hours, fluent in English, and monitoring your line for you so an outage is probably being investigated before you even noticed it happened.

As a result, it's a lot like being a fireman: when there's a fire (network outage), I'm really busy. When there isn't, there just plain isn't anything I should be doing. I'm manning the monitors and phones in case something happens, but if everything is copacetic, I'm free to browse the net to my heart's content. And shifts can be long (night shift is 13.5 hours), so on a really, really slow night, you'll see me at MeFi for huge stretches of time.
posted by Bugbread at 4:41 AM on February 23, 2007

i'm a ph.d student, which basically means intense procrastination puncuated by periods of lab research, which can often involve a lot of work where you set something up (a reaction, or a measurement, or something) and wait a few minutes, tweak something, wait a few more, etc. so plenty of chance for metafiltration a few minutes at a time here and there.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 5:14 AM on February 23, 2007

I'm an assistant film and video editor, and sometimes my job entails sitting and watching the computer do an automated task like rendering, digitizing or exporting for hours on end. i own a laptop. 2+2=
posted by shmegegge at 5:15 AM on February 23, 2007

bugbread, do you have a pole you slide down to get to the servers?
posted by shmegegge at 5:20 AM on February 23, 2007

oh, and, before going back to school, i worked in the main control room here, which was a bit like what bugbread describes. when nothing is breaking and everything hums along on autopilot, it's smooth and quiet, like a duck pooping at night. that affords a lot of opportunities for web surfing, reading and so on, but at any moment something can happen and you have to spring into action. i spent a lot more time on metafilter in those days (lurking, though).
posted by sergeant sandwich at 5:20 AM on February 23, 2007

I'm a seeing-eye human. I'm not on much during the work day, but my work week is punctuated by half-days, which allow for ample MetaTime. But speaking of, I'm getting late for my bus.
posted by Kattullus at 5:28 AM on February 23, 2007

I translate. All sorts of stuff. Some of them really interesting, a few of them really boring, all of them ultimately useless to anyone but the person who asks for the translation, so I'm a repository of very neat and useless information. I could be the life of the party, If I only attended it. This job I do from home, so yeah, I manage my own time.

Other thing that I invest a lot of time in is my marriage. But wait. I'm not really married. I live with the girl. Fantastic girl, by the way. I'm all for her. A lot of what we do, we do at home, but every now and then we venture out. Lotsa fun.

Then I have a band. The 21st century kind of band. We all live in different countries, each one records his/her parts, which usually means that the person who originally wrote the song paints a bunch of dots in an audio file, sends it to the others and we connect the dots. Again, all this recording gets done at home.

Then I'm an expat, almost a professional one at this point, so I like to check out the place where I'm living, explore a bit. Learn about them natives. Mingle with them.

Then there are all those other things we all do. Hanging out with friends, going to the supermarket, cooking. Browsing MetaFilter. Written down, I have no idea how I cram all of this into 24 hour days.
posted by micayetoca at 5:37 AM on February 23, 2007

Okay, now that I've missed the bus (holy misplacing glasses batman!) I might take the time to mention that before, when I also worked as a chess teacher in an after-school program, I had very little time and energy for MetaFilter. Unlike some here, I didn't like teaching, it's not for me.
posted by Kattullus at 5:41 AM on February 23, 2007

Slack jobs,whether their slack be built-in or sneakthieved, seem to support our participation here. How do you or your industry get away with it?

Art Director/Graphic Designer.

Not a slack job so there's nothing to get away with.

The job is results/deadline oriented as opposed to making sure every minute of every day is filled doing SOMETHING. We're a much happier and hardworking staff that way.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:58 AM on February 23, 2007

Yeah, I make books. Like Brandon, as long as my stuff is done on time, no one cares what I do. And I have the ability to read the Internet, IM four people, and do work all at once. I am one of the new, younger models.
posted by dame at 6:11 AM on February 23, 2007

Freelance writer and editor for the student paper. Means a lot of internet time, some of it working, some of it not.
posted by klangklangston at 6:13 AM on February 23, 2007

And I have the ability to read the Internet, IM four people, and do work all at once

Indeed. I usually have to flip through multiple things, such as editorial layout or print ads or web ads or css or photo editing, not to mention all the sub layers involved in each. So flipping to metafilter or googles news for 5 minutes here and there just seems natural.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:16 AM on February 23, 2007

I'm in a similar situation to micayetoca, though I have a part-time job at a translation agency too, mostly so I can have a legal work permit.
posted by Abiezer at 6:22 AM on February 23, 2007

I work for a tech support group in a Very Large Corporation. Most of my time is spent waiting for customers to return my calls. Thus, I'm only busy half an hour before and after lunch and an hour before everyone is supposed to leave.

