Ugh. I don’t feel well. So far 2013 has been treating me pretty good. For one day. I could get used to this. Yeah, I’m 0 for 1 on days required to work.
But, get this – by this time tomorrow, 2013 has some decidedly vicious nastiness planned. All good things must come to an end.
What to do? What to do?
I’ve got it. An idea is beginning to germinate. I could – somehow – not go to work. But how? Ask the boss to extend my time off* for an extra day?
Don’t be too hasty. This has to be done in just the right way. And, luckily for you, the expert is here to help. You can thank me later.
I’ve talked about the “meta” game before. Here’s a quick recap courtesy of Wikipedia:
Metagaming is a broad term usually used to define any strategy, action or method used in a game which transcends a prescribed ruleset, uses external factors to affect the game, or goes beyond the supposed limits or environment set by the game. Another definition refers to the game universe outside of the game itself.
Yeah, so what? How does this apply to the workplace and outwitting, outplaying and outlasting the boss?
Imagine you want a day off and you want it really, really bad. Perhaps it’s a Justin Bieber concert six months hence and you have really got to be there. Maybe you want to be in the front row and catch his underwear? Whatever. How in the hell am I supposed to know how your sick mind works?
So anyway, being a contentious employee, you fill out a days off request form and submit it a fucking half-a-year in advance. That’s the courteous thing to do, right? And the route most likely to produce the desired outcome? Also, trust me on this, it absolutely doesn’t help your case that you wrote in red Sharpie in print large enough even for a boss to read, “Please oh please oh please! This is really important to me! Bieber fever forever! You’re the best boss! Thanks! XOXOXOXO”
What happened? You tipped your hand too early. When the boss sees how important it is to you, he’ll exercise the only real option he’s got. “Request denied.” Oops. Game over. Now what the fuck are you going to do?
You might think, “Well, fuck him. I’ll just wait until the morning of the concert and call in sick.”
Alas, once you’ve already alerted your boss that you want the day off, you can’t really call in sick. You’ve burned that bridge. Try it and you’ll be in for shark-filled waters and your boss will have a belly full of your ass (and a license plate).
Everybody knows that days off request forms are only intended for days where you absolutely don’t give a shit. When done properly you toss a few of them every month at the boss just to obfuscate and confuse his pea-sized brain. You don’t want the boss to have any clue which days you really care about. And if he approves some of them, so much the better.
Obviously, the correct course of action is to never ask for a day off when you really care about getting that day off. By far that is the last thing you should do. Bosses can smell employee desire like a rabid dog smells fear.
Instead, play it cool. Say nothing. Give nothing away. Keep your plans close to the vest. Loose lips sink ships. Dead men tell no tales. (Hmmm.) Then, on the day of the big Bieber fest, wake up fresh and energized and ready to take on the day. Take a few moments out of your day to call the boss (or use email if you’ve established that sweet paradigm), tell him your sick, then go live the dream knowing that you outsmarted the boss and he never had a chance.
Hello, Tom’s ass? You have a priority butt dial. Prepare yourself to meet chair for … one … more … day!
* Note: We are unable to use the word “vacation” due to company policy that offers no such thing. All days off are unpaid. Per the manual, and I quote, “Why should I have to pay for an employee’s failure to save?”