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6 Obnoxious Behaviors That Make You Better at Your Job

Before Cracked kidnapped my family and refused to release them until I wrote an article that generated 6 million hits (please share this), I spent a lot of time working in offices, if by "working" you mean "looking for another job," because I hate working in an office. But despite my time as a sacrificial lamb on the altar of incompetence, I still managed to pick up a few tricks for office-time success. And then I putzed around on the Internet, doing the research to back those tricks up with science, because holy shit, seriously, no one is paying the least bit of attention to what you're up to when you work in a cubicle.

#6. Show Up in a Bad Mood

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The Bullshit:

It's easy to hate the guy who shows up to work in a bad mood, but that hatred is matched by the infinite void of fucks at this angry man's simmering core, so luckily it all balances out. Some people insist that they're only an asshole until they've had their coffee, but then continue to be an asshole once the coffee has been had, proving that their entire caffeine addiction was nothing but a ruse, a scam, an illusion, and you're just another pawn in their sick bid for power. This is that man.

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God dammit, Craig.

Of course, they calm down by the end of the day (bitchiness takes energy, you know), but it's too late; they've ruined everyone's mood and damaged the morale and productivity of the entire office, all while managing to boost their own.

The Science:

Scientists have long known that shitty moods make you focus more on grunt work, while good moods allow your mind to wander and push the boundaries of your own creativity, but only recently was it discovered that sliding from the former to the latter over the course of the day improves creativity the most. It actually makes a lot of sense: The morning dickishness stresses you out and forces your brain to prioritize, while the afternoon delight (hee hee) affords you the mental freedom to find the best options. And if you work really hard, you can slide right from "intolerable assholery" to "insufferable cheerability" while skipping right over all the tolerable moods in between, because "manners" and "friendliness" are the flyover states of human interaction.


I'm not sure which direction this metaphor goes anymore.

#5. Fill Your Cubicle With Personal Crap

Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images

The Bullshit:

It doesn't matter that decorating your work space is fairly reasonable, as far as workplace behavior goes -- I am more than happy to feign disgust for the purposes of comedy. Ready? Your family disgusts me. That "inspirational" picture of you and your mom climbing Mount McKinley is trite and forgettable. I can't believe you have a picture of your girlfriend with the lyrics to "Wonderwall" printed beneath it. Do you even know what that song's about? Clearly not, because no one does. Your cat? All of the other cats hate it.

Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Pretty nice. You're still gonna die someday.

And I don't even care that that stuff's pretty good for your brain.

The Science:

Having control over one small, utterly inconsequential aspect of our lives improves our productivity by 32 percent -- and I gotta say, learning this right now is probably the lethal blow to my adolescent sense of rebellion. Faceless corporations (man) can cram us into our upholstered prisons like sardines in a can, but we'll still do their bidding as long as they give us a crayon to color the wall with. The unvarnished truth is that our supposedly indomitable spirits (man) can be domitabled with as little as a roll of double-sided tape, some glitter, a color printer, and five minutes' access to our Facebook photo albums.

Truly, the spirit of the revolution is dead. Maaan.

#4. Get Drunk at Work

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The Bullshit:

Getting drunk at work may have been the bee's knees in the Don Draper era, but that was a simpler time, before we knew how bad cigarettes, alcoholism, and recreational adultery were. We've learned a few things since the '60s. Or we did for a while, and then we forgot them all when Mad Men debuted because they make it look so cool!

Lionsgate Television
Here he is, doing the thing the article is about and looking like he's nervous about how clean his next fart is going to be.

As much as we romanticize the behavior, there are all kinds of reasons drinking during the work day would be bad for you. Foremost is the fact that you'll be drunk afterward. Ever tried to get anything done while you were drunk? And hey, you assholes who just said "I write all my college papers drunk!" -- are you still under the wild delusion that college is in any way representative of the real world? It isn't. You're still a child; you can just drink now.

But anyway, in some very specific situations, getting kinda drunk at work will help you out.

The Science:

In certain contexts, having a glass or two actually improves creativity (hold on a second ...)

Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Wavebreak Media/Getty Images
There we go.

... while decreasing focus. It's all about finding a balance: Like I've pointed out, allowing your mind to wander a little bit improves creativity, because your thoughts explore new avenues and angles that you just can't achieve by focusing. It's the same way a light bulb lights up more areas than a flashlight, while the flashlight just makes one specific area brighter.

But sadly, it looks like the stiffs have won this fight: Job candidates who order alcoholic beverages during interviews are seen as less intelligent, even if the interviewer is in the process of getting sloshed, meaning that all human resources reps are dicks and that the people who write for the Journal of Consumer Psychology have way more fun job interviews than me.

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