In a sunny economy, workers joke about frittering away the hours during traditional slow times, like January, confident that things will eventually pick up. Looking busy when you’re not in order to fool the boss can be something of an art form.
But now, when business is verrry slow and the possibility of layoffs icily real, looking busy is no joke. In retail and real estate, restaurants and law offices, many workers are working hard to look necessary — even when they don’t have all that much to do. —Jan Hoffman, "
Working Hard to Look Busy," NYT