Fool the Emperor to Cross the Sea

Strategy 1

Moving about in the darkness and shadows, occupying isolated places, or hiding behind screens will only attract suspicious attention. To lower an enemy's guard you must act in the open hiding your true intentions under the guise of common every day activities.

Modern Example

I had given two weeks' notice at this company, but they were resentful and begrudged my imminent liberty. They were determined to heap as much work on me in the next two weeks as possible. Their attitude got worse with each passing day, especially after I rebuffed an attempt to "reconsider" my resignation. I knew I would never last the whole two weeks, so I had to think of something quick. Since I had removed nearly everything from my cubicle over a period of weeks before quitting, it was already fairly free of clutter and decoration. A perfect setting... I went to the supply closet and got additional items. I replaced any of my personal items with theirs - i.e., mouse pad, pencil cup, tape dispenser. I added items I had never even had before, such as a paper stacker. I took lots of documents from the project - stupid pointless memos, various old versions of the database flowchart, etc. - and pinned them up in plausible locations around the cube, especially near the computer. I made all these little sticky notes of things about the project/system (like I needed to remind myself of something) and stuck them on the computer too. I took handfuls of unused documents out of my recycle bin and put them in the paper stacker. I had some things left over from lunch, like a half-eaten bag of chips, and a partially finished soda, which I placed near the keyboard. For added authenticity, I scattered a little handful of cough drops near the mouse pad and some near the phone. I then took the last of my personal items home that night, coughing strategically as I passed by desks and colleagues on the way out. Each subsequent day, I called in "sick" - leaving messages on people's voice mails through my own still-functional voice mailbox (so they couldn't figure out where I was calling from, or answer an actual call and pepper me with questions as to my whereabouts). The last day, I said in my message that I would "try to come in and pick up my things later". Funny, how I never did...!