Open-plan offices are mandatory for all.
May 15, 2016 6:35 PM   Subscribe

In 1944, the CIA’s predecessor created the Simple Sabotage Field Manual (previously), detailing subtle and hard-to-trace ways for a sympathetic insider to subvert an enemy’s total war effort, from industry to transportation to communication. Charlie Stross and contributors in his comments section have brought Simple Sabotage into the 21st century.
posted by reluctant early bird (63 comments total) 66 users marked this as a favorite
 
Oh my God, this describes my previous HOA chair's tactics!
posted by Oyéah at 6:41 PM on May 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


(I knew this would appear here, but I am still amazed how fast it went up.)

The source piece is funny but brief. Now I am off to read the comments, and find out what to be on the lookout for at work!
posted by wenestvedt at 6:44 PM on May 15, 2016


It needed updating?

The details may have changed, but the tactics are the same as ever…
posted by Pinback at 6:53 PM on May 15, 2016 [6 favorites]


My suggestion: 'Off-shore' random team functions, preferably to a location in a time-zone far out of sync with your own, with a different language and a dizzying panoply of public and religious holidays. In the interests of inclusiveness, these team members should still be involved in all meetings at mutually-agreed times, as well as being included as core decision-making participants.
posted by um at 6:54 PM on May 15, 2016 [27 favorites]


YOU'RE NOT MY SUPERVISOR!
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:00 PM on May 15, 2016 [8 favorites]


11. Code running in production must be understandable by your manager; if this requires VBScript and a host of arcane shims, so be it.

(It's funny how this set of rules is close to actual corporate policy at a lot of places.)
posted by iffthen at 7:10 PM on May 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


This is funny, but am I the only one who is mildly annoyed at how special-snowflakey engineers/programmers come off here? You guys, you're not the only ones who need/deserve good workspaces.

Also:

Marketing, however, need to be able to manage the CRM and should have global admin permissions across the network.

This made me grind my teeth a bit because I am in the digital marketing department (well, the rough equivalent, it's a bit different at nonprofits) at my org and I'm not allowed to install anything or change any of the settings on my laptop because I don't have an admin password and c'mon, I'm not going to ruin everything, and I need up-to-date software to do my job and maybe you could trust the people with digital in their department's name to not be total idiots about computers?

And I would love to never have to manage anything to do with the shitty CRM we have (take Blackbaud! Please, take it!) but as it is, we share management of it with IT because that's just what make sense and it doesn't have to be a resources war.
posted by lunasol at 7:20 PM on May 15, 2016 [11 favorites]


Ah, old school spookcraft. I had a book when I was younger, called I think The Complete Book of Dirty Tricks. It was part anarchist cookbook, part forgery manual, and rather funny. It included an entry with Nixon's social security number and suggested one give that number when asked by the police. I came across it in the 80's and much of the tech stuff in it was clearly from the 60's. Mail drops! Rubber stamps! Wiretaps!
posted by vrakatar at 7:25 PM on May 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


'Off-shore' random team functions, preferably to a location in a time-zone far out of sync with your own, with a different language and a dizzying panoply of public and religious holidays.

You just described 50% of my husband's last four gigs. India has got a lot of holidays.
posted by soren_lorensen at 7:41 PM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


Hire contractors for vital positions and never properly onboard them or fully hire them leaving them with limited access at every turn.

this was my last job
posted by djseafood at 7:51 PM on May 15, 2016 [12 favorites]


Be worried about the propriety of any decision
Insist on doing everything through channels
Make speeches, talk as frequently as possible and at great length
When training new workers, give incomplete or misleading instructions
Multiply paperwork
Even if you understand the language, pretend not to understand

I can't believe how many organizations I've encountered that appear to use this as their guidebook. This is a perfect description of a silly number of small businesses my friends worked for in Korea, and I'm sure lots of other countries have the same conditions...
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 8:04 PM on May 15, 2016


> Even if you understand the language, pretend not to understand

The other way around is more damaging.
posted by Leon at 8:18 PM on May 15, 2016 [13 favorites]


Um ..this is actually Relevant To My Interests right now (for fiction reasons! Fiction NSA readers)
posted by The Whelk at 8:22 PM on May 15, 2016


The company must have a strong sense of intense focus. So we must have a clean desk policy—any personal possessions left on the desk or cubicle walls at the end of the day go in the trash. In fact, we can go a step further and institute hot desking—we will establish an average developer's workstation requirements and provide it for everyone at every desk.

