*Twiddles thumbs*

I'm trying to figure out what's wrong with this picture.

The picture is that I am at work, and there's nothing really for me to do. My boss is out of town, as he usually is. The executive assistant is working from home, as she often does. There are others in the office, but they are just working on their things. I'm sitting here, browsing Facebook and updating my blog. And getting paid for it.

I've been thinking about what I can do, and there's not much. I'm waiting for feedback on things that I have done in order to move on with them, but there has been no feedback. I usually go to the executive assistant and ask if she has spoken with our boss, because she's the one who's usually in contact with him. I asked her about a couple things that I'm waiting to hear back about, and she said she hasn't heard anything either.

So now I sit here and I think...Should I be more assertive? Should I call my boss and bug him personally about the things that have to be done? I have a feeling if I do that, I will either get no answer or I will be told it's not a priority. Or I will be told that they're working on it and they'll get back to me as soon as they can, which will take ages.

I can't really just invent things to do, unfortunately. A bulk of my job is supposed to be answering phone calls and answering voicemails and E-mails, but my boss wants to have a meeting with me to talk about what I can and can't say before opening the phone lines, and that hasn't happened yet. Also he keeps saying there are other things that are taking priority, like updating our websites, and I am just sitting here waiting for the content I wrote for the website to be edited. If the websites are a priority, they sure aren't acting like it in terms of the content. And our web designer said she hasn't heard anything either.

Make that Words with Friends, actually...

Not to mention I was supposed to have a review meeting with my boss, which then got changed to it being with the executive assistant and the accountant, and that was supposed to be today, but it's not happening today. I've been waiting for a month to have this meeting.

So, what do I do? Do I just sit here? Do I call my boss? In my review meeting, do I say, "Look, I am willing and able to do work and I just sit here most of the time and it's really frustrating"? Should I find another job where I actually do things? I understand the company is basically still a startup, but the way things are run here is so inefficient, and I am sitting here burning their money.

It's really frustrating, and I don't know what to do about it. It might just get to the point where one day I just leave and say, "see ya, I don't have any work to do, let me know if you need anything, I'm going home."

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  • Jack Draco | 03 July, 2012 14:05

    Having never been in this situation my advice is purely speculative.

    Were I in your position, I would schedule a meeting with your boss and in it say "Boss, I like it here, I like the direction this company wants to go, and I support the message and the work we are doing. The problem is that I don't feel empowered to go beyond my outlined job tasks, and right now those outlined tasks aren't enough to fill my workdays. As a result, I feel like I'm ripping off the company some days at work, and I'd rather feel like we were in a fair exchange of value for both of us. Can we work out my phone script so I can begin taking those calls at the very least?"

    When I was a manager I would have loved to hear that from an employee, and would happily give more work to do, and make sure as much of it as possible wasn't just busy-work. Again, I haven't been in this situation, and my management technique is far from universal. I'm sure within some corporations and/or with some managers this would result in "Oh, we don't need you? Fired." but I'm assuming you'll have a better feel for how likely that outcome is that I can.

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