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How to look like you’re working if you have to be in the office over Christmas – solved by an actor

By Sirin Kale

Had TS Eliot been alive today, he might have titled his seminal poem ‘The Wasteland’ differently: ‘Portrait of an office on December 27’, maybe. If, like me, you’re too stingy to waste your precious annual leave in the period between Christmas and New Year, you’re going to have to get good at faking it – work, that is. And who’s good at faking it, apart from your girlfriend? Actors! Here’s one actor, Michael Spicer, for some sound advice on this topic.

‘The first sign of being busy is the sound of your keyboard. If your boss can hear you typing, they know you’re hard at work, so pull up a blank email and get cracking. If you’ve got nothing to type, I recommend using the lyrics to your favourite song – it will ensure a steady flow of words for that nice rhythmic tapping sound. I once typed out the whole of “Rubber Soul” in an afternoon. I sounded so busy. If you really want to make an impression, arrange an entirely spurious meeting with a friend, pretending they’re an important associate. As long as they’re dressed appropriately, are sober and have no intimate history with you, this is a surefire way of looking busy and important.’ 

Finished ‘working’ for the day/week/year? Here’s how to do Christmas in London properly.


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