Monday, March 3, 2008

How to Slack Off at Work Part I

I'm the first to admit that I am not the best employee in the world at my accounting firm. Hell, I'm legitimately bad at my job. However that does not mean that over the past seven or so months I haven't learned anything; far from it, I have learned how to do as little work as possible without suffering any serious consequences. Here is my handy guide to accomplishing little-to-nothing at work:

Part I-

Slacking off at work is much more complicated than simply deciding to cruise the Interweb all day; doing so would be a short-sighted, risky, and fool-hardy approach. Slacking off is a long-con (like in the end of The Sting). It needs to be set up over the course of weeks and months to be perfected. So I'm going to begin this guide with a broad overview and then get more and more specific (in the writing world, we call this approach... umm... well I'm sure its called something). Here is what you need to do to set up your life-long dream of getting paid for nothing:

1). You should have as little experience with the type of work you will be doing as possible. This is essential as it will lower everyone's expectations for you and allow you to stretch jobs that should only take about 45 minutes into entire afternoon affairs. I am a journalism and history major who took exactly zero business/economics classes in school and am working as an accountant. I have no business working here but let's just say it's not what you know, it's who you know. (For me, I know my dad, the managing partner).

2). You need to be able to work hard intermittently. A couple times a week you're usually going to have to cram 5 hours of work into 1 hour. Those are the facts. Bottom line is work needs to get done and the best way to do it while maximizing your slack off time is to work in 60-90 minute frenzies and get as much volume done as possible. (note: quantity is more important than quality here. Remember you have no experience doing these things so you're going to have some slip-ups. Your superiors expect this from you and will be able to find and correct your errors quickly and easily. It also helps if you write down your questions in detail and act genuinely interested in their answers). Also a stretch of hard work shows your boss that you can/might be valuable.

3). You need to have some sort of responsibility outside of work. This can't be a softball league or a bowling night, this has to be legit. How legit? Like elderly relative to take care of or second job big. This will keep people off your back about being tired/out-of-it and allow people to make excuses for you. Hopefully when fellow employees are talking about you at the watercooler and someone says you don't pull your weight, another employee will chime in with something like, "Yeah, but did you know so-and-so is taking care of his great uncle?" or "Yeah, but so-and-so is also working nights to (make ends meet/pursue a passion/donate money to orphans, orphans with diseases)."

I myself work three nights a week writing sports for a Web site (my latest articles are usually on the top of right-hand sidebar but somebody decided to switch up the sidebar's order and buried my stories at the bottom, not that I'm upset or anything). My night job is pretty sweet. I write from home about something I enjoy. The only thing crappy thing is that the hours suck (10 p.m. to 1 a.m.) so I don't get a ton of sleep a couple nights a week. The key for me is using my lack of sleep to my advantage. About once or twice a month I'll drop a line like this one, "Man, I'm beat. I was up late writing about this whole Clemens scandal, blah blah blah." This lets whoever I'm talking to know that A) I have a second job, B) I can be an interesting (and therefore more likable) person to have a brief conversation with, and C) I have a valid reason for being tired. This step of having a legitimate outside responsibility is very important. It also highlights the fact that slacking off is not an easy thing to do and shouldn't be pursued by the weak of heart. You've got to fully commit to it, kinda like a D-10 combo from Jade Garden. In both slacking off at work and eating vast quantities of Chinese food if you leave anything on the table: you'll get called out for not working hard enough/being a pussy for not eating that last groddy-looking piece of General Tso's and then you'll eventually get fired/stabbed with the skewers that the beef teryaki came on. (For more real-life situations being compared to combo meals from crappy Chinese restaurants please pre-order mine and Ted's upcoming book "Extra MSG, Please: What Crab Rangoons and Crispy, Fried Dumplings Can Teach Us about Life." Hint: not much).

Parts II-LVII to come...

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