Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Still-In-The-Office Accessories

Accessories to make it look like you're still in the office
  [vote for,

How many times did you want to leave the office a little early, but were afraid that people would notice? Some accessories would help you duck out, and people would think you're still there, giving you extra "play time", and diffusing ire from the HR folks..

-Perpetually Steaming Hot Cup of Coffee (looks like you just made a cup and put it on your desk)

-Car Keys (leave em on your desk)

-Winter Coat

-Spare Realistic looking Cardboard Laptop (take your real one home with you when you duck out)

-Spare Wallet (leave it on your desk)

-Spare Briefcase

-Customized Desk Calendar with random late meetings scrawled like "Meeting with JP 5:30-7:00 PM in Conf Room" (Who is going to go searching for you or wait till 7:00 when you get back !?)

The calendar can also remind you of HR birthdays, for that added touch of brown-nosing.

mahatma, Apr 24 2003

USB Coffee Mug http://www.halfbake.../USB_20Coffee_20Mug
[hippo, Oct 21 2004]

Shirk Ethic: How to Fake A Hard Day at the Office http://online.wsj.c...%5Fpersonaljnl%5Fhs
May 15 2003: Interesting article on higher tech ways to pretend you are working when you are not. [krelnik, Oct 21 2004]

Heated Mug http://www.blackjac...products/SHB132.php
MMMMmmmmmm Steaming.................... [p1stonbroke, Oct 21 2004]

Proptronics Laptop http://www.proptronics.com/whatnew.html
[banksean, Oct 21 2004]

[hob]'s desk might be helpful http://www.halfbake...ng_2fcarping_20desk
[k_sra, Oct 21 2004]

Coffee Break Generator (german) http://www.maenners.../kaffeesoftware.htm
The (german) tool "Kaffeepausen-Erzeuger" displays a progress-bar with customizable text and duration. E.g. "Copying files - Estimated time left: 46 minutes" [admin: restored link.] [fezadow, Jan 08 2005]


       Ha ha - like it. You can do most of them yourself though, apart from the perpetually steaming coffee (nice touch), but I think that could stand as an idea on its own. Plus, you could come in in the morning and be greeted by a warm brew.
sild, Apr 24 2003

       Mahatma Coat?
dustmonkey, Apr 24 2003

       indeed !   

mahatma, Apr 24 2003

       Gandhi fishing?
FarmerJohn, Apr 24 2003

       Nice +1
Mr Risk, Apr 24 2003

       how is the coffee perpetually steeaming?
igirl, Apr 24 2003

       <shameless plug>The USB coffee mug (see link) will keep your coffee steaming<shameless plug>

An email left open on your screen demanding your presence at an offsite meeting...
hippo, Apr 24 2003

       we can probably also build in "motile" capabilities so cup would slowly move and rotate around, so as to appear it has recently been moved..
mahatma, Apr 24 2003

       ...even better if it moves while someone is looking.
Don Quixote, Apr 24 2003

       [raven] It'll just look like you came in early.   

       Great idea+ The only issue I see is when you get to the pub and realize you grabbed your fake wallet. Grumbling, you go back to the office after closing and find you've also taken your fake keys.
Worldgineer, Apr 24 2003

       Form a "secret society" amongst your co-workers whereby someone is designated to randomly re-arrange your accessories when nobody else is looking to further enhance the illusion. This would allow you to take days, perhaps even weeks off without raising suspicion. Each member of the group takes his/her turn being the "lone arranger" (OK, I'm sorry, but I'm a pun addict) while the others enjoy their "play time".
Canuck, Apr 24 2003

       A macro that makes your computer screen keep switching between applications, automatically type data, etc. Makes you look extra efficient.
phundug, Apr 24 2003

       Rods - not for nothing are the plugs and sockets called 'male' and 'female' connectors...
hippo, Apr 24 2003

       my mum was a firefighter, once upon a time. Her favourite cry was - "female to the fire".
po, Apr 24 2003

       Hehe! At one place I worked this was a team effort. We’d coordinate amongst ourselves who gets to leave when, and the others would move things around, change computer screens, mention meetings, (etc.) in your absence. We were all putting in about 50 hours/wk, so nobody felt particularly guilty about it.
Shz, Apr 24 2003

       Or how 'bout a macro or screen saver that constantly looks like you are progressing in a spread sheet, refresh every 5 minutes, so anyone coming back would see that you are working on something but perhaps you have the runs or a really short attention span.
sartep, Apr 25 2003

