Ed Hunter: Fake It ’til You Make It

Recruiters get a bad rep. Despite how hard they work, often for nothing, they’re victimised and blamed for lots of things that aren’t their fault.

Fair enough then they take the foot off the gas sometimes. An early finish here. A late start there. 

But, here’s the thing… You can’t be seen doing nothing. You have to look busy. At all times.

So, with that in mind I’m sharing a recent diary entry.

Within it are some tried and tested methods of how to be productive, in looking busy.

I’d already hit target this particular month and was off on holiday. So work took a back seat to the game.

You may want to introduce these into your repertoire.

They’re great if you’ve: mentally checked out for the week… already hit the Ibiza target, or just don’t care any more.

07:00 – I wake up and rattle off three emails from Gmail accounts I created last night in the names of my best clients.

*URGENT MEETING REQUEST* is the title, but I jazz it up with a few misspellings here and there. Because I’m not an amateur, I delay delivery on two of them and dive in the shower.

07:15 – I ‘accidentally’ rub some shampoo into my eyes to make my hayfever really pop. I’ll still go in, but nothing says “I work too hard” like soldiering on in the face of adversity.

07:30 – I’m in the office early and mess up my desk with papers and clutter. Carefully leave a pillow sticking out under my desk and go get breakfast. I told everyone I was ‘pulling a latey’ last night, so this will compound the illusion.

“Ooh sorry mate, is that in your way?” I say to the boss on return to the office.

“Did you sleep here last night Ed?” 

“Well, I didn’t sleep much, but maybe 45 minutes in between calls.”

*cue email round about commitment, with me as the example*

07:45 – The first of my sandbagged deals gets emailed round. This fella’s been on site for three weeks but the CEO’s in today. So a nice chance to show YES I’m already in. And YES I do piss excellence.

08:10 – I swear loudly, for no reason whatsoever. A quick shake of my head and sprint to my desk. Everyone assumes I’m on the phone, because I’ve got it held to my ear. I’m not. They’re just idiots.

08:20 – My headset goes on and it’s time for some tough contract negotiation with my client’s Paris office. Except… I’ve dialled the talking clock on the landline and given Duolingo a spin to practice for the trip.

“Bonjour, je pourrais avoir le menu enfant ?”

“Didn’t know you spoke French Ed?”

A solitary finger spin and the boss is on the back foot, back to his desk. Idiot.

08:45 – A lesson for the desk: High fives needn’t be for a reason. The more ostentatious your celebrations, the harder you appear to be working.

*I whisper* “Solid month. Foot off the gas. Steaks on me at 12.”

*CUE HIGH FIVES* “Yes mate. Legend. Go on Ed!”

09:10 – The first of my urgent meetings is due and it’s off to the gym. The hayfever’s cleared up now, but knowing my luck I’ll have another misdemeanour en route back.

10:30 – Gym’s done and I missed the crowd. I’m feeling more productive than ever as I limp back up to the desk.

“Some dickhead just hit me on his bike!” I wince, taking an opportunity to show how red and exhausted I am after the scuffle that followed.

“You’re joking? Get yourself to A&E mate, you need to get that leg checked.” Insists the worried boss.

“Not now mate, it’s last day of the month, I’ll go to A&E when I haven’t got so much to do!”

“Everyone in here could learn something from Ed!” Bellows the gaffer as I carefully sit down and notice the cleaner missed my desk again… “cause I was in all night!”

“That said, she’s got enough on her plate, with her youngest Lani pregnant again. And the Father’s up to no good.” I knowingly recall.

Obviously, this is nonsense. I’ve never even met the cleaner. But neither’s anyone else, so I’m safe in the lie.

11:05 – I catch up on admin, responding to urgent queries. The LADs WhatsApp group’s kicking off on my desktop for the impending trip, as a call comes in.

