Don't act like you've never done it. It was definitely a boondoggle. You may have just called it something else. A "business trip"? "Offsite meeting? "Research Mission"? Yeah, right. I saw you with that nine iron in your hand. The only thing you were researching was the slope of the green to gauge where to put your approach shot. Shame on me? No sir, shame on your for not being able to honest with yourself. Remember, "to thine own self be true" also means that your out-of-office auto reply should act in kind and should read "I will not have access to email at this time because I'm having an awesome day". If you're one of the les miserables lucky enough to be shackled to an iphone or Blackberry, you should write "I will be checking email periodically but response will be delayed". Hey, you didn't lie. Response WILL be delayed. There's a good chance that it will be VERY delayed in fact. But at least the person who sent you the note knows that you care enough to read their message. This also means periodically that you look down at your handheld and see if anybody emailed you. If nobody did, consider your 2 seconds of work meaningful enough to place it back in your pocket. How noble of you to have checked in. Crack a little smile. You keep the engine of the American economy running. Oh, and there's trouble at the back, so you might want to think about pulling a wedge.
I'm not blaming you. Everybody needs one now and then. It addresses that key human trait of feeling that we're getting away with something while we should be doing something else. i guess it's just the Ferris Buellerness in all of us that just begs to be satisfied. Just don't come back to the office in January with a great tan when you were supposed to be in meetings all day at the LA branch. That's just not kosher and you will be suspect. My tip, find an insignificant day where your absence will not be noticed or noted and do something that is A) Way Super fun and B) has no chance of ever being found out. Golf is the standard but don't play on Friday. That's too obvious. You'll find yourself on every tee box waiting for the people in front of you, who should be doing something else just like you, waiting for somebody else that should be sitting at a desk to finally sink their putt. Friday golf boondoggles are the Delorian of the boondoggle. So 1980's. Way to go Mr.Bond, you took a Friday and played the same course you always do. You will inevitably shoot a 71 and be able to tell absolutely nobody about it. If you insist on being cliche, don't play at the local course. Too many potential witnesses. Play the course a few towns over that you've always wanted to try but never had the time until a random Tuesday came up in the middle of August. August is a great boondoggle month. It's warm, the weather is usually cooperative and it's a long month. 31 days with 21 chances. Waterpark on a wednesday? who goes to a waterpark on a wednesday? Smart boondogglers.
Of course all of these rules no longer apply when you involve your boss. Better yet, it's even better when you get somebody else to pay for it. Better still, you are so confident in your boondoggle that you print t-shirts, advertise what you are up to on a jumbotron, and then blog about it. That is ballsy boondoggling, my friend. But that's how you do it in the pros.
9/10/08: Milwaukee Brewers v. Cincinnati Reds 1:05pm 71 degrees. Brewers 4 Reds 3.
The Hot Dog won the Sausage Race. I know, because I was there.