September 19, 2023

"What are some famous examples — in truth or fiction — of a character who puts a lot of effort into being able to be lazy?"

I ask ChatGPT, a propos of the previous post about the "Lazy Girl" jobs. I was influenced by a comment from Jamie, who wrote, "Heinlein wrote a story called 'The Man Who Was Too Lazy To Fail,' about a smart but lazy guy who spends his life and career thinking up efficiencies and ends up very successful."

ChatGPT answered me:
There are several famous examples, both in fiction and real life, of characters who put a lot of effort into being able to be lazy. This theme often involves characters who are highly intelligent or resourceful and find creative ways to minimize their workload or simplify their lives. Here are a few notable examples: 
1. Bartleby the Scrivener (Fiction): In Herman Melville's short story "Bartleby, the Scrivener," the titular character is a copyist who initially works diligently but eventually adopts the phrase "I would prefer not to" as his response to any task or request. He goes to great lengths to avoid doing any work and ultimately prefers inaction 
2. Tom Sawyer (Fiction): In Mark Twain's novel "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer," the young protagonist, Tom Sawyer, is known for finding ingenious ways to avoid chores and homework, such as whitewashing a fence and tricking his friends into doing it for him. 
3. Ferris Bueller (Fiction): Ferris Bueller, the main character in the movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," is a high school student who goes to great lengths to fake illness and take a day off from school. He orchestrates an elaborate scheme to have a fun and leisurely day in the city while his principal tries to catch him in the act. 
4. Homer Simpson (Fiction): Homer Simpson from the animated TV show "The Simpsons" often goes to great lengths to avoid work or responsibility. His schemes and laziness are recurring themes throughout the series. 
5. Moss and Roy (Fiction): In the British sitcom "The IT Crowd," Moss and Roy are two IT professionals who work in the basement of a large corporation. They often find creative ways to avoid doing actual work, such as building a "workplace bomb shelter" to hide from their boss. 
6. George Costanza (Fiction): In the TV series "Seinfeld," George Costanza is known for his elaborate schemes to avoid work and responsibilities. He often comes up with bizarre and convoluted plans to achieve maximum laziness. 
7. Lazy Bum Archetype (Fiction): There are various fictional characters who embody the "lazy bum" archetype, such as Ignatius J. Reilly from "A Confederacy of Dunces" by John Kennedy Toole and Jeff Lebowski (The Dude) from "The Big Lebowski" by the Coen Brothers. These characters revel in their idleness and actively resist any form of work or responsibility. In real life, some people have also become famous for their efforts to live a life of leisure, often through unconventional means. For example, the "digital nomad" movement includes individuals who use technology to work remotely and enjoy a more flexible, travel-centric lifestyle, which can sometimes be perceived as an effort to work less while maintaining a comfortable existence. These examples in fiction and real life highlight the fascination with characters who, in different ways, put considerable effort into being lazy or avoiding traditional responsibilities. 
I said:
All the people that you mentioned, yes, I know them, they're quite male. Any females? 
ChatGPT responded:
You're absolutely right; the examples I provided were predominantly male characters. However, there are female characters in literature and pop culture who also put effort into being lazy or avoiding traditional responsibilities. Here are a few examples: 
1. Scarlett O'Hara (Fiction): In Margaret Mitchell's novel "Gone with the Wind," Scarlett O'Hara is a complex character who often tries to avoid hard work or responsibility. She uses her charm and resourcefulness to achieve her goals, sometimes taking shortcuts when necessary. 
2. Becky Sharp (Fiction): In William Makepeace Thackeray's novel "Vanity Fair," Becky Sharp is a character who uses her cunning and wit to climb the social ladder while minimizing her own efforts. She often seeks shortcuts to achieve her ambitions. 
3. Edna Pontellier (Fiction): In Kate Chopin's novel "The Awakening," Edna Pontellier is a character who rebels against societal expectations and seeks personal freedom. She is not lazy in the traditional sense but strives to break free from her roles as a wife and mother, pursuing her own desires and interests. 
4. Liz Lemon (Fiction): In the TV series "30 Rock," Liz Lemon, played by Tina Fey, is a character who often tries to avoid hard work or deal with difficult situations. Her humorous and quirky personality leads to various comedic situations in which she attempts to simplify her life. 
5. Samantha Jones (Fiction): In the TV series "Sex and the City," Samantha Jones, portrayed by Kim Cattrall, is a character known for her carefree and hedonistic lifestyle. She actively seeks pleasure and avoids commitments or responsibilities, embracing a life of leisure and luxury. 
While these female characters may not fit the lazy archetype in the same way as some of their male counterparts, they do exhibit traits of seeking shortcuts, rebelling against societal norms, or pursuing their own desires, which can be seen as forms of non-traditional behavior or attempts to simplify their lives.


