Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Fight back against the office suck-up

Fight back against the office suck-up
Posted by: The Trivia Geek

Every office has at least one: That blatant suck-up using obvious tactics to try and get noticed and curry favor with the boss. What's worse, these jerks usually get away with it. A few of the TR staff are trying to come up with top ten most blatant (and, unfortunately, effective) tactics for schmoozing your way up the corporate ladder. We've got eight so far, including the classic "laugh at the boss's jokes" and "always arrive before/leave after the boss." Can anybody add to the list, preferably with real-world examples and effective counterattacks?

Here's what we've got so far. Feel free to add, subtract, mock, critique, or ignore this list when adding your own entry.

1. Nod your head continuously any time your boss is addressing your team. This conveys that you agree with everything he says and that you only wish you could have articulated it as brilliantly as he is doing. If his ego is insatiable, his eyes will constantly gravitate in your direction for affirmation. In other words, embrace your inner bobblehead.

2. Disagree with everything the boss says. Go out of your way to contradict her every statement. This shows that you're an independent thinker and way smarter than the rest of the peons you've been thrown in with.

3. Use the same buzzwords as the boss. Make sure what you say is an actionable, user-centric, directionally correct turnkey solution with touchpoints. As you can see, it doesn't even have to make sense if you say it fast enough. For extra points, speak entirely in acronyms.

4. Ask questions during company meetings that have no purpose other than to showcase your tremendous intellect. If the CIO is talking about reorganizing the help desk, don't be afraid to raise your hand and ask what effect the current business strategy will have on the next quarter's profit margin. For an added bonus, ask this question at the end of a meeting. (See next point.)

5. Don't make any major presentations during the course of a regular meeting. Wait until the meeting organizer is wrapping up and makes the perfunctory "does anyone have anything else?" request. Then you launch into your spiel, assuring that everyone has to pay attention to what you say. Sure, they may hate you for making the meeting run long, but you'll have made an impression.

6. Laugh hard at your boss's jokes. The higher placed the boss, the greater your laughter should be. If it's the CIO, feign uncontrollable mirth by intermittently wiping tears from your eyes.

7. Be at work 23 hours per day. Be there when your boss gets in and when she leaves. Even if your workload only constitutes about 3 1/2 hours, stretch it out with coffee breaks, four-hour lunches, non-work-related web browsing, and general co-worker chit chat. After all, productivity is measured by your physical presence not actual turnaround.

8. Pay close attention to whatever phone/PDA/gadget the boss uses. Do a great deal of research on it, then casually let the boss know that you're looking for a new phone/PDA/gadget with particular features--namely the exact ones that his model is known for. The boss will instantly recommend his own gadget, so that when you buy it yourself, he thinks you took his advice, rather than merely copied his purchase.

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