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Discreet Tweeting

If you have ever had a flame in your life–one that competes with the 25,000 BTUs of a professional grill–you know that this heat is impossible to ignore.  And more over, when you try to expunge all thoughts of and desires for this person, you can end up with a lot of burnt hash browns.


You have a nine-to-five job with an obsessive boss, yet your love life cannot be neatly contained in an after-hours time zone.  Thoughts and longings for this person fill your every waking moment.  What can you do, apart from quit your job and stake out a street corner?


Do not forsake your job.  And never leave the love of your life (metaphorically speaking).


Assuming that the boss is constantly breathing down your neck and that your ability to concentrate wanes when you leave your flame, you have little choice but to juggle.  By this I mean you must multi-task work and love.  These two are the oil and water of daily life.  They don’t mix.  Yet, to extend the metaphor, one cannot live without the other.  What is a diet of water without the occasional drizzle of olive oil over your bruscetta of life?  (Have I taken this metaphor to its ridiculous extreme?  OK, you get the point.)

With a boss hovering over you,  you have the perfect incentive to perfect your skills.  By this I mean you must perfect your discreet tweeting skills.

Discreet tweeting–or Skweets, pronounced like it is spelled) as they are known–are one of the mobo skills of the trade.  Follow these steps:

  1. Get twitter accounts from twitter.com if you do not currently have these.  One for you and one for your flame.
  2. On your phone, install one of the convenient twitter applications, such as tweetdeck.  This app allows you to track tweets from those folks you follow.  You will follow your flame and vice versa.
  3. Get on the good side of your boss.  If he[1] does not have a good side, see if you can find something to make him laugh.  This is an excellent beginning and it will remind him that he is human.   Once on his good side, he will cut you a bit more slack than normal, especially if you are willing to take on the extra work when it comes up.  Yes, this is more than you bargained for, but the key to mobo work freedom is the fact that your boss and customer develop a trust in you.
  4. At work, find a reason if you can to run twitter.  For example, if you are in news business, you must keep track of breaking news.  Of if you are in the technology business you must have your thumb on the pulse.  This is a tall order.  If this is not possible, resort to the next step.
  5. Set up a Skweet drawer.  If you are right handed, the drawer should be a top drawer to your right if possible.  Place your device into the drawer.  Arrange the papers so they frame the screen, allowing you to view the screen from the corner of your eye.  Of course, leave the drawer askew.  If you boss enters the cubicle, simply close the drawer and open the one underneath.  Or, cover the view of the screen.  This will allow you to see the tweets as they come in.
  6. Better yet, you can balance the phone on your knee.  This is my favorite position as I test-drove this technique in front of my loan officer’s desk, sitting there quoting him the latest financial news that hit Bloomberg’s.  (This to convince him I had my finger on the pulse of the financial markets.  A bit of a stretch, I know, since it was actually my thumb that was on the pulse.)  If you have a roll-around chair, then you can roll your chair underneath you desk to conceal the device.
  7. Sending skweets is a practiced skill.  Simply bring up the soft keyboard on your device and peck out your message.  Keep it short and sweet.  Don’t worry about misspellings:  they’re endearing.

As long as you keep the phone on your knee and do not get to mono-tasked on the tweeting, you should be able to stay in touch throughout the day.

[1] By he, I also mean she and vice versa.  Only my laziness and the number of orders stacking up on my grill prevent me from explicitly stating this with each personal pronoun I use.

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