Are You a Slacker? Your Name May Give You Away

What's in a name? Well, apparently a lot. Names are chosen for the way they sound, or for family significance. Other times they are used to uphold traditions and continue a lineage, for example John Doe Sr. might name his first-born son, John Doe Jr. Others use names as the ultimate form of description. For example, you might name your daughter Autumn because she was born in October, or you may name your child after the city in which she was born or where she was conceived, think Paris Hilton. Once a name is selected the parents hope that their child grows into their name and as they do, people with certain names tend to exhibit certain characteristics.

Any baby name book or online website can let you know what words are associated with what names, further helping to paint the picture of what type of personality will emerge from having certain names. You can go to does your name say about you and in less than ten seconds after punching in your name, the online quiz gives you a description of the type of person you are (sometimes accurate, and sometimes not so accurate). Another method for this type of personality calculator that is popular is numerology. Numerology uses a math-based system where each letter is assigned a number value. As you add up the points for the letters that make up your name, you can see what personality type you fit into. The categories range from leader to teacher to partner to optimist.

Knowing what is behind your name or what it means is great, but it can be bad, if you have certain names, says one British study of workers that found that certain names highlighted the biggest workplace slackers.

Workers Named Biggest Slackers

A recent British study of 5,000 workers found that people named Andy and Sarah were the most likely to call in sick to work just to get the day off, and the most likely to slack off while at work. Other culprits named in this survey to be slackers were employees with the names Steve, Becky, Paul and Anne.

Aside from identifying the names of the biggest slackers at work, this study also determined that the average employee took off three days of work in 2009, due to illness, but that the employee could have easily gone into work for two of those days, questioning the validity of the claimed "sick day."

Also discovered with this survey were the most common excuses given by workers calling in sick. At number one we have, "the car won't start," followed closely by "the kids are sick."

Tools For Slackers

In addition to certain names making you more inclined to be a slacker, there are even tools available now that help slackers take breaks during the workday. Two popular websites, and are designed with the slacker in mind. features various mind-numbing, short, time-wasting tasks and pastimes such as jokes, games, articles, e-cards and more. Mike Kelly, the creator of, does not condone slacking off at work, but he claims that his site helps workers by "using their goof-off time more effectively."

According to Frank Scanlan of the Society for Human Resource Management, "employees do a lot of Web surfing instead of doing their jobs at work," proving just how common slacking in the workplace is.

Maybe Slackers Are On To Something

The term slacker has gotten a bad wrap because it makes others think that the slacker is not doing what is assigned to him, and that makes others fear that the slacker's poor performance will become their problem. On the other hand, there is a school of thought that believes in a concept called organizational slack which feels that some slack is always necessary. Organizational slack essentially means that there is ample time between the start of a project or task and the end to allow for thorough creativity to emerge, and a chance for the employee to deliver quality work through enough time and capacity. If there is no time for anything, then there is no slack, and if there is no slack, things snap and nothing gets done. Similar to a rubber band or spring, some tension is good and expected for proper use and functioning, but too much tension and no slack and the band or spring just snaps and is completely out of commission and no longer of any kind of use.

Some downtime or slack time is expected, and even a good thing to help prevent employee burnout, but finding a balance between fun (slack time) and work (focus time) can be a real challenge, especially for the Andy and Sarahs of the world.

Next:Can your name keep you from getting hired?

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