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Being nice and working hard is not enough to REALLY get ahead in life. Sure, life isn't really Game of Thrones, but some underhanded, sneaky, ethically-questionable moves are sometimes required to get ahead of the rest of the crowd and get what you want. Sometimes it's relatively harmless, and sometimes it requires you to be a Littlefinger-esque sociopath. But honestly, I gotta respect the thinking and strategy that goes into it - and this r/AskReddit thread found some of the sneakiest ones out there.




1. Gotta respect someone who knows the ins and outs of Excel. (from TigLyon)

I have been around a lot of manipulation and politicking at various workplaces. I can't stand it so I don't delve in to it. So suffice to say, probably the most genius stuff was happening around me and I failed to notice it.

However, something I was particularly proud of was when compiling reports, spreadsheets, ad copy, etc...I always typed my name in the lower right hand corner but set the text color to white.

No one sees it, it doesn't print, but when someone coughcoughmanagercough sends off your files as his own work to the higher ups along goes your signature. It came up in a discussion once where they were debating his data with "my own". He had apparently sent alternative ideas in an attempt to discredit my contributions and belittle my capabilities. In a one-on-one meeting, I had them highlight the bottom-right corner of all the documents he had sent under his name; they all had my name in the corner. I was working for them two months later. :)



2. This is a large-scale Nathan You For strategy. (from extrobe)

I work as retail analyst / consultant, and have seen all the tricks in the book.

My favourite involved 2 large US retailers, and iPhones - this was a good few years ago, at peak iPhone hype levels

Store A got a very small allocation from Apple - store B got a huge allocation, and flaunted the fact they had a huge amount of stock available compared to store A

So store A took advantage of this. They set the price for their (limited) supply of iPhones at a loss leading price - a real bargain.

But they didn't do this to be kind. They knew store B had a price match policy, and as they had been very vocal around how much stock they had, they had to honour it.

Cost them millions of dollars.



3. Well, now I'm gonna be paranoid of EVERYONE I work with. Thanks! (from OathOfFeanor)

New guy in a fancy suit shoes up in the office, and the company president says "he's a consultant working for me, give him whatever he needs." Guy works with us for months, going out to lunch with us all the time, we're all getting on great.

Then one day we are in the company meeting when the president invites him up to the front of the room because he's my new boss, the VP of somethingorother. This guy steps out from the middle of our group like it's the big reveal on a TV show. He was undercover for the past couple months; he asked the president not to announce his title during that time so that he could investigate our department from the inside without us knowing.

I forgot to add that while undercover he worked in a cubicle over in the accounting department. Then after the reveal he moved into the executive suite.



4. Okay, this is just from The Office, but I still respect it. (from b33r_engineer)

One of my co-workers at a previous job hated our boss. Guy was a suck-up to higher management, made our lives a living hell by not communicating actual requirements, etc., until it was too late, then bad-mouthed design to upper management and the customer.

My co-worker did some digging, and found an old copy of the guy's resume online, polished it up, and contacted a few recruiters. Boss got headhunted out of the company, we got a new boss who wasn't a gigantic ass, and everyone was happy.



5. This is pretty dark, but ALSO pretty genius. (from Cymoril_Melnibone)

A woman in an ICT team I was in was really bitchy and horrible to the rest of us and basically wore out any goodwill we had toward her. Suddenly the rest of the team started being nice to her again and I couldn't fathom why. I asked some questions and apparently there was a rumour she'd been abused by her boyfriend for a long time and was really suffering.

How did this rumour start? Well, all of ICT could view the monthly web reports and she'd started googling and visiting a lot of sites for abused women who are trying to get out of abusive relationships and such. Someone had noticed this in the web reports, and mentioned it to the others, and the sympathy outpouring began.

Being the suspicious type, I ran some reports of my own and discovered that she never browsed the internet from her normal account. Running some further logs, I could see that all the internet traffic from her PC prior to those searches had been done through an admin account, so nobody could view her web history.

It was a fucking setup. And it worked.



