That's Shamtastic!

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Guidelines for increasing productivity in a highly-regulated work environment.

Submitted: March 25, 2009

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Submitted: March 25, 2009



As echoes of mankind’s past errors in the attempt of controlled communism fade into the background, new totalitarian maxims have surfaced with new words to hide their gross misallocation of time and resources. This has become increasingly true in the work place with new technologies and pressure by the highest authorities in a corporation on underbosses to be accountable for the up-to-the-minute status on what everyone is doing. What superiors believe the effects of such monitoring has to do with final production is uncertain, but the status quo for all large agencies alike remains consistent. If the person in charge doesn’t know exactly what is going on, then nothing happens.

Speaking from experience, my job is run very much in the fashion of a dictated, closely-regimented, and wasteful business. I have come to increase my efficiency and even my final output through learning how to exploit a skill which is often frowned upon. The word shaming is used to describe the circumvention of accountability to do something other than what is proscribed. While abuse of shaming may result in personal misallocation of time, carful application of shaming technique can produce what has come to be termed as “productive shaming.”

The justification for productive shaming is simple:
-If someone is waiting for orders, nothing is getting done (and feeling like your time is being wasted is the greatest moral killer)
-If you start something earlier than you are supposed to, you have more time to make a complete and well-understood result
-If you don’t take care of your work or even yourself, then someone else will have to take their time to do it, which wastes more time.

I do not consider myself an expert shamer, but I have learned from, at the least, professional shamers. While their ends were not always pure, their methods are similar. All shaming takes practice and time to implement. Remember, shaming requires a replacement of precedents to reduce your personal accountability to others, it most likely will not happen overnight. While there are finer points to effective shaming, the general principles are as follows:

Be invisible
Stealth has more to do with body language than what you are wearing. Always have something in your hands or something close by that can quickly be in your hands. Technology affords the convenience of cell phones, if you feel like you are in a vulnerable location or stance, pull it out, check it, and have to “find someone” or “call someone back” in another room. Don’t necessarily be in a hurry, but always be on your way to something. Never have nothing to do, but never be too busy to show your face either, people will suspect shaming if you are literally never around.
Be informed
Technology also affords the ability to check up on your work community without visiting. Talk to the boss in person (though as little as possible), but try to communicate with everyone else by phone call or passing messages through other people (this will also emphasize how “busy” you are).  Release no more information than what your informant already knows about your “errand,” vaguely “just want to know what’s goin’ on.”
Be flexible
Keep your eyes open for voluntary opportunities to disappear and accomplish tasks (this will show initiative and cause superiors to relax their gaze from you because you are willing to be productive without being told to as well as affording you time to accomplish your own agenda). Resourcefulness is your greatest ally, just because your goals didn’t resolve themselves how you were expecting does not mean prospects will not appear with which to exercise efficiency in completing your own to-do list.
Don’t be static
A moving target, no matter the size, is much harder to hit than something constantly on the move. Don’t sit around or focus on one task for too long. If someone suspects you are shaming, it will be much harder prove if you are not “on the radar,” but in the inversely you will be suspected of being static somewhere else if you do not show your face occasionally so at least someone can recall seeing you.
Don’t be direct
Misinformation is key to remaining unnoticed. The more ambiguous, confusing, and confused an aura you portray, the more likely one will suspect you are “in over your head” and cannot be distracted from your task and you will almost never be given busy work. If you “don’t have any clue” what’s going on, you will be more easily forgiven than if you “forgot” to do something. Be willing to take a little heat with an embarrassed laugh, rather than looking like someone who is trying to avoid work.
Don’t be excited
If what you are doing makes you happy, you are most definitely sinning in the eyes of corporate bosses. Act stressed and always be “willing to take your mind off your own tasks” by helping someone else. The prior-mentioned flexibility is essential when someone calls in a favor from you. If you can “spare a minute” then you obviously don’t want to get to your destination, ironically increasing its importance or at the least, giving you a chance to fabricate such a task’s existence.

Though much detail can be added for personalization and increased skillfulness, for whatever reason you are trying to circumvent mindless tasks the above mentioned tips will help aid you in constructing your shaming strategy, though a productive shaming is most notably advocated. Doing your job better than you are directed and taking care of your personal responsibilities is admirable, because your problems will become your boss’s problem if you don’t take care of them. Shaming is just an effective method for creating time to complete said tasks. If you are willing to take a few risks and learn by observation, you may effectively become a master shamer, or what is referred to as a “shaminja,” which is to his or her peers and superiors, like Bigfoot, nothing but a legend a ghost.

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