How you can make an art from be­ing lazy

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Leisure -

WORK is a four-let­ter word. This holds true for those of us who are ef­fort dis­in­clined, or put more sim­ply, lazy.

But have you ever felt you are work­ing too hard, for too long, for too lit­tle?

Well be­fore you pour out your grief, you have to con­tend with those peo­ple who give far less than what they get in the form of re­mu­ner­a­tion.

They are called “bosses.” They are likely to la­bel you as lazy when you may be ex­er­cis­ing your rights in “ra­tioning pro­duc­tion.”

We must ad­mit though that there are some who spoil things for the rest of us by be­ing bla­tantly lazy.

They de­serve to be frozen, down­graded or bet­ter still, “right-sized,” yes, I mean re­trenched!

For­tu­nately, there seems to be a way around this prob­lem. Psy­chol­o­gists and ex­perts in the art of de­cep­tion (cheats) have stud­ied ac­tiv­i­ties that on the sur­face give the im­pres­sion that one can be a sure can­di­date for be­ing “Worker of the Year” when in ac­tual fact they are just laz­ing around.

Here are tried and tested strate­gies for cre­at­ing the false im­pres­sion that one was “work­ing hard”.

Keep it con­fi­den­tial. An over en­thu­si­as­tic former col­league for­warded them to his boss’s e-mail ad­dress by mis­take. As they say, he is now his­tory.

But then I di­gress. One should never walk down the cor­ri­dor with­out a doc­u­ment in his or her hands.

Peo­ple with doc­u­ments in their hands look like hard­work­ing em­ploy­ees head­ing for im­por­tant meet­ings, when they are not.

Those with noth­ing in their hands look like they’re head­ing for the can­teen. When hold­ing a news­pa­per in your hands, you look like you’re head­ing for the toi­let.

Above all, make sure you carry loads of stuff home with you at night, thus gen­er­at­ing the ruse that you work longer hours than you ac­tu­ally do, though, of course, it would be hard to jus­tify a claim for those ex­tra hours. This is one is my favourite…

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-mails, cal­cu­late your finances 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 your boss catches you, and you “will” get caught, your best de­fence is to claim you’re teach­ing your­self to use new soft­ware, thus sav­ing the com­pany valu­able train­ing dol­lars.

Top man­age­ment can get away with a clean desk. For the rest of us, it looks like you’re not work­ing hard enough.

Build huge piles of doc­u­ments around your workspace

For this rea­son, a friend’s of­fice looks as if it was on the path of Cy­clone Eline.

To the ca­sual ob­server, last year’s work looks much the same as to­day’s work; it’s vol­ume that count. Pile them high and wide.

If you know some­body is com­ing to your of­fice or cu­bi­cle, bury the doc­u­ment you’ll find halfway down in an ex­ist­ing stack and rum­mage for it when they ar­rive.

Never an­swer your phone 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 re­cep­tion.

If some­body leaves a mes­sage for you and it sounds like im­pend­ing work, re­spond dur­ing lunch hour when you know they’re not there.

You see, one can never tell what time the mes­sage was left. It will look as if you’re hard­work­ing and con­sci­en­tious even though you’re be­ing a de­vi­ous mam­para.

If you dili­gently em­ploy the method of screen­ing in­com­ing calls and then re­turn­ing calls when no­body is there, this will greatly in­crease the odds that the caller will give up or look for a solution that doesn’t in­volve you.

One should also al­ways try to look im­pa­tient and an­noyed to give your bosses the im­pres­sion that you are al­ways busy.

Speak fast, and stand at the door, ready to rush back to your of­fice. Even pick up the phone when he comes into your of­fice and look en­grossed in a busi­ness call.

That gives the im­pres­sion that it will re­sult in mil­lions of dol­lars flow­ing into the com­pany ac­count.

Ap­pear to work late Al­ways leave the of­fice late, es­pe­cially when the boss is still around. You could tackle mag­a­zines and nov­els that you al­ways wanted to read or surf the In­ter­net but had no time un­til late be­fore leav­ing.

Make sure you walk past the boss’s of­fice on your way out. Send im­por­tant e-mails at un­earthly hours (e.g. 9:35PM, 2:05AM, etc.) and dur­ing week­ends and pub­lic hol­i­days and make sure the boss sees the copies, with the times high­lighted for ex­tra ef­fect.

“Cre­ative Sigh­ing for Ef­fect” strat­egy also works won­ders

Sigh loudly when there are many peo­ple around, giv­ing the im­pres­sion that you are very hard pressed.

It is not enough to pile lots of doc­u­ments on the ta­ble. Put lots of books on the floor. You can al­ways bor­row from the li­brary. Thick com­puter man­u­als are the best. This is known as the ‘stack­ing’ strat­egy.

Al­ways make sure you build on your vo­cab­u­lary, or more ac­cu­rately, su­per­flu­ous word­ing that can be thrown around lib­er­ally. Sounds more like a po­lit­i­cal speech, a lot of hot air sig­ni­fy­ing to­tally noth­ing.

To achieve this, read up on some le­gal jour­nals and pick out all the jar­gon. Use it freely when in con­ver­sa­tion with bosses and it will sure knock them for six. They won’t have to un­der­stand what you say but, ipso facto, you will surely sound im­pres­sive.

Fi­nally, and most im­por­tantly, a friendly warn­ing: don’t for­ward this to your boss by mis­take. What do you mean YOU are the boss?

Build­ing huge piles of doc­u­ments around your workspace makes one seem busy

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