Dear god. My agency is contemplating a major office move in 2018, and "the powers that be" recently sent around a survey to gauge employee response to "hoteling", which if you've never heard the term, is exactly this. I answered 0 of 5 on every response, and in the comments wrote something like, "can I vote negative 0? I hate everything about this with the passion of 1000 burning suns".
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:28 PM on May 15, 2016 [20 favorites]


Will you quit when they adopt them? Actually, they probably don't care if you will...
posted by Windopaene at 8:29 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is one of those things that defy satire— they all sound like ordinary workplaces. It's hard to find an idea too bad to be adopted by management.
posted by zompist at 8:32 PM on May 15, 2016 [5 favorites]


Will you quit when they adopt them? Actually, they probably don't care if you will...

I will not, because I have 225k worth of student loans, with forgiveness contingent of 10 years of service, and an otherwise unmarketable degree. So do the other 100 attorneys under 35 that I work with. And they know that, so no, they do not care.
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:34 PM on May 15, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'll bet Scott Adams is pissed. cstross has just made public the source of 90% of the GOOD gags he ever "came up with". Without this source, Dilbert will turn into a clone of Mallard Fillmore by mid-summer.
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:41 PM on May 15, 2016 [18 favorites]


The one about the open office is right. I work in a big open office with 30 other software developers. It's supposed to encourage collaboration, but it has the opposite effect. It's usually a ghost town because most of us are either remote or hiding in various nooks and crannies to find a quiet semi-private place to get some head-down work done. You know, the kind of work we're paid to do and upon which we're evaluated. For those left in the office, everyone keeps it as quiet as a library because nobody wants to be the person who is stopping a bunch of other people from working. So much for collaboration. We do that in work chat, which would work just as well in a non-open office.

Apparently a potential client wanted to know if we had a clean desk policy. The sales guy asked us to implement one. Our general answer was "go fuck yourself." The client signed on without it. Always stand your ground against this kind of stupidity if you can.
posted by double block and bleed at 8:43 PM on May 15, 2016 [19 favorites]


I feel like this doesn't really retain the shape of the source material that frames it. The updated list is just a bunch of things that suck about modern workplace policy, while the original is more about how individual actors can hamper an organization while coming across as being among its most fervent supporters. For a tech-focussed company, I'd go with things more on the level of, e.g.:

In the face of a decision about which technology to use for a new infrastructure requirement, cast aspersions on existing open source technologies. Magnify the importance of trivial differences between your organization's stated requirements and the features offered by those existing technologies. Propose instead the creation of an in-house version of the tool. Justify this by claiming that the implementors will be experts at operating the tool by default, since they wrote it, and that this will lead to better reliability overall as compared to using the open-source alternative.
posted by invitapriore at 9:29 PM on May 15, 2016 [43 favorites]


The company must have a strong sense of intense focus. So we must have a clean desk policy—any personal possessions left on the desk or cubicle walls at the end of the day go in the trash. In fact, we can go a step further and institute hot desking—we will establish an average developer's workstation requirements and provide it for everyone at every desk.

Forget hot desking. In order to be able to instantly adapt to changing business needs, there will no longer be permanently assigned desks. Employees will be assigned a desk upon their arrival each day. To make sure our space usage is at 100% efficiency, and since we know there is never 100% attendance in the office (accounting for vacations, illnesses, and offsite travel), the amount of employee desks available for use each day will be based on the number of employees we expect in the office that day. The remaining workstations will undergo daylong maintenance and will be unavailable to employees. For this reason, employees should arrive at least 15 minutes prior to their scheduled shifts in order to ensure use of a desk that day. While we will do our best to accommodate employees arriving less than 15 minutes prior to their scheduled shift, we cannot guarantee that a desk will be available. Any employee who arrives after all available desks have been assigned for that day will be sent home and suspended without pay for that day. Employees who accumulate three such suspensions within a year (rolling year, not calendar year) will be terminated.
posted by SisterHavana at 9:43 PM on May 15, 2016 [33 favorites]


double block and bleed: Apparently a potential client wanted to know if we had a clean desk policy.

