Madbot’s Workplace Observation – 5 – How to look busy

Posted by Madbot on Jun 8, 2005 in Workplace Observation |

Today we present the different methods at your disposal to appear busy – and hopefully avoid extra work.

The previous workplace obsevations have demonstrated the point that it’s usually not your skills, or talents or anything else really that lead to earning you the big bucks or the recognition. More often, it comes down to dumb luck. But what happens when it is not yet your turn to receive this dumb luck? Are you to suffer the daily insults on your intelligence and swallow the bitter tears as you see others, more suitably called morons, receive their dumb luck (maybe there’s a relationship there) for nothing but wasting everyone’s time and doing bugger all?

Worry not, every dog will have its day. But until it is your day, here’s a few pointers that will help you through your day. Use these jedi mind tricks to conserve your intelligence and energy for when your day comes and it is your turn to shine.

1. Never walk without a document in your hands

People with documents in their hands look like hardworking employees heading for important meetings. People with nothing in their hands look like they’re heading for the canteen. People with a newspaper intheir hand look like they’re heading for the toilet. Above all, make sure you carry loads of stuff home with you at night, thus generating the false impression that you work longer hours than you do.

2. Use computers to look busy

Any time you use a computer, it looks like “work” to the casual observer. You can send and receive personal e-mail, chat and generally have a blast without doing anything remotelyrelated to work. These aren’t exactly the societal benefits that the proponents of the computer revolution would like to talk about but they’re not bad either. When you get caught by your boss – and you *will* get caught — your best defense is to claim you’re teaching yourself to use new software, thus saving valuable training expenses.

3. Messy desk

Top management can get away with a clean desk. For the rest of us, it looks like we’re not working hard enough. Build huge piles of documents around your workspace. To the observer, last year’s work looks the same as today’s work; it’s volume that counts. Pile them high and wide. If you know somebody is coming to your desk, bury the document you’ll need halfway down in an existing stack and rummage for it when he/she arrives.

4. Voice Mail

Never answer your phone if you have voice mail. People don’t callyou just because they want to give you something for nothing – they call because they want YOU to do work for THEM. That’s no way to live. Screen all your calls through voice mail. If somebody leaves a voice mail message for you and it sounds like impending work, respond during lunch hour when you know they’re not there – it looks like you’re hardworking and conscientious even though you’re being a devious weasel.

5. Looking Impatient and Annoyed

Always try to look impatient and annoyed to give your bosses the impression that you are always busy.

6. Leave the office late

Always leave the office late, especially when the boss is still around. You could read magazines and storybooks that you always wanted to read but have no time until late before leaving. Make sure you walk past the boss’ room on your way out. Send important emails at unearthly hours (e.g. 9:35pm, 7:05am, etc.) and during public holidays.

7. Creative Sighing for Effect

Sigh loudly when there are many people around, giving the impression that you are under extreme pressure.

8. Stacking Strategy

It is not enough to pile lots of documents on the table. Put lots of books on the floor etc. (thick computer manuals are the best).

9. Build Vocabulary

Read up on some computer magazines and pickout all the jargon and new products. Use the phrases freely when in conversation with bosses. Remember: They don’t have to understand what you say, but you will sound impressive.

10. Have 2 Jackets

If you work in a big open plan office, always leave a spare jacket draped over the back of your seat. This gives the impression that you are still on the premises. The second jacket should be worn while swanning around elsewhere

11. MOST IMPORTANT:

DON’T forward this to your boss by mistake

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