lifehacks

Seven Work Hacks for the Modern Office

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Believe it or not, no actual work has been accomplished at this desk in over six months.

Let’s face it: you’re lazy as hell. You know it. I know it. You don’t want your coworkers to know it. But what’s your lazy ass to do, right? This is America. You  can’t climb the corporate ladder without sweating a little, right? Wrong. You don’t have to work harder to keep your job and get promoted. You just have to not work smarter. Follow these seven simple tips, and I promise you’ll be well on your way to achieving the American Dream of getting paid way more than you deserve.

  1. Make use of the 80/20 rule. I’m not talking about the idea that 80% of your results come from 20% of your work. I’m talking about how 20% of the time you should make a big show of busting your ass, and then the other 80% you can do nothing. People are natural generalizers. It’s instinct. We try to notice patterns because it’s often inefficient to try to get to the truth of the matter by collecting enough data. You can take advantage of this by giving off the appearance of a pattern of hard work. Once people get that impression of you, you’ll have to fuck up pretty badly to get them to think anything else. As hard as this may sound, I’d recommend really doing a stellar job on your first project. Do way more than is necessary and in such a way that people really take notice. Make a presentation that wasn’t asked for. Stay in the office until everyone has left. Show up before everyone else. Then, after your reputation is established, come in late, leave early and do whatever the fuck you want. Now, I can already hear your objection. “Buhh…but I’m lazy. I don’t want to have to do that.” Not to worry. Where there’s a lack of will, there’s a prescription, which leads me to Tip 2.
  2. You now have ADHD. Go to a psychiatrist and get yourself an ADHD diagnosis. It’s not hard and if your shrink doesn’t think it’s the right one, shop around. This is important for two reasons. First, it will get you an Adderall prescription. Adderall is the best. If they want to prescribe you some other drug or, god forbid, behavioral therapy, shop around. You might be able to weasel your way into the right drug by claiming allergies, but it’s probably easier to just go to another doctor. Adderall is useful for those times when you’re busting your ass to give the appearance of being a hard worker to establish a good reputation you can later take advantage of. You probably wouldn’t be reading this article if that sort of behavior came naturally, so why not make it come unnaturally instead? Trust me, this shit will make you a bionic work cyborg from the planet Allnightus. You’ll actually enjoy doing work. It will make even the most mundane, pointless shit seem impossibly interesting. Sound good? Good.
    The breakfast of champions.

    The breakfast of champions.

    Now, the second reason you need ADHD is that it will give you a medical alibi for poor performance and may even get you some special treatment if you claim it as a disability. Have trouble getting the report done on time because the new Destiny DLC dropped? Sorry boss, it was my ADHD. I just couldn’t focus. I’m working real hard on it with my doctor. Just don’t feel like working today? Sorry boss, I’m trying but this ADHD is killing me today. Trust me, they’ll give you a pass. Disciplining you for a medical issue is a dangerous game. They won’t want to poke that hornet’s nest with a 20 foot pole. They’ll only do something about it if your performance gets crazy bad, and if that’s the case you can threaten to hire a lawyer and/or take your case to the media to try in the court of public opinion.

  3. Wear a tie or whatever it is snappy dressers of your gender wear in your workplace. Make a little effort on something you don’t have to do and people will assume you put effort into the things you do have to do. It’s a well known fallacy of the business world that well-dressed people work harder. Maybe some of them do. I don’t know. What I do know is that people will assume you work hard and give a shit if you dress like a boss.
  4. Don’t worry about getting written up. Write ups are the currency with which sanity is bought in the modern office. Large corporations are bureaucracies as byzantine and arbitrary as the federal government. It’s not a question of private vs. public that makes companies efficient. It’s a matter of size. The government becomes bureaucratic because it’s massive. Get enough humans involved in any type of organization and it’s pretty much inevitable that it will become chock full of random, pointless rules only the most anal retentive employees care about. You’ll find that the more time you work in the place the more you start to care, too. This is called insanity. Don’t fall into this trap. Getting written up doesn’t matter one goddamn bit so long as it doesn’t affect your ability to get promoted. I mean, for fuck’s sake, you think when Coca-Cola interviews a new CEO it gives two shits that Joseph in Accounting wrote him up for improper tabbing of his folders? Fuck that. The only people who care about that shit are the sort of lower level administrative employees who’ve been stuck in the same stupid job for 25 years and have nothing better to do than get in a huff about petty shit.
  5. Memorize popular buzzwords and trendy business concepts, then spout them off to your coworkers to make it sound like you know what you’re talking about. We’re talking about the latest pseudo-scientific concepts, “lifehacks” and trendy business methods, as well as the classic empty bromides and corporate speak. We’re talking your disruptive innovations, your synergies, your butter coffees, your burning passion for fucking everything, your leaning in, your doing more with less. Any of that bullshit will do. Talk about how you try to have a personal relationship with your Lord and Savior Steve Jobs and go on and on about how he revolutionized literally everything you do, from taking a shit to making coffee into the beautiful, magical, made in Califuckingfornia experience it is today. The purpose is to create a smoke screen of value around the fact that you’re actually doing nothing. Your whole career is going to be like one of those false second stories they used to put on the front of buildings in the Old West. Trust me, that’s what you want even if you think you don’t. If you didn’t want that you would have gone into a real profession like science or teaching or medicine or something. Only tools and aimless, lazy shits like you and me go into business.
  6. Never admit you don’t know the answer. Honestly, if you’ve been at your job for more than a year you should know this by now, but I include it because people still manage to make this mistake. People wouldn’t ask you the question if they knew the answer, so how are they going to know if you’re wrong? Nobody in the business world really has any clue what they’re doing. They’re all either lying or deluded. In fact, usually you start your career lying and by the end of it you’ve started to believe your own bullshit. That’s called personal development. Business is all about appearances. The appearance of confidence is far more important to success in the corporate world than actual competence. That’s called leadership.
  7. Delegate, delegate, delegate. You don’t have to be in management to delegate. Anyone can delegate work to someone else so long as that person is willing to do it. This is a high risk, high reward strategy, mind you. It can easily garner you a reputation for “pawning shit off” on other employees, so be careful. I recommend biding your time, taking careful stock of the personalities and habits of your coworkers. What you need to find is that classic combination of workaholism, self-importance and spinelessness: the sort of person who thinks their dumb job actually matters, busts their butt all the live long day and won’t fight back no matter how much shit they get stuck with. It shouldn’t be a problem finding one of these little turds. Big companies love them because they’re willing to sacrifice practically anything for the same price as a regular employee. A good place to start is to keep an eye out for the sort of person who seems like an adult version of Butters from South Park. A key indicator is an aversion to profanity. Listen for expressions like heck, darn-it , rats and, if you’re really lucky, drat or fiddlesticks. Also look for frequent, overt expressions of gratitude, talk of “getting stuff done” on the weekends, an unusually high interest in lawn maintenance, a tidy haircut that wouldn’t be out of place in 1956, excessive patriotic zeal and someone who doesn’t drink caffeine, let alone alcohol. You’re basically looking for a Mormon, in other words.
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