Thursday, July 2, 2009

How to Look Like You Belong Somewhere

I wrote an article for eHow before they shut down user-submitted content.  I'm updating this post now because they're about to take my article down.  So this is for posterity (whatever that means).

How to Look Like You Belong Somewhere

Do you have a reason to be in an office building or other establishment that may not fly with security or reception? Follow these easy steps to ensure you look like you belong.

Things You'll Need:
Clipboard
White Name Badge
Cell phone
Pen with a company name on it
Glasses or safety goggles
Utility belt with keys, flashlight, pens, and clips attached

Steps:
1. Walk in purposefully and follow an employee closely. Keep your clipboard at your side and your glasses in your pocket. If asked by security or reception for identification, flash your name badge quickly without missing a step. If they further inquire about identification, drop your pen towards their feet. When they bend to pick it up, run back out the door. Say a silent goodbye to your pen. NOTE: Do not roundhouse kick the person who is inquiring of you.

2. Once you've made it through the door, don't slow down or raise your head to look for signs. Just keep walking the direction most people are walking. If you need to stop and catch your bearings, pull your cell phone out of your pocket as if it is vibrating, and answer it. Say, "Hello? Yes, I just arrived. Certainly. Yes sir, I will be sure to do that. Alright. Bye." This will buy you some time to rotate on the spot and look around without arousing suspicion. Use that time to decide which direction you're headed.

3. Once you're in, put on your glasses or safety goggles and hold your clipboard at your hip with pen poised to write.

4. Touch the closest wall with your fingertips and look at where it meets the ceiling above. Then slowly write a short note on your clipboard. In the middle of writing, pause, slowly walk 7 paces, look at another part of the ceiling and begin writing again.

5. Sporadically answer your silent cell phone. Always refer vaguely to what you're doing. Example: "Yeah, I just finished that. I'm on section 3 of the checklist."

6. Find a warning sign or informational sign. Read it and "take notes". Write down your favorite color and your favorite animal. Then imagine your favorite animal being that color. Neat, huh?

7. Kick the carpet or squat and examine it. Mumble something about "quality" to yourself so it is the only discernable word to eavesdroppers. Use this time to look for loose change or paperclips. Again write something on your clipboard.

8. Ask a random person if they know where you can find Timothy Skondora. Make up a somewhat funny-sounding name. If you're feeling bold, ask for a ridiculously-named person. "Excuse me, do you know where I can find Sonoma Finkerbanasteen?" If they ask you to repeat the name, ask for someone else.

9. Check the echo effect in the longest hall you can find. Yell "Echo!" or "Testing!" repeatedly until someone notices. Then draw a picture of a moose on your clipboard.

10. Limit your time in the building to less than one hour. When it's time to leave, just walk out. Make sure to pad your pockets so no one notices that they're full of paperclips and loose change.

Tips & Warnings:
Don't do anything stupid or illegal. That's not the point. The point is just to pretend like you belong.

1 comment:

I Love Baby Quilts! said...

I've really enjoyed reading your blog and your ehow article! Came over from cakewrecks. You write really well.