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.