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Essay title: Management

We are in the middle of March Madness. American business loses millions of dollars in lost productivity as employees watch the basketball tournament instead of working. Many people watch the games on their computers at work. The sites that make the basketball games available often have a "boss button" on screen. The theory is that if the boss walks in, you can just click that link and a business-like screen, usually a spreadsheet, pops up and hides the basketball game. There's just one problem - the "boss button" doesn't work.

Sure, clicking the "boss button" pops up the phony spreadsheet screen. The problem is that it's not fooling the boss. There are lots of clues he or she picks up on so they can tell you aren't doing the work you want them to think you are:

* You aren't touchng the mouse, until the second you see them coming.

* You never get that excited about a spreadsheet

* The only thing you talked about in the lunchroom was your "bracket"

* The spreadsheet includes names of clients who you don't do business with and products you don't sell

* You haven't had a spreadsheet open on your computer in the three years you've worked there

and the biggest clue -

* Your output has fallen like a rock since the tournament started.

Don't waste time trying to fool your boss. It won't work because the boss has been where you are and knows the tricks too. Focus your energy instead on keeping your productivity up, watching only the few games that really matter to you, and doing that on your breaks as much as possible. Your boss will appreciate your effort, and your honesty.

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