Not the exercise, we’ve already covered how horrible exercise that is. No, I’m talking about cross-training at work.
It’s annoying and accomplishes nothing. Look, when I take an intern who knows nothing about feeding The Wolverpus and have him feed The Wolverpus, do you know what happens? Right. Chewed beyond recognition. All that time I invested in teaching him how to re-arrange my collection of jarred human brains was wasted.
So, if your boss wants you to learn a new position, run like hell. Not because you’re going to get stuck feeding some hypersexual man-platypus-wolverine hybrid but because you’ll now be responsible for doing twice the work at half the price. They won’t tell you that. Your employer is dishonest with you. I’m the only one you can trust for career advice and you know it.
Every new job you learn under the guise of advancement or “helping out” is a job you’re going to be stuck doing when that person leaves. Just keep in mind that you can’t let your employer know that you’re onto him. You must engage in stealth career stagnation. This means that you learn other jobs, but you give no indication that you know them. This protects you from horrible things like being called a “hard worker” or “conscientious employee.”
But aren’t those good things, you ask? Fuck no. These are the worst things any boss can say about their employee. That means that they’ve found a way to pull your very life-blood from your anus. Keep your life-blood where it belongs.
At the same time, you can’t seem too useless. Occasionally perform a task that your boss doesn’t know you know and then when he tries to put you on it again, act like you’ve never done it before. It doesn’t matter how much detail he throws at you to jog your memory about the last time you did it. Never happened.
Now your boss is crazy and you’ve somehow come out looking like an unreliable savant who can only be relied upon to work outside your job description when it doesn’t matter at all.