How to show up late to work, leave early and get away with it.

It’s easy to show up late to work and leave early if you follow these simple tips.

Clandestine Closet

You’ll need to find a closet near the front door or secret side door where you can hide “late” supplies and hang your jacket. I suggest keeping a stack of papers or some blue prints in there. When you slide in late, hang up your coat so that people don’t see you with your jacket on. Grab a stack of stuff and complain about the Gibson account to whomever you see.

Computer On
Always leave your computer and monitor on. Disable the screen saver or make your screen saver a full sized image of an Excel spreadsheet. Make sure you keep several programs open. I know I’m going to Environmental Hell for this one, but a few dollars of electricity a week is totally worth the extra sleep you will get.

Double Coats/Sweatshirts
When you leave work at night (or hopefully in the early afternoon) leave a spare jacket or sweatshirt on the back of your chair. Turn the chair slightly out as if you just stood up and plan to come back. If you’re leaving early, people will think you are coming back. If you are showing up late, people will think you've beaten them to the office and are at an early meeting. This especially works well if your computer is on.

Call Your Desk Phone and Hang Up After One Ring

If your co-workers hear your phone ringing off the hook, they will know you are not at your desk. When you leave early for the day, call in to your desk and hang up. With a subliminal one or two rings every twenty minutes, your boss will think you are answering calls and running errands, you multi-tasker you!

Office Pool
If you are just rolling in at 10:00am and need to trick your boss into thinking that you have been in the office all morning, utilize the Office Pool. Get a box top from some copier paper and throw whatever change and bills you have in it. Make sure you have a pen and piece of paper with writing on it (bonus points for a clipboard.) Pop in your boss’ office and tell him you are collecting money for Betty in Custodial’s pregnancy and that he is the last one on the list. Your boss will pretend like they know about Betty’s bastard child and wish her the best. “Check” his name off the list and say you will give your best to Betty. Spend boss’ cash later that afternoon at the bar with a toast to Betty’s soon-to-be-announced and soon-to-be-office-pool-money-collected miscarriage.

Copier Problems
Having a small bag of toner around can be useful for staging a “copier blow-up.” As you get into work, rub some on your face and sprinkle some on your hidden stash of papers. Make sure you ask if anyone has seen the copier guy. You can spend hours searching for the right “Drum and Blade Kit.”

Trick Away E-mail
Your e-mail probably has an “away” setting in which a return e-mail message is sent out during times when you are on an actual vacation. I suggest creating a fake email that makes it look like your email was bounced back to the sender. Something like:

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.

Unable to deliver message to the following recipients {your email address here}, because the message was forwarded more than the maximum allowed times. This could indicate a mail loop.

Change your settings so that this e-mail is sent out to every email, every time. Make sure you invite the IT guy out to get drinks so that he has your back.

Faux Work Keys
You know all those keys you have in the kitchen drawer? Spend 99 cents on a package of colorful key organizational toppers and create a ring of keys that looks official. Leave them on your desk. If they get stolen, no problem! Otherwise, people will assume you are at the office and locked in a utility closet on the second floor. Besides, everyone knows that people who have keys are important.

The Call In
Ensure that on your desk is a red file marked “Princeton Account.” Fill it with some official bullshit paperwork. If you are running late, call in to your boss’ secretary and have them “look up” some information in that folder for a meeting you are at. Make sure you whisper in the phone like you just stepped out of said meeting. Also make sure there is a twenty dollar bill in the very back of it in case you need to bribe the secretary into reading the same bullshit document for the fourth time.

Full Cup of Coffee
No one, not even the laziest person, will leave a full cup of coffee at their desk. Take the top off your Starbucks so that the fullness is apparent. For the very clever, make a fake whipped topping with some insulation foam and white paint. Stick it on top the coffee for added effect. With that sitting on your desk, everyone stopping by will assume you have just stepped away.

Quit being a chump and sneaking around the office! Invite everyone out for a 3:00pm drink at the local bar. Buy the first round. Be a hero. Then, fake a phone call from your sick aunt and get the hell away from your stuck up co-workers.


Anonymous said...

You don't actually work. You should write about something you know. Like how to leave a party so no one knows you left early.

Sleepy Scott said...

Isn't Betty getting a bit old to have a child? Just wondering.

Mrs. K said...

My God man... you are a genius! However, it's amazing that you still have a job after all the tips you've given us on how to not work! Your boss must not know about your Interweb life!

Chuck Steel said...

Here's another one for you. Depending on your email system, you may be able to schedule emails to be sent at a later time. For instance, using Outlook, I can compose a message, go into the options and tell it not to be delivered before a certain time, like 4:13pm. When I click Send, it will sit in the Outbox until then.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! I never thought to try the toner idea or the coffee!

The Excel thing works fine unless your boss suspects that you're not working to begin with. If only someone could program a screen saver that did that with a WORKING clock!

feed the girl said...

You are, once again, genius.

Eric Lester said...

This is a scream. The coffee trick made me laugh audibly, which disturbs my co-worker, for he knows not what I do.

My boss does the jacket-chair trick all the time. I don't want to hurt his feelings by telling him that nobody cares.

Anonymous said...

