Thursday, March 17, 2011
I forgot to run this post last year, but the lessons remain the same. I'm taking the day off to watch hoops because I am a patriot. If you are working, here is a guidebook on how to get through the day.
One of the main questions that I'm asked, when people inquire about my blog, is "how do you get away with blogging at work." My answer is always a simple yet purposely unspecific and mysterious "I have a system." Today, I announce to the world my tips on how to blog/dick around/watch the tournament on the internet while still remaining an employee and "earning" a paycheck (which ironically, I have slowed down on during business hours since this post initially ran in 2008).
We all remember the episode of Seinfeld where George says that he doesn't have a lot of responsibilities during the offseason (after his promotion to traveling secretary) and fools everyone by constantly looking annoyed. Well, with the NCAA Tournament tipping off today, you all will be in the same boat of following/watching games online. I will not be, seeing that I wisely requested these two days off months ago, but I'm here to help. You don't care about being productive at your job over the next two days so stop trying to fool everybody. You care about Butler taking Old Dominion to overtime and the strong desire not to have your bracket busted/nailing an upset. We all know it. Hell, even your employer knows it. So here are some tips that will not only leave you unbothered by "the man", but also give you a heightened sense of self-worth since you just got paid to do nothing.
Just to clarify, I work in a cube right next to my boss. The only thing protecting me and my ability to do as little as possible and the person that wants me to maximize my time is a thin cubicle wall. Considering that this blog is still updated daily, I'm sort of an expert on this (nice job becoming an expert at a skill that couldn't possibly garner any compensation, ass). Not all of these tactics will work for you and I understand that. My mission here is just to give you guidance, a manifesto if you will, on things you can do to avoid being hassled while you stream a potential 2/15 upset in the Southeast Region. They have all worked for me in the past. They will continue to work no matter the office setting.
And thus, GMoney's addendum to The Slacker's Digest For Always Appearing Busy At Work.
1. Subtle Swearing - I use this one about 3-4 times/day. I think that a barely audible "dammit" or "shit" coming out of your work space shows your boss that annoyance factor that Costanza so expertly described.
2. Banging The Mouse - I don't like this one as much but it is still in my arsenal. It's simple, just pick up your mouse and hit against the mouse pad a couple of times. It showcases your frustration toward the speed of your computer and that you are trying to get your "work" done as quickly as possible.
3. Fake Typing - This is for the true amateurs and the over-confident experts. I am a paranoid employee and I always feel that the boss is listening to me and timing how long it has been since I've typed anything. Thus, throwing out a few fake types makes it look like you're still working on files even though you're reading a gigantic and typo-laced Monday Morning QB article.
4. Always Ask Questions - I recommend this the most for today's hoops festivities. When a game is at a timeout or something and you haven't made so much as a sound in the last hour, just go over to your boss and ask a work-related question. Now be careful, you don't want it to be such a deep question that they come over to your station to help you out. Make it simple enough that they don't have to leave their desk yet understand that you have an honest business-related hang up. Even if you already know the answer to it before you ask, still do it because fooling your boss is half the battle. The other half is, of course, not screaming a string of obscenities when one of your Final Four teams is upset in the first round.
5. Fake Phone Call - I've tried this a few times and if you can get over the silliness of the situation, it is a great way to fake work. You don't even need to dial a number, just pick up the phone and carry on a short conversation with a dial tone. In my job, you can't do much real work without being on the phone, so a fake call can do wonders.
6. Deep Sighs/Growls/Clearing Your Throat - I've been using this as my go-to move recently. It kind of goes along with #1 in which you want ANY noise coming from your cube to be heard. What is the point of making a fake annoyed grunt if no one hears it? A sigh shows that you're having a long day while the low "grrrrr" tells the world not to bother you for the moment. When I pull out the growl, my boss ALWAYS asks FROM HER DESK, "Are you OK?" My reply is a firm, "Yes, this is just so frustrating." Which the boss replies with an "I hear ya." It works every time and I can go back to posting snarky comments on some random blog.
7. Keep Your Ears On A Swivel - This is the absolute most crucial thing that you have to take away from this piece of getting away with not doing any real work...ALWAYS BE AWARE OF YOUR SURROUNDINGS. If you hear your boss get up from their desk, minimize the damn internet window. If you hear footsteps approaching, exit out of the NSFW sites. If your co-workers are being kind of loud around your cube and you can't tell where your boss is, for God's sake put your pants back on. I can't stress this point enough. It is vital that you always know what's going on around you.
8. No Apologies - I've been caught before. During one of my marathon blog sessions, I failed to hear my boss coming and she caught me mid-post. She asked me to stop blogging because we need to get some work done today. A valid point, but my reply was just a simple "OK". Do not apologize no matter what. Chances are that your boss isn't working the entire 8 hours that they are there either. So just accept that you got caught in the act and move on. Your boss will go away almost immediately anyway and you get back to your epic post on why Cal Ripken is an overrated piece of crap. If you're like me, you're underpaid so if they can't handle you being on the internet for a few minutes at a time, they can go to Hell.
One more bit of advice that doesn't qualify as a practice, but definitely should be practiced. When you come into your office/place of employment today and tomorrow, don't immediately start talking hoops. You don't want it to be known publicly how much you love college basketball. Let them figure that out. There is no need to draw unwanted attention toward you and your desire to follow the Madness all afternoon.
Guys, I've done my part. If you are stuck at work the next two days, you now have a Slacking For Dummies guide to help you be all the hoops fans that you can be. These tactics will work. You just have to trust me. Enjoy the games and remember what our old pal George Costanza once said: "It isn't a lie, if you believe it." If you believe that you deserve to follow hoops all day, than by God, go do it.