Highly Ineffective People,

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March 2017 Issue [Readings]

Highly Ineffective People


From the Simple Sabotage Field Manual, published in 1944 by the U.S. Office of Strategic Services. The manual, which was declassified in 2008, was intended for distribution to citizens of enemy states.

employees: Think of ways to increase the number of movements needed to do your job: use a light hammer instead of a heavy one; try to make a small wrench do instead of a big one. In making carbon copies, make one too few, so that an extra copying job will have to be done. When you go to the lavatory, spend a longer time there than is necessary. Pretend that you are particularly anxious to do your work, and pester the foreman with unnecessary questions.

managers and supervisors: To lower morale and production, be pleasant to inefficient workers; give them undeserved promotions. Discriminate against efficient workers; complain unjustly about their work. Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.

organizations and conferences: Make “speeches.” Talk at great length. Illustrate your “points” with long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences. Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible. Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions. When possible, refer all matters to committees for “further study and consideration.” Attempt to make the committees as large and bureaucratic as possible.

transportation workers: Make train travel inconvenient for enemy personnel. Issue two tickets for the same seat on a train in order to set up an “interesting” argument.

general public: Cry and sob hysterically at every occasion, especially when confronted by government clerks.