fred

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During my 8:00-5:00 workday I managed to be actively working only 1 hour, tops. All credit for my amazing weaseling skills I give to the ultimate master shirker-Fred. I think I’m the only person who refers to him as ‘Dad’ anymore, and even then only to his face. Everyone else has a nickname for him-
Fred
Freddy
Fred-Man
Silfredo
Silf
Freduardo(telenovella name)
Fredwin
Fab 5 Freddy
Fredward Scissorhands
The Tattoed Sledgehammer of Rock n’ Roll
…and so on. When he went into the woods for two weeks to make a guitar at another Wilfredo’s house, we called it ‘Bill and Fred’s Mexellent Adventures’(he wrote this testimonial to all the fun he had; mom and I mocked him for all the man-love expressed, but he did make an awesome guitar).

While ‘working’ with him at the Utilities Authority, he taught me the fine art of appearing busy. First, always have something in your hand; a paper, a file, whatever. I’ve caught him asleep at his desk numerous times holding an open folder in front of him; the second he startled awake he played like he was perusing it the whole time. Smooth as ice. Second, walk around purposefully. It’s very hard to hit a moving target, and as a bonus you boost circulation! Never try and hide. You need to be seen ‘working’, moving from office to office, carrying stuff around, preferrably every hour.

For the advanced, some tips for sleeping on the job: Closed doors are a dead giveaway. Hold something weighty in your other hand(the first one’s holding a file, remember?). When you start nodding off, the noise from the object falling will snap you awake.
Visiting the employee lounge or cafetorium is a great way to kill 15 minutes. Take some time to perfect your cup of joe(or tea)-finding the perfect alchemical balance will drain minutes like you wouldn’t believe, and it leaves you holding the perfect prop for more purposeful walking around. If you have a water cooler, don’t just go up, sit down, kill, fill, and repeat. Take some time to putter about. Savour a few sips of that sparkling mineral while hovering about.

Don’t actively hide, but out of sight is indeed out of mind. Finding a nook with a computer is like finding a pot of gold. Remember, people expect you to do your job, but they don’t expect anything more. Office work rarely takes more than 10 minutes to finish, so get it all done first and then disappear. Until 10 minutes before lunch, when you stride about purposefully and there’s too little time to be given a new assignment. Repeat at the end of the day.

I have learned and lived by these pearls of Fred-tested wisdom. He’s sitting pretty in a corner office. I’m…a whiz at collating, but then again I never aspired to be more.

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