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Faking Your Way Through the Day - A Survival Guide to Working at an Office

Updated on August 30, 2014
Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannie has been writing for HubPages for over 5 years. She covers a wide variety of topics—anything from hamsters to office work.

Me? Looking at Help Wanted Ads? Never!

Getting Through the Day

Times are tough and so is the job market. Anyone who is currently employed now is considered lucky. However, that does not help the frustration sometimes. Many of us are sitting at jobs that no longer inspire us. We aren't sure how we got there, and we sure can't figure out how to get out. No matter how many resumes you send out, sometimes the phone just isn't ringing. It can be a challenge waking up to go to a job you dread each day.

The worst part of going to a job you can't stand each day is you can't just sit there like a sourpuss. Managers frown upon that type of behavior and you get a lecture about being positive and something about how lucky you are to have a job at all. So what is a person to do when you are dying on the inside, yet you have to appear happy on the outside? I know what you are thinking... alcohol or antidepressants or both. Good answer, but no, that is not my advice to you. My advice is: fake you way through the day.

Again, I know what you are thinking. You are thinking you already do that everyday just to survive. I understand what you mean and I was doing the same for a while. However, my advice to you is to really "amp it up." You need to take it to a whole new level of fakeness. If you are wondering how you are going to manage that without the help of drugs or alcohol, don't worry. I am going to explain.

Lights! Camera! Action!

Deep down inside, I'll bet you've always secretly wanted to be an actor. Maybe you've never wanted to become a major actor, but perhaps, you at least wanted to star in a school play. Maybe you never got the part, but you deserved it! Well, the time is now, my friend. You are going to be the best actor or actress ever.

Each day before you go to work, you are going to need to get into character. Your character is an enthusiastic, helpful, considerate worker. Furthermore, your character loves all the co-workers. Is there someone you can't stand at your office? Well, from now on, you think that person is awesome. Try to find a quality about him or her that you like at least a little and build from that. Within no time, I'll bet you can be a real sweetheart to that person.

Here are some of the "scenes" you will starring in each day:

  • Friendly conversations during lunch breaks or small office chats.
  • Happily offering to help others.
  • Smiling when one of your co-workers makes a foolish mistake and sets you back on your own project.
  • Joyfully fixing others' mistakes each day.
  • Politely explaining painfully boring tasks to co-workers in a kind, friendly manner even though you've explained the same concept to them repeatedly.
  • Zealously approaching mundane tasks even if you feel your soul is slowly being crushed.
  • Grinning at customers, clients, and others as if life is really grand.

Dress for Success

Now that you are on your way to faking your way through the work day, it is time to dress for the part. The most successful people care about their appearance at work. Maybe you've been slacking off lately in your work attire as you've lost enthusiasm for the job. No worries! Your character is all about making a wonderful impression, so it is never to late to change.

If you are a guy, start wearing a tie to work. Just see what people think. If those around you already wear ties to work, then you need to really step it up with a three piece suit. For the ladies, try wearing a nice suit, too. If your office is a bit more casual, dress up some with a blazer and high heels. After all, your character would not be caught dead wearing office wear that is inappropriate or too casual; so you must dress to impress. Furthermore, people at work might start wondering if you are going to job interviews when you are dressed so nicely. Let them wonder. Maybe they might finally give you that promotion you deserve.

The End of the Day

By the end of the day, you will no doubt be totally exhausted from all the super fakeness you've been dishing out all day. You might sometimes wonder, "What is my motivation?" Well, keeping your job in a crappy economy - that is your motivation! It can't always be like this. While you are looking for a new job, fake your way through the one you already have. Yes, there will be days when you are dying behind that smile, but a great actor works through the pain. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

For now, have fun being an actor each day. If you don't take your new "role" too seriously, you might actually start to have fun with it. That is, if you don't end up in the mental institution for multiple personality disorder or something. I don't think that is likely, but if it is, maybe we will get to be roommates at the institution. At least we wouldn't be at work anymore.


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  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 3 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    fpherj48, yes, this is "fake it till you make it" to the extreme. :-) I used to do that at work all the time and it does help a lot. Eventually people really think you love your job even if your anger and resentment is boiling over inside. Thanks for tweeting and pinning!

    weestro, thank you for your office speak. Seems like you are not thinking outside the box today, but you are being a team player. Thanks for the comment!

