If you are a worthless employee (and let’s face it, many of you are), here are some tips on making it appear as though you aren’t.
8. Always be punctual
Nobody begrudges a person who is always on time for meetings. If you feel that you may be the unwanted focus of attention during a meeting, feel free to act hostile towards anyone who arrives late – even if only by a minute or two. If you are the organiser of said meeting, close the meeting room door and begin with the timeliness of a Swiss train conductor. All late-comers will invariably interrupt you, taking the focus away from your incompetence:
“So, to recap for Johnson, who was late…again….the work breakdown structure is structured so that the work is broken down into digestible and structured work.”
You will come across as a flustered perfectionist rather than an idiot.
7. Fist bumps
Nobody begrudges the guy who is always fist bumping people. If you appear to be in control of office morale, people will think you are responsible for it. No one wants to fire the guy who promotes so much intra-office touching.
6. Organise frequent meetings
Invite lots of important people to your meetings so that they begin to indirectly associate you with other important people. Keep the subject of the meeting particularly vague and severe-sounding to create an office buzz. Schedule the meeting at least 2 weeks in advance to maximise anticipation.
Subject: discuss organisational needs
Description: we need to talk about this before it becomes a problem
The beauty of this tactic is that in most cases, some blowhard Project Manager will likely hijack the meeting before it starts in an effort to impress all the important people you have assembled. You just need to agree with everything that he says and then gracefully allow him to take over the meeting when it is due to start, claiming that he took the words right out of your mouth.
If this is not the case, see No. 8.
5. Be really good at one useless thing
If you have a temperamental photocopier, become the expert. Make scan email your bitch. If your coffee machine is complex, become the de facto barista. No one knows – or wants to learn – how to work these contraptions. Except you. You need your co-workers to associate you to an indispensable service that is entirely unrelated to job function. If you don’t have such a skill, become the lunch driver or the guy who is always going to the store. Yes, being the guy who brings people soda and cigarettes could be your key to longevity.
4. Keep books on your desk that relate to your boss’s job
If your boss is a Project Manager, buy a couple of Project Management books and keep them on your desk (regardless if you have any ambition to become one). Make him believe that you are taking night courses – but just for fun.
Yeah, Project Management looks all right. Just seeing if it something that I might want to do. But, whatever.
This will make you appear as an unintended threat and as someone who is looking forward career-wise. The perceived competition will impress your boss and make him look at you in a more authoritative way. He may even confide in you when is having a rough day, you know, because you share a common skill, like brothers. Feel free to throw in a No. 7 here.
3. Over communicate
Send out emails about everything that happens in your day. Harass your co-workers over instant messaging about things that may not concern them. Eventually, someone will tell you to stop but in a very polite way:
We love your communicative spirit, but it just isn’t necessary to let us know that you emptied the paper shredder.
This will make you appear to be busy dealing with everyone else’s shit. While they don’t want to hear about it, they will love you for it.
2. Learn Excel
No one knows how to do anything remotely useful in Excel. If need be, take a course. Become the master. Learn how to put together wicked pie charts and graphs (yes, Excel can do that). Learn how to remove the border around all the individual cells so it looks just like a Word document. Learn how to make text read vertically. I hear that Excel can add and shit. Every office has one guy who is really good at this and he is a respected man in good standing. Why not you?
1. Buy two identical jackets
One is for wear and one is for show. Keep one in the coat room and one on the back of your chair. Rotate them frequently so stains and creases change. Also. buy two identical scarves and two very easily distinguishable coffee mugs. You can now come and go as you please. Plausible deniability, my friend.