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February 24, 2004

Professional Development

Since you were a wee tot, you've dreamed of being a bullshit artist. You practiced on your friends, teachers, parents, but with mixed results. You may think "I could never make it as a professional bullshit artist." But we have good news -- you can! With the right attitude and secrets from the pros, even you can make it in the competitive world of bullshit artistry! Want proof? Here's a free lesson from Girl-E, our Senior Bullshit Instructor -- try it on your professor, your boss, anyone, and we guarantee results! After the free trial, you can sign up for the course series for only $179 (plus materials)!!

Lesson 1 (free trial): Organization

There is a misconception about bullshit artists that they are lazy and unorganized, and succeed by an innate ability to pull crap out of their ass. Lazy they are, indeed, but a well-organized bullshit artist is in the best position to bullshit effectively. "But wait," you ask, "how can someone be organized and still be a bullshit artist?" Think about your own prior experience with bullshitting. Think of a time you were, say, asked to clean your room, and instead picked up everything off the floor and shoved it in the closet. Did you panic? No. Did you say "screw you," and leave everything on the floor? Of course not -- the consequences of doing so were the reason you utilized bullshitting in the first place. No, you were organized; you had an arsenal of potential bullshitting strategies, which included using your closet in order to cut work time by 90% but still end up with the same result, at least as far as authority was concerned.

Now you're in the academic or professional world, and the bullshitting skills required are more complex and nuanced. Flat-out excuses or ultra-quick fixes will only get you so far; you are, on occasion, actually expected to produce something for scrutiny. You may think that it is beyond your capabilities to be a practicing bullshit artist and still submit a quality product to your advisors or supervisors. Not true, Stu! What, give you an example? Okey dokey, Smokey! Piles. Making piles is something which requires minimal mental or physical activity, requires only a monkey's ability to distinguish between one thing and another, and is something you can do while talking on your cell phone, reading blogs, waiting for your credit card to clear on Gap.com, anything! Let me give you an example of how piles helped me today:

I was asked by my boss last week to collect and synthesize research proposals which have been submitted for a project. I also had to schedule a series of seminars related to the proposals based on the availability of a few key participants. All of this information came to me by email, which I knew immediately because I check it every three seconds. While eating my Jello pudding snack this morning, the due date, I brainlessly clicked the 'print' icon one time for each proposal. Stopping by the printer on my way back from the bathroom 20 minutes later, I scooped up the printed emails and a fistful of Hershey Kisses, and headed to my desk. While Googling my full name with maiden name, nickname with maiden name, full name with married name, and nickname with married name, I sorted the stack of emails into two piles, research proposals and scheduling preferences. The trick to efficiency was that the proposals had lots of words on the paper, while the scheduling requests had few words on the paper. See, no reading needed!

Forty-five minutes before the meeting with my boss, I typed the proposal names in bold and the first two sentences of the body underneath. If there's anything a bullshit artist needs to understand, it's FORMATTING. Bolded section headers and well-placed bullets give the illusion that large amounts of work were done, particularly if, as is the case with most, your boss doesn't know how to use the computer. Now, you may ask why I didn't cut and paste the sections of the proposals for the synopsis. A logical question, but one that pins you as an amateur. Do you know how much time it takes to click back and forth between Word and your email client? And to keep track of which email you've pasted and which you haven't? The piles create a streamlined path of least resistance -- and you can look impressively busy while flipping through them and typing, alternating between the document and your IM conversation. Finally, I had the pile of availability emails all lined up to propose seminar dates. I didn't look at them, but was able to truthfully tell my boss that I had a range of dates all lined up. See how it works?

There are many more examples of how piles and modified fonts can help you build your bullshit portfolio, which you can access by signing up for our online course, for only $179 (plus materials)! And if you sign up now, you'll get our bonus publication, "Bullshit Art History: Plantation Owners to Presidents" absolutely FREE! In the mean time, I hope you enjoyed your FREE lesson -- go ahead, try what you learned today and you'll see, anyone can be a professional bullshit artist!

Posted by The Twins at February 24, 2004 04:29 PM

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Tracked on February 25, 2004 07:35 PM


::sniffs; fumbles around for tissue::

I'm sorry. It's just that I get emotional in the presence of genius.

Posted by: Lex at February 25, 2004 06:15 AM

You may be interested in my course on "Making people believe that you are really busy and stressed out by being really nice to them in a sort of overdetermined-with-a-hint-of-sadness way which causes fear of what might happen if you are caused to snap." It's quite effective for deflecting actual work, something I haven't done in months now.

Posted by: Hilatron at February 25, 2004 08:02 AM

I also use the piling method, but with books. I always have a "go to" stack of work waiting on my desk for those encounters where it is necessary for me to reinforce the myth that I am a hard worker.

I do admire your suave Bathroom/Printer/Chocolate multitasking, though. I bet there was theme music playing for you...

Posted by: She-Dork at February 25, 2004 09:32 AM

i just skipped down to the last paragraph without reading anything else. what did i miss?

Posted by: bryan at February 25, 2004 10:46 AM

Bryan, bullshit artists may be lazy, but they do have to spend some time studying their craft. Now go back over it with a highlighter.

Posted by: EV at February 25, 2004 10:55 AM

yay, it was great meeting you last night miss ev!!

Posted by: kat at February 25, 2004 12:42 PM

man, you are like a crack dealer, getting me all hooked and shite.
also can ammended margins help me in my quest as well?

Posted by: snowy at February 25, 2004 07:52 PM