rhhardin said...

Wally in Dilbert, but Scott Adams was cancelled.

Kate said...

Scarlett O'Hara? Wow, that's a failed suggestion. She picks cotton and runs a general goods store. I don't accept the conceit that because she breaks convention she should be classified as lazy.

Dagwood said...

Ilya Ilyich Oblomov.

Enigma said...

Every single example in the post is fictional. Hmmm. You asked for real or fictional. Follow up with real-life only?

The human blobs in Wall-E are perhaps the most intentionally lazy (per political messaging) characters in fiction:

Spiros said...

Ignatius J. Reilly.

The Crack Emcee said...

You have GOT to be kidding me.

The racial errors in ChatGPT's programming stick out like putting Ice Cube in Fight Club.

cassandra lite said...

Can't do better than Amiens in As You Like It:

Under the greenwood tree
Who loves to lie with me,
And turn his merry note
Unto the sweet bird's throat,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

Who doth ambition shun
And loves to live i' the sun,
Seeking the food he eats,
And pleased with what he gets,
Come hither, come hither, come hither:
Here shall he see
No enemy
But winter and rough weather.

Eva Marie said...

Frank Gilbreth, who with his wife Lillian pioneered time and motion study:
“His maxim of ‘I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job, because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it’ is still commonly used today, although it is often misattributed to Bill Gates, who merely repeated the quote but did not originate it.”
I read Cheaper by the Dozen and Bells on Their Toes as a kid.

dbp said...

Ron Livingston as Peter Gibbons in Office Space

Old and slow said...

Ignatius J. Reilly in Confederacy Of Dunces.

Patrick said...

I disagree that Liz Lemon was lazy. Want pay of the series her coveting for the Alec Baldwin character?

Joe Smith said...

'Ron Livingston as Peter Gibbons in Office Space'


Also, the Dude abides...

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

The bot resorted to reinterpreting laziness to make his female examples fit the theme but is ultimately unpersuasive. This may fit a pattern of Althouse getting a decent response on first draft that becomes less cogent and somewhat swervy on each successive prompt. The bot is in fact a “lazy guy” writer. Yes I detect a gender PIV in his writing. I mean his male bias is plain as day.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Men have the evolutionary advantage of eons spent avoiding hard work and war under constant supervision and huge societal expectations. Housewives and women behind the scenes had the advantage of being “invisible” to the people who set out to study work when the vast majority of wage-paying jobs were done by men. Women held down the farms and households and had to carefully tailor their skills at finding efficiencies.

Scott M said...

4. Liz Lemon (Fiction): In the TV series "30 Rock,"

I hate to admit it, but I'm probably at the scholar level on 30 Rock, having watched/rewatched it so many times. It's my go-to for background noise, if you know what I mean. Liz Lemon is not opposed to hard work at all. In fact, there's a two episode arc where she realizes she actually needs the stress and hustle (either that or join an all-female fight club). She doesn't avoid uncomfortable situations any more than the rest of humanity. She's an everywoman character put in an extrodinarily difficult job and has to deal with extraordinarily difficult people (ie, actors).

Scott M said...