The number on the phone informs me it’s to our Dusseldorf office. Have we got an office in Dusseldorf? No. But our website says we do. I ‘headed up’ the opening a while ago so I could call myself a ‘Global Recruiter.’ The calls just divert to my line.

Pretending to be my own receptionist, I answer in a high-pitched German accent…

“Guten tag, you’re through to Dusseldorf, how may I direct your call, bitte? … Nein, entschuldigung, Ed’s on the phone to New York currently, was there a message?”

In the background I yell “Up my bid on that Picasso! If the Tate thinks they’re getting this one, they’re pissing in the wind.”

12:00 – Lunch, or it should be… For as I ponder my life as an art dealer, my smile breaks. No lunch for this poor soul today. That bloody client asked for a 12:30 meeting the other side of the city. So off I trudge, once more unto the breach. Meeting folder in hand, ready to dazzle

13:30 – Four pints and a rare fillet later, I storm back to the office.

“God I’m so hungry.” I announce.

This is the third time this week I’ve not had time to eat. But hey, there’s time for sustenance later. There’s deals to be done. And look what we’ve got here. The second sandbagged deal from two weeks ago.

13:45 – The CEO’s got the stick out his arse and comes over to say “Oh well done, Ed!”

“D’you mean thanks for the free money? You f*****g fringe!” I imagine my inner Bricktop snapping.

After two minutes of pleasantries, my mobile rings. It’s Ralph asking about airport plans… “Yeah, it’s been a tough month but we’re getting there… sorry, I think that’s the West Coast waking up, might need to take this.”

“The West Coast? Of where?” ponders the fringe, but it’s too late.

I’m on the phone and into a meeting room.

14:30 – Lovely catch up with Ralphy. Such a legend that lad. And always chooses convincing aliases when he calls. Unlike Ron.

15:00 – My colleague shouts over looking bewildered…

“Ed, I’ve got the Chancellor of the Exchequer on the phone for you?!” 

“Yeah, put it through please. I’ll take it on my mobile… Hi Ron.”

Eyebrows raise around the slower minds in the room, but before they can question it, I’ll announce the hat-trick.

15:30 – It’s raining deals and this one’s a monster. My boss makes a quip about hoping it doesn’t fall out. Luckily, this guy’s been on site the longest, so I know that won’t happen. I bet him an extra week’s holiday none of them do, and he agrees.

How’s it this easy?! I chuckle to myself, now audibly wondering “What will the queue in A&E be like now?”

16:00 – The ‘Mrs’ calls in.

I fabricated this person about 4 years ago and like any couple we’ve had our ups and downs.

“I told you I’ll see the kids when I’m back darling. That’s all I can do at the moment, I’m sorry. Work’s crazy. I’ll be here late again tonight. Noooo I’ll sort dinner. You eat without me again. Give them a hug from their ol’ Dad.”

Probably still make that 5pm tee time if I’m lucky.

16:30 – As planned, the boss overheard the conversation and implores I get off home to “See the family. And pack!”

16:31 – I text Ralph and jump in the car.

“We’re on for 9 holes mate, loser buys the beers.”

18:10 – I’m 3 up, with 3 to play, so break out my phone on the 7th.

I email the boss but ‘accidentally’ send to all.

From: Ed Hunter
Date: Thursday 10 August 2017 18:10
To: All
Subject: Meeting

Forgot about my last meeting in town mate so en route now. I know you said to get off home but this just slipped my mind.

It’ll be worth it for the business.


From: Ed Hunter
Date: Thursday 10 August 2017 18:11
To: All, Dave L
Subject: Re: Meeting

Sorry, that was for bossman, please ignore.

From: Dave L
Date: Thursday 10 August 2017 18:13
To: Ed Hunter
Subject: RE: Re: Meeting

No worries Ed, take the day off after your trip mate!

Great effort this month.

Top example as always!

18: 17 – Phone back on silent, I sink an 11 foot birdie putt to seal the deal for beers in the clubhouse. Probably get an uber home. It’s been a productive day.