MANCHESTER. A bored office worker today set a new timewasting record after he read 231 articles on Wikipedia in one eight hour working day. Tom Marsh, 26, estimates the feat took in the region of six and a half hours, and smashed his own record of 157 pages, set last November.
“The key to wasting that amount of time is to not be afraid of just reading about things you actually aren’t that interested in,” Marsh explained. “Just start with something you have a passing interest in, and then take something related to that, and then something related to that, and so on, and so on - until you’re reading about the Scandanavian Welfare Model and you can’t remember why.”
In addition to his new found knowledge on Nordic social policy, Marsh covered a wide variety of subjects including German Bobsledder Andre Lange, the 1958 Fifa World Cup, Cumbia Villera music and the late Lithuanian–American tennis player Vitas Gerulaitis.
“Gerulatis was actually where the whole thing started”, said Marsh. “I was supposed to be balancing some figures on a spreadsheet, then out of nowhere I just had to know who said that quote about not letting anyone beat him 17 times in a row.”
When challenged today on the ethics of his timewasting, Marsh was defiantly unrepentant. “If my bosses didn’t want me to waste time on Wikipedia, they would give me more to do”, he explained. “I complete the work I’m tasked with to an average standard, never more than a week or two after the deadline, and you can’t ask for more than that.”
While Marsh’s grasp of pointless trivia is now unrivalled within the office, Marsh admits he is unable to reveal much of his new knowledge to his colleagues, for fear his timewasting would be discovered and curtailed. “It’s a shame”, Marsh said. “When you learn a new fact, you just want to tell someone. Occasionally I can’t control the urge to tell someone a fact, and when that happens, I usually pretend I heard it on a documentary.”