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10 Office Rules:

  1. Never walk without a document -- People with documents look like hardworking employees headed to important meetings. People with nothing in their hands look like they're headed for the cafeteria. People with a newspaper in their hand look like they're headed for the toilet. 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 really 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, chat and have a blast without doing anything remotely related to work. These aren't exactly the societal benefits that the proponents of the computer revolution would like to talk about, 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 new software, thus saving valuable training dollars.
  3. Messy desk -- only top management can get away with a clean desk. For the rest of us, it looks like we'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 arrives.
  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 no way to live. Screen all your calls through voice mail. If somebody leaves a message for you and it sounds like impending work, respond during lunch hour when you know they're not there -- it looks like you're hardworking and conscientious even though you're being a devious weasel.
  5. Look impatient and annoyed -- According to George Costanza, one should also always try to look impatient and annoyed to give off the impression that you're always busy.
  6. Leave the office late -- Always leave the office late, especially when the boss is still around. You could read magazines and storybooks that you always wanted to read. Make sure you walk past the boss' room on your way out. Send important e-mails at unearthly hours (i.e. 9:35pm, 7:05am, etc.) and during public holidays.
  7. Creative sighing for effect -- Sigh loudly when there are many people around, giving the impression that you are under extreme pressure.
  8. Stacking strategy -- It is not enough to pile lots of documents on the table. Put lots of books on the floor, etc. (thick computer manuals are the best).
  9. Build vocabulary -- Read up on some computer magazines and pick out all the jargon and new products. Use the phrases freely when in conversation with bosses. Remember, they don't have to understand what you say, but you sure sound impressive.
  10. MOST IMPORTANT -- DON'T forward this to your boss by mistake!

Tickle Me Elmo:

There is a factory in Northern Minnesota which makes the Tickle Me Elmo toys. The toy laughs when you tickle it under the arms. Well, Lena is hired at The Tickle Me Elmo factory and she reports for her first day promptly at 8:00 AM.

The next day at 8:45 AM there is a knock at the Personnel Manager's door. The Foreman throws open the door and begins to rant about the new employee. He complains that she is incredibly slow and the whole line is backing up, putting the entire production line behind schedule.

The Personnel Manager decides he should see this for himself, so the 2 men march down to the factory floor. When they get there the line is so backed up that there are Tickle Me Elmo's all over the factory floor and they're really beginning to pile up. At the end of the line stands Lena surrounded by mountains of Tickle Me Elmo's.

She has a roll of plush red fabric and a huge bag of small marbles. The 2 men watch in amazement as she cuts a little piece of fabric, wraps it around two marbles and begins to carefully sew the little package between Elmo's legs.

The Personnel Manager bursts into laughter. After several minutes of hysterics he pulls himself together and approaches Lena. "I'm sorry," he says to her, barely able to keep a straight face, "but I think you misunderstood the instructions I gave you yesterday..."

"Your job is to give Elmo two test tickles."

"If you're going to work here young man, " said the boss, "the number two thing you must learn is that we are very keen on cleanliness in this firm." "Did you wipe your feet on the mat as you came in?" "Oh, yes, sir." responded the young man. "And another thing the number one thing we are very keen on is truthfulness. There is no mat." said the boss.

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