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PostHeaderIcon 10 “Working Hard” Commandments


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 cafeteria. People with a newspaper in their 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 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.

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 cubicle, 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

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 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: According to George Costanza, one should

also 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


9) 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.

10) Most Important: Don’t forward this to your boss by mistake!!!

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