Dave's Mental Meanderings
10 Tips for Being a Better Slacker
Hi folks, I'm back! Back at DuPont, that is. You see,
when I'm not smoking and drinking my life away at Virginia
Tech, I work as a co-op at DuPont in Richmond, Virginia.
For those of you who don't know what a co-op is, it
basically means I'm a paid intern. It's not a bad deal...
I get my own office, internet access, regular paychecks,
and a whole lot of time to piss away on days when the
engineers don't feel like cracking the whip on me and the
other slaves. However, I must keep up a good reputation.
Even if I have nothing to do, it is in my best interest to
look busy so that I not only give off the impression that
I'm a diligent, hard-working guy who deserves a full-time
job when he graduates, but also the engineers tend to pile
on the work a little bit less if I look like I'm busy all
This being my 3rd semester working at DuPont, I've got a
few tricks up my sleeve, so to speak. I've learned the
ropes, if you will. I've got this shit down to a science,
one could even say. Okay, that's enough of that. In
short, I've learned how to be a slacker but still look
like I'm busy. In an effort to improve the lives of co-
ops and interns everywhere, I have compiled this list of
the 10 most important things to remember when being a
slacker. So if you work a boring office job and you're as
lazy as I am, pay attention.
Without further delay, here are Dave Confer's 10 Tips for
Being a Better Slacker:
1. No matter where you’re going, always walk briskly
as if your presence is required somewhere to do something
important immediately. If possible, flip through some
papers while you’re walking.
2. If you’re sitting in your office looking at sports
scores, pornography, or a blank computer screen, here’s a
great tip to achieve the illusion that you’re being
productive. Situate your monitor so it faces away from
your office door. Furrow your brow and stroke your chin
as you waste time on the internet so any passers-by in the
hall think there’s something work-related on the screen.
3. If you have a pager, this can be a great help.
When you’re walking to go smoke a cigarette, take a coffee
break, or waste time in a friend’s office, look at the
screen of your pager and pretend to toggle through a
seemingly enormous list of incoming pages. This tip works
great when used in conjunction with tip #1.
4. If you plan to leave the office early, you can
disguise your laziness with one of Microsoft Outlook’s
many interesting features. Send your boss an e-mail and
configure the message to be delivered around 5:30 PM that
day. When you’re boss reads it the next morning, he’ll
think you were hard at work even after everyone else had
left for the day.
5. If you share your office with someone else, this
can be used to your advantage. Use your officemate’s
phone to leave several lengthy voice mail messages on your
own extension. Feel free to use the internet for personal
reasons while doing so, as it can become an unbearable
annoyance to spend any more than a couple minutes even
pretending to do work. Later on, you can play those same
messages back on your phone, making sure to turn the
speaker phone volume up as high as it goes so everyone in
neighboring offices will hear how many important phone
messages you receive.
6. Write a lot of progress reports. I can’t stress
this enough. When was the last time you read a progress
report? You never have? Exactly. Neither has your boss,
or any of your other coworkers, for that matter. In other
words, whether you’re actually making any progress at all
is irrelevant. If your boss sees that you publish a 30
page progress report every month, he’ll think you’re up to
your chin in work. Feel free to write progress reports
that report on the status of other progress reports.
7. If you have a son or daughter under the age of 7,
your child can work to your advantage. Give him/her a
ballpoint pen and a couple stacks of Post-It Notes. Once
your child has scribbled illegibly on all the Post-It
Notes, place them all over your office. On your monitor,
your wall, your desk… the more the merrier. This will
give your coworkers the illusion that you have a lot of
work awaiting your attention and not even enough time to
write legibly. Not only will you be thought of as a
diligent employee, but people will be less prone to asking
you to take on additional assignments.
8. Leave messages on other people’s voice mail when
they’re at lunch. If you do this enough, people will
start to think of you as being the guy who always works
right on through his lunch break. Way to go, slugger.
9. Carry a day planner. The mere sight of a day
planner just screams “Company Man!!!” For bonus points,
write in a lot of fake appointments, meetings, and
conference calls. This works twofold, because not only
does anyone who sees inside your day planner think you’re
a very busy and important person, but you can also have a
valid excuse for refusing people’s requests to set up a
real meeting, appointment, or conference call.
10. If you work in an office where multiple people
share a printer, then you’re in luck. Go into the printer
room and lock the door. Hang out there for a few hours,
taking everything that comes out of the printer.
Arbitrarily staple certain papers together, attach other
papers with paper clips, and even throw a few binder clips
in there for good measure. Once you’ve got a stack of
papers a few feet high, place this stack of papers on your
desk and watch how amazed all your coworkers are at the
huge work load you’re taking on. Make sure, however, that
a page or two of your own “work” is on top so nobody
discovers your secret.