The rest of the time is spent on here.
posted by Diskeater at 6:40 AM on February 23, 2007

I'm basically in the same boat as bugbread, except I do desktop support. If something ain't broke, I don't have a hell of a lot else I could be doing.
posted by Cyrano at 6:41 AM on February 23, 2007

My current schedule is designed around working on my MA, so I'm here in bursts between reading and reading and reading, but I'll be T.A.-ing next semester, and so will probably be busier. I pop in before work, and in the evenings, and I never have time to A) read all the posts and comments that I would like, and B) leave more truly substantive comments on said posts.

Dream job would most likely be a work-from-home deal, or flexible office hours doing copy editing or that sort of thing.

Or getting paid to write (either online or better, in print). That would truly be the best.
posted by exlotuseater at 6:44 AM on February 23, 2007

I'm an undertaker, so I've got a lot of down time (pun certainly intended). What's good about MetaFilter is that I can check it at 3am when I'm getting back from picking up a body and there's new stuff for me to read. What's bad about MetaFilter is when I'm reading it in the back of a church during a funeral and I chuckle out loud. Which has happened. Really. I just pretended it was an odd cough.
posted by ColdChef at 6:47 AM on February 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

I engage in blatant employee sneakthievery.
posted by ND¢ at 7:12 AM on February 23, 2007

I engage in blatant employee sneakthievery.
posted by muddgirl at 7:17 AM on February 23, 2007

You should be ashamed of yourself.
posted by ND¢ at 7:19 AM on February 23, 2007

What octothorpe said.
posted by trip and a half at 7:35 AM on February 23, 2007

I'm a homeschooling mom (non-fundie!) to my teenaged son who has Asperger's, and whose needs were being woefully underserved by our school system (I also have a daughter who is grown and out of the house) and the wife of a small-town police officer, so I have very erratic free time, but the computer is always "on" and it's right in the main trafficway of the house, so I pop back and forth all day (and sometimes most of the night when I'm suffering from insomnia)... I live in a culturally-deprived and economically-deprived area, and I think I'd be going insane if I didn't have the computer to keep me connected to the world... I love spending time on Metafilter...

I used to work as an optometrist's assistant (and before that, I was a video store clerk) and it was almost impossible to surf online at the office, so my employers never suffered any web-related "lost time" from me (but that was before I was a Mefite, thank goodness)... lol
posted by amyms at 7:53 AM on February 23, 2007

Well, as a litigator, I'm either doing one of five things: (1) in Court, mediation or client meetings, so no posting; (2) in a deposition, where I often read but rarely post [of course this only applies when I'm not taking the deposition or putting up the witness]; (3) on the phone [this seems to be most of my day] which I will read and post while doing; (4) drafting documents, which means I will take mental health breaks and check in; or (5) reading cases or brief, which I don't post. I never post at home or on the weekends; it's strictly a work thing for me. Of course, being at work, sometimes my full attention isn't on what I'm posting, so my typing, grammar, and attention to detail suffer.

It's not a great habit, but its helpful for me because its a release. I spend all day fighting things which all seem important at the moment, and that can get stressful and depressing. Mefi allows me a release. It also gets my creative juices flowing which allow to re-approach an issue at work with a fresh mind and new perspective. I've never allowed my participation to interfere with my job at all, and I've actually been very successful professionally in the last year. So I probably owe a debt of gratitude to this place, because it keeps me recharged and refreshed which has allowed me to do well.
posted by dios at 8:02 AM on February 23, 2007

I'm a zombie who was designed to pilot spaceships, but I'm solar powered, which seems like an essential design flaw, unless the space capsule has some way of constantly turning its portal to the sun, so I don't run out of power. Which it doesn't.

So, yeah, I've got a lot of downtime.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:08 AM on February 23, 2007

My job is another one of those very-busy-when-I'm-busy situations. The rest of the time, I'm idling or thinking or responding to email requests, that sort of thing; when everything is going correctly, it's quiet, and as my job is essentially to keep everything going correctly, the slack time the job allows is actually a reward for a job well done.
posted by cortex at 8:26 AM on February 23, 2007

I wonder if I am the only doctor who has made a patient wait while I finish a mefi thread.

I realize I am a terrible person. And sometimes when I am running late, it actually *is* because of an emergency.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 8:37 AM on February 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'm the only person who knows where everything is.

I work on a large, legacy-software-laden website. Since my boss retired, I'm the only one who has a good sense of how the entire site operates. I don't do the actual programming, but I coordinate all the various developers to get things done.

