Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Company Cookout

As summer enters full swing this month it's important to remember that this is the season of the company picnic or cookout--a time for coworkers to toss Frisbees around under pleasant skies. A time to learn more about the people you see on a daily basis and to mingle outside the stuffy constraints of office protocol and corporate hierarchy.

Avoid these situations at all cost!

You may be hungry, starved for communication and camaraderie or attracted to a coworker who mentioned that he or she would attend, but by taking part in one of these functions you put yourself at a high risk of "being yourself" and consequently inflicting a complete meltdown of everything Faking Smart! has contributed to improving your workplace standing. The FSRI has therefore tested and approved a number of ways for you to elude one of these potentially ruinous company outings.

Sometimes the best impression you can make is the one made when you are not there. Here are six excuses for you to tactfully remove yourself from the obligations surrounding the company cookout:

1. Say that you are attending a computer science conference on artificial intelligence.

2. Mention that you can't come because you are taking your SAT exam again (like you do every month) to see if you can beat your last score.

3. Excuse yourself by bringing up the fact that your chess club is holding an invitational match against a troup of travelling Russian grandmasters.

4. Tell your boss that you are attending a scholarly talk on Stephen Hawking's ruminations on the writings of Max Planck.

5. Explain that can't make it because you are attending a university seminar on chaos theory's impact on organic farming and its implications for global mandrake markets.

6. You won't be there because you promised yourself that you'd finally get down and create the hedge fund you've been working on.

If you employ any of these excuses you are sure to produce a "buzz" when your coworkers gather for their day of sunburn, twisted ankles and an over-indulgence in bratwursts and bacteria-ridden potato salad. When the day of the cookout comes rent a couple of movies, draw closed your curtains and yank your phone cord from the wall. (You don't want to make the mistake of being seen out that day.) Come out of hiding the following the morning with the satisfaction of knowing that you have successfully completed another invaluable Faking Smart! tactic.


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