Celebrity stories and gossip that make you go "W.T.F?"

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Busy is just an illusion

Two years ago the company I work for was purchased by another company. Both companies shall remain nameless in this particular blog however, I can assure you they have both been called many, many types of names. (If you know what I mean) When we first were bought hundreds of people were laid off. They continued to lay people off in droves and now most of the transition is complete so I now have an end date of June 30th. When the company took over, I was suppose to lose my job immediately but, there were several twists of fate and I ended up in a role that nobody else wanted. I coordinate the pick up of equipment for the "exiting" employees and have been for two years.

At first, the job was interesting, exciting, challenging and allowed me to create my own procedures, processes and databases. I was busy, my mind was buzzing, I was important! Boy, have things changed.
I don't know how long it's been......but, for a long while now my work load has completely dwindled down to almost nothing. After all, I only have work to do if they actually lay someone off. When I do actually get something to do I have so completely mastered my skill that I complete my work in 45 minutes tops. Oh what to do with the other 7 hours and fifteen minutes???

Understand I work in a secluded part of the building in a desk in the far back corner. Nobody really sees me come, nobody sees me go, nobody knows nada.
Remember George Constanza of Seinfeld? Well, let me tell you.....after what I have been through he ain't got nothing on me!

So, if you are ever in my shoes here are my tips for "APPEARING AS THOUGH YOU HAVE ALOT TO DO WHEN YOU REALLY DON'T"

1) Bring an extra jacket to work and hang it on your coat hook or on the back of your chair- that way when you sneak out early or come in late it will look like you just stepped away for a moment. This works especially well if you have two jackets that are the same. One you wear and the other used as the "decoy".

2) Keep an empty coffee cup in your desk cupboard. Every night or should I say early afternoon - when you leave for the day, put the empty coffee cup ON your desk. This will cover your butt for when you come waltzing in the next morning at 11. This will only work if this is a take out coffee cup with a lid on it. If someone should happen to come to your desk in the morning they will think once again that you "stepped away". You know you are really good when you switch up the lids and mark them with various different shades of lipstick.
Oh and leaving a half eaten carrot or yogurt is good too. Looks like you are coming back. Note: Don't use an apple or anything that will turn brownish when you're gone too long. Dead give away.

3) Always look confused, worried or upset. A person who does squat at work never would show any of these emotions. People will think you have a big deadline coming up or that you were given a difficult assignment. They won't want to approach you or bog you down with any more work which means more time at the mall.

4) Swear at and kick the photocopier when you see someone coming. They won't know you saw them coming nor will they know you aren't even copying anything....well, anything work related.

5) If you have a personal printer (Which I do) on your desk print as often as possible. If someone comes to see you or walks by it makes them think you have alot on the go. And ofcourse you do! That 700 page cookbook you are making with the help of the internet and some acquired office supplies takes effort!!

6) If your work has a gym like mine does utilize it as much as you can. Once you can bounce quarters off your butt, you can stop going to they gym...BUT! You can still keep your gym bag, water bottle, walkman at your desk. That way when you need to slip out for a much needed manicure people will just think you are at the gym.
Aren't you so dedicated? All the other girls at the office will hate you for your willpower and quarter bouncing butt which means they will stay away from your desk also and not call you. BONUS!

7) If you are suppose to be at work for 9:00 - Set your alarm for 8:45 and before you take a shower call work. Dial into your voice mail and change your message for the current date. Say you are in the office but, not available blah, blah blah. That way you don't need to worry about someone calling you early when you are not there and hearing yesterday's message. This way it even appears as though you are there bright and early like the keen little employee you are!

8) Speaking of voice mail.....make if you leave early or want to get out for a few hours during the day that you reflect that in your voice mail. It covers your butt. For example "I will in be a meeting from 9 to eleven" (gets you in late) and " Then again in another meeting from 2-4 (You leave at two) You cover your ground and people don't dare leave a voice mail - afterall, you are busy in all these important meetings!