I'm at a bit of a loss as to why a client would care how the employees of a service company conduct their work...unless, of course, it isn't being done. (I totally get why the sales person sold the client that "feature.")
posted by fireoyster at 10:37 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


Clients often care. That's why businesses spring for certifications of different kinds, i.e. ISO 9001.
posted by Harald74 at 11:33 PM on May 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


SisterHavana, minus the suspensions that's how every worker lives at a call center without assigned desks. Except that desks are not assigned, it's on the worker to find one (prior to the beginning of the paid shift), and the choice at lunch or break is to leave belongings there to reserve the desk and taking your chances with it being stolen/turned in to lost & found (where it might have to wait until the next day to be picked up) or another temp just setting it aside and using the desk anyway; or finding another desk & getting everything set up during the unpaid time before break/lunch is over. Note: break is not 15 minutes long, it's 900 seconds long, and enforced accordingly.

Technically legal? Probably not. Within the ability of an entry-level temp who's a recently-fired single parent to litigate? Probably not.

At least, that's how it was back in the day when I worked for UPS. Except I "didn't" work for UPS, because although I was doing UPS's work, UPS "doesn't have call centers" in this state. So I "worked for" the call center company TeleTech in the converted warehouse leased from a defense contractor, but the call center contract went from them to APAC to Afni depending on the labor market, so in a given month I might have a TeleTech badge but not be allowed into the Afni break room vs. the APAC one, or vice versa. All of that is irrelevant in a labor dispute anyway, because as a temp I really worked for the temp agency Adecco- except I was in Maria's group and she was a contractor so the company name on my paychecks would be Adecco unless it was Remedy or Aerotek- and really if I had any issues I should really be talking to one of those other agencies, hon. And if I had any labor-law problems then the answer was always "wow Maria left forever ago and for whatever reason those records aren't available, have you tried talking to the other temp agency?." Yes, I had some crazy tax issues back then, but that was a decade ago and I have somewhat of a real job now.

And no, I'm not still mad.
posted by Hiding From Goro at 11:38 PM on May 15, 2016 [41 favorites]


I want to know who put "use a light hammer instead of a heavy one" in the old manual. Because either they didn't do a whole lot of hammering or they were a Nazi sympathizer.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 11:43 PM on May 15, 2016 [3 favorites]


I do Know of a major architectural firm which uses hotdesking but the number of desks is actually lower than the employed architects...
If that is not disrupting your own workforce I don't know what is.
posted by thegirlwiththehat at 1:13 AM on May 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


"assign a workload that assumes all employees will be in the office full-time, then assign in-house employees to perform work that require them to leave the office for days at a time"
posted by DoctorFedora at 1:39 AM on May 16, 2016


I just spent about 18 months at an assignment at a client who is a large bank (i'm not there anymore, thank the gods), who have not only had 100% hotdesking and clean desk policies, but a policy of only having 60% ratio of desks to staff, on the theory that 40% of staff will be either working from home, or in meetings all day. This would be fine, except they don't actually allow their staff to work from home, and there is also insufficient meeting rooms. So if you get in after about 9, you just don't get a desk for a the day. Hilarity ensues.

What's sad, is I don't even think this was deliberate. It was explained to me in orientation that part of the reason was to force managers to allow employees to work from home. Instead, they allowed managers to effectively plumb the depth of human misery.
posted by jaymzjulian at 1:51 AM on May 16, 2016 [26 favorites]


maybe you could trust the people with digital in their department's name to not be total idiots about computers?

Sorry, I work with such people every weekday, and they're idiots. (You may be the exception; I'm not jumping to conclusions based on experience ... )

On the other hand, you should be able to have up-to-date software and to manage your own preferences without admin access. Your IT folk need to get with the times.
posted by oheso at 2:23 AM on May 16, 2016 [7 favorites]


It's usually the case that most people are idiots. The ones who aren't have largely managed to learn their own limits, but it can tough to identify who's in which group. Policies that assume everybody is in one or the other will cause problems. Policies that force people to exceed their limits can sabotage productive workers.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 2:33 AM on May 16, 2016


To truly subvert, require all IT departments to be managed by old-school 50+ white males who don't understand anything about how real people work (especially workers who are not 50+, white or male). Force-implement a 9-5, asses in seats, factory-floor mentality on highly skilled, niche knowledge workers. Reject all modern advances like flex time, WFH and allowing workers to control their environments to support how they work best. Force open-plan on everyone. Disallow headphones. Allow walk-ups and constant interruptions in the name of "collaboration." Encourage and praise those who work harder instead of smarter.

