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6 Obnoxious Behaviors That Make You Better at Your Job

#3. Demand That Things Be Scheduled Around You

toto8888/iStock/Getty Images

The Bullshit:

Eep. OK. I gotta own this one. This one is me. I am this guy. When I called my boss and asked if I could work from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. instead of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., I had no idea how awful I was being. How much everyone silently fumed at me when I stumbled in right before lunch every day, wiping sleep out of my eyes and mumbling about a hangover. I am so, so sorry, everybody.

But hey, it turns out that actually made me a better worker. So in your face, Craig.

amana productions inc/amana images/Getty Images
"Ooh, I'm Craig, doing yoga every morning gives me as much energy as two cups of coffee-"
Shut the fuck up, Craig.

The Science:

Everybody has different body clocks. Not only does your natural wake-up time get earlier as you grow older, but that rate is different for everyone -- so keeping everyone on the same schedule makes about as much sense as insisting that they're all named "Sven" to save money on name tags. It's actually just basic common sense: If you let people work when their body is ready for them to work instead of when their brain is screaming at them to get some sleep, they'll work more efficiently and be in better moods.

Best of all, offices would start getting fresh boxes of doughnuts in waves, instead of all at once in the morning, leaving people with afternoon munchies to shame-scarf the stale old-fashioned -- and I'm talking about the style of doughnut, not the delicious bourbon drink. We already covered alcohol.

(But no, you're right, let's all have another quick drink to ... for focus ... better.)

Feng Yu/Hemera/Getty Images, Han v. Vonno/iStock/Getty Images
Actually, wait ... I have an idea ...

#2. Chew Gum

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The Bullshit:

Man, chewing gum is just ... terrible, I guess? I honestly don't get this one, but apparently the Internet thinks it's worse than Nazis.


Incontrovertible proof.

Alright, so people perceptibly moving their jaws while working near you is intolerable. That seems weird to me, but I once punched an 8-year-old boy in the face for saying that Matt Smith was a better Doctor than David Tennant, so I'm not gonna judge.

Aside from pointing out that you're all super wrong.

The Science:

Chewing gum is apparently meth for your brain, if meth didn't have any negative side effects. In a study where subjects were given demanding cognitive tasks to perform with or without gum, the people with gum performed better in every single category except verbal fluency because, duh, their mouths were full of gum.

Jeff Chiasson/iStock/Getty Images
Ew, no, don't take it out of your mouth, that's worse.

It didn't matter if the gum had sugar in it, so scientists base this finding on "mastication-induced arousal" (hee hee). Chewing jump-starts your brain for a solid 20 minutes or so (the effect is short-lived, sadly) and allows you to handle stress and distraction far better. So basically if everyone was chewing gum, no one would mind that everyone was chewing gum. Problem solved!

#1. Take More Vacations, Nap, Dick Around on the Internet, and in General Just Fuck Off More

James Woodson/Digital Vision/Getty Images

The Bullshit:

Researching this entry has done less to convince me that looking at cats on the Internet and taking longer vacations and napping on the job make you a better employee and more to make me think that the people who conduct these studies don't want us to be good employees. I think it's way more likely that these "scientists" are working together to sabotage the common man's productivity so that we're too swamped with unmet deadlines to notice when they unveil their doomsday machines.

The Science:

Rest, relaxation, and the sensation that something is "cute" apparently improve your mood, which boosts productivity and focus. And overall contentment with your life and existence in the universe. You get happy, and juices flow all around your brain. Just go ahead and believe that.

Catherine Yeulet/iStock/Getty Images
"Great numbers this quarter."
"Thanks, we really boosted our Corgi gif intake."

Or believe the voice in your head. You know the one. That one saying that if you work for just one more hour, stay in just one more night, get on the front page of Reddit just one more time, then you'll finally feel content with your life and choices. It doesn't matter that your skin grows more translucent every day and that you can't help but close your eyes against natural light. Nor is it of any consequence that you long ago forgot the smell of the outside world and the gentle melody of friendly evening conversation -- that simple, perfect song you only hear when words lovingly mingle with the gentle din of a warm pub as you sip your scotch and soda. It doesn't matter. Hear that? I don't need nature. I don't need friends. The shadows are my friends now.

And I'm on to you, science.


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