Saturday, March 7, 2009

It's a skill, just like juggling!

Look I’m not going to lie, sometimes, I don’t have much to do, but I’m paid on a yearly basis so I can’t just ask to go home, it ain’t my style yo! So I came up with this thing, it’s really great, check it out:

Of all the things I have learned in Japan, the skill we call ‘pretending to work’ is the one I have practiced the most so far. Especially at some of my schools, it is truly... an art. I see real experts here, just walking around, with paper in hand, grumbling at the copy machine or cutting and rolling pieces of paper. At first I couldn’t do it, I just stared at them and wondered what the hell they were busy doing, especially since I had absolutely nothing to do myself. But then I started feeling bad, so I started doing it too.

You should see me now; I get people telling me I work too hard. The first trick is (now listen carefully children): wherever you are walking, walk fast, but always with something in your hand. I use my agenda or anything written in French so that if they trap me, they won’t understand. The next trick is: if you are sitting at your desk, always look as if you have the biggest of headaches, with a pen in hand (or better yet a pen AND a highlighter!) and always have as many papers and books in front of you. Every 10 or 15 minutes, pretend you are looking for something for 5 to 7 minutes and breathe a sigh of relief when you find the ‘paper’ you had ‘lost for a second’. Now the two next steps involve computers. First, if you have Internet access (lucky you) the trick is to open a Word document or two, and to leave them open all day long, on top of other windows. Next, put your laptop screen as dark as possible, so that people can’t creep up on you and check out what you are doing from those nasty blind spots behind you. Make your Internet windows smaller and always have that Word document taking up the majority of the space. It sounds crazy but I’ve had MSN messenger webcam sessions because of that trick! If you don’t have Internet (like me right now at this school), start a blog and write some posts when you are dying of boredom... Also, write your e-mails in text so that when you get home, you only have to copy and paste them, which gives you more time to play online poker or watch Lost while eating ice cream (now you know what I’ve been doing during my winter weeknights!). Anyways, it sounds crazy but I’m actually applying all those things right now... it’s MAGIC!

I feel bad because I could have used this skill before. Instead of building castles of boxes at the Adidas store in order to block the camera view so I could just chill and sit for hours, I could have ‘pretended to work’. Instead of calling in radio shows and flirting with any girl with a pulse that worked with me at Urban Outfitters, I could have ‘pretended to work’...I’m telling you, it will save your life, and make your day go by faster! Thank me later


Angela said...

Damn you for outing us...

Some other techniques:
1- meetings (real and otherwise)
2- folders (looks official and you don't need to actually have anything written down)
3- Excel spread sheets (easier to fake - just a jumble of numbers needed)
4- checking your pager and running off

Next level: the fine art of effective procrastinating.


Mom said...

Une de mes compagnes de la clinique externe ronflait lors de sa sieste en pm,je l'entendais très bien de mon bureau...grosse erreur pour une fille qui semblait si occupée.Comme quoi rien n'est infaillible.Bises Mom

Thunderstorm said...

Wow! P-Y, té juste trop drôle! Je viens de prendre des notes pour ma vie future dans les organisations...

I'll thank you later,
La baleine échouée... au lieu de travailler!

Anonymous said...

You forgot one of my favourites--standing by your desk. You don't even have to be doing anything. Just stand by your desk, sip coffee and stare thoughtfully at that mess of papers. You automatically look busy--to busy to sit!

I see my Japanese coworkers do this one a lot.

<3 Eeva