When I was 23 years old– just a few months before I caught a one way flight to China— I got a tattoo on my hand. I intentionally chose my hand because I knew I would never be able to conceal it. I wanted to see it every single day, to remember what it means but also as a sort of guarantee that I’d never find myself stuck in a humdrum, soul-sucking professional career.
Oh 23 year old Aussa, you were so cute and stupid.
Little did I know that in just a few short years I would become the professional behemoth you see before you. I always assumed I was destined for a life of selling plasma for plane tickets, but no—I am a very very successful professional. And I want to tell you exactly how to fake it till you make it at work.
Step One: Coat Thyself in Bullshite.
I had absolutely no idea how to use Excel when I applied for my current job, but when they asked whether I could work with spreadsheets you better believe I told them I was a wunderkind genius who spreadshat in her sleep. You too can tell lies with this level of ease, because there is such a thing as Google. I also may have said something about experience with historical archives and public relations. Ha, good one. The only professional experience I really had was figuring out how to get half-naked customers out of an AT&T store.
Step Two: Master the Quiet Pause
When someone asks a question or alludes to some scandal you’re not aware of, just give them a quiet pause mixed with a lingering stare. They will feel you and then divulge information. This is how I make it through every single meeting and also how I know all my coworkers’ passwords and deepest darkest fears.
Step Three: Alt + Space + N
This is how you immediately minimize whatever screen you’re looking at. This works for Spotify, Pinterest, or Word documents where you’re making a list of your bosses’ most annoying personality quirks.
Now you’ve got a road map, let’s talk about the absolute paradise of your destination. This is what a typical day looks like for me:
8AM: Arrive at work. Turn on space heater. Make tea. Look at e-mails (2,967 unread). Pick most absurd email and forward to trusted coworker with snarky comment.
8:04AM: Lean back in chair. Ask self what sort of music mood you’re in. Are you feeling adventurous enough to click on New Music Tuesday? Or do you need to stick with something tried and true, like Eminem?
9:00AM: Eat Banana.
9:04AM: Realize you have a lot of notifications on your phone. Click each app to see what they are.
11:58AM: Woah! It’s almost lunch time.
1:30PM: Think of a good excuse for your hour and half lunch as you walk across parking lot back to your building.
1:34PM: Make tea.
1:40PM: Wander to opposite side of building in search of social interaction.
2:00PM: Receive text from coworker: “I need to buy command strips, want to go to Target?”
2:01PM: Feel an overwhelming sense of joy and anticipation.
3:30PM: Return from Target. Check e-mail. Flag those that contain information you might want to include in your future book about the horrors of the place.
3:35PM: Phone rings, answer it—they need you to fire someone who just took their shoe off and threw it at a patient whilst reciting the Ten Commandments in a Scottish accent.
3:36PM: Tweet about this.
4:11PM: Open Google, type: “What are the odds of winning the lottery?”
4:35PM: Look at your to-do list and realize you were supposed to submit a summary of findings by the end of the work day. Put Spotify on Random and open a blank Word document.
4:58PM: Complete summary of findings. Send to whoever wants it. Receive high praise for being such a great worker.
5:00PM: Gather things, flee from the wasteland, and don’t look back.
What does YOUR typical work day look like? Have you ever lied/exaggerated your qualifications? Did you intend to do whatever you’re doing with your life right now?
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