How To Pretend You’re Working


An excerpt from The Graduates: Dispatches from the Debtcade After College.

Switch Windows

There’s one key to being successful in the workplace. Actually, there are two, and you have to press them both at the same time: Alt+Tab. This simple keyboard shortcut lets you switch quickly between windows on your desktop, making it impossible for your boss to accuse you of not working when you suddenly have a spreadsheet with complicated numbers open.

Copy Things into Outlook

If there’s a long news story you want to read, quickly copy and paste it from your web browser into a new Outlook e-mail. That way, when your boss walks by, it looks like you’re reading a very long, serious work-related e-mail and not a ten-page expose about Khloe Kardashian’s plastic surgery.

Take Frequent Bathroom Breaks

Find the quietest bathroom in the building and make it your second home. Pick a favorite stall and stay there until you beat Angry Birds. If anyone questions why you go to the bathroom so often, tell them you have a rare bladder disorder. Just kidding. If anyone asks, just threaten to report them to HR for “poop stalking.”

Attend Imaginary Meetings

If you need to leave the office, rush off like you’re late for an important meeting, and keep up the act until you’re out of the building, in your car, and well on your way to Taco Bell for a Crunchwrap Supreme and a parking lot nap.

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