Oh- they already did. No wonder I'm looking for another job.
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 4:15 AM on May 16, 2016 [20 favorites]


Rigidly enforce the 70/20/10 model no matter current priorities or employee role.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:49 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


We're like 90% of the way there, but there are a few more ideas we can plumb from the United States Government's IT policies in Snow Crash. Hot-desking, for sure, but make sure it's common knowledge that when you get there in the morning, you take the closest desk to the door. That way a manager can survey the room and instantly know who was in early, and who was late. Also, developers are a security risk (don't want them taking valuable intellectual property home where they can blab to competitors!), so make sure no one ever has the faintest hint what the larger project they're contributing to is, or how their tiny little area of the application is supposed to interact with anyone else's; wiring up the communication layer is the architect's job.
posted by Mayor West at 4:52 AM on May 16, 2016 [11 favorites]


This is interesting if you consider it in the context of the current struggles economists are having with explaining stagnating or declining productivity despite mostly positive economic indicators and technical innovation. I consider it to be due to the out-sized weighting of financialization/gambling relative to work but could it also be due to nefarious work culture sabotage on a national level?
posted by srboisvert at 5:25 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Are they counting phone games as productivity?
posted by thelonius at 5:45 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see a version of this for employees in fast food/corporate retail environments; ways to subtly damage productivity and profitability without drawing undue attention to yourself. If enough workers were participating it could do real damage. Maybe gamify it somehow?
posted by EarBucket at 5:58 AM on May 16, 2016


Needs "Randomly rearrange furniture overnight to increase collaboration". The last place I worked tried that. They quickly found that it didn't.
posted by scruss at 6:09 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Dammit Stross. This is not the dystopia I signed up for.
posted by DigDoug at 6:21 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I worked a job with a "clean desk" policy. It was aimed at one specific individual in the department whose desk was a nightmare. She had teetering stacks of files and papers a foot high on every inch of her desk, piles underneath, her monitor sat on a box of paper, there were stacks on the floor behind her so she couldn't move her chair, and generally she had a pile on her lap. This was a reference and records job, not quite a library but similar. When you were looking for a particular item that should be in a file, and it wasn't there, you knew where it had to be and that it was never going to be seen again. I spent a lot of time hunting for records like that, and someone higher up was always pitching a fit because records they needed, were missing, and why were we all such terrible record keepers?

This woman had worked there for decades, and so had the department manager. They had an ongoing war about her desk habits which was never resolved and which was acted out on the rest of us. Messy-desk lady would be called in, read a lecture on the state of the office, and sent forth to enforce the clean desk policy on everyone else. So if I left one piece of paper on my desk, messy desk lady would get after me about it. Once in a while, two junior managers would be sent to messy desk lady's desk with file boxes and they'd take away most of her stacks and put them in storage. She would be told that she could have a box back when she took care of the remaining papers. She never got them back. It was pathological.

I suppose she must have long since retired. I wonder if anyone went through all her crap to pull out the things that had been stolen from the reference files, or if they just threw it all out?
posted by elizilla at 6:46 AM on May 16, 2016 [6 favorites]


C.f. The Freedom Fighter's Manual [also PDF]
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 6:47 AM on May 16, 2016


Replace "engineers" with "account managers" and that 10 point plan was the playbook for my last job. That was painful to read and relive.
posted by Molesome at 7:44 AM on May 16, 2016


I suppose she must have long since retired. I wonder if anyone went through all her crap to pull out the things that had been stolen from the reference files, or if they just threw it all out?

Once, working in a cubicle farm at a multinational, I had a desk like that. The difference is that about once a year I would take half a day out to blitz my cubicle.

One time I did it so thoroughly that my manager actually called me in to ask if I was planning on giving notice.

