Imagine you're in a large jet on a long route on a major airway -- say, for example, you're in a 747 going LHR-JFK at night. It's dark, you're over the Atlantic, and ATC has cleared you to just keep on heading along at FL330 (or equivalent) for another ~1500 nautical miles.
As it has throughout much of the flight, the autopilot is effectively flying the plane. There's nothing on the weather radar, no adverse meteorological effects expected, and ATC ensures that aircraft are well separated. In short, other than occasionally changing radio frequencies, there is very little for you to do.
Just a week ago, you were in the simulator, practicing spin recovery, instrumentation inop procedures, engine failures epsilon before V1, and all sorts of other fun things that required your attention. In your spare time, you're a private pilot and enjoy flying VFR at lower altitudes with the occasional bit of aerobatics mixed in, and practicing what to do in all sorts of rare eventualities at odd attitudes. In other words, you like flying planes. Now, your job is to check that the sophisticated flight computers are still flying this plane, and that ATC have done their job properly. They are, and they have. For the next few hours, you're going to be doing nothing but sitting in a chair watching blackness roll past. You can't even talk to the guy next to you about the weather -- there isn't any!
How do long-haul pilots cope with boredom on long, uneventful segments? Is my above scenario completely not plausible (aside from the lack of weather) -- is there always something meaningful to do during a 7+ hour long flight? I would expect that pilot boredom or distraction would be a safety-critical situation, yet I cannot imagine a situation that involves two humans sitting in chairs in a small room for a long period of time where they will not be bored or distracted at some point.
Do airline transport pilots ever "hope" for "something interesting" to happen?