The Corporate World is a slippery slope. It’s where the big mostly eats up the small and the shrewd eats up the naive. There is competition, all right, but not always fair. I hear many complain about the politics at workplace, favuoritism, exploitation and mindless delegation of work. Some are quick learners. However, there are always others who just refuse to learn and make cribbing a routine.
Nevertheless, it’s interesting to watch and learn from how people play the corporate game. I will throw some of the pebbles I have collected from the corporate beach and would love to see you add more, if any.
1. Cut the Bakra in Public: When you are in a meeting or a conference call with your boss and other people and you don’t want to take responsibility of an assignment and want to delegate, you never say “Sorry, I can’t do it”. You cleverly pass it on to someone else by saying, “Given his experience, I think he is the best guy to do this.” Nice. Job done and your ass is saved.
2. Grab the Beginner’s Luck: Never tell your boss or in a group that you don’t want to do something. Always show interest, irrespective how terribly disinterested you are. Once you come out of the meeting room, start first. If a deck needs to be prepared, be the first one to share the draft deck. Just put some god-damn slides and say, “Guys, I have put the first cut. I am sure you can make little modifications and complete this”. The rest of the guys might scratch their heads for the rest of the week, but you have just earned yourself a week’s worth of free time. And the good thing is you are the one who “initiated” it all.
God, I hate that word!
3. WE’fy the Responsibility: When you want to show that you are proactive in taking responsibility (especially when your boss is around), but don’t really want to do the job, make an overuse of “WE”. As in, “We will take care of this”, “Absolutely; we will ensure that it’s done”. Later at your convenience, you can take out the “I” from the “We” and have the rest of the morons finish the job. But I agree, doing this is easier said than done, especially when you have smart guys around.
What I have seen people normally doing is talking a lot, giving all kinds of ideas (no matter how stupid they are) and asking the rest of the folks to just convert those ideas into reality, or text on paper. And these people claim loudly that they are always there to “extend all help required”. Hah.
4. Your Work is My Work: If your boss has given you something to do and you have got it done from your juniors, don’t mark them a copy when you send the task to your boss. Remove their names, remove “FWD” from the subject line and make it look like you have done it (And yes, remember to call up your juniors and tell them “I am not sure if boss is going to like it”. They would be happy that their names don’t figure, if they found out later that you have presented their work as yours.
5. Did You Find Anything: Someone asks you for some information and you have absolutely no intention to do any work and provide the information. What do you do? You call up that guy and give him/her some great lecture on how the work must be done. Then you say that you would send him just the right info. You send out some irrelevant stuff you already had with you (a deck or a word file perhaps) and send an email marking a copy to your boss; “We discussed. As per the discussion, I am sending you the file we talked about. This should provide you all the info”. You know what? Your job is done and that idiot would spend the entire day trying to figure out how to make any use of your file. But you have done your job, you are safe!
6. You See, I am Working My Asses Off: You are part of a team working for a common goal, say preparing a proposal. What do you do if you want to minimize your workload? Don’t tell anyone how much you have progressed. Even if you finished the task given to you in just a couple of hours, don’t tell anyone yet. Release little bit of your work every day to the team and give the impression that you have been working hard everyday and making progress.
This gives you a lot of headroom for movies, friends and late night binges.
7. I Only Work Post 12 AM. Isn’t it? Another way to show you are working hard. If an important task is being worked upon, never ever send out a mail during office hours saying that the task in complete (unless there is a deadline, of course). Finish the work during office hours but send the mail out only before you go to bed (at 1.30 am at night, say).
8. Your Memory is Short. Not My Problem. It’s appraisal time and a team mate of yours is slated for promotion before you or a better rating than yours. Worried? Remember that human memory is short. I have seen many employees use this trick on their bosses. They make merry for the entire year and work (or at least show that they are working) only a month or two before the appraisal time. Many times, they end of getting ratings disproportionate to their contribution in the entire year.
Remember Filmfare awards? A movie that is just released and has done good business ends of winning too many awards as compared to better movies released much earlier. Be a little filmi in your corporate dealings. It pays off!
Well, that’s all I had in store inside my skull. If you have anything more, may I please request you enlighten us?