On the male side, I'm surprised it didn't come up with Roald Dahl ("The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar"), which I was equally surprised to see is being adapted by Netflix.

WPS234 said...

Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge, one of P.G. Wodehouse's best characters.

CJinPA said...

Beatle Baily, the fifth Beatle.

CJinPA said...

Beetle Baily, the fifth Beatle.

Kirk Parker said...

Barak Obama

re Pete said...

"I got troubles so hard, I can't stand the strain
Some young lazy slut has charmed away my brains"

Dustbunny said...

Wasn’t Dagwood Bumstead always looking for ways to take a nap?

Big Mike said...

I nominate Alfred P. Doolittle, Eliza's father in “My Fair Lady.”

I never read “Vanity Fair” or “The Awakening,” but I’m familiar with the other females listed by ChatGPT. I don’t think of any of them can properly be characterized as lazy. IIRC Samantha Jones is a businesswoman running her own PR firm. What’s lazy about that?

Krumhorn said...

How about our slacker-in-chief who has spent over 40% of his time in office…out of the office.

- Krumhorn

Lem the misspeller said...

YouTube: Winnie the pooh - Busy doing nothing

wildswan said...

Holly Golightly and Paul Varjak in Breakfast at Tiffany's

The type of woman known as "gold-digger" puts a lot of effort into catching a wealthy man, so as never to have to work again. This includes getting alimony for the rest of her life if he or she gets tired of she or he. (I think the alimony laws should be reformed so that it only has to be paid for ten years or up till the time their children leave home (which ever is later). That would give a woman who has spent her time creating a home or at least a background for a man who is working, time to learn how to function as a working woman herself.)
And there's the male equivalent - I'm not sure what he is called these days. But both male and female versions are in Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Gusty Winds said...

Henry David Thoreau

Ignorance is Bliss said...

How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying

Gusty Winds said...

The Big Lebowski. The Dude Abides.

Ann Althouse said...

"Scarlett O'Hara? Wow, that's a failed suggestion. She picks cotton and runs a general goods store. I don't accept the conceit that because she breaks convention she should be classified as lazy."

Yeah, I considered taking issue with that, but the robot is talking about the first half of the story, not the later activities after the old way of life is gone. It's still not a very good example, though, because in her pre-war activities, she's doing the work she was brought up to do: being a Southern belle, charming the young men. What work could she be said to avoid?

Ann Althouse said...

"Ron Livingston as Peter Gibbons in Office Space"

But he doesn't really go to any effort to be lazy. He openly rejects work and tells people he's going to do nothing.

Am I missing something? I stopped watching that half way through. Liked the first half, but didn't care about what looked like was going to be crazy high jinks.

Lem the misspeller said...

My thing was to appear like I was not getting it done at the office. And then log on to the network from home and get it done. All I had to do was leave the computer on when I left.

Jupiter said...

ChatGPT seems to be getting a lot of mileage out of "great lengths", "elaborate schemes" and "creative ways". Is this a creative way to recycle its own garbage? ChatGPT is, itself, an elaborate scheme. Then there is "great lengths". Do you suppose that ChatGPT assesses its efforts to answer your question as extreme? Presumably, there is some algorithm in there, saying, "OK, wrap it up, we've wasted enough GPU time on this obviously unmonetizeable query. Stick some stock phrases in there and put it on the wire!".

What is the payoff, anyway? Are you sending them money? Do they show you ads?

Jupiter said...

"Am I missing something?"

All of us are always missing something.

And there's no time to think!

Lem the misspeller said...

Upon further review, I found a better answer to the question: Why does Fetterman dress the way he does?

Apparently, a lot of effort goes into looking lazy.

Another trip down memory lane.

Jupiter said...

"President Joe Biden's son Hunter Biden doesn't want to head back home to Delaware for a hearing over his felony gun charges, according to a judge slated to preside over his arraignment.

