The 10 Biggest Office Time-wasters of 2013

by Salary.com Staff - Original publish date: December 11, 2013

What Captured Our Attention When We Should've Been Working?

We know you work hard – most of the time. But let’s face it, very few people can resist the pull of a viral YouTube video.

We already came out with our “Wasting Time at Work” survey earlier this year and you can read the full results there. But as we wrap up 2013, we were curious as to exactly which pieces of content were responsible for the most egregious amounts of lost productivity at work. So we consulted some outside lists, scoured YouTube, and asked around our own office (even though dedicated Salary.com employees would NEVER waste time at work) to see what the top 10 viral video time-wasters were this year.

Make sure your boss isn’t around.

10. The Georgia Tech Welcome Speech

The only thing I remember about my freshman orientation at college is that I met a girl there. Otherwise, it was a completely forgettable mishmash of paperwork, speeches, and clichés. But in August, Georgia Tech sophomore Nicholas Selby vowed not to make the same mistake for this year’s crop of incoming freshmen.

Using the theme music from “2001: A Space Odyssey,” Selby’s voice and gestures grew more animated by the second as he touted the importance of taking advantage of everything Georgia Tech has to offer, as he mentioned Sir Isaac Newton, crushing the shoulders of giants, and building the Iron Man suit all in one speech.

9. Charles Ramsey: From McDonald's to Hero

Whenever a kidnapping victim who was presumed dead is found alive, that’s a big story. But when the guy who helped rescue you is Charles Ramsey, it gets even bigger.

Ramsey was an unassuming guy who was eating a Big Mac on his way home from McDonald’s when he noticed commotion coming from his neighbor’s house next door. When he went to help, he ended up saving kidnapping victim Amanda Berry as well as two other victims. But it was his candid interview in the immediate aftermath that went viral, containing the gem “I knew somethin’ was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man’s arms.”

8. Kai the Hatchet Man

(Warning: this video is raw footage and contains obscenities)

Not to be outdone by Charles Ramsey, a man identifying himself as “Kai” had a news interview that went viral after he, too, saved someone from a criminal.

Kai, a homeless man, was hitchhiking and picked up by a man who soon identified himself as Jesus Christ and tried to run over a pedestrian. In the interview, Kai rambles semi-incoherently and describes how he used a hatchet to stop the man, in between dispensing philosophical advice.

However, Kai was later arrested for allegedly committing a murder in New Jersey.

7. The Russian Meteor

In February, a near-Earth asteroid became a brilliant meteor over Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia. And because everyone in Russia seemed to have a cell phone out or a dashboard camera running at that exact moment, the result was a bevy of really cool shots of the sky lighting up brighter than the sun.

Also, security cameras caught the effects of the shock waves as windows and doors were blown in and buildings damaged by the epic meteor.

6. Titus the Toddler Trick Shot Master

Forget SportsCenter NBA highlights – leave the heavy lifting to a 2-year-old.

Titus is an adorable little kid with a huge talent – shooting basketballs with seemingly impossible accuracy. Offices ground to a halt as employees watched a toddler sink shot after shot. Then the shots began to get tougher and tougher, and eventually Titus was making baskets from buildings 7 stories high in between booking Jimmy Kimmel appearances and meeting celebrities such as Shaquille O’Neal, Bradley Cooper, and Channing Tatum.

5. Jeff Gordon's Test Drive

What do you get when you combine a NASCAR celebrity, a disguise, and a seemingly unsuspecting car salesman? Viral video gold.

Jeff Gordon walks into a car dealership wanting to test drive a Camaro. The car salesman – not recognizing him in his disguise – treats him like a rube. But the joke’s soon on him when the professional driver starts driving way too fast and whipping around corners at breakneck speeds.

The only problem? It wasn’t real and was an ad for Pepsi. But entertaining nonetheless.

4. Twerking Gone Wrong

The Internet seems to have been invented for cat videos and videos of people suffering various mishaps. Which probably explains why this went viral.

As the story goes, a young woman wanted to make a sexy twerking video for her boyfriend. So she sets the camera up and does a handstand against the door while shaking her booty. The only problem was her roommate opened the door and sent her sprawling onto a coffee table filled with burning candles.

But just like the Jeff Gordon video, this one also turned out to be a hoax perpetrated by Jimmy Kimmel.

3. Miley Cyrus at the VMAs

You don’t even have to like music, Miley Cyrus, or care about the Video Music Awards to have seen this one.

You know the story. Former Hannah Montana good girl Miley Cyrus wears almost nothing and twerks provocatively with Robin Thicke at the VMAs amidst large teddy bears and superfluous tongue-wagging. It was dissected like the Zapruder films and, depending on your perspective, was either just another stupid VMA stunt or the end of morality and the universe as we know it.

But either way, everyone stopped to watch this one.

2. The Harlem Shake

Here’s to the most annoying and (thankfully) short-lived Internet fad of 2013 – The Harlem Shake.

There’s not much to it. One person in a group of people dances slowly as the music builds, and suddenly the camera cuts to people FREAKING OUT and dancing and doing God only knows what. Everyone had a Harlem Shake video and they were creative, but the original one stems from a Norwegian Army squad.

You’re lucky if your office merely stopped to watch this for a few minutes, as opposed to creating their own.

1. What Does the Fox Say?

Not only does it have more than 275 million views on YouTube, it won’t leave your head – ever.

No one knows why or exactly how it happened, but this ridiculous song by Norway’s Ylvis blew up 2013 and infiltrated the homes and cubicles of people all over the world. It’s filled with animals and the lyrics include gems such as “Wa-pa-pa-pa-pa-pa-Pow!” and “Hattie, hattie, hattie, ho!” It has a Santa lookalike reading to a small child in the middle of the forest. It makes ZERO sense but…

I must’ve watched it at least 20 times. And I’m clearly not alone.

So that’s our list. It’s not scientific by a longshot and I’m sure there are ones we might’ve missed, so leave your suggestions (with a link to the video if possible) in the comments. Have a great 2014.

Stop Wasting Time, Start Getting Paid

Now that you've seen the best viral videos the Internet has to offer, it's time to stop wasting time and start getting paid. Luckily, Salary.com can help.

The first thing you should do is research, so you're able to come to the table armed with the knowledge of what your job is worth. Use our free Salary Wizard below to find out what's a fair salary for your position. You can enter your location, education level, years of experience and more to find out an appropriate salary range before you negotiate.

Good luck.

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