"What makes something boring? Predictability, monotony and confinement are all key." - Peter Toohey, "Boredom - A Lively History." Here you can order the book from Amazon.com.
Let's face it. As contract workers of the world we are frequently assigned the tasks no one in the organization wants to do. Primarily that's because they are boring. In itself that is a situation which calls upon myriad coping skills, including anger management. But the tipping point is that the powers that be expect us to be enthusiastic. They can see, hear, feel, and smell the lack of it and we could soon be assignment-less.
Today on Abovethelaw.com, long-term free agent Alex Rich highlights this challenge in document review. Among the strategies Rich's fellow reviewers leverage to deal is keeping an alcohol buzz on. The hazard there, obviously, is losing control and getting involved in an altercation with the "proctors."
For the creative and natural players, the intellectually stimulating and even fun approach to this ordeal is to spice up the game. A trick I learned when writing web articles on strokes for a type of Saul Goodman was feigning profound interest. I would come up with questions about the overall marketing plan. That engaged the client. It broke up the monotony. And I continued to have more assignments than I could handle.
Another tactic is being a rat. When I was a contract worker at Home Depot, that was the role a more desperate contract worker than the rest of us took. Scanning the horizon for misdeeds to report kept him engrossed all the time. Although most of us find that ethically distasteful, it is effective. The management loved his enthusiasm. He had first shot at holiday double-time and overtime. Soon enough, thanks to his pride in his spying, his body language transmitted the voice of authority.
The best tactic is to use the horrific experience as the impetus to put together another way to earn a living. It took a few months but after cranking out stroke material I created a fresh niche for my communications boutique. Business did come in. I haven't been bored since.