"Defendant seeks to have the initial appearance on the Indictment in this matter held via video conference," U.S. District Judge Christopher Burke wrote in a docket entry Monday, noting the "Government opposes that request."

Is that a creative way, or an elaborate scheme? Maybe just an "I would prefer not to".

n.n said...

Housewives. They reduce the state's earning potential and opportunities for redistributive change to influence people and capital.

tim in vermont said...

Wasn't there a character in Catch-22 who tried to make his life so boring that it would seem as though he had lived longer? Does that count? IDK, but I think there was such a lazy character in Catch-22.

Brian said...

The man who was too lazy to fail is one of my all time favorite short stories.

It has some great lines:
"Trick questions called for trick answers"
"True geniuses, [pay] only pragmatic attention to rules made by other people"
"[Obey] the Eleventh Commandment and never [get] caught"
"Every impossible rule has its loopholes; every general prohibition creates its bootleggers"
"An eager young bride could accomplish in seven months or less what takes nine for cow or countess"

tim maguire said...

All the female suggestions are unimpressive. Liz Lemon is a workaholic. Samantha doesn't seem to work much, but she's in a relentless field--that's more laziness on the part of the writers than on the character.

Frankly, I have issues with many of the male suggestions as well.

Brian said...

He openly rejects work and tells people he's going to do nothing.

It's worse. He isn't lazy, he just rejects "that" sort of work, i.e. office work. He ends the movie doing physical labor (outside), and is happy with his choice.

William said...

ChatGPT did a good job on the male characters but not so much on the female ones. You just don't think of Becky Sharp or Scarlett O'Hara as lazy. Iirc, there were some secondary female characters in their novels who were quite lazy and given to munching on chocolate bonbons. The fact that I can't remember their names is significant. I don't think a lazy woman can carry the plot the way a lazy slob like the Big Lebowski can. A lazy guy has to really exert himself to remain inert. A lazy woman just has to marry well to fulfill her sloth potential.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Well at least we are all smarter than than the bot...for now.

mikee said...

Opus the Penguin from Bloom County.
Zonker Harris from Doonesbury.
Garfield from Garfield.
Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes.
Beetle from Beetle Bailey.

I read a lot of comic strips in the first half of my life.

Static Ping said...

I would think the archetypal female who puts a lot of work into being lazy is the very attractive woman who puts a lot of effort into looking good in order to attract (or keep) a rich man that takes care of all her needs. It is a very common character, not to mention a real life phenomenon.

Scrooge McDuck is an interesting contrast. He's anything but lazy, but his motto is to "work smarter, not harder." He regularly tries to find ways to do less work, and then fills in the free time with more work.

traditionalguy said...

Time to throw in Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class. The rich working hard to appear so lazy that they can afford servants to do everything for them.

He was right about the wealthy who had no personal commitments to a religious tradition. But even that could be hired out to paid servants and all the rich had to do was attend the show and watch (ie, Anglican/Episcopalian churches).

I recall the sudden change from when rich southern women had to dress ,as far as including a parasol, mainly to keep their white skin without tan because only the workers in the fields had outdoor tans and red necks. That all changed as Texans got oil rich and weren’t about to quit their outdoor lives . Suddenly a tan made the rich look more like the leisure class in contrast to the dawn to dusk working class suddenly trapped in textile mills where they got no tans.

Lazy to me always meant being rich enough to eat and drink and chase women all day. Trump worked at that in Manhattan .But like the accused Doctor Zhivago told the Communist Party, “ I have always worked.”

Rory said...

"Stanley Featherstonehaugh Ukridge, one of P.G. Wodehouse's best characters."

An absolutely hilarious character.

Tristan Farnon of the All Creatures Great and Small series. Approximate quote: "His subtle mind was forever devising ways to conserve his own energy."

Gospace said...

James Retief, written by Keith Laumer.

gadfly said...

"ChatGPT answered me:
There are several famous examples, both in fiction and real life, of characters who put a lot of effort into being able to be lazy."

Chat GPT declares that there are examples "both in fiction and real life," but fails to mention a single real-life person.

