Confession time. I last worked in an office environment—as in working for somebody else—twenty-five years ago. All I had on my desk back then was an electric typewriter and a landline telephone. The answering machine still had tape cassettes in it. I got to work in the mornings worked all day and went home at five-thirty.
OK, it was not without its occasional moments of drama, like the time I accidently got locked into the building one night and had to climb out of a upper-storey window and then scramble across rooftops to freedom. Or the time, one week into a new job, when the boss said, “Right, we’re off on holiday next week. If the bailiffs arrive while we’re away don’t let them take anything …”
But generally the biggest no-nos were arriving late or sneaking off early. People didn’t even leave their desks to have a smoke. In fact I used to work sandwiched between two people who both chain-smoked and would leave cigarettes burning in their ashtrays while they nipped out on some errand. They didn’t like it when I stubbed them out in their absence. My excuse was if I had to smoke passively while they were around then I was damned if I was going to do it while they weren’t.
My how things have changed. (Eeh, I remember when all this were fields, etc.)
And when I set up in business on my own as a freelance photojournalist back in 1988 my word processor was an Amstrad 9512 that had no internal memory and required the insertion of a Start-of-Day disk to remember what it was in the mornings.
If there was a mouse anywhere near it, it would have looked like this:
I was pretty technologically advanced by owning a computer at all I can tell you! Not to mention my Motorola brick phone. Groovy, man.
Distractions were simpler in those days. They involved staring out of the window:
And game of solitaire meant shuffling the deck before you began:
Early computer games were not exactly Call of Duty:
But now we’re overwhelmed with daily distractions. If it wasn’t for rapidly encroaching deadlines could spend so long getting sidetracked every day I could practically walk like a crab:
But that can sometimes be a good thing, and I thought I’d share with you some of my favourite time-wasting sites:
“He’s a shy zombie photographer trapped in a world he never made. She’s a supernatural French-Canadian bodyguard who inherited a spooky stately manor from her late maiden aunt. They fight crime!”
I’m hopeless at crossword puzzles, but somehow I can’t leave this one alone.
Mine came out as Full Metal Darkshadow, or the Diva alternative was Titanic Callgirl. How about you?
But just in case wrestling is not your thing, how about your Blues Name? Mine’s Steel Eye Davis.
So help me out here—or sink me deeper—what procrastination aids do you use to while away the help you concentrate while you’re mulling over a storyline?
And please excuse the BSP but the new trade paperback edition of KILLER INSTINCT: Charlie Fox book one, complete with Foreword by Lee Child, is now available. Hurrah!
‘Susie Hollins may have been no great shakes as a karaoke singer, but I didn’t think that was enough reason for anyone to want to kill her.’
“The bloody bar fights are bloody brilliant”―Marilyn Stasio, New York Times
This week’s Word of the Week is librocubicularist, which is someone who reads in bed.
And finally, don’t miss out on six free e-books by top authors including Murderatos past and present JD Rhoades and Alexandra Sokoloff, plus CJ Lyons, Karen Dionne, Grant MacKenzie and Keith Raffel. Feb 20-22nd! Get ’em while they’re hot!