This is a rant. A big RANT.
My boss came up behind me at work, behind the nurse's station, tapped me on the shoulder, and told me not to look at anything on the internet. For the record, I was reading a foster care blog. Also for the record, all of my patient care was done, my patients were both content, and none of my co-workers needed my help. This was the only time I had sat down from 0800 until 1400.
So instead, I sat at the desk and did nothing. Then I mosied over and sat around with other nurses shooting the breeze. One nurse flipped through a magazine. So chit-chatting and magazines are ok when you have down-time, but reading online is not? If I had printed the article and read it from paper, she would have said nothing. What is it about the computer that makes older adults think you're playing? Or management, for that matter. It's like you're playing a nintendo or XBox game, but in reality, you're just reading. It's not practical to think that I will be busy every second of every day. Nor is she, I would be willing to bet. It's because of my commitment to patient care that I spend my "downtime" at the desk. I want to be available to my patient's and my co-workers should they need me.
The feeling of being babysat at work enrages me. Reading is not an inappropriate thing to do at work. My work is always caught up, always current, and I'm always ready at the drop of a hat to help someone out. Being treated like a 10-year-old is quite demoralizing. In 10 years, or maybe 20, I hope that this particular brand of management retires out, and a new group that sees the computer not as a plaything or toy, but simply as another medium for information and material, takes their place. I hope they are replaced by my own generation, people who recognize that we have the ability to multi-task and to organize our day in such a way that we get downtime while still getting our assignments done in a timely manner.
Bottom line, I'm totally capable of reading whilst I wait for the next task that needs to be done. Staring blankly into space or chatting about the latest gossip with co-workers is NOT productive nor does it lead to an informed mind.