Becoming a Flake
How to avoid becoming the Universal Resource person by turning into a Flake
The Universal Resource Person
Some years ago, I was approached by an organisation which requested I prepare a submission on a topic I knew absolutely nothing about.
I had been asked on a Thursday afternoon to appear before a Commission at 9 am Monday morning to present this submission on a topic I knew nothing about.
On Monday morning at 9 am I was an expert on that topic.
I made the submission, it was extremely significant, carried in all the newspapers etc.
The organisation got credit for it. I didn't even get a footnote.
I pondered on the process, then I asked the members of the organisation who had approached me; "How did you know I could do this?"
They smiled and mentioned a few facts. One of the few facts was that this was not the first time I had been asked to do something at the last minute, done it beyond all expectation. And didn't even get a footnote.
I had become the Universal Resource Person for all manners of organisations and people who like to get credit for work they neither did nor paid for.
I had proven to be capable of doing first rate work under extreme pressure for no money.
I pondered long and hard about my role as the Universal Resource. I decided to change my position in the Universe.
Enter the Flake
I decided to become a flake. It isn't that difficult. But it does take some effort.
Firstly, one has got to stop 'dressing to impress' and 'dress to depress'. Just find some old jeans that need washing and arrive at a meeting with that and a tee shirt which needs throwing away.
Secondly, instead of arriving at 9:52 for a 10:00 meeting, arrive at 10:23. Don't apologise, don't take a seat on the podium, go directly to the refreshment table and linger.
Make them have to call your name twice, then look around in a daze.
Take up smoking and have to leave meetings to have a cigarette, (even if you don't actually smoke, make people think you do).
Leave meetings before they are over...(during your cigarette break).
Contribute nothing. Say Nothing. When asked to do anything. Say; "I'm stretched".
Let people expect you but don't show up. This is not to say that you let people down, you just make it seem you'll be there ..."Yeah, I should be at that lecture...." "Lunch on Tuesday sounds fine.." and then lock off your phone and go away.
Every so often during a conversation with people who are likely to ask you to do
something impossible for which they have no intention of paying, say;
and when they tell you...
"You're sure today is not Wednesday?" (or any other day it isn't.)
This does not inspire confidence.
Enjoying Your Sloth
Eventually people will start to impose on others. Most others will demand to be paid, up front, and then turn in crummy work, claiming they didn't have enough time.
Sure someone might ask you to do something, but if you postpone it;
"Um I can't talk now, I've got to be somewhere else..." (even if it is the supermarket) ..."call me back...(five to six hours from now)"
They'll have time to canvas the opinions of others and be told....
"You asked a Flake!!!!"
Don't expect to hear back from that person. If you see them, a few weeks later and bring up the ..."What is it you wanted to talk to me about?"
They'll either explain or say..."Nothing important."
Soon everyone will believe you are a flake.
No longer will you be asked to do anything. Especially those things requires a lot of work so some organisation can take the credit and you won't even get a bus fare.