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White Collar Slacking: Using Technology to Fool your Boss

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Marc Saltzman offers several sample tips and tricks that will help you appear to be working when you're not, and an overview of his book, White Collar Slacker's Handbook, which offers the complete guide to tricking your boss into thinking that you're diligent and hard-working.
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Technology, for most of us, is a wonderful thing.

Imagine living without your computer. Or the Internet. Or your cell phone, iPod, Blackberry or PDA.

Impossible, right?

Problem is, while we rely on these indispensable tech tools 'n toys, it also means we can work virtually anywhere and be contacted at any time.

So, thanks to technology, we've kissed the 40-hour work week goodbye. Now we're expected to do work at home outside of the office — at night, over weekends and even while traveling at 30,000 feet. thanks to the spiffy laptop your boss gave ya.

Your hip vibrates with an email during a nice dinner with your significant other. It's ok — they're used to it. Your better half rolls their eyes as you scroll through the messages to decide if it's worth replying or calling.

Sure, we're more productive because of these little 0s and 1s, but let's face it — technology has blurred the lines between our work and play, so 9 to 5 is more like 8 to 7.

Well, enough is enough.

This article, which includes tips from the White Collar Slacker's Handbook: Tech Tricks to Fool Your Boss, teaches you how to take back your personal life by using these same gadgets and gizmos to make it look like you're working when and where you're not.

This article, and by extension the book to a larger degree, teaches you how to turn the tables against "the man" by making it look like you're a diligent workaholic when you're really playing a round of golf, enjoying a lengthy lunch date or simply enjoying an afternoon on the sofa and your favorite DVDs.

Don't feel guilty — you deserve it. And weren't we promised as kids that technology would free up more personal time? So how is it that it's done just about the opposite?

Let's take a closer look.

Email Tricks

Let's walk through a fun trick: how to set up an email timer.

If you use Microsoft Outlook, arguably the most popular email program these days, you can set a timer so it looks like you're working late to impress the boss.

The idea is that you can write an email message at, say, 2 p.m., but you've configured Outlook to send the email at 1:31a.m. What praise you'll receive from the boss for your tireless work ethic! This trick also works for making it look like you're staying late at the office (for example, 7:21 p.m.) or holidays and weekends, of course.

The following steps show you how to set up this fun scheme.

Step 1 is simple enough:

  1. Write your email message. You can refer to the fact that it's quite late/early if you want (in case she doesn't read the time it was emailed). Perhaps you could write something like this: "Well it took me more than four hours to crunch these numbers (finished at 1:15 a.m.!) but I wanted you to have this when you got into the office."
  2. OK, so that's a bit much for those who don't like to kiss butt, but you get the idea.

  3. When you're finished writing your message, click the Options button in the upper-middle portion of the Outlook window, and from the list of delivery options, click the box beside the words Do Not Deliver Before and select the date and time when this message should be delivered using the drop-down boxes.
  4. Once a date and time is chosen, the last step is to click Close and then click Send. You should see this email message pending in your Outbox folder. You will need to keep Outlook open for this email to be sent at 2 a.m. Oooh, look how sneaky you are. Don't worry — this is our dirty little secret.
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