Greta Christina's 30 ways to improve your working life.
"If there's something you've got to do and a way to enjoy it, you'd be a fool to do it any other way."
Thomas Disch, "On Wings of Song"
Hello, and welcome to the Creative Employment Opportunity (CEO) School of Employee Empowerment. The following techniques will help make it possible for you to actually enjoy a reasonable portion of the long and tedious hours you spend creating profit for other people. With regular practice and steady application of these methods, you should be able to turn to your advantage any number of work situations that at best you'd rather not be at and at worst you despise down to the very nuclei of your blood cells. Please note: None of these techniques involves developing a good attitude, cultivating a genuine commitment to the company, or taking your job seriously.
1. Have sex fantasies (if you work in the sex industry, castration fantasies may be more effective for you).
2. Go into the bathroom and masturbate.
3. Call your friends on the phone.
4. Experiment with just how much you can make a personal phone call sound like company business.
5. Make friends with the people you work with. (Many pop psychologists disparage closeness with workmates, claiming that it dissolves important boundaries or creates a confusing work environment. This is corporate propaganda and, as such, should be ignored. It may not be a great idea to actually fuck the people you work with, but having genuine friends at your job can make working there somewhat less fossilizing and perhaps even marginally pleasant. It also makes it easier to waste valuable company time).
6. Impersonate your boss. (It is essential that you complete step 5 before attempting this technique. Failure to do so may result in severe embarrassment and/or loss of your job.
7. Talk about your life. This will help you remember that you have one. It has the additional benefit of wasting valuable company time. However, for the sake of your intelligence and imagination as well as the sanity of your workmates, please severely limit the amount of time you spend discussing television shows.
8. Have more sex fantasies. (Yes, we know, we said this already, but it's an important technique and is worth repeating. If you haven't had a good sex fantasy in the last hour, it's time for another. Try the one about the 13th century French Crusader and the Arabian aristocrat.)
9. Have non-sexual fantasies. Make up an elaborate imaginary world in which you are brilliant and fearless and noble and wise and charming and passionate and gifted and graceful and hauntingly beautiful to boot; a world in which everyone you touch is changed forever, even your enemies grudgingly admire you, and anyone who ever sneered at you finally realizes just how much they've misjudged you.
10. Make faces at people you talk to on the telephone.
11. Make faces at people who are trying to talk on the telephone.
12. Make faces at your boss behind his/her back.
13. Stare blankly out the window (assuming you have access to one. If you don't, the wall will do almost as well.) Hold a pen thoughtfully and purposefully in your hand: done correctly, this will deceive your boss into believing that you're actually thinking about your job.
14. Play weird little mind games with your mindless tasks. If you slave over endless pages of essentially random numbers, try to find weird mathematical patterns in them. If you word process, see how many paragraphs begin with the letter "W." If you do data entry, play a few good rollicking rounds of Guess The Zip Code. If you empty the wastebaskets, try to imagine the personalities of the people who use them.
15. Invent time-saving efficiency working techniques to give you more time in which to fuck off.
16. Invent new ways of making your personal projects look like company business.
17. Have even more sex fantasies. (I really can't emphasize strongly enough the importance of this technique. Keeping your libido alive is probably the most fun you can have subverting the dominant paradigm. If you're bored with the Crusades, try the one about the FBI agent and the bootlegger's lover.)
18. Experiment with just how far you can push the dress code.
19. Experiment with just how far you can stretch your breaktime/lunchtime/arrival-and-departure time.
20. Experiment with just how drunk/high you can get on your lunch hour without fucking up your position. (This technique only works if you are not an addict. If you are an addict, it will most likely have very limited entertainment value.)
21. Go into the bathroom and masturbate some more. (What are they going to do, give you grief about the amount of time you spend on the crapper? Well, okay, they might. If this happens, explain that you have stress-related constipation, and issue vaguely threatening hints about workman's compensation, rising insurance costs, and/or possible lawsuits.)
22. Use the word processor to write letters to your friends. Use the postage machine to mail them.
23. Find new and ingenious ways to annoy your boss that you can't actually be fired for.
24. Computer games, computer games, computer games!
25. Have another sex fantasy. Don't be shy--you owe it to yourself! Always remember that you are a beautiful and unique human being, no matter how crummy your job makes you feel. You deserve to have dozens of sex fantasies every day of your life.
26. Plan your evening.
27. Plan your weekend.
28. Plan your next vacation.
29. Plan your life after the workers' revolution comes and you don't have to work at this stupid fucking job anymore!
30. Plot the workers' revolution.
If you feel that this lesson has been helpful but are in need of further assistance, please consult our second-level instruction manuals, How To Look Industrious And Responsible While Doing Your Own Creative Work On Company Time and 101 Sex Fantasies To Keep You Entertained During An Otherwise Tedious Workday.
Many thanks to Marian Phillips for her valuable assistance, invaluable companionship, and really weird outlook on life.