Vanity Fair provides the perfect example of where the AI program would not go (likely because of programmed restrictions):

One of the most closely guarded and worst-kept secrets of Donald Trump’s presidency is his extraordinary laziness. Despite efforts to project a manly ardor, the current leader of the free world spends most of his free time tweeting, calling friends, and watching Fox News. Of his 745 days in office, Trump has spent 222 days unwinding at Trump-branded properties and 168 days golfing. According to the testimony of numerous West Wing staffers, he struggles to focus in meetings, largely ignores intelligence briefings, and tunes out policy minutiae. Once, according to former White House aide Cliff Sims, Trump literally got up and wandered away while Paul Ryan was in the Oval Office attempting to explain the Republican health-care bill. While Ryan was still talking, Trump walked down the hall to his private dining room and turned on the TV.

catter said...

I'm surprised that Schweik didn't make the list.
I'd like to suggest Oblomov, but he's honestly, straightforwardly indolent, with no need to work at it.

John henry said...

Blogger Eva Marie said...

Frank Gilbreth, who with his wife Lillian pioneered time and motion study:
“His maxim of ‘I will always choose a lazy person to do a difficult job, because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it’ is still commonly used today, although it is often misattributed to Bill Gates, who merely repeated the quote but did not originate it.”

I've also heard it attributed to Walter Chrysler, of railroad and auto fame.

John Henry

tommyesq said...

Of his 745 days in office, Trump has spent 222 days unwinding at Trump-branded properties and 168 days golfing. According to the testimony of numerous West Wing staffers, he struggles to focus in meetings, largely ignores intelligence briefings, and tunes out policy minutiae.

And the country ran great! Maybe Trump is on to something when it comes to governing America - ignore the "experts" in the bureaucracy and simply do what is right. "Tunes out policy minutiae" means "not doing what the "expert" said to do, and the one time Trump went along with an "expert" or two, we got the Fauci lockdowns that saved no one but cost us our economy.

tommyesq said...

For a female example, what about the blogger who spent hours of time asking and refining a request to have ChatGPT do her research and then still more hours moderating fact checkers - er, commentors about the results?!

robother said...

Someone needs to bring Chat GPT up to speed on Kamala Harris, a real world character currently high in the running for laziest person in the world.

john mosby said...

Fiction category: Ron Livingston as CPT Nixon in Band of Brothers.

Got through a sadistic training regimen, followed by some of the worst battles of WW2, without getting hurt, shooting anyone, or really breaking a sweat.

Plus he could always score booze.

Real category: Frederick the Great said he preferred smart, lazy staff officers.

He probably had some real CPT Nixons.


Rory said...

"Tristan Farnon of the All Creatures Great and Small series. Approximate quote: "His subtle mind was forever devising ways to conserve his own energy.""

Real quote: "His agile mind was forever seeking new methods of conserving energy."

crisper said...

During the Roman Republic and Empire, the desired way of life was otium, or leisure, a life free from the preoccupations of business (negotium). Most people would have been slaves or servants of one sort or another and so otium was not available to them, but for the well-to-do man or woman this was how they wanted to live. Not exactly laziness since they had estates to manage but certainly life with freedom and flexibility in how they discharged their responsibilities.

James K said...

“George Costanza (Fiction): In the TV series "Seinfeld," George Costanza is known for his elaborate schemes to avoid work and responsibilities.”

Kramer too. He never had a real job as far as I can recall, but in one episode he just showed up at an office as if he had a job. When reprimanded for laziness he said “But I don’t even work here!”

LakeLevel said...

Edina and Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous. Their laziness was genius level.

BUMBLE BEE said...

Maynard Krebs.

Michelle Dulak Thomson said...

From "The Seven Deadly Virtues," by Stanley Ellin:

[CEO is speaking:] "[S]loth in its many forms -- the surreptitious coffee break, the added time at lunch, the napping at the desk, yes, and a dozen other variants -- is the finest possible tool for sharpening the wits. Not to be caught, that is the trick. The executive role is not for the drudge; it is for the one who has best developed the immense skill needed to conceal his sloth."

