1. Never walk around without a document:
People with documents look like hardworking employees headed to important meetings. People with nothing in their hands look like they are headed for the cafeteria. People with newspapers in their hands look like they are 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.
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, update Facebook status, chat and have a blast on Twitter and other social networks 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 are not bad either. When you get caught by your boss – and you will get caught – your best defence is to claim that you are teaching yourself to use new software, thus saving valuable training expenses.
3. Have a 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 papers and files 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. Don’t always pick your call and use voicemail:
Rarely pick your call and use voicemail most times. 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 is no way to live. Screen all your calls through voicemail. If somebody leaves a message for you and it sounds like impending work, respond during lunch hour when you know they are not there – it looks like you are hardworking and conscientious even though you’re being a devious weasel.
5. Look impatient and annoyed:
According to George Costanza, you should always try to look impatient and annoyed to give off 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. Make sure you walk past the boss’ room on your way out. Send important e-mail at unearthly hours (i.e. 9:35 p.m., 7:05 a.m., 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. Have a stacking strategy:
It’s not enough to pile documents on the table. Put lots of books on the floor (thick computer manuals are the best), etc.
9. Build your 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 are saying, but you sure sound impressive.
10. Do not forward this to your boss:
Except you have found a new job, do not forward this Gospel to your boss by mistake.
Twitter: @ Femiolas