Some years ago, I worked for a local soda fountain that was attached to a pharmacy. It was a fun job; I got to make lattes, scoop ice cream, meet a variety of interesting people, and wear fancy aprons. There were usually two of us working at a time, which sometimes got cramped because it was a small area, and our flow of customers varied from day to day. Some days, we wouldn't get a single customer through the door. That may seem like the perfect time to sit back and read a book, but company policy required us to be doing something at all times. So, on the particularly slow days, we'd end up cleaning and re-stocking the gift area of the pharmacy, restocking our supplies if needed, cleaning the bathrooms, and an assortment of other odd-jobs that made us look busy. Some could say that we were Boondoggling. Boondoggle is an old word that means "work of little or no value that's done to keep or look busy." Boondoggle has been around for a while, but it's first recorded use was by the New York Herald Tribune on August 3, 1929. However, it didn't really catch on until the New York Times used it on April 4, 1935, as part of a story that talked about how people were creating "boondoggles"; small items of leather, canvas, or rope that the jobless made as a way to keep busy during the Great Depression. Since then, Boondoggle has been a popular way to describe work that has little or no real value. Which, for some of us, could be the equivalent of a Monday. Boondoggle is a noun and can be used as such when writing. Some examples may include:
"This assignment is such a boondoggle! What does the rise in cell phones have to do with 14th century France, anyway?"
"I've done nothing but boondoggle all day! Does management not realize that sorting mail is nowhere near my job description?"
"The store had been empty for days, and there was nothing else for Eliza to do. Her days of boondoggling were over, and her days of waiting had just begun."
To learn more about Boondoggle, visit Merriam-Webster and Dictionary, World Wide Words, and Paper Memories Plus. The photo came from Pinterest.