"That is hard to believe," said Charles [prospective employee]

"But nonetheless true. Show me the man eternally drudging away at the details of his job and I'll show you a born clerk. Show me the man who seems to be drudging away and isn't, and I'll show you a future Chairman of the Board."

Well, Charles and the CEO get on very well together, so that even Charles's admission after a year in the job that he's probably consigned his soul to Hell gets only a momentary reprimand from the CEO, who then says, "From here to eternity, my boy, you must think of it only as -- the Home Office."

boatbuilder said...

"You know marrying money is a full-time job
I don't need the aggravation
I'm a lazy slob"

--The hardest working 80-year-old in show business.

The late great Jimmy Buffet also put a lot of energy into looking lazy.

I guess both are the antithesis of what you are talking about.

rcocean said...

Few lazy women characters because "Lazy women" aren't really funny. Women until recently were supposed to be mothers and housewives. Their "laziness" results in neglected children or a dirty unkept house.

-OTOH, men are supposed to work for themselves and their famiies, and someone who "Bums" and "lazybones" who try to get our of work or do nothing like Maynard or Boboo the bear are funny. -Cowardly men can be funny Cf: Bob Hope or Woody Allen, but cowardly women aren't usually funny because we don't expect women to be brave or fight.
-Milton Berle putting on a dress = funny. A women wearing pants = not funny.
-An boy who doesn't bathe (or want to) = funny cf: Pigpen. A girl whos dirty = not funny.
- Men being blowhards and shouting "Pow, right to the moon" or "Jabbing in spainish" ala Ricky Ricardo or Ralph Kramden = Funny. Women yelling = Not funny.

Humor with women in literature usually comes from them evading their responsiblities to involve themselves in ridiculous activities, or hen-pecking their husbands, or chasing men or whaever. Over-the-top crying can funny in women, not in men.

Finally, neither Becky Sharpe or Scarlett O'Hara are lazy, quite the opposite. Both are determined to get what they want, and they aren't going to let society norms get in their way.

Kirk Parker said...

There really is a gender difference going on here, related to being hard-working.

Remember Rush Limbaugh's answer to the question, "What's the male equivalent of 'slut'?"

It's "bum".

JK Brown said...

Not exactly someone who put effort into being "lazy" but still the story of a man I find appealing. The larger story is about those who are in tune with nature. This man's "effort" was to cast off the opinions of others and the expectations of society.

Two people I have known who seemed to me to possess beyond all others I knew this deep, confident, unswerving intimacy with the world about them. One of them was a fellow, half gentleman and half vagabond, who had a strong aversion to work and a perpetual delight in hunting and fishing. He was called shiftless and lazy and all that; but I think most folks had a touch of respect for him, because he loafed so openly and unabashed. As another man might go to his office or take his team to the fields, he shouldered his rifle or took his fishing rod and went his way, unashamed, indifferent to the gibes of those who toiled. When he needed a little money, he might be persuaded to do a few days' work ; and he worked faithfully, but with an evident lack of joy in his tasks. It was to him an unpleasant matter made necessary by circumstances, but a sheer loss of time that might have been devoted to better things. I have seen him sitting on a fallen log, his long-barreled squirrel rifle in his hand, waiting as still almost as a stump for the reappearance of a squirrel that had dodged into a hole ; and he seemed, from the placid patience with which he waited, to have no care of the lapsing hours. I have seen him, too, on mysterious trips afield or through the woods when there was nothing to kill. It was in the woods and fields that he belonged; and whenever he could, there he went. He might have been another Thoreau if he had had the ability of expression, but he was unlettered. I doubt, too, if in his calm detachment from what most people regard as the important things of life he would have thought it worth while to try to make these hurried, busy men understand the things that filled his heart.

