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The holidays are over, you’re back to work, and it’s freezing out. No matter how hard you try, you can’t find your mojo.

Don’t stress. The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Work offers tips on how to make it out alive when your boss catches you nodding or slacking off.

Surfing the Web

1. Blame your search engine. Explain that your search engine mistakenly has provided you with an address to an inappropriate site. Alternatively, claim you made a typing error in the Web address.

2. Blame your browser. Say that someone has set a new “home page” on your Internet browser. Sounding annoyed, loudly ask, “Who keeps setting my browser to open on this sports page? I’m trying to get those new number for my report!” You can also claim that you’re having trouble loading certain work-related websites and so you are visiting more popular sites to see if the computer is working properly.

3. Blame the website. Claim that the window with inappropriate material opened unexpectedly while you were viewing something else. Lament that such “pop-ups” are very common and should be regulated.

4. Blame an e-mail correspondent. Claim that someone sent you the hyperlink, and you clicked it without knowing what it was.

Be Aware

  • When surfing the Web, always keep the corporate intranet site up in a separate browser window. Be ready to click over quickly.
  • Position your monitor at an angle that prevents anyone standing at the entrance to your office or cube from viewing the screen.

Asleep at Your Desk

1. Blame work. Say, “I’m so exhausted; I was here until midnight last night!” Do not attempt this if your boss works late and you do not.

2. Blame medication. Claim that your new allergy medicine has been making you drowsy. Say, “Those antihistamines just knock me out!”

3. Blame lunch. Say, “Wow, I guess I should not have eaten that turkey sandwich. Triptophan really makes me sleepy!”

Be Aware

  • When taking a nap, always rest your elbow on your desk and keep your arm perpendicular to the desktop. Your forehead should rest on your four fingers—your thumb, spread apart from the fingers, should support your jaw. This position will keep your head up and aimed at your desk. Face in a direction so that it is not immediately visible to someone approaching your desk that your eyes are closed. Keep an important group of documents in your perceived line of sight so as to appear to be reading intently. 

Christina Schillaci's picture

Christina Schillaci

As the voice behind Quirk's social media channels, Christina hurls words into the Twitterverse daily. She is also referred to as Mother of Bloggers. In addition to tweeting, she enjoys eating breakfast, backpacking, and using the Oxford comma. You can find her @saychristina (where she uses way too many GIFs) or @QuirkBooks.