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According to one of the definitions in the Urban Dictionary, mental masturbation is:
“The act of engaging in impractical/nonproductive mental exercise/thinkings/writings through which a practitioner only comforts oneself mentally. Such acts don’t lead to any constructive results what so ever in the real world.”
Most people have experienced “mental masturbation” in one form or another in the workplace. The above clip from the movie, Office Space provides a perfect illustration of this concept when Peter’s numerous bosses constantly remind him of putting a cover sheet on all his TPS reports.
I’d love to hear some of your personal anecdotes regarding pointless or inane activity at your workplace during some period in your life.
The more humorous the better.
At my first job out of college, the head of our organization required all those in a managerial or administrative position to attend a “controlled burn” of marijuana by a police officer who came specifically to our office for this purpose. The idea was that if any of us ever caught some employee smelling like pot, we could say that we knew it was marijuana because we’d been at the controlled burn.
Haha! That’s awesome! Think the cop would have been impressed if you could not only identify the substance, but also the region it was grown in and the quality of it as well?
Blogging certainly provides a multitude of opportunities to engage in mental masturbation. I am saying it as an avid blogger myself
True. That’s why I try never to keep my eye off the ball — that is getting a book deal…
Does throwing pens into the ceiling tiles count?
Only if your boss thought it was important for you to do. 😉
At a bank job I had we had to “apply” to elevate financing deals and build a 3 to 10 page “business case” as to why we think each should be approved. The thing was, they were never approved and we were never told why, we were just told to “try again”. We could try up to three times and there was about 1-2 hours of work each time.
The only time I had ever heard of anyone’s elevation getting approved was when they proved there was incorrect info on a client’s credit bureau.
The work we had to put into the businesses cases would seem to qualify as mental masturbation, with a bit of “circle jerk” and “cluster f–k” thrown in for good measure.
That sounds like more of a turn on the wheel of pain to me. 😉
I hear in the military it’s called the “Get A Rock” game?
I’m not familiar with the term, “Get A Rock.” However, I am familiar with the term, “painting rocks.” This is essentially a form of punishment in the militay, in which soldiers literally paint rocks.
Apparently “Get A Rock” *(as I’ve heard it, anyways) is a drill where they take recruits out into a field in the hot sun, and the Sargent will tell them all to find a rock and bring it to him. When they do, he tells them, “Not the one I want – go get another.”
Of course the natural question is, “What kind of rock should I bring you?” but all they get told is to shut up and quit asking questions. Eventually they get frustrated, exhausted, (heat stroke!), whatever, but therein apparently lies the lesson.
Unfortunately, however, this game occurs in civilian life where there is no lesson other than “find another boss/job”.
Circle jerk. A group of people undergoing an exercise in talking out of their ass (aka mental masturbation) while stroking each other’s … ego.
Unless, of course, you have to work on something that has no value other than stroking someone else’s ego…