A fool-proof, step-by-step guide to getting what you want from your stupid job.

1. Identify those areas in which you do a better job than anyone else in the office. Hopefully this list won't include anything so tedious it makes you cry just thinking about it. Or simply pick those areas that you most enjoy. Label these "A Tasks."

2. Identify those areas in which you do a worse job than anyone else in the office. Or identify those tasks that are so tedious, it makes you cry just thinking about them. Label these "B Tasks." Alternately: "Tasks I Fucking Loathe."

3. Make sure no one finds this list.

4. Do a hideously bad job on B Tasks, while increasing your commitment to quality on all A Tasks. Make sure your performance on A Tasks goes way, way, way beyond the call of duty. Your negligence of all B Tasks should free up enough time to make this possible.

5. If/When your boss meets with you to discuss your hideously poor performance on B Tasks, explain that his/her disapproval with your recent work is uncannily well-timed, as you were just about to approach him/her with your intentions to focus mostly on A Tasks henceforth, since it's clear enough that this is where your true talents lie.

6. Get your job redefined to include only A Tasks. Throw in exactly one very small, yet complicated, task that your boss really, really hates doing. Offer to take this task off his/her hands.

7. Repeat all steps until your job mostly consists of eating doughnuts, chatting on the phone, and thinking of "really good ideas" now and then.

8. When it's time for a raise, imagine the maximum conceivable raise your boss might give you, and ask for double that. This magically turns the maximum amount into their minimum requirement to keep you on board, provided they're petrified of losing you.

9. If they don't look sufficiently petrified, raise the question of that one very small, but complicated, task that he/she will have to go back to doing once you leave, since it would take months to train someone new to do it.

If your bosses are as stupid as ours, this plan should work like a charm!

Next ... The exception to the rule.

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