How To Get Paid To Do Nothing (Not)

Forbes writer Susan Adams tackles the concept of “Michelangelos of work avoidance,” or people who are so good at not getting work done that you don’t even realize they’re not getting work done.

She says that people who don’t delete their voicemails, for example, give others the impression that they’re so swamped they don’t even have time to delete voicemail.

And people who hint to their boss that they’ll fail at whatever task they’re assigned won’t get assigned those tasks anymore.

And, she says, these folks can keep their jobs for years, possibly even get promoted.

We say: Are you joking or is this just a five-year-old article? (It’s not, unless it’s been sitting on Adams’ desk for the past five years.) Nobody could get away with keeping their job and being that incompetent in this economic climate.

Adams didn’t publish this list to give people a cheat sheet to work. She published it so bosses could cotton on to their employee’s sneaky ways. But any boss that would need to read an article before realizing that their employees were using these methods to get out of work is not a very good boss.

Other work-avoidance techniques that work, according to Adams:

  • Not being at your desk….because if your boss doesn’t see you, they might forget you’re there.
  • Telling people how busy you are when you’re asked.
  • Making sure to have a “boss key” set up so you can switch from Solitaire to Excel at a moment’s notice.

Again, any boss that can’t recognize these for what they are without the help of an article…probably shouldn’t be managing.

If you don’t delete your voice mail, by the way, people will assume you’re lazy, not busy.