HOW TO AVOID WORK

The practice of work avoidance is one of the highest arts of employment. Anyone can get the job done, so to speak. But not everyone can spend 8 hours a day at their work station and get absolutely nothing accomplished.

Avoiding work is one of the surest ways to retain a job. If you complete your work, they'll give you more, until they run out of things for you to do, and then they'll downsize the company and eliminate your job, because you've finished it.

Therefore, you must always avoid work.

(1) LOOK BUSY: The successful work avoider must look busy, as opposed to being busy. Looking busy involves motion. Getting up, sitting down, moving papers around your desk, opening drawers, closing drawers, opening mail, sorting mail -- all are busy-looking functions with no productivity.

(2) FIGURE OUT THE CHAIN OF COMMAND: A very valuable activity for yourself (but not your employer) is to make a chart of the chain of command in your organization. Even if your employer has a chart, this will not accurately display who has the real power, so make your own.

(3) WRITE MEMOS: Writing memos is one of the least productive things a person can do, as no one actually reads memos. Write a memo to everyone of higher rank than you (on the organizational chart you've spent 6 months making).

(4) READ MEMOS: Many people are actively avoiding work by writing memos in any organization. You can avoid spectacular amounts of work by reading all the memos on your desk, instead of initialing them and forwarding them to someone else.

(5) LEARN COMPUTER PROGRAMS: Many employers will let you take classes in computer software--even if they don't use it in their companies. In fact, most companies have no idea what software they use, so you can book up on PhotoShop, and FrontPage even though you are an accountant.

(6) RUN THE COFFEE POT: The most important job in most offices is the Keeper of the Coffee Pot. This person makes the coffee, and then constantly checks on it to make more coffee, clean out the pots, stock up the cups, refill the sugar containers, and so on. In an office of at least 10 people, this can be a full-time job. However, if you are a new employee, the Keeper of the Coffee Pot will have already been chosen. Therefore you must either get that person promoted, fired, or kidnapped.

(7) WATER THE PLANTS: Many offices have lots of house plants, but no official house plant care company. Take over caring for the plants. Again, this is a position usually occupied by a seasoned work avoider, so the position can only be taken by force.

(8) BECOME THE NETWORK MANAGER: If you are in a smart office which doesn't allow coffee pots or house plants, doubtless there will be networked computers requiring a network manager. You do not have no know anything about computers--few network managers do. Since maintaining the network in an operational condition is impossible (especially if you are truly ignorant of computers) you can spend weeks debugging systems to no useful effect.

(9) TAKE OVER OFFICE PUBLICITY: Every company has a newsletter, with important news about births and death among the employees and who has what for sale. Generally this is a job no one wants to do, which makes it perfect since it requires no skill and produces nothing of lasting value. Also, no one will criticize what you do, as they are afraid they might end up having to do it.

(10) CREATE YOUR COMPANY'S WEBSITE: Many companies do not have website, and think this is magic. Create and maintain your company's website. You will spend endless hours of fun accomplishing absolutely nothing useful for your employer, but you'll get a lot of email.

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Copyright 1997 by Hugh Holub