7 steps to having a lazy day in work without your boss noticing
You're having one of those days, and it's not even 1pm.
You had a bad night's sleep; next door's screaming match kept you awake all night; your tooth is killing you but you refuse to go to the dentist; you stepped in dog crap when you got off the bus; you're like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day and you want to punch something. Anything. Anyone.
And it's pi**ing rain.
You now have eight and a half hours of work ahead of you, and a resolve hits you. "Today," you say to yourself, "I am going to do the square root of f**k all and nobody will be able to tell."
It's like a project in itself, but we're here to help.
The first step - bring a shoulder/gym bag with room for a jacket
Just as you get to the office, stopping on the way for a coffee and a Twix (breakfast of champions), remove your jacket and put it into your shoulder bag.
Leave the bag down somewhere nobody will notice it and walk up to your desk like you've been in since 7.30 and you'd just nipped out for some air.
Look stressed. Always look stressed.
The second step - mess up your desk
Scatter those documents everywhere.
I once printed out entire film scripts and curry recipes from the Internet (sorry to the trees), put them in folders marked 'Budget Report: Project Fidelio #247 and #113 and #126' and rearranged them on a thrice weekly basis into various states of messiness around the desk, complete with bent paper clips and coffee rings.
Really I'd just spent time piddling around with my Fantasy Football team, reading The Onion and making myself sick on Monster Munch. Disgusting, glorious times.
The third step - make a decoy computer screen
Open up a program that you regularly use for your job, a Content Management System or some such. Take a screen grab. Open up Microsoft Paint. Paste in the screen grab. Save it to the desktop.
Repeat the process until you have three or four slides that you can fashion into a screen saver.
Even when you're hiding under the desk reading Empire or having one of your secret 10am burritos, it'll look like you've just nipped off to a meeting.
The fourth step - ask your colleagues to keep the noise down
They'll hate you, they will actually want you to die, but at least they'll think you're working.
What you're actually doing is watching episodes of I'm Alan Partridge on your desktop. The bit where Alan shouts "DAN!!!" 15 times is coming up.
The fifth step - fake a phone call to get away from your desk
Sound anxious as soon as you answer it; speak quietly but firmly enough so that the boss can hear you. Say something like, "bear with me... just let me... hang on two minutes..." and then feign to take the call outside.
This is the perfect opportunity for some sightseeing, maybe buy yourself an ice-cream in the local shop. If you smoke, do that. This is your time.
When you get back, explain that it was the Belfast office. There's often a Belfast office and nobody knows any of their names.
The sixth step - lunch
Leave ten minutes before you're meant to, come back ten minutes late. That's 20 minutes off your day right there.
Ensure you eat something fairly heavy to increase bathroom time during the day. That's another 35 minutes right there.
The seventh step - don't forget to look stressed
We told you about this way back in the first step. No matter what you're doing, do it quickly. If you're typing out an email to your mam, make sure you tut at the screen repeatedly and even throw your arms up in the air in exasperation a couple of times.
Somebody will ask you what's wrong.
"Bloody Belfast dragging their heels again. That's it, I'm going out for a coffee. I can't deal with those idiots."
You're nearly there.
The eighth step - open up Notepad and list off as many Father Ted priests as you can
You need to keep your mind sharp somehow, after all. You COULD actually do some work, at this point, but you've come this far and it's only 46 minutes until the end of the day.
Put a hood over your head and have a nap. People will think you're in 'the zone.'