The Zakota Syndrome – Sitting Idle At Workplace

What is the relationship between a two decades old TV series catchphrase (about which the world has no idea) and sitting idle at workplace?

Back in the 90’s, the only local state-operated TV channel of Pakistan (PTV) aired a TV series for kids, by the title of Ainak Wala Jinn (means Genie with Glasses). The main character, Nastoor, was a genie who wears glasses because his eye sight was weak. The series was about his adventures in our world with his sidekick Zakota.

Nastoor and Zakota.jpg

Honestly speaking, I didn’t liked that series at all as I considered it as childish. I was in 8th or 9th grade when the series went on air and watching a TV series about genies didn’t clicked my mind. But guess what? That series was a mega-hit among Pakistani kids and it ran for couple of seasons.

So I was talking about those 2 genies: Nastoor (the one with glasses) and Zakota (his sidekick). What I do remember to this day was the catchphrase of Zakota which goes like this (in my native language Urdu):

Mujhy Kaam Btao, Mein Kya Karon, Mein Kis Ko Khao.

Translation: Give Me The Work, What Should I Do, Who Should I Eat.

No Work

By now, topic of this post and that catchphrase must have made some connection to you. If not, then let me elaborate:

How many hours you spend at work each day? I’m asking how much time do you really spend on work while you are in office.

Let me give you my example. My working hours are from 8am to 5:30pm local time, 5 days a week. My job is to provide support to the production guys along with handling out other production related tasks. Some days for me are filled up with work straight from 8:10am till 5pm. I have to force myself for tea and lunch break on such days.

On the other hand, some days are quite the opposite. I may enjoy hour long tea and lunch breaks. I may spend more time on doing some “unofficial” tasks.

So in those no-work days, that catchphrase (Give Me The Work, What Should I Do, Who Should I Eat) circles my mind. Here is what I conceive of this catchphrase:

Give Me The Work

You would agree to this: to live, you need to earn and to earn, you need to work.Triangle

Come on, this is what the entire world is doing right now. You and me are no exception (or may be you are but I’m not). As an adult and educated person, you need the necessities of life to live on. For this, you are required to earn some cash before you can buy what you need and in order to earn that cash, you have to work. A simple 3 stage cycle or triangle it is.

So, if you have a white collar job, every weekday in office means you would perform your routine tasks. Beside those, your manager may give some additional tasks and if manageable by you, you will work on those as well. So getting more work beside what you normally do is either good or bad, depends upon how you perceive it. If you have finished up all you day’s work before lunch hour, then you may want to take rest of the day off. But if no such policy is stated by your company, you are stuck till off-time.

What Should I Do

So here comes the 2nd phase. After finding out that you have nothing to do till off-time, you have the following choices:

  • You get up from your seat, go to your manager’s room and asked him/her to give you some work – A good idea this is (if you love to work and want to increase up your ranking in front of your manager) but at the same time, a bad one also (if you think that you have already done enough work in a day). Your manager may tell you to make a presentation for him or reply to emails on his/her behalf and so on. The possibilities are limitless here.
  • You stay at your desk, avoiding all sort of contacts with your manager, you pretending like you have so much workload which will last eternity (this is bit tricky as you have stay alert, constantly watching your surroundings for any unexpected tours by your manager).
  • You may ask one of your colleagues to share his/her workload with you (but this may turn into your worst nightmare later as that particular colleague may direct all his/her upcoming tasks to you or worst, he/she may inform your manager about you sitting idle in your cubicle).

So pick wisely from above mention scenarios. You may create your choice, which suits you better.

No Work Zone

Who Should I Eat

Just like an empty stomach can’t be left empty for long, an empty human brain also filling up on regular basis. Yes I know, that human brain works round the clock, 24/7, even if we are sleeping but our brain is most active when we are doing some work, engaged in some activity, no matter where we do it.

Empty Brain

Imagine yourself sitting on a chair in an empty room. A giant wall clock in front of you is your only companion. There is no other object in the room beside chair you are sitting on and that wall clock. The room door will open automatically when clock hits 5:30pm. You can’t open the door from inside nor it can be open from outside. Its 11am and every passing minute seems like an hour, an hour like eternity. This is only increasing your blood pressure as all of your thinking is only focused on: why in the world time is not passing fast enough?

Time Not Passing

And this is how an empty brain feels like. Not only your brain feels hungry, your stomach might also call out for some filling. In moments like these, you will feel like eating up whatever comes your way.


So, if you are having one of those no-work-at-all day in office, you can use following practices to fill up your empty brain or to basically just pass time till closing hour:

  • If you had breakfast at home before you left office, enjoy a second breakfast in office cafeteria too.
  • Enjoy multiple coffee/tea/snacks break throughout the day
  • Stay connected with the world by checking your Facebook wall, Twitter tweets and all other social accounts you have (if checking them up on your workstation, just make sure to keep your left hand on the keyboard’s alt+tab key to switch back immediately)
  • One hour lunch break can be extended to two hours
  • Chat with your colleagues on all unofficial related topics
  • Play your favorite online games

And this is what is a Zakota Syndrome is. You may “suffer” from it on a weekday in your office and if that happens, now you know what to do.

Added for The Daily Post’s Genie


12 thoughts on “The Zakota Syndrome – Sitting Idle At Workplace

  1. calmkate October 22, 2019 / 6:04 PM

    lol I go ask for work … if I’m being paid I prefer to be productive!

    Can see why it’s popular πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hammad Rais October 23, 2019 / 11:57 AM

      Being productive and earning some cash by doing what one loves to do is certainly wonderful.
      But I do know folks who force themselves to be productive, without any heart, to earn a paycheck every month.

      Liked by 1 person

    • calmkate October 23, 2019 / 4:12 PM

      that can be both tiring on the person and unfair on the workplace, better if we can change our attitude to one of gratitude for the job … so many don’t have one!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Patty April 28, 2016 / 11:44 AM

    You work to live, not the other way around. I’m a strong believer you should love your work, so if you get bored, somethings not right. If you can’t fill your day with projects/tasks to do, then something is not right either.
    Finding a good balance can be difficult πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hammad Rais April 28, 2016 / 11:46 AM

      Yes, you are right. I may ask my manager to hand me a task when I’m free. But this happens seldom.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Miriam April 28, 2016 / 9:07 AM

    I can see why this post was so popular. I’m sure a lot of people could relate to this. Me too, back in my office administration days!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hammad Rais April 28, 2016 / 10:41 AM

      Hahaha, thanks for checking it out! I still go through days like these in my office, so this post will stay relevant to me as long as I’m sitting in my cubicle everyday πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

    • Miriam April 28, 2016 / 10:44 AM

      Yeah, I imagine it will. πŸ™‚ Have fun.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Hammad Rais April 27, 2016 / 4:09 PM

    Reblogged this on Blog of Hammad Rais and commented:

    Exactly a year ago, I published a post on my blog about those individuals who show up everyday in their offices for work but instead welcomed by boredom. All those 9 to 5 workers (including me) goes through this many times and we don’t know what to do when this happens. So on one such day, I wrote up a post for those people and published it here.

    Back then, I had no idea that this post of mine will become my #1 viewed post!

    That’s right. This post holds the record of my most viewed post and it is still going strong.

    If you are sitting idle in your office these days, then this post is for you, my friend.


    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s