10. Never walk without a document -- People with documents look
like hardworking employees headed to important meetings. People
with nothing in their hands look like they're headed for the cafeteria.
People with a newspaper in their hand look like they're headed
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 really do.
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 have a blast without doing
anything remotely related 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 dollars.
Messy desk -- only 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 cubicle, bury the document you'll need halfway down in
an existing stack and rummage for it when he/she arrives.
Voice mail -- Never answer your phone if you have voice mail.
People don't call you 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 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.
Look impatient and annoyed -- According to George Costanza, one
should also always try to look impatient and annoyed to give off
the impression that you're always busy.
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. Make sure you walk past the boss'
room on your way out. Send important e-mails at unearthly hours
(i.e. 9:35pm, 7:05am, etc.) and during public holidays.
Creative sighing for effect -- Sigh loudly when there are many
people around, giving the impression that you are under extreme
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).
Build vocabulary -- Read up on some computer magazines and pick
out 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 sure sound impressive.
MOST IMPORTANT -- DON'T forward this to your boss by mistake!
is a factory in Northern Minnesota which makes the Tickle Me Elmo
toys. The toy laughs when you tickle it under the arms. Well,
Lena is hired at The Tickle Me Elmo factory and she reports for
her first day promptly at 8:00 AM.
The next day at 8:45 AM there is a knock at the Personnel Manager's
door. The Foreman throws open the door and begins to rant about
the new employee. He complains that she is incredibly slow and
the whole line is backing up, putting the entire production line
The Personnel Manager decides he should see this for himself,
so the 2 men march down to the factory floor. When they get there
the line is so backed up that there are Tickle Me Elmo's all over
the factory floor and they're really beginning to pile up. At
the end of the line stands Lena surrounded by mountains of Tickle
She has a roll of plush red fabric and a huge bag of small marbles.
The 2 men watch in amazement as she cuts a little piece of fabric,
wraps it around two marbles and begins to carefully sew the little
package between Elmo's legs.
The Personnel Manager bursts into laughter. After several minutes
of hysterics he pulls himself together and approaches Lena. "I'm
sorry," he says to her, barely able to keep a straight face,
"but I think you misunderstood the instructions I gave you
job is to give Elmo two test tickles."
I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if
I fail to get the position. Be prepared for my mood.
You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out
of the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn't have received
anything at all.
Sorry to have missed you but I am at the doctors having my brain
removed so that I may be promoted to management.
I will be unable to delete all the unread, worthless emails you
send me until I return from vacation on 4/18. Please be patient
and your mail will be deleted in the order it was received.
Thank you for your email. Your credit card has been charged $5.99
for the first ten words and $1.99 for each additional word in
The e-mail server is unable to verify your server connection and
is unable to deliver this message. Please restart your computer
and try sending again.'(The beauty of this is that when you return,
you can see how many in-duh-viduals did this over and over).
Thank you for your message, which has been added to a queuing
system. You are currently in 352nd place, and can expect to receive
a reply in approximately 19 weeks.
Hi. I'm thinking about what you've just sent me. Please wait by
your PC for my response.
Hi! I'm busy negotiating the salary for my new job. Don't bother
to leave me any messages.
I've run away to join a different circus.
"If you're going to work here
young man, " said the boss, "the number two thing you
must learn is that we are very keen on cleanliness in this firm."
"Did you wipe your feet on the mat as you came in?"
"Oh, yes, sir." responded the young man. "And another
thing the number one thing we are very keen on is truthfulness.
There is no mat." said the boss.
You Get Caught Sleeping at Your Desk
They told me at the blood bank this might happen.
This is just a 15 minute power-nap like they raved about in the
last time management course you sent me to.
Whew! Guess I left the top off the liquid paper.
I wasn't sleeping! I was meditating on the mission statement and
envisioning a new paradigm!
This is one of the seven habits of highly effective people!
I was testing the keyboard for drool resistance.
Actually I'm doing a "Stress Level Elimination Exercise Plan"
(SLEEP). I learned it at the last mandatory seminar you made me
I was doing a highly specific Yoga exercise to relieve work related
Darn! Why did you interrupt me? I had almost figured out a solution
to our biggest problem.
The coffee machine is broken.
is an actual job application that a 17 year old boy submitted
to McDonald's in Florida... and they hired him because he was
so honest and funny!
Not yet. Still waiting for the right person.
POSITION: Company's President or Vice President. But seriously,
whatever's available. If I was in a position to be picky, I wouldn't
be applying here in the first place.
SALARY: $185,000 a year plus stock options and a Michael Ovitz
style severance package. If that's not possible, make an offer
and we can haggle.
POSITION HELD: Target for middle management hostility.
Less than I'm worth.
NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT: My incredible collection of stolen pens and
FOR LEAVING: It sucked.
AVAILABLE TO WORK: Any.
HOURS: 1:30-3:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday.
YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL SKILLS?: Yes, but they're better suited to
a more intimate environment.
WE CONTACT YOUR CURRENT EMPLOYER?: If I had one, would I be here?
YOU HAVE ANY PHYSICAL CONDITIONS THAT WOULD PROHIBIT YOU FROM
LIFTING UP TO 50 LBS?: Of what?
YOU HAVE A CAR?: I think the more appropriate question here would
be "Do you have a car that runs?"
YOU RECEIVED ANY SPECIAL AWARDS OR RECOGNITION?: I may already
be a winner of the Publishers Clearing house Sweepstakes.
YOU SMOKE?: On the job no, on my breaks yes.
WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE DOING IN FIVE YEARS?: Living in the Bahamas
with a fabulously wealthy dumb sexy blonde super model who thinks
I'm the greatest thing since sliced bread. Actually, I'd like
to be doing that now.
YOU CERTIFY THAT THE ABOVE IS TRUE AND COMPLETE TO THE BEST OF
YOUR KNOWLEDGE?: Yes. Absolutely.
To Have Fun in the Workplace
Page yourself over the intercom. Don't disguise your voice.
Find out where your boss shops and buy exactly the same outfits.
Wear them one day after you boss does. This is especially effective
if your boss is of a different gender than you.
up nicknames for all your coworkers and refer to them only by
these names. "That's a good point, Sparky." "No,
I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to disagree with you there, Cha-Cha."
e-mail to the rest of the company telling them exactly what you're
doing. For example: "If anyone needs me, I'll be in the bathroom."
your shoes. Tell people you haven't lost them as much since you
sitting at your desk, soak your fingers in Palmolive liquid. Call
mosquito netting around your cubicle. When you emerge to get coffee
or a printout or whatever, slap yourself randomly the whole way.
a chair facing a printer. Sit there all day and tell people you're
waiting for your document.
time someone asks you to do something, anything, ask them if they
want fries with that.
e-mail back and forth to yourself engaging yourself in an intellectual
debate. Forward the mail to a co-worker and ask her to settle
your colleagues to join you in a little synchronized chair-dancing.
your trash can on your desk. Label it "IN."
an unnatural and hysterical fear of staplers.
e-mail messages saying there's free pizza or donuts or cake in
the lunchroom. When people drift back to work complaining that
they found none, lean back, pat your stomach and say, "oh
you've got to be faster than that.
decaf in the coffeemaker for three weeks. Once everyone has withdrawn
from caffeine addiction, switch to espresso.