You’re at your desk, you’ve been extremely efficient. Your project is done one full day ahead of schedule. Now you’re documenting the process for future uses. One small problem. Ok, it’s a BIG problem. Your boss is not happy! It’s not your project, that was completed exactly as requested. It’s not the documentation your working on, that’s being done by the book. So what the hell?!
It’s your looks! Ok, not your looks, but more the way you look! Yeah you’re working faster than Steve over there, but look at him! He’s an employers dream! Steve doesn’t get his projects done a day early. As a matter of fact he gets them done late more times than not. But look at his desk, it’s beautiful. Papers are everywhere, he’s loosing his hair from the stress, and he walks everywhere as though he were trying to start a fire by rubbing his thighs together as quickly as possible. The point here is that he “looks” busy!
You on the other hand are more Peter Gibbins post hypnosis (reference Office Space) than Michael Bolton or Samir. Yeahh uhhhh, that’s gonna be a problem.
What’s fascinating to me is that we have soooo many tools to track productivity/slave drive, yet true productivity is placed second to “looking busy.” My dad used to say the way to take a 3 hour lunch is run out of the office with a clipboard in hand looking busy. Come back in 3 hours to a pat on the back and a congratulatory smile. Since when is ROI directly affected by how I look?
So get your clip boards out and pens ready, and start running your way to the top of the glass ceiling.
Solution? Have your own plan. Know that you can be working at “The Man’s” company without working FOR the man. Even if you’re working another BS project, find ways of adding to your personal knowledge. Make the project a little better by adding something you’ve never done before. Learning new things is what can get you into a better position, a better company or even out of the office before noon.