Keys to Business Success

1. Never walk down the hall without a document in your hands. People with
documents in their hands look like hardworking employees
heading for important meetings.  People with nothing in their hands look
like they're heading for the cafeteria.  People with the newspaper in their
hands look like they're heading for the bathroom. Above all, make sure you
carry loads of stuff home with you at night, thus generating the false
impression that you work longer hours than you do.

2. Use computers to look busy. Any time you use a computer, it looks like
work to the casual observer. You can send and receive
personal e-mail, calculate your finances and generally have a blast without
doing anything remotely related to work. These aren't exactly
the societal benefits that everybody from the computer revolution expected
but they're not bad either.  When you get caught by your boss--and you will
get caught--your best defense is to claim you're teaching yourself to use
the new software, thus saving valuable
training dollars. You're not a loafer, you're a self-starter.  Offer to
show your boss what you learned.  That will make your boss scurry
away like a frightened salamander.

3. Messy desk. Top management can get away with a clean desk. For the rest
of us, it looks like you're not working hard enough. Build huge piles of
documents around your workspace.  To the observer, last year's work looks
the same as today's work; it's volume that counts. Pile them high and wide.
If you know somebody is coming to your cubicle, bury the document you'll

need halfway down in an existing stack and rummage for it when he/she

4. Voice mail.  Never answer your phone if you have voice mail. People
don't call you just because they want to give you something for
nothing--they call because they want YOU to do work for THEM.  That's to
way to live.  Screen all your calls through voice mail.  If somebody leaves
a voice mail message for you and it sounds like impending work, respond
during lunch hour.  That way, you're hardworking and conscientious even
though you're being a devious weasel. If you diligently employ the method
of screening incoming calls and then returning calls when nobody is there,
this will greatly increase the odds that they will give up or look for a
solution that doesn't involve you.

The sweetest voice mail message you can ever hear is "Ignore my last
message. I took care of it."  If your voice mailbox has a limit on
the number of messages it can hold, make sure you reach that limit
frequently.  One way to do that is to never erase any incoming
messages. If that takes too long, send yourself a few messages. Your
callers will hear a recorded message that says, "Sorry, this
mailbox is full"--a sure sign that you are a hardworking employee in high

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