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The office Iceberg is a delightful creature to have in one’s workplace.  Loved by the powers to be (PTB) for their delightful enthusiasm and loathed by colleagues who see through the icy waters the true extent of the work they do not do.

The key to the Iceberg’s success is to be seen by management to be doing work.  Icebergs are smart enough not to waste their time doing tasks that do not bring instant gratification  and only completing the task insofar  it appears to be done. i.e. Why waste time allocating a scanned document to its client’s folder when you can leave it on the main directory.  Hell, why waste time scanning it at all  if the powers to be won’t comment on its absence.

The next weapon in the Iceberg’s arsenal is to externalise blame.  The document that hasn’t been scanned will be missed.  When it is the Iceberg’s immediate response will be ‘I wasn’t told it needed to be scanned’. And the reason why any other piece of work can not be done?   ‘Can’t do anything as the printer <insert any piece of electronic equipment/software programme you can think of> is malfunctioning’.

Next tactic is to create sympathy.  Once upon a time known as wallowing in self-pity,  worshiping at the alter of victimhood is a highly desirable state to be in. A hoarsely whispered, ‘I have a sore throat’  will elicit the suggest of honey and tea with the all important offer ‘don’t worry about the phones we’ll cover for you.’ Have a lot of paper filing to do?  Make sure you trip over your inconveniently slumbering pet and ‘sprain’ your wrist.  Tell everyone the doctors recommend that the bandage will be on for six weeks.  (Amazingly, when the audience for this particular tale of woe was exhausted within ten days the bandage came off).

Pretend to be busy.   Remember the messy desk and its’ ability to create the illusion of industry well counting the number of praline coffee capsules is of vital importance also (there was four left).  Icebergs are social creatures.  A whole morning can slip by with offers of making coffee, checking the iphone etc.   As to the afternoon, an hour or two can be wiled away doing the banking and posting the mail (even though those facilities are only a five minute walk away).

Office politics is all about good PR.  Most PR strategies have some spiel about cultivating recruiters aka people who will spruik your cause. Icebergs work personality conflicts to their advantage.  Icebergs never do jobs tasked to them by the most marginalized people. So when the marginalized won’t delegate any further work as it won’t be completed to standard (if at all) the Iceberg will flash their doe eyes at the male PTB and complain that they are been maltreated/ignored. Win for the Iceberg as they have officially reduced their actual workload as the PTB   will not look beyond  the tip of the iceberg.  Note that Icebergs will never directly recruit from within their immediate team as they have at some stage had to do the submerged work blithely ignored by the Iceberg

Icebergs are successful delegators. Icebergs will always do the work prescribed by the boss just not directly.  Icebergs are so busy doing the minimal amount of work  that they need assistance  to do those pesky admin tasks for which they are actually paid to do.

That my friends is a brief overview of the tactics of the Iceberg: those who only do the visible work while leaving the  hidden admin tasks undone.

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