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I work in a small office (three people usually) and I am fairly new (here less than three months). In general, I have things to do or can pester my boss to either give me something to do or make the judgement call to send me home (I'm part time).
On the few occasions I've tried to do things on my own, he's usually come down pretty hard about doing things on my own without confirming with him first. (Even when they were things he approved of, he would rather I come to him first.)
So today, I finished up with my project pretty early (it's been a slow week), and my boss and coworker were going out for a meeting. I told them I wouldn't have much to do, because I was wrapping up. They told me to stay and man the phones.
Unfortunately, in this case, I was kind of at a loss for what to do. I've run around the workbenches and put all the tools back in place, I've wrapped up all the spare Cat 5s (it's that kind of office), put them back in the bins and I've vacuumed. I know rummaging around on the Stack Exchange network probably isn't what my boss intended, but I thought I'd ask The Workplace if anyone had had an experience like this.
What should I do when my boss explicitly says he has nothing for me to do?