Office survival tips for writers, dreamers and creative control freaks #5

Last week I got to play outside the office for a while and it was lovely. However, I have returned and am therefore shackled to my desk and my love/hate relationship with the machine in front of me again.

I’m sure this little baby missed me, so this week I’m gonna dedicate my list off office survival tips to computer-based timewasters. Maybe that will make this creaky old machine love me more?

13. Start a chain email. You need to set up a fake email account for this one, so that’s a good timewaster in the first place. Choose your name – addresses like or are in the right ballpark – then choose your topic.

Now, this is the bit that requires the most creative attention – what kind of office do you have? If it’s full of singles you obviously want to focus on the love angle. An office full of high climbers and you want to be focusing on career failure and if you work with a lot of paranoid types then you’ve gotta crack out the death threats for optimum entertainment.

You might think that the whole point of the office chain mail would be to send it to one or two people and hope you can watch it spread. Personally, I think it’s a great idea to fire it off to everyone at once – and add a clause saying you can’t pass the chain on to anyone who’s already received it.

Make sure they can’t see who else you copied in, and watch the frustration rise as people are bombarded with the same chain mail over and over – that way you get to annoy even the unbelievers.

14. Claim you’ve been infected with a computer virus. This guy said he did it, so if you work with computers (which, let’s face it, I’m sure you do) it’s time to start babbling about runtime errors and foaming at the mouth – a packet of sherbet can help with achieving this effect.

15. Get funky with the emails. You may have to reply to quite a lot of emails during the course of the working day, pretty boring for the most part hey? If you want to test your word power, then why not see if you can reply to your emails using only the words contained in the original message – without being rude. Or too mental.

Hi Lynsey

Please could you make sure you leave the kitchen the way you found it? I don’t want to have to clean up after you.


Hi John

Clean kitchen? For you – sure.


This is obviously a lot easier the longer the message is.

Lynsey – shut up

Doesn’t give you much to play with and you might look like a dick when you try to reply, but that’s half the fun isn’t it?

If you don’t have a computer, or you’ve had yours confiscated for being naughty, then have forage on the past office survival tips for scraps to keep you going.

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