What your boss thinks it means: “Go specifically to places A, B, and C with no stops in between and come straight back to work.”
What you’re actually doing: Go to place A. Stop at Starbucks. Go to place B. Pick up that handful of groceries on your list because the grocery store is literally right there. You need milk, so you have to run by your apartment to drop it off. You get to your apartment and that leftover pizza from last night is there just waiting to be eaten. So you eat it and what goes in must come out, right? Thirty minutes later you begin to drive back to work and realize you forgot to go to place C, which is on the other side of town. You show up at work three hours after you left. Bonus points if you get your mileage reimbursed.
What your boss thinks its means: “Please make 100 copies of this 28-page booklet and have them on my desk by EOD.”
What you’re actually doing: You could probably send them through the top part of the printer that automatically prints each page for you. You could also probably have the copier print them so that they are sorted by booklet. But, nah. EOD, you say? Now I know what I’m doing with the next four hours of my life. Maybe the toner will get me high…
Answering phone calls from telemarketers
What your boss thinks it means: “Get rid of them. Make sure they never call here again.”
What you’re actually doing: “So, whatcha doin’? Only six more hours until I get to go home. You? That’s nice. Did you watch that soccer game on Sunday? Fucking Ronaldo…oh, you have to do your job? It’s recorded for quality assurance? Well, excuse me for trying to blossom this friendship.”
What your boss thinks it means: “Can you clean out the fridge in the break room? It’s starting to smell.”
What you’re actually doing: Scour through the refrigerator for any remnants of food that look appetizing and digestible. Holy shit, Karen brought pot roast three days ago and never took one bite of it? There are children starving in Africa, Karen. WHO BROUGHT THE WEIGHT WATCHERS ICE CREAM AND NEVER OPENED THE BOX?! You people are the scum of the Earth, but I love you for it.
Putting the intern to work
What your boss thinks it means: “More work will be accomplished today.”
What you’re actually doing: Less work will be accomplished today because now you’re chatting with the intern about their weekend and reminiscing about the “good old days” (AKA the “days you couldn’t wait to graduate and have a really cool job and get paid actual American dollars and be a grown-up”) and subsequently giving unsolicited advice to the intern about staying in school and how graduating was the worst possible thing you ever could have done.
What your boss thinks it means: Pooping.
What you’re actually doing: Pooping and getting paid for it.