Guest Post By Maria Francis
Their numbers grew rapidly ever since free Internet became available in most offices. ‘Free’ being the keyword here.
Well, actually the Ten Minuters existed long before that. We might be able to trace their beginnings right back to the Stone Ages where one caveman sat polishing his saber-tooth weapon longer than the others, possibly to impress a group leader. Anyway it appears to have worked, probably in the form of the seat closest to the fire or a juicier chunk of mammoth meat meted out by the leader.
In our modern day corporate world, this translates itself into good appraisals and promotions. Those ten minutes after office hours (also calculated as 600 seconds to emphasise its significance) has become more of an enjoyable phenomenon thanks to the World Wide Web.
Well before that, the Ten Minuters whiled away their precious time playing Solitaire and making ‘free’ calls (you already know what the keyword is here) from the office phones. But that tended to get boring after a while.
I mean you can only call your aunt in Napa Valley twice. Maybe thrice. And Solitaire, well that had its limitations too. Twirling and self-shuffling cards on the screen could get downright irritating as the days passed on. Luckily with the emergence of Google, YouTube and Facebook, employees discovered a whole new side to random mouse clicks and screen staring. It has become official. The Ten Minuters are here to stay.
They watch triumphantly as their colleagues shuffle outside one by one at the end of the day. They might glance with irritation at a fellow Ten Minuter, possibly even a Fifteen Minuter. Some inconsiderate brute who is clearly out there to jeopardise our Ten Minuter’s whole reputation, possibly his entire career…GASP!!!
And once his ten minutes are up, yours truly will send out an email to the boss. An email of the lowest importance with insignificant content and special attention the Timestamp – sent 10 minutes after office hours. Score!
A more adventurous person might stroll over to the Enemy’s desk (read Fifteen Minuter) and ask, “Working late, huh? Don’t stress yourself too much. Go home and get a good rest.” All this laced in very delicate vocal poison of course.
If this tactic doesn’t work, then the Ten Minuter will finally get up and leave. Dejected but plotting out his revenge as he packs up.
The Fifteen Minuter will watch his colleague leave, do a mental high five to himself and shut down his PC. He might do a well-calculated stroll past the boss’s office, wave a goodbye and head off.
The boss will watch his last employee stand up and gather his belongings. He will wave back a distracted goodbye. Because that’s what bosses who are making make-or-break decisions for the company do. No time for social frivolities, hence the ‘I-was-to-busy-to-notice-you-till-now” wave. Then he will turn back to his laptop, log out of Facebook and call it a day.
After all it’s the Ten Minuters of Today who make it as the Bosses of Tomorrow.