So he lived and died, a shiftless, improvident fellow whose name was synonymous with indolence and worthlessness. Yet I have wondered if he was not worthy to be accounted a success, since his life evidently brought to himself no sense of failure; and he walked amid his fellows with unimpaired self-respect, for all his laziness, "a gentleman unafraid."

—E.E. Miller, ‘The Unchanging Love’, Field-Path and Highway, 1912

urpower said...

Surely the #1 example in the glorious category of inactivity is Diogenes of Sinope, the philosopher, who subject of the great anecodote with Alexander the Great.

Gospace said...

Worked at a facility with over a dozen buildings where I had to keep the HVAC systems up and running. Had a few other responsibilities, and some of the job was time consuming. But if I walked around and checked everything, and it was all running, well, my job for the day was done. Basic rule- if it's not broken, don't fix it.

Had ventilation fans mounted on the outside of a bunch of building that were belt drive. When I got there I was checking the fans every 3 months, and replacing the belts, half of which would be broken. That was the schedule from the previous HVAC guy. Took a whole workweek, walking around with a ladder, climbing up, etc. Ordered V-belts with notches. Twice as much each as the regular V-belts. Bean counter went nuts. I had to explain, almost in small words, they were really cheaper. Changed the belts once a year, during summer months, and the belts were often very worn, but not broken. So paid half as much for belts during the year because I was using 1- not 4. And cut 4 weeks of drudgery down to 1.

Was replacing failed pressure reducing valves several times a year. Installed a 5 micron filter in front of each PRV- and for the next 5 years didn't have any fail. Lots of work saved. And stopped two overtime cause- relief valves blowing off because the PRV failed open and water was running out of the boiler rooms, and the boilers stopped during heating season because the PRVs failed shut- and enough water leaked out the flow switches weren't being made.

When I first got there, I found there was no greasing or oiling schedule- for anything I was responsible for. Added that task which cut down on my overall work. It's amazing how much longer things last when you oil and grease them properly. Makes the whole scope of the job easier.

Small electric motors running 24/7- with sleeve bearing $69, with ball bearings $79. The ball bearing motors lasted longer then 3 years, the sleeve bearing ones about 18 months. Replace the ball bearings at about $20, and get another 2 years out of the motors. Sleeve bearings aren't replaceable.

People started noticing I wasn't working as hard as I used to, but everything was working. The facility head asked me what my goal was there- and I told him- to change out ALL the equipment with higher quality longer lasting stuff so that I could walk around once a day, look in all the mechanical rooms, check all my equipment, and say "Yep, it's still working."

So- was I lazy? Or smart? Or both? Some jobs you can make easier as time goes on. And let's be honest- ofttimes in any job, the people who make it look easier are doing the most work.

typingtalker said...

Did ChatGPT read these (and other) books before coming to its own conclusions or is it just parroting the views of others?

My guess? Both.

Tina Trent said...

Samantha Jones is depicted as having a 24- hour a day job as a publicist. Real Southern Plantation mistresses (a very small group, and one which Margaret Mitchell is fairly good at depicting) had very complicated, if immoral jobs, maintaining rigid standards and hierarchies in harsh frontier conditions few of us could survive, which in no way suggests that their charges' lives weren't far more severe. They frequently ran plantations on their own, as travel was an ordinary and long prospect for men, and war and short lifespans left many widows.

The people programming this chat box seem to know little about history or popular culture, or agriculture, employment, pre-industrial lives, making a profit in business or advertising, the stresses of salesmanship, or parenthood, pregnancy, and domestic life.

What is it that they do know?

Walter S. said...

Mathematicians are lazy. It is our chief virtue. Mathematics consists largely of generalization, which means making one explanation suffice for a variety of phenomena. Less work, more results!

Pauligon59 said...

I was a software engineer. Whe asked why I went into the field I would say that Iwas lazy because once I had told the computer how to do something correctly, I never had to do it again. Of course, there were lots of 80 and 100 hour work weeks getting the computer to do it correctly