How about buying a coffee maker and putting that on the corner of your office? If you get the right kind you can set the timer on it and coffee will be automagically made at specific times. Make just a bit so it looks like you've already had some. Leave some coffee in your cup, too, to add to the effect.

Whether you get a coffee maker or not, you will want to make sure that any cups of coffee you leave on your desk are warm. So get into the habit of leaving your coffee on a little plug-in hot plate. Or you can get special little cup warmer things - electric, of course. ThinkGeek sells one that plugs into your computer's USB drive and runs off your computer's power.

Who would ever think you weren't in the office if you had warm coffee right there on your desk?

Anonymous said...

I just noticed that somebody above commented "The Excel thing works fine unless your boss suspects that you're not working to begin with. If only someone could program a screen saver that did that with a WORKING clock!"

I think the answer to this is to minimize your taskbar, or remove the clock from your taskbar altogether. THEN take the screenshot. Simple, no?

Anonymous said...

To all the warm-coffee-on-desk comments,

Who, that misses you at work, would go into your office/cubical to feel your coffee for warmth?

Who would care to investigate anything? If you're not around you're screwed, simple as that!

JM said...

A bit wet.

1) Make sure you have internet access to your email, and send messages when you are not in the office.

2) Get a scripting program. Have it load Excell with a parameter, the name of the file, then 30 minutes later quit that and load something else. Record several program changes and different documents and then edit the script to insert 30 minute waits after each operation.

The scripting worked for me way back in 1992. I would setup a full day and it would start running at the pre-programed start time.

3) Setup remote access to your desktop so you can fire things up and close them down from home. Get the Boss to sign off on having PC Anywhere installed so you can 'help' a remote user, and get IT's belssing, but after that it will still be installed and functional so you can work from home.

4) Checkout "Go to my PC".

5) Make sure you have voice mail. Find out how to remotely access your office phone messages, and reply to them remotely.

6) Delegate like mad.

7) Convince the boss that the customers and users you support don't work 9-5 but rather start to call after 10 and because some are west coast keep calling through to 6 or 7 PM. By showing phone logs that I kept, I got the boss to agree that I need not start till 10 or 10:30 since there were very few calls before then, and I would stay late. Side benefit is that it made the traffic on my commutes much nicer.

8) Find doors that are not monitored or access.

9) Keep jacket on back of office door and arrive in shirt sleeves.

10) Work with other groups in org, sideways. Once you are reporting to several bosses no one keeps accurate tabs. "Today I will be over in building D, working with xxxx on yyy and tomorrow I will be spending time in building F with the xxx project. Volunteer for all cross teem projects with people from other buildings and departments. Be out on "loan" to other groups a lot. It helps to have a specialization they need.

HTMLGecko said...

I'd advise against the toner trick... it's carcinogenic!

Anonymous said...

The best way to make your computer look like you have an excel spreadsheet open - save an image of only the excel window and set it as a desktop wallpaper. Just make sure all your desktop icons are hidden or moved.

Anonymous said...

Very nice and funny article. Even funnier how seriously people take it. Why not just work like you're supposed to?

"a screen saver that did that with a WORKING clock!"

Even simpler, do not use a screen saver at all! They don't even serve any purpose anymore. They had use only with CRT monitors.

"ThinkGeek sells one that plugs into your computer's USB drive"

USB connector is not a drive.

"Find doors that are not monitored or access."

wat .. doors that are not access?

Anonymous said...

It is simply amazing to me how far some people will go to keep from doing their job. Just think, if everyone did that, this world we live in would be even more screwed up! I am proud to say that I am a nurse, and I take my career very seriously. I agree that some days, I would love to go hide somewhere, if only for a minute to get my bearing back, but I have to remember, my patients are sick and they are out of their personal environment and schedule. They are #1 scared, sick, and having to depend on others. #2 alot are elderly, they need someone to just show them they care alot of times. #3 You also have to deal with the families that are scared for their loved ones and they only want the best for them. SO my job is very demanding and stressful on alot of levels. I wouldn't even consider any ways to get out of doing my job or ways to cut corners.

Anonymous said...

Similar to a couple of the above, I like to write occasional emails to the boss and save them as drafts (i.e. write them at the office) and send them via webmail (often on the bus on the way home). Doing it this way has the advantage of allowing me to quickly check my inbox for any mail from them that I should have read before sending.
Oh, and here's the biggie - occasionally stay late. I'm not joking. If you're seen to be working late, presumably as the needs of the job dictate, then your colleagues are much less likely to actually add up the hours you're actually in the office.

Anonymous said...

I just bring a high-powered semi-automatic rifle to work with me.

If I show up at 11:30AM and my boss gives me grief, I kill him with it.

Pretty simple, really, and no need to go all clever with fake coffee topping and scripts.

Anonymous said...

I nearly stopped breathing whilst laughing about the coffee! Does the fake coffee topping help prevent green fur from growing on top? Maybe a little chlorine or algaecide might prevent that?

Also, let a fart when you leave and say "Excuse me, I've got the runs!" which also let's them know you will be coming back. Or, that you went from the lavatory to the nurse's station.

Anonymous said...

At my work you can't change the screen saver settings or when the monitor goes to energy saver, plus our IT dept will reboot your computer remotely daily.

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Anonymous said...

Great post! Maybe you could do a follow up on this topic :D

Anonymous said...

Just do your friggin job... jees