       OH! OH! OH! The accesories can move them selves if they are smaller if they have vibrators in them that go on for a few seconds at a time and make them glide accross the desk. The effect you'd get would be a desk that gets more messy as the day goes on.
sartep, Apr 25 2003

       that would be me... the steadily messier office. But if you're going to run mechanical devices to make your desk get messier, and macros to make your work look like it's progressing, why not contract out your work? Wasn't there an idea around here (I browse) about swopping jobs with people who'd find it a good distraction from their own jobs? Rather than run a macro (which will seize up eventually, you just know it!) give read-write access to your spreadsheets across some secure (global?) network of jobsharers - so your work *really* gets done.. while your coffee mug buzzes gently across your desk. And you in turn can be working from home, or the internet cafe down the street, on someone else's project which you much prefer doing.
badgers, Apr 25 2003

       Great idea.... but would the government discourage something like this? It does affect productivity...
LoneRifle, Apr 25 2003

       If the GOVERNMENT were against things that affected productivity, then THAT would be a problem, wouldn't it ?
mahatma, Apr 25 2003

       Er.... (gets out irony detector, notes needle is off scale).   

       Scott Adams mentions in one of his books a story of someone who would come in of a morning, leave his jacket on the back of his chair, and go off to his second job. It was months before he was rumbled.
egbert, Apr 25 2003

       I first read this as Stealin the office accessories.   

       That's funny - I was assuming it was the type of still that makes liquor, hidden nicely in the office accessories closet.
Worldgineer, Apr 25 2003

       // I prefer the "look-a-like blow up doll method"... //   

       You got one of those?
waugsqueke, Apr 25 2003

       Apparently bliss has either found a blow-up doll that looks just like her or she has cultivated her appearance to resemble the doll. Either way, it's a little scary (granted, I am somewhat naive with regards to the range of selection currently available in the world of blow-up dolls).
Canuck, Apr 25 2003

       I was going to find a picture of a blow-up doll and ask bliss if that's what she looks like, but I just can't get myself to google such a thing at work.
Worldgineer, Apr 25 2003

       Guys !! GUYS !! office accessories.. remember ? (amazing how a mention of a blow up doll set us all off in a tangent..)
mahatma, Apr 25 2003

       Croissant for a fabulous idea! However, not everyone works in an office. How could you make it "work" for, say, a biology teacher? Or a mechanic?
lintkeeper2, Apr 25 2003

       car mechanic is easy - just leave a pair of boots under the car.
po, Apr 25 2003

       Instead of having each accessory vibrate so it moves around on the desk, have the whole desk top vibrate, sort of like those old table-top American Football games. That would make everything shift positions to different degrees - light things move a lot, heavy things very little or not at all. Of course, we'd have to bolt the desk to the floor so it wouldn't dance around, too. Then again, it would be priceless to see the look on someone's face when the desk begins to buzz and stuff moves around!
Canuck, Apr 26 2003

       I suppose in addition to the macro that generates progressively complex spreadsheets, a random voicemail generator would be a good thing -- something that dials colleagues extensions randomly, then leaves pre-recorded messages like "Hey, Bob. wanted to know if you could meet me after my last meeting today. I'm really busy so please let me know your schedule"...   

       or "Hey, [random colleague name]. Can you email me the latest TPS report? I deleted it accidentally. "
mahatma, Apr 28 2003

       but what if they actually answer?
badgers, Apr 28 2003

       Couple it with a network query program that notices when they log off. Leave them a voicemail five minutes later.
phundug, Apr 28 2003

       ...or the ability to recognize that someone answered and respond with a pre-recorded "hey..sorry.. I got another call.. I'll call you back in a sec.."
mahatma, Apr 29 2003

       how bout just leaving early?
avanti, Apr 30 2003

       [avanti] the purpose is to leave early AND get credit for staying late. No loss of vacation, no need to dip into "bereavement" fund !
mahatma, Apr 30 2003

       Biology Teacher Ruse - Convincing display of fake tropical plants large enough to cover your entire desk + looping tape recorder of Biology Teacher sounds
spooner, Apr 30 2003

       I think HR managers themselves use these already.....
morpheus, May 13 2003

       //how is the coffee perpetually steeaming?//   

       I suggest a battery driven piezo ultrasonic vaoprizer built into the base. You could set a timer for 8 hours and never worry about starting a fire.   

