Advice From the Front Line

02 February 2006

Well, I've put in several years in the cubicle trenches now, and I've acquired quite a bit of knowledge along the way. I'd like to join a mentoring program for those who are just starting their "stuck in a carpeted box for hours on end" lives. Not many people can survive thirty years hard time in a cubicle, but I have plenty of strategies to share on how to make those thirty years fly by like twenty nine. Actually, maybe I should write them all up into a book, so people will have to pay for my wisdom. But because you've taken the trouble to come here, I'm going to share with you the best work avoidance/boss pacification maneuver I've developed so far. It goes a little something like this:

Bring a large jar of hard candy into work (it has to be hard candy, as it takes longer to consume) and present it to your boss, placing it prominently on his* desk. Use an excuse like Xmas or his birthday if you have to. If you don't want to look like a suck-up, just explain to your cow-orkers that the candy is "really for everyone". This will please your boss and make you look like a generous thoughtful person, but that's not the good part. The good part is...your cow-orkers, having seen the candy, will use any excuse to go into your boss's office to get some. Your boss will be trapped in his office by these walk ins, and unable to roam the office floor bothering you; your cow-orkers will be in his office and not trying to palm their work off on you...and everyone will be on a permanent sugar high.

I wonder what would happen if I used my powers for good and not evil? Anyway, if you try this, let me know in the comments how you get on.

*I in no way mean to denigrate the role of women in management. But my boss is a male, so that's the reference I'm using. If you're intelligent enough to read this, I'm sure you can cope with switching the gender pronoun in your head as you go. I hope to be a manager myself one day; luckily I'll be able to see through these schemes.


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