Pro Forma

It takes a dedicated professional to write a good form. You may think that one you did in Word with the custom editable fields was nifty, but it wasn’t. This is an art-form, my friends (arf arf). I’m prepared to bet, for example, that your effort didn’t have anything as inspired as the following, lifted verbatim from my department’s timesheets:

Section E
Please describe the type of work carried out by entering a number between 1 and 13: _____

There’s not much to say to that, really. Certainly nothing so sissified as a key is offered on the form in question; that would be tantamount to Communism. No concession is made to the fact that integers are not, in fact, a type of work.

This doesn’t bother me. I tend to alternate between 3 and 7, these being the marks out of 13 I would give myself for my day’s work. I put 8 if I had good hair that day. Lord knows what I’m actually claiming for. Maybe there’s some goblin deep in the bowels of the Imperial Bureaucracy who looks at my timesheets, sighs to himself and adds another couple of hours of “Number 7: Surreptitious Masturbation” to my tally. This might explain why I’m kept in an open-plan office these days, although not why I continue to be paid.

Anyway. Having observed the common types of work performed around college, and for the benefit of other students and RAs, I offer the following guide:

  1. Inappropriate Stretching – Time and a half for doing this ostentatiously when a lecturer has asked, “any questions?”
  2. Wobbling the snack machine – Those Hula Hoops may have been stuck there since the 70s, but they’ve got your name on them. That means you were named in the 70s, and are still a student. Loser. Of course, you’re shaking a machine for 40p’s worth of processed food, so no surprise there.
  3. Inviting for Coffee – Productivity is relative; destroy two people’s mornings, and you’ve doubled your own output without lifting a finger.
  4. Pressing F5 – It’s been thirty seconds. There’s bound to be something new. Okay, you’re reading Pig Fanciers Monthly, but it’s better than actual work, right?
  5. Psychological Warfare – “Hey, Dave – how’s that paper coming? Deadline … Tuesday? Ooh, harsh.”
  6. Extra-Curricular Activities – The 4:1 gender ratio will be greatly improved if you take up interpretive dance. Wait, everyone else had that idea? Bugger.
  7. Surreptitious Masturbation – Bonus points for the lecture hall. Triple points if it’s not yourself you’re helping out.
  8. Overt Masturbation – Bold; proud; doomed.

I realise that’s only eight, but I got bored. Too much like work.

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