Somehow over the years, I’ve developed this attitude where if I don’t have pretty much complete freedom at my job, I get really uncomfortable. I know plenty of people say that when that happens, you should quit life, travel the world, and explore all of your curiosities and all that shit. I think that’s totally unrealistic. I really don’t believe that anyone can successfully do that without landing on Skid Row, unless they come from rich families that support their bad decisions.
Since I’ve come to enjoy luxuries like cheap wine and a bed, I don’t really have the option of not working. Those lovely student loans aren’t going to pay themselves, either. Rather than drop everything, I’ve learned to create a work environment where I can do pretty much whatever the hell I want, with almost no questions asked. This has worked twice for me so far, so that pretty much makes me an expert.
Now, before you try to follow in my footsteps, I have to mention that the most important part of making this work for you is productivity. If you’re a slacker and you don’t get shit done, people are going to breathe down your neck all the time – that’s just how it goes. But if no one is waiting on anything from you, then chances are they’re going to leave you alone. Before you try to spend your time on the clock watching Netflix and going on personal adventures, you have to make sure you’re kicking ass at your job first.
That being said, it’s important to figure out what it is you’d rather be doing at work, then figure out how to get there (I’m choosing to write this column at work, at the moment). The first thing I did that really helped me accomplish this was to totally separate myself and my work from what everyone else does. Sure, that means learning how to do certain other tasks that other people may typically get involved in, but if they get used to not ever seeing me, then it won’t be weird if I’m not around. Schedule a bunch of meetings out of the office so that it starts to become normal for you to always be somewhere else. After a while, it got to a point where I could really just come and go as I pleased.
Another important thing that I did was develop relationships with people from companies that work WITH mine, but not FOR mine. Then when I tell my boss I’m about to go meet with Lisa from the company that we work closely with, he’s going to think, “Wow, this guy is really working hard.” He has no idea that Lisa and I send each other inappropriate texts all the time, and that we’re actually just going on a sushi date.
That brings me to my next point: Flirt your ass off. Of course I can use Lisa as an excuse to leave work, and I can pop up at her office all the time. I was recently told, “The ladies love it when you come into the office.” OF COURSE THEY DO, because I always show up wearing my tight pants and flashing my pearly whites. I throw compliments around like confetti, and always brighten everyone’s spirits! They love me here!
I also have to take into account things that worked in my favor that I can’t totally take credit for, like my own office, and the fact that I work for a private company (government jobs typically don’t play that shit). A great receptionist always helps, too. It makes me feel like I’m Jack Bauer (24) when I call my job and ask if anyone has been looking for me, and I know that I have someone to cover. Don’t ever underestimate the power of a caramel macchiato. It’s like a magic mind control serum to make people do whatever you ask them to.
As long as you’re not opposed to being sketchy and manipulative, maybe my own experiences will help you to gain the same freedom in the workplace that I have. There’s nothing quite as gratifying as overhearing someone ask where you are, and the response is, “No. I never really know where he is.” .
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