I actually work maybe 10 hours a week, 20 on a busy week, including meetings and such, but I have to be here 40, in case someone needs something. I get away with so much slack because I'm unreplaceable. Sure, sometimes I feel guilty about it, but they'd never be able to find anything if I left, so I do believe I provide reasonable value for the money they pay me. Sometimes I get bored and think about actually doing more (there's plenty I could be doing), but then I take a 2 1/2 hour lunch and get over it.
posted by pupsocket at 8:38 AM on February 23, 2007

Matt pays me a nickel a comment. It ain't hard work.
posted by Kwine at 8:46 AM on February 23, 2007

But it ain't easy either.
posted by Kwine at 8:47 AM on February 23, 2007

Why does he do it? He has his reasons.
posted by Kwine at 8:47 AM on February 23, 2007

You earned your thirty cents there, my friend.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:03 AM on February 23, 2007

Or 15 cents.

Shit. Math fatigue.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:04 AM on February 23, 2007

My slack jobs include washing, ironing, and folding. Ironically, I usually wear jeans.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:08 AM on February 23, 2007 [1 favorite]

I work in software development, so I'm on the computer 8 hours a day anyways. If it's busy, then mefi becomes my sanity break. If it's slow as molasses in between projects (like now), I can spend most of my workday on various non-work websites. It works out, I suppose -- I get all my work done and people seem satisfied with me here, which is all anyone asks :)
posted by kalimac at 9:29 AM on February 23, 2007

I'm a grad student working in a lab. I read MeFi in all the short breaks where there's not enough time to get something productive done, but enough time to read a few threads.
posted by penguinliz at 10:25 AM on February 23, 2007

I have two posting schedules, "nap time" (also known as "I really should be doing money work while he's sleeping" and "up too god damned late." When baby's awake, daddy don't internet.

I almost miss being a wage slave, 'cause I can't bring myself to charge hours for the independent research I do on quality procedures in the third party volumetric instrument calibration field (note: this is not as glamorous as it sounds) unless I actually, you know, am doing work. I did not have this problem when I was a secretary.
posted by nanojath at 10:31 AM on February 23, 2007

I work for an independent bookstore "writing" the copy for their newsletters and formatting their e-mail newsletters. I also keep their website up to date and come up with various marketing schemes. My cubicle is designed facing a computer, so I surf.
posted by drezdn at 10:47 AM on February 23, 2007

I quit my job last fall, and have been unemployed since. Ironically, this is only the second or third comment I have posted in those months of unemployment.
posted by dersins at 11:02 AM on February 23, 2007

I'm unemployed; yay me! But I'd kill for Ambrosia's job. Just set me to stuffing envelopes, with minimal exposure to people, no phones, a decent salary and I'd be a happy gal. I don't even need the extra fluff. That or a job in a bookstore. I ain't picky.
posted by deborah at 11:05 AM on February 23, 2007

I make my living by stealing candy from children, rewrapping it, and then selling it in the Orient, where it's considered an aphrodisiac. There's not a lot of money in it, but it's rewarding.
posted by Dave Faris at 11:08 AM on February 23, 2007

Underemployed for years (salaried positions in which 10 hours of work each week was supposed to take me 40; it didn't, and despite my asking many times for extra work, no one ever gave me any), now working as a freelancer from home during day, going to school at night. But I've been conditioned to sit in front of the computer all day.

I'm trying to break that habit, actually.
posted by occhiblu at 11:54 AM on February 23, 2007

Hm. My last job: I got the hang of everything, then made some helpful changes to my databases and reporting and ended up with a job that usually took about 10-15 hours a week. Sometimes there would be other work and it might go to 20 or even 25. Then the company offshored (we'd known this was coming) and I was laid off.

I almost never posted from work, but read almost everything I could without following the links.

Now, of course, I'm unemployed, and am commenting much more often.
posted by dilettante at 1:26 PM on February 23, 2007

A lot of my job consists of waiting. Waiting for files to be uploaded by clients, waiting for the files to download to local disks, waiting for machines to warm up, process, interpret, waiting for client contact, approval... the list goes on. I'd say that for every five minutes of furious activity I have another five of either staring at the walls or screwing around online.
posted by lekvar at 1:33 PM on February 23, 2007

veggieboy, that was the thread. I like this one much more.
posted by shelleycat at 2:38 PM on February 23, 2007

I am also a non-fundie homeschooling parent, of 2 kids. In between the regular mom stuff and the additional school stuff, I have weird irregular bursts of free time. I choose to squander that time on the internets because I have no other outlet for my geekiness.

