Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Finding Happiness at Your Co-Worker's Expense

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Finding Happiness at Your Co-Worker's Expense

Article excerpt

NEW YORK -- Good economic times are liberating for employees with "a cubicle-eye view" of working life because they can have a little fun and probably won't get fired, according to Scott Adams, creator of the Dilbert comic strip.

"Employees were reeling from the ricochets of the bullets from layoffs," he said. "All the sudden, the job market's great. Suddenly you feel it's pretty good to be an employee."

In The Joy of Work: Dilbert's Guide to Finding Happiness at the Expense of Your Co-workers (HarperBusiness, $22), Adams offers a comic guide to surviving the office environment of the late 1990s. He also details hundred of pranks for office workers (especially those in cubicles) -- from leaving hidden messages in paper that's about to be used in the office copier to leaving oil spots under the boss's new Cadillac. "You can inoculate yourself from any of these pranks by buying my book," Adams said. Many of them are mean, he acknowledged. Try them and there's a good chance you'll be fired. In that event, "go across the street and get a higher-paying job somewhere else," he said. "That all depends upon the economy being good." Office workers should do things that make them appear busy but permit them to "find ways to sleep" in their cubicles. Suggested ideas: Wear neck braces that keep the head up while dozing and dark glasses that hide if you've nodded off. Adams also recommends strategies like sleeping in a position with one arm drooping over the desk, as if you'd been trying to scoop up a fallen pencil or paper clip should the boss walk by and interrupt a nap. The latest Dilbert book also advocates that workers use telephone headsets for making personal phone calls but give the impression you're really busy while simultaneously using the personal computer to play games and surf the Internet. "Quit any job that monitors your Internet access," Adams said. Offices generally provide higher-speed access to the Internet than homes do, so workers can really use their work time to "turn your cubicle into a gambling casino, literally." Adams recommends online brokerage services for day traders, shopping and all kinds of Internet surfing -- at company expense. …

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