6. Trying to nearly die on company property is some real dedication. (from Dreamself)

I dont know if I personally would consider it a smart move but my boss has been having heart problems for a while (he has a quadruple bypass). He basically knew it was only a matter of time till his next heart attack. He told me he was gonna make damn sure it happened on company propriety when it came. Sure enough a couple of weeks ago he punched in at 6:00 am ( he normally comes in around 9:30-10:00) and less than 20 minutes later he was in an ambulance. Haven't seen him since but my buddy from HR says he's listed for workers comp.



7. If you're gonna be a sneaky dick, at least do it for something important, like...winning Scrabble tournaments? (from shucklerocks)

I was chosen as the representative of my Senior class in a Scrabble tournament. I was against this Junior girl, who was the best player in the whole school. Now, I'm not exactly a pathetic player but this girl was miles ahead in terms of Scrabble skills. It was a best out of three type of game and I have already won the first round simply due to sheer luck. Halfway through the second game, however, I figured that I won't be able to win the round as my score isn't even half of hers. So in order to invalidate the round, I purposely placed a wrong word in the board (I was graduating Salutatorian of the whole Senior class, so she really didn't think I'll get a word wrong) and let the whole game finished. Obviously, she won by a large margin. Lo and behold, one of the teachers came to check the game's progress and he noted the non-existent word.

As per rules of the game (and the girl's insistence that she can't accept the win given the situation), we redid the whole second round. The next second second round ended in a tie, and by technicality, I actually won the whole tournament. This was probably the first strategic (albeit very manipulative) thing I have done in my life.



8. One of the best owns in gaming history. (from rival2reality)

A German hacker once hacked the source code for half life 2 (a video game developed a by Valve corp.) before it was released and valve was in total panic mode. Gabe Newell(Owner of valve) however had a brilliant plan. He messaged the hacker's anonymous profile and told him that he was really impressed by his software genius and wanted to hire him for a new project . Gaben even sent flight tickets to Seattle to him and got a resume from him. Unfortunately for the hacker, GabeN passed his resume on to the FBI and checkmate.



9. "Being a sociopath" is a pretty solid strategy for success. (from BagelsRTheHoleTruth)

I had a friend who essentially engineered his marriage to a very wealthy girl (her parents are worth tens of millions). He is an extremely intelligent person, and in my personal opinion, a total sociopath. A lot of people don't see it, especially at first, but he's extremely manipulative and is always roundaboutly getting people to do things for him. Anyway, he was a struggling artist, and knows that this girl is loaded. So he just targeted her, and eventually married her. I knew him pretty well at the time, and it was clear that he really didn't give much of a shit about her. He then convinced her to move to Manhattan, away from her family, so that he could pursue his art career there. They moved into a huge apartment on the 20th floor of a high rise, with an amazing balcony view. I always thought it was extra fucked up because his wife is very overweight, and I think he used that as leverage in getting what he wanted. I don't know if it exactly fits the question, but it was kinda genius, if totally evil.



10. Kids are SCARY. (from spugg0)

I used to work as a sub teacher, and was having a class of 4th graders. Crafty, manipulative little fuckers, let me tell you.

One kid absolutely had to sit in the front of the classroom. The reason for this is that he essentially controlled the other kids, by giving them looks. If he was in the front you at least had a tell because he turned around for a second or two, gave a look, and some kid chucked his maths book across the classroom.

Also after having a few classes with these kids, one kid stayed in the classroom during the break and I asked her what was wrong. Apparently two boys in the class was mean to her and calling her names, so I told her I'd tell their original teacher and/or the principal (I was only a sub after all and had no place disciplining kids). As I talked to one of the teachers about it I found out that the problem isn't the boys, it's two other girls in the class.

See, these two girls would tell the boys to go bully this girl and be mean to her. Not because they didn't like the girl, but because they wanted the boys to get told off and disciplined for whatever reason. The bullied girl was just a tool in their eyes.

If I ever need a general to confuse and misdirect my enemies in conflict, I'd recruit a nine year old girl.