(There's also something to be said for wearing a smart suit to your office job at random, maybe once or twice a year, after booking a morning off work. When they ask if you've been for a job interview, just look at them and change the subject.)
posted by cstross at 7:47 AM on May 16, 2016 [18 favorites]


> C.f. The Freedom Fighter's Manual [also PDF]

I pour dirt in my co-workers gasoline tanks all the time. Viva la revolución!
posted by Tevin at 7:55 AM on May 16, 2016




Why doesn't it have "install a mvk switch under your desk and bring in a mini-PC, which you have loaded with your own software but with same corporate desktop background, tethered to your phone and work for an entirely different company"
posted by Damienmce at 8:07 AM on May 16, 2016 [14 favorites]


For those actually writing software: The Underhanded C Contest.
posted by mubba at 8:10 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Open plan offices, hot desking and clean desk policy have been constant factors ever since I started working IT back in 1998. Banks, social security semi-governmental organisations, start ups: Dutch companies love that shit.

In self defence I've developed a tendency to come in very early and claim a specific spot, usually against a wall in a corner of the room so no fscker can come up behind me easily and I usually work with headphones on. Since I rarely print something out I'm not so much troubled with the clean desk policy, though I do tend to collect monitors on my desk instead.

As for the tendency for IT focused companies to hire conslutants for their core functions, that's why I have a job.
posted by MartinWisse at 8:26 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've worked in a slightly different "hot desking" environment (not as bad as SisterHavana's idea, though): 3 workstations, 3-4 staff per shift, lucky to get a personal drawer. Glad I'm gone.
posted by milnews.ca at 8:37 AM on May 16, 2016


Hmm. Maybe insisting all tech employees work in San Francisco despite the relative ease of telecommuting and the total lack of available housing is a subtle attempt to destroy San Francisco...
posted by gusandrews at 9:57 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


my workplace has *unofficial* hot-desking which just means you're getting constantly kicked off a desk from (also-unofficial) rank-pulling from others, in an open office where you're pretty much 100% guaranteed in a day to be distracted by gossip or shouting/berating (it's not even disguised as 'collaboration'); or you can sit four to a small table where there isn't gossip but there is an active production space 10 feet away and also usually very loud heavy metal.

I'm not very productive, and I used to think it was my fault, now I'm looking for a new job
posted by zingiberene at 10:09 AM on May 16, 2016


Thread needs You Can't Tip a Buick

Oh my. Sudden blinding light regarding a project taht imploded around 2 years ago.
posted by infini at 10:31 AM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Is being able to find the humor in this a function of youth? In my mid-40s now I just can't find anything enjoyable about riffing on things so close to real life, but I would have found these things amusing fifteen years ago. Do other people with that much time in the industry still have the capacity to laugh at this and it's just a personal failure on my part?
posted by phearlez at 10:40 AM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


phearlez - For the 40+ crowd I'd say it brings up too many (open) wounds inflicted by a thousand paper (digital) cuts. Perhaps call it Gallows humor that has me inventorying the grievances against former employers and vendors.

Try explaining the ubiquity of beta tape as both an industry and archival standard to someone raised on Ipods and streaming services. I won't even get into how ridiculous the as yet unmentioned "Cloud Storage" is... SABOTAGE!
posted by djseafood at 11:32 AM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


> Even if you understand the language, pretend not to understand

The other way around is more damaging.


Can't. Stop. Laughing. Apologies to French MeFites, because I know the fault lies in the exam-oriented teacher certification system that makes it nigh-impossible for native English speakers to teach English in French public schools, but omigod. You have never seen slapstick language comedy until you have been in French offices attempting to speak English. It doesn't even matter if/when there's a native speaker present to translate (see also: yours truly), because they're all, "Anglo-Saxon education sucks and ours is better so our English is better!" and you're sitting there trying not to render yourself unconscious with all the head-desking going on. Direct example, one of the worst offenders of the "my English is better than yours!!!" sorts (non-English-related things changed to protect identities, all the rest is sic): "X is a real trustable person dedicated on customers and on X's consultants expectation. Always pushy and reliable." You can't make this stuff up.

As for the tendency for IT focused companies to hire conslutants for their core functions, that's why I have a job.

