While Jobu is on vacation, enjoy one of our greatest hits as Jobu shares his greatest secret with his readers, free of charge!
We’ve all had to deal with important sporting events coinciding with our day jobs. Some of us take days off so that we can watch and some of us DVR it and avoid the internet all day so that we don’t accidentally get any spoilers on the results. The true sports fan, however, finds a way to watch it at work. These days, almost every sporting event is streamed in some way or another, and I have become a bit of a professional at making sure work doesn’t interfere with my sports watching. Here’s a guide on how you too can do this.
The first “must” for preparing to watch sports at work is to clear your schedule. Bring food and drink from home, or purchase it before the game begins, so that you can eat as you watch and, again, don’t have to get up to go get any of it during the game. You also have to make sure you do not schedule any meetings during the hours of the game. Jim wants to discuss the budget? Handle it like this:
“Sorry, Jim. I’m booked in other meetings all day long! IT wants to go over our new video platform… (roll your eyes) You know how those guys are, am I right??”
It is guaranteed that no one really understands what the IT department in your company does, so any blame you lay on them for wanting to discuss systems is almost always bought hook, line and sinker. If they end up catching flak from Jim for holding you up, buy them some beers (or margaritas) after work and all will be well.
If you happen to have a meeting that you scheduled previous to knowing about the sporting event you want to watch, shame on you. You should know your schedules ahead of time if you want to be a pro like me. However, there’s an easy way to get out of that as well. Just don’t go. When people wonder where the hell you were, just say you got bogged down at another meeting that went longer than scheduled (you can blame IT here as well, or any superiors you might have at your office that often demand your time).
Another key thing is to not have to get up during game action. If you’re watching baseball, they have built in minute-and-a-half breaks between every inning which are perfect for going to the bathroom. If you’re lucky enough to be watching fútbol at work, they have a fifteen minute half that can give you enough time to go to the bathroom, eat lunch and maybe even solve your company’s financial crisis (you have to get really good at taking advantage of that free time).
Finally, you also have to have your computers and electronics prepared in order to be able to watch sports at work. They key is to have two monitors attached to your computer. As I work in digital media, I have this setup already. If you don’t have this, come up with some bullcrap reason to request one from IT, or bribe them into giving you one. Once your double monitor setup is complete, simply put the game on one monitor and do your work on the other. If you don’t have a double monitor setup on your office machine, bring in a laptop. You can set it up to the side of your work monitor and watch the game that way, or use your bigger work monitor to watch the game and do your work on the laptop. Laptops are a key investment if you want to be a professional office sports watcher like me.
2. Contain Your Excitement
If you’re sitting at your desk hooting and hollering at every home run or scored goal, you’re gonna get caught. If you’re throwing your stapler in anger because the ref or umpire missed a call, you’re gonna get caught. If you get caught, you’re probably going to be cleaning out your desk sooner rather than later, and then you won’t be able to pay your cable bill, which will endanger your sports watching even in the comfort of your own home. That would be unacceptable.
So how can you celebrate? If you work in a cubicle, you’re already halfway there. Make sure your walls are high enough to block out snoopers, and then master the art of the silent fist pump. You can even mouth the word “YESSSSS!” while silent fist pumping if you’re really ambitious (only recommended for master-level office sports watchers, as I’ve seen far too many amateurs mess that up). One more acrobatic way of celebrating is the chair spin. Again, I only recommend this for advanced watchers, but a good celebratory chair spin is a fun, quiet way to celebrate a clutch hit, or late game-winning goal (make sure your chair is oiled, so as not to squeak).
3. Make Sure Your Work is Not Affected
This is the mistake every amateur office sports watcher makes. They get so caught up in the games they are watching that they ignore the work they’re supposed to be doing. You cannot make this mistake, as it is guaranteed to negatively impact your employment situation. If you’ve set up your computers in the manner i described in step one, this should be easy. What I do is make sure I have my headphones plugged into whatever computer the game is on. The main focus has to be on the work you’re doing, but focus your ears on the game. When the announcers get excited, pay attention to the game. The rest of the time, do your work.
Another option is to delegate. Your coworkers don’t need to know why you need help launching that website or writing up those TPS reports. If you just tell them that you’re very busy and need them to handle something for you, most nice coworkers will do this for you. You can make it up to them another day by taking on some of their work, or by buying them a beer after work. Beer fixes all coworker rifts. If you’re really desperate, and there’s no coworkers available (probably because they’re also watching sports), that’s what interns are for. In case of emergency, break glass and abuse intern.
There you have it folks, Jobu’s Guide to Watching Sports at Work. If you follow the steps listed above, you too will soon be a professional office sports watcher. You’ll be more in the sports loop than ever before while still thriving at work like never before. That’s the Jobu Guarantee. If you get caught and fired though, you probably didn’t follow the steps correctly, so don’t try to sue me!
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