       //At one place I worked this was a team effort//   

       I briefly worked for a big accounting firm and HR would check on the juniors' login times. Every day, the first one in would go round logging his mates in. Then I told them I could build a black box with a timer and an encoder and timer from a surplus keyboard.   

       //the purpose is to leave early AND get credit for staying late//   

       A friend of mine who was at Merrill Lynch takes off at 7pm (business is slow) and later eats dinner on the company account then submits the later dinner slip to show he's put in lots of extra hours. He says it's quite common.   

       Another friend at a rival house is less blatent; he and his team all go have dinner together; do some 'team building' at the bar and then come back to send out late night emails.   

       //I suppose in addition to the macro that generates progressively complex spreadsheets//   

       A VB macro that activates different workbooks would be simple.
FloridaManatee, May 14 2003

       //A VB macro that activates different workbooks would be simple.//   

       Disclaimer: Make sure you understand and debug this yourself. Macros can cause a really bad day and I ain't gonna be held accountable fot it.   

       ' Press Esc to exit macro
Sub DisplayExcel()
i = 1
iMax = Workbooks.Count
MinCycle = 5 '5 mins cycle
TimeNow = Now()

Do Until Now() > TimeNow + (MinCycle / 1440)
TimeNow = Now()
If i = iMax Then
i = 1
i = i + 1
End If
GoTo NewSheet
End Sub
FloridaManatee, May 14 2003

       Shirk Ethic: How to Fake A Hard Day at the Office - from WSJ May 15th, 2003 edition ... http://online.wsj.com/article_email/0,,SB105294526966494700,00.html
erthwerm, May 18 2003

       Please use the link function for URL's. I did this one for you. Neat article, I was going to link it myself here anyway. (WTAGIPBAN)
krelnik, May 19 2003

       How about a USB steaming pile of shit on your desk to stimulate practical-joking cubicle-mates? Your boss couldn't blame you for not being there, seeing that the shit is still steaming and all.
mystic2311, Dec 03 2003

       oops...simulate not stimulate
mystic2311, Dec 03 2003

       One could rig a machine, similar in design to a softball pitching machine, to toss crumpled paper around the desk, so as the day progresses you have a growing pile of debris scattered around the office/cubicle.
gardnertoo, Dec 12 2003

       When you can come up with a product that at your expense actually completes work while you're gone, I'd be interested. As a carpenter, I don't have the option of faking my presence and getting paid for it. Either the job gets done or it doesn't. Hey! How about a boss' version that allows the boss to leave early, while detecting and automatically firing the users of shirking devices?
Eddie's son's Lightbulb, Dec 18 2003

       I think farmer john meant Gandhi!
nomadic_wonderer, Feb 02 2004

       Daft Idea!   

       What if the boss simply looks at your clocking in/out card? Or checks the computer monitoring software on his network to see when you last used your computer etc...
grippit, Feb 03 2004

       Currently using the following "still in the office accessories": 1) bunch of old or spare keys left on the desk. 2) Dead Mobile Phone left next to keyboard. 3) Old Jacket slung over chair.   

       Additionally, grab a copy of irfanview (a handy graphic viewing program), this will allow you to create your own screensavers or excecutable slideshows of screengrabs of our own, real work - you can set these to a nice default like 5 minutes, whereupon the screen changes giving the impression of someone having dashed back to the desk for urgent info, then back a meeting.   

p1stonbroke, Feb 18 2004

       This idea is still one of my faves, even though it wouldn't really work for me as I am in constant full-view all day. <stifles sigh> +   

       Oh, and I am promoting [hob]'s desk. See [link].
k_sra, Feb 18 2004

       A similar thing is that the science department of my school got a computer projector thing, and the chemistry teacher buggered off to the staff room upstairs, but had set up a webcam so she could keep an eye on us, and since the entire lesson was writing up notes, she just created a slide presentation. It was actually quite fun, despite the fact that she had to keep telling some of the boys to stop talking, etc.
froglet, Mar 12 2005

       You should read Dilbert. He has devoted almost half a book to this idea.   

       How about a statute of yourself pretending to be busy on phone ? It could look very real since, from backside only clothing will be visible, not face.
VJW, Jul 01 2011

       I was going to explain my idea for how the "perpetually steaming" coffee cup could work here, but I decided it was half- baked enough to post seperately (it's in Products: Office Appliances). Thanks for the inspiration, [mahatma]!
Alterother, Jul 01 2011


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