Work Survival 101

23 Apr, 2004 | BusinessLifeTdp

Having been in the corporate biosphere for some time, I feel I have developed a sense of what it takes to survive in the hostile, barren and unforgiving world of a modern day office. I would like to share some of these tips with those who simply don't get what it takes to survive. The tips will be presented randomly and at no set interval, so feel free to check back at anytime for possible updates, alternatively, you can purchase the full course comprising over 1800 tips by sending a cheque (or check for US citizens) or postal order to:

Gullible Geeks c/o Robin People Blind(s) Ltd
PO Box xxx

Tip #83 - Assessing Workloads
Whenever someone approaches you with work, no matter how large or small the job, always act like they're asking you to rebuild the Great Wall of China single-handed, with one arm tied behind your back, on a budget of £9.99 in 2 days. In short, act like they've asked you to perform the impossible, and that by even listening to such a suggestion you're doing them an immense favour.

Then, do the job.

Why? Well, they'll think that a) you can deliver the impossible and perform miracles and b) they'll be eternally grateful that you did it for them. Always keep people thinking they owe you a favour, preferably, they're job.

Tip #65 - Project Management
When asked for a project plan, no matter how big or small the project, take your best guess at how long and how much it will cost. Double it, then quadruple it, then make sure to lay early excuses such as: 'on the condition none of the goalposts* move,' 'assuming joe bloggs delivers his project assessment/drawing/whatever on time,' or 'provided there are no technology or staff changes and resource levels remain consistant.'

Keep your management team up to speed at every part of the project, not with how well it's progressing, but with how badly everything is going. Mention how many challenges you've faced, if you've overcome any, mention them in exhaustive detail, if they are still outstanding problems, mention why they are problems in exhaustive detail. Finish every briefing with something along the lines of: 'unless these issues are resolved quickly, or I'm given greater resources, we're unlikely to hit the target(s).'

If, by complete fluke or excessive over guessing, you come in on time and budget (or even ahead of schedule and/or under budget), be sure to accept all of the plaudits gracefully and modestly, make sure to mention your team affectionally (using one or two of their names is good) and say that you couldn't have done it without all of their hard work.

*Goalposts is a corporate term for meaning: the project requirements/goals/specifications.

Following all of the 1800 tips in our course will guarantee you become an office God, a lengend throughout the company and guaranteed promotions and pay rises year-on-year.