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"Lost": Lessons for the Office

April Fool's! We're not turning our backs on investing -- though we did fool some of you.

Lost. If you watch this hit ABC television show, than you know it can be both entertaining and frustrating, often simultaneously. I've spent 72 hours of my life (and counting) following the exploits of the Lost characters. To attach some greater meaning to those hours of my life that I'll never get back, I've put together a list of lessons learned from Lost that can be used around the office. 

Your office is like the Lost island -- it holds a multitude of mysteries
I think you'll be amazed at what you find if you really look around your workplace. Perhaps you'll discover a hidden bathroom, accessible only by an elevator and unmarked doors (I did!). Don't be afraid to poke around in the office kitchen cupboards -- you could be rewarded with a cache of Dharma food.

Never reveal too much
The safety of the inhabitants of the Lost island often depends on their ability to keep secrets. Your job security may depend on your ability to do the same. Never give away all of your tricks, or your boss may just decide you're expendable. 

Create an air of mystery for yourself
Your co-workers will find you infinitely more interesting if you never fully explain why you do the things you do. So, go on, show up for a 2 p.m. meeting wearing a beekeeper suit and clutching a fishing pole.

Threats and violence are effective persuasion techniques
I've learned a number of excellent interrogation methods from watching Lost's Sayid. The folks in the marketing department won't get that advertising copy to you on time? Shove a gun in their faces. Accounting guys taking forever to reimburse you for that conference in Vegas? Rough 'em up a little. It works.

Always schedule extra time between meetings
Be sure to schedule an extra five minutes before and after meetings to allow time for experiencing flashbacks. This flashback time will come in handy when trying to remember what was decided at a meeting four months ago.

Beware of the "Others" from the company on the third floor
You've seen those strangers getting on your elevator -- don't trust them for a minute. If they get the chance, they'll ransack your cubicle and steal your stapler. They're probably planning on stealing your receptionist while you read this.

Your past doesn't matter
It doesn't matter who you were at your previous job. Picked on for being the office slacker? Doesn't matter. Fired for playing patty-cake with your secretary? Forgotten. Simply pick a new personality, establish your dominance, and you'll find you're on your way up the company ladder in no time.

And finally, always end your presentations with ...

... a cliffhanger.

The Motley Fool is taking a break from investing. Read more here.

Jesse Keyser doesn't really understand what's going on in Lost, but he continues to waste a precious hour every week. He doesn't own shares in any companies or characters mentioned above, but has this on his next Christmas wish list. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy that never asks for directions.


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