I used to do a lot more surfing at my part-time library job, but I have since been promoted to cataloger, which requires much more of my attention than my previous job of sitting with my due date stamp in hand, waiting for students to check something out.
posted by Biblio at 2:41 PM on February 23, 2007

at my job (mag production) i'm busy for a while, then waiting for editors to pass me stuff or proofs to arrive, then busy, then waiting, etc (it ends up allowing me a lot of time overall, and i also sometimes work from home, which allows me even more time--i tend to give myself mefi breaks when working at home).
posted by amberglow at 3:57 PM on February 23, 2007

I'm a seeing-eye human.

for real? tell us more.
posted by amberglow at 3:58 PM on February 23, 2007

I'm a government official overseeing the reconstruction of Iraq. In my spare time I infiltrate the ranks of metafilter, taking names and user IDs for the time when.... well, you know.
posted by localhuman at 4:44 PM on February 23, 2007

ah, localhuman is a incompetent, post-college Republican without qualifications or experience, but with rich GOP donor parents? Heckuva job, local! ; >
posted by amberglow at 5:03 PM on February 23, 2007

I am a robot.
posted by bigbigdog at 7:28 PM on February 23, 2007

I work on a ballistic missile submarine. They have two crews; the Blue crew has the boat right now on patrol. I'm on the Gold crew. Not having a boat to operate (and fix broken stuff on) cuts down the work load quite a bit.
posted by ctmf at 8:42 PM on February 23, 2007

I neither toil nor spin. To make up for such non-productivity, I volunteer. Usually, I do not get to MetaFilter until noon-ish Pacific time, when it is either slow or "cannot be accessed by Firefox". Sigh.
posted by Cranberry at 9:21 PM on February 23, 2007

I'm a seeing-eye human.

for real? tell us more.

I work for the Rhode Island Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired. I assist employees of that and other agencies within the Dept. of Human Services who are blind themselves. Essentially, once dogs learn how to read, I'm out of a job. My main tasks are taking care of mail (outgoing and incoming), filing, filling out forms, assisting at conferences and lectures and in meetings, proofreading correspondence and reading text (usually either small passages within larger texts, for example encyclopedia entries or newspaper articles, or texts set up in a way that give scanners problems). Every once in a while I act as a sighted guide when someone I'm assisting has to navigate a new environment and doesn't have a guide dog, but that is rare. Unlike seeing-eye dogs, I don't get to nap under tables, and unlike seeing-eye cats, I'm not the most adorable thing you've ever seen.

I work on a ballistic missile submarine.

for real? tell us more. what's the internet connection like?
posted by Kattullus at 9:47 PM on February 23, 2007

I am a meat popsicle.

I generally answer phones and input stuff in a computer. In years past, they didn't seem to mind it if you alt-tabbed in between calls. Gradually over the past decade it became fashionable for corporations to actually monitor what their employees do online in eerie Orwellian ways, so I don't get to surf at work as much as I used to.

If I could find a decent work-at-home job that paid my bills, I'd take it. I want to become agoraphobic.
posted by ZachsMind at 10:10 PM on February 23, 2007

I have a different relationship with the internerds as my job doesn't even allow me to look at a computer while I'm at work... I usually surf online late at night when I get home, but lately I've noticed that this has been detracting from other more valuable activities. *sigh* I had to break up with Civilization IV because it was eating my life, and such might also be the case with the 'Filter. I love MeFi, but it's not doing my dishes!

If I could post from work, this would be another story entirely! Though maybe not. Just like Craig Ferguson can't drink responsibly, it appears I can't do the intertrons with any degree of moderation.

(I'm a barista. I fuel the 9-5 workday of the corporate sucker.)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:04 PM on February 23, 2007

You know, I'd thought that stopping work for the last 2 years to be a full time parent would have allowed me ample time here, but I've been waaaay busy somehow.

Perhaps getting a job would allow me more time online.
posted by davehat at 8:57 AM on February 24, 2007

Kattullus, that's so cool--thanks : >
posted by amberglow at 2:03 PM on February 24, 2007


Metafilter: once dogs learn how to read, I'm out of a job.
posted by amberglow at 2:04 PM on February 24, 2007

As a student worker with a boss that shows up to late work everyday (an hour) takes two hour lunches every day and has a tendency to sneak out of the office for another hour or so a day, but yell at us if we aren't there. I get way too much slack time.
posted by magikker at 2:08 PM on February 24, 2007

Me, I work as an admin temp. My daytime participation depends on the pace of whatever particular assignment I happen to have. Back in the summer, when I first joined, the job was glacially slow. After that, from September through the end of the year, I took on a couple of ball-buster assignments and I wasn't online so much.