  • weestro profile image

    Pete Fanning 3 years ago from Virginia

    I'm still trying to become fluent in office speak. Going forward, I will adhere to the suggestions listed above. Feel free to shoot me an email in the event of an emergency. I will be out of the office until Tuesday.



  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    Jeannie.....This is great which is nothing new for your work! Funny as always, but I have to add; Even though your humor is obvious, this is truly beneficial advice, albeit tongue-in-cheek.

    The old expression, "Fake it till you make it," has a lot of validity to it! I just don't know how LONG someone could keep this up without becoming ILL....LOL

    Love it, Jeannie! Up+++tweeted & pinned.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 5 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Yes, this technique actually worked for me for a long time while working. I think I need to start trying it again. Thanks for visiting my hub and thanks for the comment!

  • Byron Wolf profile image

    Byron Wolf 5 years ago

    Funny and potentially useful! Love it!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thanks. I am glad you liked it.

  • ronaldoh profile image

    ronaldoh 6 years ago from England

    Entertaining read.

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thank you both for your comments!

    Cloverleaf - I am glad you enjoyed the hub. Thanks for the votes up!

    RTalloni - I think you are right. A bow tie on a man can throw off fellow co-workers. They won't be sure if he is interviewing for a new job or just trying a new look. Good advice!

  • RTalloni profile image

    RTalloni 6 years ago from the short journey

    You know, they say there's truth in all comedy...I bet you really are a nice person and not just faking it. :)

    I've been needing to laugh--thank you! :)

    So, keeping with the spirit of things, let me add that men could wear bow ties if they are not actually applying for other jobs. Not, however, bozo bows. When a man wears a great bow tie he gets to walk around acting like he knows a fabulous secret that no one else knows. He can pull off an air of excitement and confidence, even authority. Women, on the other hand, can do something dramatic along the lines of dressing to the 9s, I think they say. I don't mean evening wear during office hours, but some really classic jewelry with satin or silk blouses, dressy skirts that speak femininity--the opposite of all the street walker stuff and such that employers (and other employees) have to deal with. We're talking class here, and that gives a women the same air of excitement and confidence and authority. :)

    This is going to be fun to follow--thanks! :)

  • Cloverleaf profile image

    Cloverleaf 6 years ago from Calgary, AB, Canada

    Hi Jeannie,

    I was very entertained by your hub and am voting it UP and funny, useful and awesome!!! Needless to say, I found it very relatable!!! :-)


  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Yes, it is best to always be fake at work. Recently, I have taken it to a whole new delusional level just to get through the day. This morning I was really depressed since it is Monday and I told myself, "What would fake Work Jeannie do?" As it turns out, Work Jeannie was delighted it was Monday and managed to put on a happy face with the help of lots of caffeine. Caffeine helps me stay in character! Thanks for the comment and the vote up!

  • nycgrl profile image

    nycgrl 6 years ago from New York

    Ha this is almost uncanny considering we are currently trading stories about this. I absolutely agree, in fact even if you LOVE your job, there are going to be times where you have to fake it. Its just a fact of life, you will not wake up everyday feeling happy about going to work (even the guy who photographs models on beaches has days where he has had it).

    The only true hope? Winning the lottery lol. If you have to travel to a place where you have to deal with co-workers and customers, you just are going to have many "fake" days.

    I have always said that the person I am at work is radically different from the person I really am at home with my family and friends. And I will continue to keep it that way because business and personal should just never mix. Voted up!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thanks for the comment.

  • nanospeck profile image

    Akhil Anil 6 years ago


  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Thank for reading and for the comment, Angie. Yes, recently I have been thinking maybe I should have become an actress. As it turns out, my acting skills aren't so bad. At the very least I should try out for a reality TV show. :-)

  • Angie Jardine profile image

    Angie Jardine 6 years ago from Cornwall, land of the eternally youthful mind ...

    Or you could just become an actor!

    Though that might result in penury and starvation ... hmm, I can see I haven't thought it through. :-)

    Good hub!

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 6 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Yes, I have heard if you smile enough and fake happiness, you will start to feel that way. I am hoping that kicks in anyday for me. Thanks for reading and for the comment!

  • Weekend Reader profile image

    Cindy D Whipany 6 years ago

    You're familiar, I hope, with the research that found that if you force yourself to smile, you will actually begin to feel happier?

    I'm in the snap-and-snarl camp myself, but, well, I actually *like* my day job.