5 Things to Do When You’re Stuck Working the Day After Thanksgiving

Editor’s Note: This Classic TLNT post is a Thanksgiving favorite that we are thankful to be able to share again with you this year.

The Friday after the Thanksgiving holiday has to be the most useless day of work ever.

I know many folks who still don’t get this off as a holiday, and either have to burn vacation or burn PTO to get this as a paid day off  – obviously not including all of those folks who work in the service areas and have to actually work to deal with all those crazy “Black Friday” shoppers!

I’ve been there, both working on the service side of the world on the day after, and, on the side when you work for some lame company who makes you come in on the day after when clearly none of your customers will be working. So, you just try and find stuff to do before sneaking out at 3 pm to meet the family at the mall.

What to do if stuck at work on Thanksgiving Friday

Don’t fret; I’m here to help. Here are my Top 5 things to do when you’re stuck at work the Day after Thanksgiving:

  1. Clean out your files – I know this doesn’t sound fun but it needs to be done and it makes you look really busy with your desk all filled with files and stuff! Really cleaning of any type works really well on this day and burns a solid 2-3 hours.
  2. Research – What does that mean!? No one knows, and that’s why it’s so great! You can be on LinkedIn, Facebook, reading blogs, it doesn’t matter – it’s “Research!”
  3. Policy revisions – Again, what does this really mean!? You bring up some electronic versions of some policies and you have them in the background as you search the Internet for the best Black Friday deals! When someone walks into your cube, you click on the Word file and say “hey, just working on these policy revisions, what are you doing?” They say, “I was just doing some research; what do you want to do for lunch?”
  4. Rewriting job descriptions (see #3, Policy revisions) — The good thing, really, about any of these is you can also have Pandora playing in the background and just become a complete vegetable for about eight hours.
  5. Updating performance plans – You can also call this reviewing performance reviews. Basically, you’re going around talking to employees about what they had for Thanksgiving dinner and talking about how awful it is watching the Lions and Cowboys play every Thanksgiving Day. Just make sure to mention something about their annual goals and bam! — mission accomplished.

Another thought: send notes to executives

I will say that the day after Thanksgiving is a great day to send notes to executives as well.

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Let’s face it — they’re not in the office. They’ve got more vacation than you and know it’s worthless to come in on the day after Thanksgiving. But you sending a note and “actually” working makes you look like a champ!

The best part is, you don’t even have to be working. I just pre-write my emails and then schedule them in Outlook to be sent to executives at 7:23 am on Black Friday, then a follow up on how I solved the issue at 6:12 pm on the same day!

That’s a Pro Tip; use it wisely!

This originally appeared on the blog  The Tim Sackett Project.

Tim Sackett, MS, SPHR is executive vice president of HRU Technical Resources, a contingent staffing firm in Lansing, MI. Tim has 20 years of HR and talent background split evenly between corporate HR gigs among the Fortune 500 and the HR vendor community ? so he gets it from both sides of the desk. A frequent contributor to the talent blog Fistful of Talent, Tim also speaks at many HR conferences and events. Contact him here.

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