Hello fellow tester in Europe. Yeah, IT consultancies are huuuuge over here compared to the States. Two things: it's a lot harder to set yourself up as a private contractor (freelancer) in Europe, and WRT IT more specifically in Europe, the bigger companies have a hard time grokking that you can in fact hire people on permanent contract who can work on different projects. That said, IT consultancies here have added fuel to that fire, for the obvious reason that it keeps them in business. So you end up with IT departments, now benighting themselves "Digital" departments, that consist of one or two internal directors, who hire reams of consultants to work on 3-6-month projects. It ends up being this incredibly futile circle because most IT/Digital managers have understood for years now that they could build their own teams internally. But because consultancies are willing to behave like starving sharks, they undercut any budgets they manage to overhear about (which they always do because at director and higher-manager levels, everyone knows everyone in the small circles of IT specialization), so the internal directors' budgets are tossed aside in favor of consultancies. Consultancies who sell expert CVs, and as soon as the contract is signed, clients discover that, oops, the experts are busy elsewhere, sorry, we'll have one expert as manager and fill the team with interns. Interns who are, understandably even though unfortunately due to systemic pressures, more than happy to work at Big Name Client on Big Name Project that is Number One Priority At Consultancy (because they sold it cheaper than they can afford so hoooo boy are those interns getting treating like diamonds while being paid like coal).
posted by fraula at 11:54 AM on May 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


The comments are gold: "People will inevitably cry 'single sign-on'. Burn them. They are witches."
posted by NordyneDefenceDynamics at 12:35 PM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I can go all day with these. For management:
  • Reward the implementors of slapdash, unreliable and insecure features with lavish praise and promotions, especially in cases where the implementor bulldozes through a host of principled objections from the people who will suffer the consequences. Hold these instances up as examples of the company's cultural values of autonomy and effectiveness.
  • Encourage vigorous debate among employees. Monitor those debates and fire the objectors from the previous scenario, citing irreconcilable attitude problems. Hire fellow subversive colleagues from your last job to replace them.
  • Loudly disclaim the existence of "politics" within the organization, and assert your commitment to rooting out politics as a basis for decision-making. Ask employees to inform you when they observe politics, and then fire them when they do so, on the basis that they are obviously only seeing politics because they are promulgators of politics. Hire fellow subversive colleagues from your last job to replace them.
posted by invitapriore at 2:06 PM on May 16, 2016


maybe you could trust the people with digital in their department's name to not be total idiots about computers?

Sorry, I work with such people every weekday, and they're idiots. (You may be the exception; I'm not jumping to conclusions based on experience ... )


I knew someone would say this. :) Sorry, it just doesn't hold water for me. It has nothing to do with intelligence. Giving people who work in tech a (limited) admin password so they can do what they need to do to get their job done is a pretty straightforward thing if you're not assuming everyone outside your department is stupid.
posted by lunasol at 2:37 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


it's a lot harder to set yourself up as a private contractor (freelancer) in Europe

If this counts the UK, that's not the case. Some areas (iOS development is one, and I hear web front-end development is another) are dominated by contract work, with companies often giving up on finding permanents (after all, you halve your take-home pay when you go permanent).

I'm currently working on an iOS development contract. Of the other two people on the team proper, only one (the tester) is permanent; there was another iOS developer who was, but he left last week to go contracting. The product owner is, I believe, also a contractor. The previous contract I worked on was similarly dominated by contractors.
posted by acb at 2:40 PM on May 16, 2016


Since you have proper healthcare, etc., does being a contractor in Europe suck less than it does here in the US?
posted by double block and bleed at 4:52 PM on May 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


(There's also something to be said for wearing a smart suit to your office job at random, maybe once or twice a year, after booking a morning off work. When they ask if you've been for a job interview, just look at them and change the subject.)

"All dressed up Stross? Got a job interview? Ahahaha."
"No. Court appearance."
"Ahaeurghhhhh alright carry on."
posted by um at 7:00 PM on May 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


it's a lot harder to set yourself up as a private contractor (freelancer) in Europe

If this counts the UK, that's not the case.


fwiw it took me half a day in Finland but that's with your residential municipalty + ID number - its a pretty good option, far less complicated than the LLC I had to have in San Francisco. Also, it allows for you to merge your personal taxes with the business's taxes. Requirements also force you to pay at least a minimum towards your own employment benefits insurance, and after some period of time, you can access healthcare and whatnot. I'm still learning this stuff but it was very easy and affordable (112e) with minimum of paperwork to get it organized. Private Trader / Toiminimi

say it out loud, its a Toy Mini Me
posted by infini at 3:55 AM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


Complain about silos and the lack of cross-department collaboration. Create inter-department collaboration committees to generate collaborative opportunities.
posted by furtive at 8:18 AM on May 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Rename company Siemens Healthineers.

whoo! Maybe nobody will notice the date stamp...
posted by Naberius at 11:57 AM on May 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


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