What: A razor-sharp look at one of the most annoying aspects of office life that still happens in quarantine.
Who: YouTube comedy queen Julie Nolke.
Why we care: On its surface, “Are you busy?” is a yes-or-no question. But there’s so much more to unpack before arriving at an answer.
Who is asking the question: Is it your boss? Your mom? Your best friend?
Why are they asking: Do they need a quick opinion? A long conversation? An in-depth favor?
What happens if you say you’re too busy: Passed up for a promotion? Forfeit favorite-daughter status? Left behind for a more compliant best friend?
This entire decision tree flashes through at least some of our minds instantly, before we ever even get to the matter of whether we’re actually busy or not. Worst of all, it’s the kind of question that people still tend to ask in the Slack channels and Zoom chats of the remote workplace.
The whole agonizing process is brilliantly captured in comedian Julie Nolke’s new video, “Are You Busy?” Playing both the questioner and the questioned, Nolke acts out the entire uneasy dance of this cursed query. In just over two brisk minutes, she manages to pack in so many specific details that it should send shivers up the spines of both office dawdlers and those who rope them into tedious bonus tasks.
Have a look at the full video below. (Hopefully you’ll be able to get through it uninterrupted.)