Mar 9th 2009 By Tom Radler
Companies are cutting staff and increasingly having employees pull long hours to pick up the slack. This leads to barely having time to watch what's on your TiVo, the girlfriend complaining that she never sees you, and feeling extremely stressed out all the time.
Dude, even if the economy's bad, that's no way to live. So we consulted office guru Stanley Bing's recent book "Executricks, or How to Retire While You're Still Working
," for a little guidance on how to chill work life out a little while still seeming indispensable and at the top of your game.
Bing's book is aimed largely at aging executives who have started to dream of Palm Beach before they get to retirement age, but a lot of the lessons can be applied to pretty much anyone sick of sacrificing everything they've got to the grind of cubicle life.
The core "executricks" include delegating work to other people and then taking credit for the product; getting people accustomed to your working in multiple places, so that they don't notice when you're absent; and figuring out ways to expand your expense account without looking like you're abusing your authority. After the jump, check out a few of Bing's other choice bits of wisdom for cubicle culture.
Maximizing Your Cubicle Privacy
Bing suggests you angle your screen away from the open entrance as much as possible, so that people can't see you slacking off. He encourages filling your space with all kinds of memorabilia and junk that personalizes it and makes other people feel awkward about stopping by. Acting anti-social and generally seeming unapproachable are also praised.
It sounds crazy, but if you want to play online video games, obsessively check your friends' (and former girlfriends') Facebook pages and watch movies
, this is the best way to do it without hassle.Drinking at Lunch
Don't worry about how a lunchtime tipple is perceived unless you're with a real tight-ass higher-up. Still, only drink hard liquor if your lunch companion is joining you; wine is generally a safe way to go, but you should generally only have one glass unless you've got a super-high tolerance, or if the person you're with matches your consumption.
The key is to keep yourself together, happily buzzing, and not to get trashed before heading back to the office. Be more Don Draper than Freddy Rumsen. (The latter got fired last season for getting drunk and wetting himself in the office
. Not cool, Freddy. Not cool.)Navigating a Company Retreat
"Remember, this is part of your retirement package," writes Bing. "Don't work it too hard." Try to mix with everyone, and don't be pushy about always talking to the bosses (though it helps to stay near them when possible). Don't blow off team-building activities, but don't get too invested in them. (Still, never lose something on purpose, to anyone.)
Basically, when you're stuck on a weekend in Miami with your office-mates, participate where it's necessary and cozy up to bosses when you can -- but also disappear for a while with a margarita, take some time by the pool, and don't worry about how it's being perceived.Think employing Bing's employment advice is doable? Have any executricks of your own? Let us know in the comments.
Check out the links below for more workplace advice ...Being Friends With Your Boss -- How Close Is Too Close
?Four Points for Making Yourself Essential at Work
.Keep Your Office E-mail from Coming Back to Haunt You