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(:= Cthulhu's Corner

Inspiring Fear

_new
Bow down to the Great and extremely Busy-Looking One.

Many people ask me, "how do I get ahead in the world?" The answer is simple. Do what I do. Inspire fear.

Sure, it's easy when you're 17 stories tall, green and tentacled, and possessing awesome planet-crushing powers like I do. But it's easy for any puny mortal who takes a few basic steps.

1. SPEAK IN RIDDLES
You don't have to do this all the time, just often enough to have people think you know some deep secret they're not privy to. When everyone thinks you know more than they do, they wonder how you acquired that knowledge. Let their imagination roam and they'll have no idea you surf the Internet all day.

"Don't Expend Too Much Effort on Actually Being Busy"

2. LOOK BUSY
Even if you're busy, you need to *look* busy. By looking busy, you can then be very cross with those who dare trouble you for time. They will then be less likely to approach you in the future. If they do, they will be more likely to grovel should you snarl at them. Surfing to very unusual technical websites is great for looking busy, without expending too much effort on actually *being* busy.

3. PLAY STRANGE MUSIC
If you can play music at your cube, make it as weird as possible. If you can't stand it, learn to appreciate it. The benefit will be in how people feel uneasy in your territory. Yes, your territory. Playing freaky music marks that portion of the building as your area. People will use your cube as a landmark, steering neophytes away from it.

"Shrunken Heads"

4. ACQUIRE OUTRE WALL DECORATIONS
If your cubicle is festooned with strange objects d'art, visitors will not stay very long at all. Shrunken heads are great for this. Should people touch your stuff, simply growl "Don't touch my stuff. It's a simple courtesy. I don't go fingering your possessions, so please don't finger mine," and the nosy parkers will back off. By this time, you're probably now considered "strange", "unusual", and "not a team player." Time now to leverage this stuff into full-blown FEAR.

5. EMPLOY STRANGE RITUALS IN YOUR PROBLEM-SOLVING
As you troubleshoot code or set up servers, employ the odd chant or two. When others ask why, simply mutter "For increased effectiveness. Be glad the Great Old Ones don't require blood this time." If you're competent and everything works, folks will remember the strange rituals and their curious effectiveness. If it fails, blame it on the lack of a proper sacrifice. Let everyone else imagine what kind of sacrifice would have been required.

"Be Brutal, But Not Obscene"

6. BUILD RAGE IN MEETINGS
Learn how to glare and glower at everyone else, especially people not in your department. Occasionally kill a discussion with an ice-cold "No." without any further explanation. Once in a great while, raise up and shout someone down. Be brutal, but not obscene. Obscenity puts you on the same plane as everyone else: lack of obscenity makes your evil more pure and you more unworldly and feared.

7. LAUGH AT INAPPROPRIATE TIMES
Whenever people discuss operations, chuckle quietly. If they speak of some minor misfortune, snicker and act like you had something to do with making it happen. One exception is when people speak of death. When that happens, start using the calculator and ask you not be disturbed in your calculations, then smile broadly when you've reached your blasphemous total. Do not explain why you use the calculator at such times.

"Scared Witless"

8. BE AS SILENT AS POSSIBLE
Learn how to stand behind people for long periods of time in total silence so when they turn around and see you, they are scared witless and wonder how long you've been standing there... watching... do not answer if they ever ask. Just ask instead if they're done with their work.

9. PLACE A CURSE ON THINGS WHICH ANGER YOU
Be sure to word it properly so it is left wide open as to what exactly will happen. Once placed, any misfortune which befalls the target of your curse will be attributed to your occult powers, whether it actually is or not. Should you be confronted by HR about placing curses on your fellow employees, react indignantly and ask, "Is this some sort of witch hunt? In this day and age?" and storm out of the meeting. After the meeting, place a curse on the HR person(s) involved.

These tips should get you well on your way to developing a widespread fear about you. Once feared, it's not likely you'll ever be fired. If you are fired, they will probably be very nice and give you a huge severance package. Should you remain employed, nobody will want you to volunteer for anything and will hope you just stay in your cube and do the bare minimum to justify your salary. This will leave you free to do as you please during the work day, whatever that may be.

(:=

Great Cthulhu Jones
CEO, R'lyeh Consulting
http://www.zzzptm.com/cthulhu

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