Handy Dandy Guide To Using Twitter At Work by @notheotherjohn


We all know by now that the social media site Twitter.com can be quite addicting. So addicting in fact, that many people even tweet while at work. Sure your company “pays you money” and would have “just cause” to “fire you” for “dicking around on the internet all day instead of doing your work.” And yes, this would likely cause you to end up broke and unable to pay your rent, forcing you to move back in with your parents. But tweets don’t write themselves, and you have a social media career to launch. While living at home with your parents would give you lots of time to write great tweets and eat cereal and watch the Price is Right every day, it’s also…actually I forgot where I was going with this. But if you want to continue to tweet at work, you need to have a game plan. Companies are increasingly on the lookout for employees using social media while on the clock just because they “lose billions of dollars in productivity every year.” As such, I have put together a few tips to help you continue your rise to internet stardom while also keeping your job!

  1. Know your bosses schedule.

You bust your ass to get to work every day at 8:07 am. Meanwhile Your boss moseys on in at 9:00 every day, presumably due to traffic on the way back from his/her new beach house. Fuck that noise. The way I see it, you’ve earned this time, so use it effectively. Check your email to make sure your boss hasn’t given you some menial task. They did? Do it quick. By now you have conditioned them to believe it takes a full hour to put 3 lines of data into an excel spreadsheet, and seeing as how last week you overheard them telling the IT guy that they think their monitor has a virus, it seems unlikely that they are ever going to find out otherwise. No menial task? Even better. Go make a cup of coffee, put your feet up, and perfect that tweet you thought of last night while watching American Ninja Warrior. Then watch the notifications roll on in.


  1. Always be prepared

Don’t ever get too comfortable. Find a way of to keep track of where your boss is at all times. How? Well, ideally by getting one of those cool maps like in Harry Potter. Not a wizard? Remove your dogs tracking chip and inject it into your boss’s arm. Love your dog and/or don’t have a device that will shoot a tracking chip into your boss’s arm? Tell your boss that some of your co-workers have commented on his /her breath, then give them a case of Tic-Tacs. You will hear them coming from a mile away. While these are all great strategies, none of them are perfect. Eventually your boss will run out of Tic-Tacs and put on some wrestling shoes and sneak about the office like a pleated khaki wearing ninja, launching unsuspectedly into your cubicle right as you refresh your timeline and a gif of a cat with its head stuck in a sandal starts playing. DON’T PANIC. Make use of the alt/tab keys to switch back rapidly from twitter to your work email. Lean in and squint your eyes a little bit as you stare at the screen to let your boss know how intently you are reading, trying to understand the full meaning of that particular email, even if it is just the same one you get every day offering 20% off from Sherri’s Berries which is weird because you have no recollection of ever ordering anything from them. The important thing is that your boss sees you dialed in. Don’t turn to face your boss until you have finished reading the email, then happily ask what you can do for them. You are there to serve. Hey remember that image that popped into your head a minute ago where your sneaky boss was running across the top of cubicles like the Kung Fu Masters running across tree tops in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon? That could make a good(ish) tweet!


  1. Always Look Busy

It’s important that you give your boss no reason to suspect you are slacking off. So be proactive! Make frequent trips over to the copy machine outside their office, then make a big show of stacking and shuffling the papers, all of which are from a file that has been sitting on your desk since 2011. Staple blank pieces of paper together. Stapler out of staples? Even better. Show your boss you are not below doing the little things around the office that keep it running by refilling that stapler. Loudly shout to Debbie, the office manager: “Hey Debbie, we are getting a little low on Staples, can we get some ordered?” Your boss will appreciate how much of a go-getter you are. If you hear your boss coming by your desk, pick up the phone and push 6 random numbers so that it looks like you have dialed but will not actually call anyone. If your boss lingers longer than that, act like you dialed the wrong number and start over. Your boss won’t want to bother you while you are on the phone. Repeat as many times as necessary until your boss leaves. Once he does, re-tweet that big account who you have been trying to get to follow you back for the last 4 years. Just last week he fav’d one of your retweets. You’re getting closer!


  1. Lie, Lie, Lie

The truth will set you free… from gainful employment! The simple fact is that honesty has never gotten anyone anything (or has it?). At some point, you will likely let your guard down, accidentally leaving your twitter page open while you take your daily 20 minute trip to the bathroom where, coincidentally, you are just looking at twitter on your phone. When this happens, you are going to have to lie your way out of it. But lies need to be convincing, and that doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Luckily, you can get some much needed practice by lying about trivial things to your spouse or significant other. Did you use the last K-Cup again and not buy more or AT THE VERY LEAST tell your significant other so that they could pick up more when they went to the store today? Nope. In fact you haven’t had any coffee in 9 days because you read an article online about possible negative health effects. Ideally, your lies will be so convincing and full of detail that your significant other will believe they are going crazy. They might even apologize to you. Forgive them, let them know it’s no big deal and you love them anyway. Once you have mastered this, you are ready for your boss. Your exchange should go something like this:


Boss: John, I happened to be walking past your desk the other day and I noticed, well first of all I noticed you were gone for a very long time.

Me: Yes. I’m so sorry. I have been having some pretty serious stomach issues lately. I have an appointment with a gastroenterologist Friday. That reminds me I am going to have to leave a few hours early on Friday.

Boss: Oh, ok yea that’s no problem. I hope everything is ok.

Me: Me too.

Boss: Anyway the other thing I noticed was that your computer had the social media site twitter dot com open. I shouldn’t have to tell you that work is not the time for that.

Me: I couldn’t agree more. To be honest I despise social media. It’s just…never mind

Boss: What?

Me: Well, I had heard there was a *insert natural disaster* in *insert impoverished country* and, well the (Fox News/MSNBC) site was down, and lord knows I’m not going to that other (Bleeding heart communist/Right wing nazi) site for coverage.

Boss: Well I can certainly understand that.

Me: Then I remembered *insert name of coworker who you dislike* talking about how they are on twitter literally all day and how these stories get covered there and-

Boss: Say no more. I totally understand. I’m sorry to have bothered you about this.

Me: It’s totally ok. In fact I think if I get back to work now I should be able to finish my workload for today.

Boss: *Smiles and gives me a huge thumbs up*


And just like that you are in the clear. Once your boss leaves you are free to go back and look through your tweets from 2013 and see if you can find any underappreciated gems that you can rehash and pass off as new. Favstar top tweets here you come!


So there you have it. With these simple tips you should be able to launch yourself to online stardom while remaining comfortably stagnant in your professional career. Now go try to get some more followers by pretending to be outraged by that thing that is currently outraging those big accounts! I have to go now, I just got an alert on my phone that my dog is approaching. Good luck and happy tweeting!

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