9) Further to number 8 - ALWAYS remember that if you say you are in a meeting you should ensure this "meeting" is also in your email calendar. Just incase anyone checks. You should write things like MEETING TO DISCUSS THE P.E.D.D.M - it sounds official and impossible to decipher. Nobody will try to either. You appear organized with knack for acronyms. Other items to put in your calendar should you need some time away are :
DOCTORS APPNT - RESULTS (Sounds serious, nobody will question you)
MARITAL COUNSELLING APPNT (They won't dare mention it but, they will all be talking about you until Kingdom're leaving soon ....who cares?)
CHARITY COMMITTEE MEETING AT CHURCH (They'll let it're just so sweet!)
GO TO MALL TO BUY BOSS PRESENT (Trust me, only use this one in desperate times and if your boss checks you must produce a gift. The gift should be for no other occasion but, "Just because" Oh, and an apple is a nice additional touch)

10) If you surf the internet as much as I do always have at least six other files open at the same time. If someone suddenly comes up behind you and you close the web window really quick...and it's the only window you have open.....they are going to know you are doing something non work related. So have an excel sheet open, a word program open with half a letter created, your work email , a company related document, you get the picture. When you have to click out suddenly, with all those icons on the bottom they won't know what you're up to. If people come up behind you frequently you may want to install a small mirror on the right top corner of your monitor. You will see them coming in advance. They will just think you are vain. Again, you are leaving soon, let them think what they want.

I know this all sounds like fun and yes, it was for a while but, I am seriously losing my mind. My brain is shrinking. I need to use it. I want to work!!! I want to make a difference.
There is only so much web surfing I can do, money I can spend at the mall on items I don't need, books I can read at my desk......I mean it is time to go! I have always been a hardworking and dedicated employee. I am afraid of what is happening to me. I need to be creative, to document things, to express my opinion and have a purpose.
This my friends is why I love to blog. Enjoy them while you can because one day I will get a real job where they will actually expect me to work for my money. These blogs may be few and far between.

My future is before me now. I am excited about a new job, a change, a new beginning.
I promise to be the best employee I can possibly be.

Just not now.



Blogger H.Defreitas said...

Those's are the best tips ever.

It's kind of hard to hide doing my job. Wouldn't be cool if I could stop at Queen/Spadina and run into the salon, get my nails done, and a quick back wax...before the light changes. Damn. LOL

I love the coffee bit, in the morning that's classic.

Happy Blogging

10:12 PM  
Blogger Chelsea's Mama said...

Some bus drivers go in to get a coffee and stay in there for half an hour!! Flirting with the COFFEE TIME lady.

You would never do something like that because you are a good worker and besides, Mary would BOBBITT YOU.

10:38 PM  
Blogger arifa said...

I must admit to being fooled by your work ethic! For those who do not know me, I had the supreme pleasure(?) of working with Linda for a few months BEFORE the merger happened.

I worked right beside her, saw her daily and truly believed that she was competent, efficient and overall very busy. Now I know the truth - Linda IS George Costanza reincarnated. Girl, you seem to have actually MASTERED, or dare I say, reinvented the technique of "looking busy". Take a bow.

In fact, there were a few times when I felt sorry for her and would have let my work slide just to help her out. Remember the org chart that EVERYONE helped you complete?!? Now I feel silly for not realizing it was an act. Fool me once, shame on you......

I do remember you going to the gym a lot. Did not see you do the whole double jacket thing, but WND was the true queen of that little trick. And you could not really do the photocopier technique, Zaidy was THE best at that one.

Now I realize what you were doing! You were observing others and using their slacker methods to compile this list. Take another bow.

And thanks for NOT sharing with me. Thought we were pals...I forgive you and shall keep these secrets on file, in case I get the good fortune to be in a similar position to you one day.

Oh, if you ever update the list, I have a few suggestions:
#1 - with a nod to Jerry (NOT Seinfeld): remember they can't fire you if they can't find you. If you think your neck is on the block, try to get to the office before anyone, employ some of Linda's other tricks (e.g. spare jacket on the chair, coffee cup, etc). Then just avoid being at your actual workstation throughout the day. It's even more ironic if you spend some of the time on job interviews with other prospective companies.
#2 - although I don't condone it, start smoking. I recall Linda always being away from her desk for that reason. Or you can pretend to be in the bathroon all the time, claiming to have a medical condition. No one would want you to develop a case of "uromysotosis"

12:12 PM  
Blogger Bernadette said...

Love the's a little hard to fake working when you boss has a connecting office and has to go through your office to get to his...but I do find going downstairs for coffee a great way of getting away for a few minutes. I'll have to try to jacket switch.

4:22 PM  
Blogger glor said...

Linda, I try the multiple screens of Microsoft Office along with my sympatico...but I've been caught a few times as carpet floors don't allow for much warning. I'm sure everytime my manager comes around the corner, she sees me closing some screen, looking up and smiling at her! I'm just a youngin' in the work force...please pass on your wisdom of appear busy!

10:34 PM  

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