Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Don’t show your booty

Information is like gold and must be hoarded to ensure its scarcity and value. Within a company, the guardians of information are like dragons who have been laying on beds of knowledge for so long that various bits of data have been encrusted onto their underbellies. Those who seek this information must, like adventurers of old, use any number of tricksy tactics to relieve the hoarders from their infobooty.

Since the publication of an Office Tip last year which advised on how to interrupt people, office productivity has plummeted. While the “adventurers” have been able to obtain the information they seek, the “dragons” have been forced not only to part with it, but also to interact with co-workers.

If you are a data dragon, avoid interruptions by making it hard for people to find you. You can achieve this just by sitting at someone else’s desk, however there are alternatives:

  • Book a meeting room. Be warned, though: any person sitting alone in a meeting room will attract the kinds of people who will have to ask: “with all your friends, are ya?” (Note that when in school, these were also the people who “made you look”.)
  • Wear a disguise. No-one ever asks the new guy for information. Also, no-one wants to speak to the weirdo with an obviously fake nose.
  • Call in sick. Sure you will be using your sick leave to do work, but the fact that you are willing to do that is in itself a symptom of a deep illness, and any doctor would be willing to sign a note saying so.

The definitive way to avoid interruptions is to go to work for a different company. You must be aware, though, that when you change companies you will no longer be a dragon but merely another hairy-footed data thief on a quest for truth.

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