How To Look Busy (And Still Do Nothing)

(A guide for the government worker)

Written by Lord Lansdowne

Let's be honest, work sucks. More so when the job is ungrateful, the people you serve are snarly and bitter and the only reason you haven't quit is because the cheque helps you pay the bills and keep a roof over your head.

The worse part of work is that there is no such thing as a reward. If you do a good job and you finish quickly, you're simply assigned more work. If you don't, you get scolded, told you're not part of the team, you lack synergy and that you need to crank up on your paradyme. So why bother?

So here are a few tips in order to give your grassroots solutions that healthy looking grow you get only when you dump hefty amounts of manure on it.

  1. Make your desk look like a disaster zone. Post-It notes should be sticked to everything, highlighting IMPORTANT JOBS that NEEDS TO BE DONE. Leave your files all over your desk (never mind if they're empty). Most of all, don't bother to clean it up even when the bosses' brother (someone who would normally be regarded as a 'bitch' in a prison-house and not just because of their incredibly small genitals) comes around wanting everything cleaned because investors are arriving and your desk makes the company look bad. A messy workplace is a sure sign of someone who works very hard at their job.

  2. Don't use e-mail to send out letters to your friends or to exchange drivel. That's the first thing companies monitor. Instead use the phone to talk to friends. Keep a firm, serious concentrated expression and take notes. It makes you look professional.

    E-mail on the other end can be used to spend tons of company time to reply to the much drivel that is sent to your inbox by other workers. Read all of it. And reply to all of it, too. Make sure you use Outlook so you can get viruses, which will crash your workstation allowing you to complain you can't get any work done!

  3. If someone is heading your way with what looks like a job for you or you just want to sound busy as the boss is walking around your department, have a conversation with the phone. Sound very serious but distant. "I'm very busy, I can't do this right now. No, not at all. Just e-mail it to me. Yes, I will check it later."

  4. When I was in high school, our powerful educational leaders put a significantly enourmous effort in preventing skipping. They implemented monitor halls, hall passes and hefty punishments for those that were caught roaming in the school in a vague attempt at escape. Allied prisoners in Stalag 3 had a better chance at escaping and we didn't even have the Hermann G?ring 5th Panzer Division watching over us.

    To get around this tiny problem of getting caught (before making our own falsified hall passes which looked more official than the official ones) I would just walk slowly and methodically with a few sheets of tabulated paper through the school, greeting in a friendly manner all the hall monitors that I would encounter. Nobody ever stopped me to question what I was doing.

    When you're planning in going out of the office to get another coffee or just because you want to go shopping or to the bank, leave the office with an important looking envelope or several files under your arm. Walk quickly and seriously, greeting people with a quick "Hey."

    If you pretend do be doing something even when you're not supposed to, people will automatically assume you should and will not question you.

  5. Write big words on file folders, to emphasize how URGENT a task is and how soon something is DUE. If companies send you documents or products to examine, make sure you leave their huge stacks of corporate propaganda on your desk.

    Your "TO DO" box should be filled, but your "DONE" box should be overflowing with files (never mind that they're empty).

  6. Always look preoccupied and busy with a task. Walk really quickly through the office and if someone starts talking to you "Not now, I'm swamped. E-mail me, I'll get back to you as soon as it is humanly possible!" All those deadlines, I tell ya.

  7. Get to work slightly before everyone else. Make yourself look a bit stressed (undue your tie or mess up your hair a bit). Each time someone from your department arrives (especially your boss), look at them, look at your watch and then back at them with a look of disbelief and disgust. Increase exponentially for each minute late they arrive.

    Maintain this look of "I have pulled an all-nighter and you just arrive now, don't you dare give me any shit."

    If you happen to be late, nobody will say a thing.

  8. If there is a job that requires someone to go out, take it. Nobody will know how long it takes you to get there, so why rush?

  9. Write an article on how to look busy and still do nothing with a serious, determined look while occasionally taking reference from some random document. You're busy, damn it!

So there you have it. These few simple tips will keep you from being picked from the boss and getting labelled as the lazy one that doesn't want to tackle a challenge. You'll look like someone that really cares and (if you are like me) they'll be glad they managed to hire you for real cheap just because you were desperate enough to take the job.