As long as I remain available to answer the phone during downtime, they don't hassle me about looking at MetaFilter during business hours.
posted by jason's_planet at 6:43 PM on February 24, 2007

Much like shmegegge, I'm a video editor and animator using a computer with not nearly enough memory. Rendering is my MeFi time.
posted by brundlefly at 10:23 AM on February 25, 2007

I work on a ballistic missile submarine.
for real? tell us more. what's the internet connection like?

Extremely slow and infrequent. We can only come up on the satellite link when we come to periscope depth. We have to come up to pick up the broadcast every so often, but PD is kind of tense, what with being the most dangerous place for a sub to be with regard to collisions and counterdetection. We try to minimize the time.

The radio guys can cache a few web pages locally, if you ask in advance, and if they have time. And if you have a good reason. If you want for some reason, sure. If you want, not so much.

We supposedly get email from home in batches. When my wife writes an email, it goes into a queue at the squadron, where it has to be read and approved to be sent to the boat. Then some poor radio guy has to copy each one over and put it on the broadcast for us. It takes several days. I can write back the same way. In reality, that system is the first thing to go when we want to minimize communication/time at PD. So it only works for about two or three weeks of a twelve-week patrol.

We can pretty much count on the old FamilyGram system, where family members can type a 25-word message, that will eventually get to us by radio message. No way to acknowledge or reply, though.

While the other crew has the boat out, our crew is in the office for training, work preparation for when they come back, whatever support they need, etc. It's like a regular job, and we have regular internet.
posted by ctmf at 12:51 PM on February 25, 2007 [2 favorites]

davehat writes "You know, I'd thought that stopping work for the last 2 years to be a full time parent would have allowed me ample time here, but I've been waaaay busy somehow.

"Perhaps getting a job would allow me more time online."

I know exactly how you feel. My kid is about a year old now. I don't post on MeFi from home very much, because I'm too busy. If I have a four day weekend, I'm bushed, and I look forward to work, where I can finally relax.
posted by Bugbread at 8:08 PM on February 25, 2007

ctmf, do you feel disconnected/cut off from the world when you're underwater?
posted by amberglow at 9:42 PM on February 25, 2007

amberglow, yes. Whether or not that's a bad thing or not, eh. Depends on my mood. Ever want to just get away from it all? Life's a bit simpler. It's very communist. I do my job, and pretty much that's all I have to worry about. When it's lunch time, there's food to eat, magically. No bills to pay, house to clean, car to wash, lawn to mow... Even laundry is easy, because I get one day a week when I can use the laundry if I want. So I do. Not much planning required.

My wife used to work in the theater, and every year they'd do Wagner's ring cycle, which was a lot of work for the crew. The way she describes it is very similar to being at sea. Work, eat, sleep, repeat as necessary. Except that she also had to do regular life, too.

It's not as claustrophobic as it looks on TV/movies. It's like working in an office with no windows (that occasionally changes the slant of the floor.) It helps that I trust my wife absolutely (with my money/etc and also with, you know, other things). Some guys who can't say the same don't have quite as nice a time at sea. The imagination is your worst enemy.

I was at sea for the Y2K thing and the WTO riots, with my wife in Seattle. We get just enough news (one paragraph summaries of the top stories) for me to be kind of concerned for her safety. The other crew looks out for our people while we're gone, though, and we do the same for them. (Which also leads to some juicy imagination-fodder, not always unfounded, unfortunately.)

I'd say it's harder for her, than for me. I'm not exactly having a fun vacation, but it is a very simple life. Hers is twice as hard while I'm gone. I'm very fortunate she puts up with it.
posted by ctmf at 10:13 PM on February 25, 2007 [2 favorites]

thanks, ctmf--for very short periods i could probably deal with it, but not for more than a week at a time. Are there resources down there (and for family members up here) for psych stuff?
posted by amberglow at 3:02 PM on February 26, 2007

Well, they screen us as thouroughly as they can beforehand. The whole training pipeline is designed to filter out people who are emotionally not up to it as well, in subtle ways. Still, everyone's got a story of someone they knew "cracking" on the boat. For the families, there are all kinds of counseling services available for free just for the asking.
Some info on the screening: (pdf slideshow)
posted by ctmf at 8:42 PM on February 26, 2007

thanks! (yours is one of those careers most of us know absolutely nothing about, i think)
posted by amberglow at 5:22 PM on February 27, 2007

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