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Bullshit Job Diary: The University Administrator Who Pisses Mineral Water

Inbox: 263. Water bottle: full.
Bullshit Jobs Diary 3
(Evgeniy Salov / Alamy Stock Photo)

9:03AM: Arrive at work. Can't wait for eight hours of absolutely smashing it.

9:04AM: Make extensive to-do list by copying most of last week’s tasks onto new page.

9:07AM: Achieve inbox-zero, of sorts, by ensuring all 262 emails in my inbox are marked as read.

9:19AM: Feel happy with inbox achievements so take a well-earned break and buy credits for exercise classes to supplement my existing underused and overpriced gym membership. Monday motivation!


9:25AM: Discover credits expire in less than two weeks. Definitely don’t have enough time to use them. Monday money-wasting!

9:26AM: Can finally catch a break to fill up my water.

9:30AM: Inbox: 263. Water bottle: full. Opportunities to work out that I will inevitably scupper: fully loaded, baby. Time to get down to some serious work.

9:39AM: Already bored, quick phone-check. Is this the Pomodoro technique?

10:11AM: Quick phone-check done. So glad I’m now well-versed with the news of the day. Also filled with crippling self-doubt and have a tension headache.

10:13AM: I’m just a girl, looking at Microsoft Excel, asking it to fuck off.

10:59AM: Check phone but still haven’t received message asking if I’d like to become a Victoria’s Secret Angel/retired investment banker/son of old money family/anything else that would allow me to live an extremely easy and comfortable existence. Oh well, must plough on.

11:01AM: The fog is descending on the moors, my horse is weary. I must stop for a rest in this conveniently placed shelter and continue on foot.

11:02AM: The shelter was a metaphor for checking my Gmail.

11:10AM: A couple more emails have come in. Mark as read, add them to the to-do list. It’s an A4 page long now, so what better time to clean up my iPhone storage?

11:15AM: Absolutely fuming about my iPhone storage. I pay 79p a month for iCloud and I still don’t know how to put things in it.


11:16AM: Make space by deleting Depop. Can’t see a pic of this on now, can you, you cunts.

11:17AM: Send an email. Am Girl Boss!

11:20AM: Make daily trip to the work canteen to buy a smoked salmon and cream cheese bagel, which they do not and have never sold. Feel daily dose of disappointment after searching the shelves. Buy a different sandwich. Fill up water again. Hydration is key!

11:49AM: So bored I feel as though I could literally die. I don’t mean that as in, like, omg i’m literally dying. What I mean is that, literally, I may well die. Of boredom. Soon.

11:55AM: Why is it not acceptable to eat lunch before midday? If you’re hungry enough for lunch, you should be able to eat lunch. Would that be brunch, though? Can’t go around having brunch at work.

11:56AM: Quick water refill.

12:01PM: Problem is, there is no second lunch for the afternoon. Can’t eat actual lunch now because by 3PM will just want another lunch.

12:20PM: If I could go home once I’d got my work done, I would be able to get it done in two hours. Instead, this prolonged pain.

12:25PM: Thoughts on… bringing back feudalism?

12:26PM: Hang on, is this feudalism?????

1:00PM: Lunchtime. Have managed to start a Very Important Spreadsheet during the course of the morning. Save As and Lock Screen, bitches.

2:03PM: Back at my desk. Ohhhh myyyyy godddddddddddddddddddddfjasdfweprjwer;lkajwe

2:04PM: I am approaching woodland. The mist swirls atop the trees and their branches rustle with menace. The narrow path winds over treacherous roots and away into the unknown. I fear I may not find my way.


2:06PM: Forgot to fill up water at lunch, better do that now.

2:30PM: Have sent three emails and feel about as deep into that fucking woodland as I can possibly get. This day will never end.

2:32PM: Anxiously scroll through inbox and practise mindfulness by letting all the shrieking red flags and “urgent!” subject lines wash over me.

2:33PM: Anxiously scroll through Gmail and Twitter and reply to group chats as an antidote to work anxiety.

2:34PM: Anxiously scroll through inbox again to try to forget about my personal life. Red flags screaming louder.

2:35PM: Now extremely anxious. Blankly stare at screen. Will anyone notice I’m not typing?

2:46PM: Pop to the loo and discover I am so hydrated I’m pissing clear liquid.

2:47PM: Is this even piss? Genuinely looks more like mineral water. Am medical marvel.

2:50PM: Might as well fill up my water.

3:00PM: 3 o’clock! Getting there. Let’s finish off that spreadsheet slowly but surely.

3:40PM: Jesus fucking Christ it’s nearly 4. Have 700 things to do. Fuckfuckfuck.

3:41PM: Look at first task on to-do list that’s been being carried over for several weeks. It’s too hard, it’s too hard!

3:43PM: Complete task, turns out it was pretty straightforward.

3:45PM: Continue on this vein. Doing things! Ticking them off! The time will fly by now!

4:00PM: Feeling productive, been working solidly. It must be nearly home time. Look up and it’s ONLY BEEN FIFTEEN MINUTES OH MY GOD


4:08PM: One more bottle of water should see me through.

4:11PM: I think it’s my disorganised approach that’s getting me down. Delete lots of emails ready for big day of productivity tomorrow.

4:30PM: Shitting fuck how have I got myself in this position??? Tomorrow is going to be awful!!!

4:32PM: Check BBC News. Maybe something has happened!

4:37PM: Nothing’s happened.

4:42PM: Check BBC Weather. Maybe it’s going to rain!

4:47PM: Yep, it’s going to rain.

4:51PM: Begin to close down tabs ready for departure.

4:55PM: I can see the sunlight beaming through the branches. The path is widening again. My hands are raw from gripping tree bark, but I’m there, I’ve made it.

5:01PM: Podcast on, breeze on my face, free!

5:02PM: Accidentally step out into moving traffic, swarm of pigeons flies at me. I hate my fucking life!