May 15, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; A general view of the Rogers Centre prior a game between the San Francisco Giants and Toronto Blue Jays. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
If you’re a 9-to-5er like me, you know that any weekday afternoon game is your worst nightmare. Not only do you miss watching your favourite team play, but you don’t have a game to look forward to when you get home.
Since the Toronto Blue Jays are playing at a very bizarre 4:37 PM time today, I thought it would be a good opportunity to share some tips and tricks on how to keep track of the game without your boss finding out.
First off, it’s good to get a sense of your options.
MLB Gameday (via MLB.com) is your best buddy as you get live, detailed updates that include a pitch tracker and video highlights. However, if any of your co-workers catch a glimpse of the computer screen, the video game-like graphics will be tough to argue your way out of.
Paying for an entire season’s worth of access to Blue Jays radio coverage via MLB.com might not seem worth it for only a dozen or so afternoon weekday games, but it’s certainly worth considering. Last year, I shelled out $19.99 for the privilege. Would I do it again? Probably not. Hard to justify when you’re likely already paying for a cable package.
Speaking of which, if you have Rogers you can register for Rogers Anyplace TV on your smart phone. Pop some earphones into the phone and viola! Suddenly, you’re ‘transcribing’ some ‘audio’ from a ‘conference’ for a ‘client’. Just make sure to cover the screen and look like your listening intently every time someone passes your desk.
If you don’t have a smartphone, and your office job does not allow you to navigate the internet as you please, then you better pray that the nearest bathroom has some traces of WiFi to follow the game via Twitter. Helpful tip: stretch your legs every now and then. Dead giveaway if your legs fall asleep and you’re limping all the way back to your desk.
Now that you’re all set up, here are the steps to ensure that you don’t get busted and you remain in line for that promotion you so obviously deserve.
STEP ONE – PLAN AHEAD
When you arrive at the office in the morning, start casually dropping how ‘today is going to be one of those days’. Don’t stick around to chit chat with anyone and pace around the office furiously. Looking stressed gives everyone the impression that you are busy and working hard. Refilling coffee at inordinate times and swearing under your breath can help drive this home.
Consider even getting a jump on this ruse by telling everyone the day before how much you are NOT looking forward to the next day. Most people assume that no one would put this level of thought into procrastination so your co-workers are bound to believe you.
STEP TWO – PREP YOUR WORK STATION
Put yourself in other people’s shoes and try to get a sense of their vantage point when they pass your desk. If you’re watching MLB Gameday or streaming the game live, you’ll want to ensure that no one catches a glimpse or it’s game over.
Tilting your computer screen ever so slightly can allow you to watch what you please without causing your co-workers to be suspicious. Too much of a tilt and they’ll be very very suspicious of your secrecy.
For some people (myself included), having a computer screen that is out of public view is a luxury. Ditch the earphones and listen very carefully for people walking your way. Have another tab available on your browser so you can quickly link back to it should anyone walk past.
Sitting really close to your computer will at least allow your head to partially block the screen. Bad for your eyes? Yes. Good for your career…uh, debatable. Maybe good in the short term at least.
STEP THREE – PLAN FOR GETTING BUSTED
The tips above are certainly not fool proof and you may very well get caught.
If your boss comes snooping along and you think he/she may have caught a glimpse, it’s time to shut down and bail. You’ll need to have some well thought out excuses in stock.
In more extreme cases, you might have to think of long lost pets and conjure up a few salty tears. It may even be time to feign a nervous breakdown.
One good backup plan is to have a half eaten sandwich around at all times. “What? It’s my lunch break!”
Enjoy the game this afternoon weekday warriors! Nothing quite beats the muffled excitement of a Jose Bautista home run from the comfort of your cubicle.
As someone who is experienced in these matters, I know firsthand that there are few things in this world more satisfying than dutifully watching a live box score and being rewarded accordingly for your patience and dedication.
And next time, consider taking a sick day. Sometimes it’s just not worth the stress.