Thursday, March 02, 2006

Workplace Tips

Today I bring you some tips on how to look like you're actually working while you're at work. Keep in mind, I work at a very small office and I'm not micromanaged AT ALL, so all of these things work for me. They may not work for you, depending on how your office is set up. You know, just a disclaimer in case you get fired -- I don't want you to be blaming ME.

The way I act as if I’m busy is to type rapidly a lot. That’s how I get all of my personal emails and my blog posts and comments written, all while creating the illusion of someone totally eligible for employee of the month. Even though we don’t have that here. I think the illusion might be shattered when my mom calls and I talk to her for a while about nothing remotely related to my job. Oddly, no one cares. Personal calls are NOT frowned upon here, thank god. It’s where I get all of my long distance calling done. I know, it sounds horrible, but we actually pay a flat rate for phone service every month (both local and long distance) and it’s the same whether I call California or Chicago or not. It does not cover international, though. I tried to call Saudi Arabia once and I couldn’t.

Personally, I think the key to faking work is to complain out loud every once in a while. “Is your computer running really slow today? Mine sure is. Maybe I’ve overloaded it trying to download the 2005 workforce statistics from the Department of Labor.” Or “I am having the worst time with this mouse today! How am I supposed to finish this spreadsheet detailing how much money each university has received in the past five years if I can’t get the mouse to work properly. Sheesh.”

The thing that might give me away is if I read something funny and start laughing. If I accidentally laugh out loud, I cough/choke and mumble something about some water going down the wrong tube, or say “Goodness! Bless me!” as if I were taken by surprise with that “sneeze”. Then I make it a point to laugh silently. I also always keep an MSNBC news story up, so in case someone comes in, I can switch over real quick and look like I’m keeping up with current events. If I want to take it further, I might bring it up at lunch, just to prove that I read it. I do change up the article as the day goes on, because otherwise I look like he world’s slowest reader, and everyone knows that I’m not.

I hope that one day soon I will have a job that requires me to actually BE busy instead of just LOOKING busy. Although I should be careful what I wish for, as once I wished that I would have a well-paying job with great benefits and that required a minimum of effort, and we can see where THAT got me.

25 comments:

lil'bitty said...

What's even harder than blogging at work and not getting caught. . . . blogging while you are an infant. If Mommy and Daddy knew I could get to and operate the computer then I would have to change my own diapers. I might even be expected to not need diapers. Too much work for me, I'll stick to blogging on the sly.

Kristen said...

This was great!! I wouldn't know how to handle not being able to blog and email while at work!!! I mean, that's what they pay me for, right?

d. said...

i find that if you keep alot of files out on your desk or spread papers out on it randomly, people stay away as they don't want you to ask them anything. i enjoy reading your blog, its very entertaining.

TrappedInColorado said...

Funny! Especially when a man who is a professional "looking busy at work" person knows of what you speak. I went one further. At home, I recorded sounds of me typing on the keyboard, coughing, mouse clicking then I took that sound wav file and played it in a loop at work... all the while I am catching a cat nap. Ofcourse, I have to sleep with my hands on the keyboard but that is a small price to pay.

Good to see a fellow Colorado resident finally! :)

Good blog. I'll bookmark it.

Peace

Bone Collector said...

You have been nominated for a Blog Award:

http://thesilverblue.com/awards/

Sandra Dee said...

An absolute riot. Why? Because I do those same things!! :) Although the typing rapidly thing helps a lot because I maintain our Web site! Ha! Suckers.

Miladysa said...

rofl! Classic! Absolutely bl**dy classic :)!

Cheryl said...

Too funny. I use many of the same techniques. Writing you blog post in Word first really helps with that. I could be typing anything...

I too try to be careful what I wish for. Especially with work.

Whinger said...

I have an impressive document open at all times in the background.

I highly enjoy the blessing of oneself.

Daniel B. said...

You're in Denver? I'm in Boulder! Well... okay, I don't live here full-time, but I'm here for a stint. It is nice here in Colorado. Work and the workplace is always a double-edged sword, eh?

www.bikedrool.blogspot.com

The Husband said...

thanks for the tips...i sure could have used those before!

beckibee said...

I also make it a point to furrow my brow as if I am concentrating when boss walks by.

Hope said...

I keep several other files open on my computer so I can click to one of those when someone walks up. No one will believe I'm typing this much job-related stuff because most of what I work on is in CAD programs and requires no typing, just clicking. I usually type all my posts out in Outlook first so it looks like I'm writing a work-related email.

Someday we'll just be paid to blog like Dooce and we won't have to worry about it, right?

Timmortal said...

What, for the love of Pete, were you trying to call Saudi Arabia for?!?

Paul said...

You forgot the best way to get people to stop watching you to see if you're working.

Cough -- with your mouth uncovered!

Jenn said...

The more I read your blog, the more I realize we have SO much in common and should be bestfriends. Stupid geography!

And I am busy right now at work. :D

Rico said...

I always keep some sort of spreadsheet up on my desktop. I hear someone coming, whoop - it's spreadsheet time.

I'm such an over achiever.

Leesa said...

All I know is that if I am reading Ms. Amber's blog, I am totally busted. I could not convince my boss that a work-related site has purple text and a black background. Never in a million years.

dasi said...

Word first. That's all. Comments, posts, e-mail - WORD FIRST. Then cut & paste.

But YOU'RE ideas had me cracking up!

Mr. Fabulous said...

Quite a public service you have provided!

Little A said...

hahhahaha! I love the typing fast idea... I do that at work now without even having internet access, making me look all busy.

little do they know...

Marissa said...

amber - hahaha! hilarious! i used to do this all the time; when i worked in an office i was a pro at looking like i was working really super hard. you and i should collaborate and write a book on this, seriously! awesome post.

Sherri said...

Awesome post. I have sat at my desk feeling the same exact way.

C. said...

Amber baby! Do you think if I stood at the fire station holding my hose, I would look like I was busy at work???? :)

C.

Cherry said...

Hi Amber

I love what you've said! I myself, look very busy at work (I'm from South Africa) - busy with my kids stuff, looking for cool stuff on the internet while very busy on an official letter to the Dean in the mean time - i've perfected multitasking - especially at work!

Keep it up!! I love you work!!