Administrative jobs provide ideal hideouts for writers and other ne’er-do-wells and must be protected. Thus the AA’s Code of Honor. NOTE: All uses of the term “superiors” should be assumed to be facetious.

  1. You are perceived as being valuable to the organization. You will perpetuate this perception in all you do. Do not teach others the processes and information that would allow them to do your job.
  2. You will subtly encourage your superiors to do as much work as possible for themselves, while keeping them wholly dependent upon you. For example: Arrange for them to have printers in their own offices (“for confidential documents”); but withhold phone numbers of important contacts.
  3. Work miracles for your superiors on a regular basis. If they don’t subsequently think you walk on water, you will find a new organization to work miracles for.
  4. Do a better job than any other admin in the organization (without ever undermining or sabotaging, of course). You will thus allow more time for personal endeavors, and your efforts will not go unnoticed: If your reputation is sufficiently inflated, no one will dare question what you do with your time.
  5. No sucking up. If you eat lunch at your desk, arrive early or stay late, you are raising expectations and thus ruining everything for everybody.
  6. No fucking up. If you get caught playing Freecell, arrive late or leave early, you are going to ruin your reputation, invite micromanagement, or get fired.
  7. Keep track of every mundane task and special project you do in the course of the year. Write them up using power verbs and corporate euphemisms for use in your performance reviews. Request reviews if your manager does not. Lobby for raises. If you are not paid to your liking, find a new organization.
  8. Let it be understood that despite your obvious intelligence and competence, you enjoy your job and have no ambition to be, say, a financial analyst. Financial analysts make only slightly more money and are terribly overworked.
  9. You will always maintain the impression of gracefully managing a staggering workload. YOU ARE NEVER NOT BUSY. You do not ask for additional tasks, EVER.
  10. You will never allow anyone in the organization to suspect that you are actually working on personal projects for up to 100% of your workday.

If you follow the Honor Code well, you will at some point discover that you no longer know the difference between doing excellent work and doing no work at all.

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