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    #1

    Smile What are the idiommatic ways to ask ......

    What are the idiommatic ways to ask a person on line whether he or she is working at the moment?

    The context is that I want to know whether he or she is just spending time surfing on the net or working at their office.

  1. RonBee's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: What are the idiommatic ways to ask ......

    Perhaps:
    Are you doing research or are you surfing the 'Net?

    Or:

    Are you on work time or free time?
    ~R

  2. Ouisch's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: What are the idiommatic ways to ask ......

    My boss used to just approach someone and ask, "So, what are you up to?" It was his way of saying "if you're goofing off, I have a project for you." If you were doing legitimate work, you'd explain "I'm finishing the month-end report" and he'd smile and be on his way.

  3. RonBee's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: What are the idiommatic ways to ask ......

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    My boss used to just approach someone and ask, "So, what are you up to?" It was his way of saying "if you're goofing off, I have a project for you." If you were doing legitimate work, you'd explain "I'm finishing the month-end report" and he'd smile and be on his way.
    Yes, but he probably said that in person. What if you are talking to someone who is online and you are curious about whether he is working or he is goofing off?

    ~R

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    #5

    Re: What are the idiommatic ways to ask ......

    I think I misunderstood the question. I thought the employee and the boss were in the same offiice, and the boss noticed that the employee was online and wanted to know if the employee was researching something for work, or was he surfing the 'Net.

    Is the boss at a remote location in the OP's scenario?

  5. RonBee's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: What are the idiommatic ways to ask ......

    Quote Originally Posted by Ouisch View Post
    I think I misunderstood the question. I thought the employee and the boss were in the same offiice, and the boss noticed that the employee was online and wanted to know if the employee was researching something for work, or was he surfing the 'Net.

    Is the boss at a remote location in the OP's scenario?
    Re:
    What are the idiommatic ways to ask a person on line whether he or she is working at the moment?

    The context is that I want to know whether he or she is just spending time surfing on the net or working at their office.
    I didn't realize it before, but maybe it is the boss who wants to know what his/her employee is doing. Apparently the message is to be sent via computer and the boss wants to know:
    "Are you working or are you wasting time?"

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    #7

    Smile Re: What are the idiommatic ways to ask ......

    Thank you for your answers.
    What I mean in my qestion is that I want to know what the person I am chatting with on line is doing.

    One of reasons I want to know this is because if they are doing research or something then I won't bother them.

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    #8

    Re: What are the idiommatic ways to ask ......

    Quote Originally Posted by victor su View Post
    Thank you for your answers.
    What I mean in my qestion is that I want to know what the person I am chatting with on line is doing.

    One of reasons I want to know this is because if they are doing research or something then I won't bother them.
    Perhaps:
    Do you have time to chat?

    Or:

    Are you busy?
    If they are doing something that is work-related that won't wait, most people will probably wait until they are finished with that before responding to an email or IM.

    ~R

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