20 STRATEGIES TO APPEAR BUSY IN THE OFFICE……when you’re not!
by Eccentric Rowland
Do you find yourself, compulsively, stealing visits to social network websites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Nairaland, Instagram, etc, during office hours?
Do you desire to be picked as “The Employee of the Month” while all you have to do at your workplace is nothing?
Is there a “No leisurely Internet surfing” policy enforced at your workplace?
Do you feel weekends are not sufficient enough to indulge yourself, hence, your extended indulgence at the office during office hours?
Do you transact personal business on the Internet or via the phone during official working hours?
Are you inundated by personal phones calls during work hours?
Do you desire to devote a greater degree of office hours on recreational and unofficial activities and still earn a salary for it?
Or you simply wish to appear busy to your boss and colleagues by projecting a semblance of one lost in official functions?
If yes to any of the above questions, then read the following:
20 STRATEGIES TO APPEAR BUSY IN THE OFFICE……when you’re not!
Always ensure to ask your colleagues, ALOUD, office-related questions during period of office-hour inactivity or when engaged in unofficial activities. Such periods include when interacting with friends on Facebook; watching a video on YouTube; listening to an audio file on your PC, etc. Office-related questions such as “Excuse me Shola, who did the inventory last week?” or “Please Effiong, what time is tomorrow’s presentation?” would suffice at such periods and they should be asked to the hearing of other colleagues present.
Movement within or around the office place should be done with some office document (preferably a white coloured one) and a pen in your hand. Even a leisurely walk around the office place with as much as a plain white A4 sheet in hand often presents a semblance of someone right in the middle of an official task.
During office hours, migrate all interaction on online social network or forums such as Twitter, Facebook, Nairaland, chat forum, etc, from your office PC to your mobile phones. If your mobile phone (in this time and age) doesn’t boast of an Internet access capability, now would probably be the best time to acquire one that does…at least if not for anything, but to keep you in employment!
Always leave a cluster of official documents on your desktop. A chaotic desk top arrangement, with office-related documents or literature scattered on it, is often interpreted as a sign of an extremely busy occupier—or that the occupier of the desk has attempted some work that day!
Movement or stroll around the office-place should be done with a “spring in your step” or with some measure of haste. A hasty walk around the office-place often creates an impression that you’re in a hurry to attend to an issue outside your workstation or you’re in a hurry to attend to a waiting pile of workload at your desk.
Unofficial or personal phone calls should be made or received with a straight and emotionless facial expression.
Always have your shirt sleeves rolled up and your jacket or suit mounted on the back-rest of your chair.
When day-dreaming, or lost in serious thought, ensure that you do it starring, glazed-faced, at a document on your desktop or one held up high in front of your face.
When listening to an audio file on your PC or mobile phone; or when you’re watching a raunchy video of Shakira on YouTube, ensure to use a ear-piece device. Use only one of the two ear-pieces while leaving the other hanging down. But most importantly, resist every temptation to nod your head to the sound of the music you’re listening to. — Again, maintain a serious straight or thinking facial expression (not poker-faced!).
While on the phone engaged in an unofficial phone call, refrain from calling the individual at the other end of the line by their nicknames or pet names. E.g “Sweetheart”, Honey-pie (Yuck!!..who calls their love interest that?), “Eccentric”, “Iya Sukura”, “Mama Emeka”, “Baba Lamidi”, “Emekus”, etc.
When visiting the rest-room, take along the day’s newspaper. There is a belief, in some quarters, that very busy people take advantage of visits to the rest-room and/or canteen, as a scarce opportunity to read the paper during office-hours. Sadly, taking Newspapers to the restroom comes with some downsides. It might be misconstrued by your colleagues as a sign of a potential long stay in the toilet, or that you have a special preference for newspaper as opposed to the use of “toilet paper”.
When visiting unofficial websites on your office PC, open a separate browser for it different from the browser for office-related websites or online-applications. Also, endeavour to keep the unofficial browser always minimized after every view, input activities or when you’re not at your desk.
Never,…I repeat…Never add any of your colleagues, your boss or anyone remotely related to anyone in your workplace as a “friend” on Facebook or get them following you or you following them on Twitter!
When answering or making personal phone calls, resist every temptation to sound informal. Your language should strictly be English! Refrain from communicating in Pidgin English or vernacular when on the phone during office-hours. An exception to this rule is if you earn your salary in a Government parastatal in the South-West region of Nigeria where vernacular is an accepted lingua franca in the office place.
When making or receiving an unofficial phone call, make an appearance of writing down or noting a message being passed to you by the individual at the other end of the line…then again, maintain a straight expressionless face!
Avoid being seen spending time, openly, reading the newspaper during office hours. Reading the papers during office-hours could be interpreted as a sign of idleness. Lunchtime, at the canteen, is often a better time for reading the dailies.
Save all OFFICIAL phone calls for period of office-hour personal indulgences. In other words, during office-hours, pile-up all office-related phone calls and make them during periods of personal indulgence such as when you’re interacting with friends on Facebook, engaged in online-chats, viewing pornographic photo on the Internet, watching Nicki Minaj on YouTube, etc. The downside to this is that you stand the risk of “talking dirty” to a client on the phone and up-dating your Facebook status with some official memo!
Always be seen as being engaged in some official function. Do things that have an appearance of office duties, such as:making photocopies of your domestic PHCN bills; walking swiftly to the front-desk personnel to inquire if he/she received a delivery on your account; if you operate a centralized printer, printing worthless document and be on hand to collect the printed material as soon as it slides out of the printer; move around the office place with an official file folder filled with printed photos of Britney Spears, blank A4 sheets, Shoprite sales catalogues, printed Eccentric Rowland Facebook notes, etc.
Be the first to remind your colleagues and boss about a scheduled meeting or presentation.
Last and most importantly, ENSURE to have your Curricular Vitae (CV) up-dated and ready, Updating your CV is necessarily because a consistent practice of the above mentioned office-place shenanigans will DEFINITELY catch up with you one day—-then your updated CV would come in handy in securing you a new job!
Copyright 2010 ©Eccentric Rowland