The TBS bluffers guide to regretful workplace…unions

Approx Reading Time-12Built on the findings of science (and assumptions gleaned from watching the trailer of Hitch) we have the bluffers’ guide to SFW youknowhat.




We here at TBS Towers honour the sanctity of inter-office relationships – we never have them. Primarily because a) ew, and b) because no-one asks us. But despite the moral platform we stand on, and the scarlet sash we all wear, the mind does periodically wander to the realms of “what if”.

What if we met knowing eyes with a likely partner, and we felt that lifetime shared in an unspoken nanosecond during the weekly editorial? What if we were to follow our impulse, goosed by primal instinct, fear and a complete lack of knowledge? Would we hate those two minutes in the copy room?


However, I feel that we’re not alone in being alone. And I also know that if we say we’ve never participated in the volcanic romantic trysts of the collars (blue or white), then alone we shall remain.

Or not. For whichever genius in whatever century it was who decided that pretending to do things and lying about it was a far preferable option that overcoming your shortcomings and/or fears…well…God bless you, you unknown historical footnote.

With that in mind, and to honour whoever it was, we’ve assembled the sort-of-not-really-entirely-subjective-ultimate-guide-to-maybe-bluffing-your-way-into-the-boardroom-of-hard-knocks (I said knocks).

Cue the music.

According to the findings of sexless men and women in overcoats (scientists/perverts) and lovelorn middle management types burnt by the flame of bitter experience, there are three things you need to be able to lie about, seamlessly:

  1. The other person
  2. The situation
  3. The outcome


The other person

As a unifying rule, settle on themes, not particulars. No job title, no tenure length, or friends around the office who might know him/her/it. Shifting your lie onto others creates loose ends, and loose ends, make no mistake, end in vast cockblockery and 2am comfort eating.

Instead, take examples from your life, and form this mysterious partner from your everyday consciousness. For example, I’d take the stern, disappointed, hard-to-please tone of my mum, followed by dark, wavy locks of Kate Beckinsale (blackening grey, like my mother’s) and the terse grip of well…mu…uh, Tarzan’s grip?

The point being, when it doubt, lash that out. It’s easier to remember if half of the lie is already true. In a different context.

For example. You’re at the office box social or whathaveyou. The absinthe fairy of merriment and early onset alcoholism have dragged the two of you together, there is something in the air that night, the stars are bright, Fernando, they turn ask you, slurred through come-hither lips:

“Haves yousch ever you know…from the office, you know? eh?”

Your answer should be…

Very good. “Yes,” is the answer. If that answer suffices, move onto step b. If not, ask that person if they have, and then move onto the step b.


The situation

Righty-roo, this is the interesting/tricky part. Now, and I can’t stress this enough, the details you have to remember are exactly what you want to happen with this actual person. Think of it as a dress rehearsal, or astral projection. You’re doing it, but not doing it.

Couple of caveats. Unless you work in that bar from Coyote Ugly, I’m fairly somewhat almost certain that discretion is key. So, when they press you up against a wall, in the world of text or otherwise, pursuing the details of last time, tell them that it started off as something minor, and that we were able to keep it from everyone else. Great success!

If you produce juice from that lemon, the rest is easy. It’s like Cluedo. Pick your room and weapon, Professor Plum. Well, more room. The weapon part sounded overly sexual and/or murder-y.


The outcome

Always end the story with a parting. But, crucially, make it because of a third party, or an agreed-upon division of feeling. Never, ever ever, make it about your short comings, or make yourself out to be a hero. No-one ever sleeps with the hero until after the credits, when the crowd don’t honour the union and thereby loudly dissect the actions of the protagonist. This trouble boils double for your “target” as they will whistle for the nearest horse and break for El Paso if they figure that you’ll martyr yourself in front of the typing pool.

O, aghast, and lark upon the beast betwixt my heart, etc.

Probably best to keep it simple. When questioned about the fictitious past, just calmly plant: “It was what it was, and they moved on”. Don’t elaborate. Don’t even tell them what they moved on to. Its like when the Mafia disappears someone, as outlined by Christopher Moltisanti and Pussy Bonpensiero:

Above all, don’t blow it. And especially don’t get hung up on the finer details. You are lying, yes, but you aren’t creating a story. That’s different.

You need to be able to not finish school to do that.



Note: Sexual congress in the office space is highly ill-advised. Unless you gained the job coming through congress. Take that, 1998 Bill Clinton.


Share via