How to deal with your boss's bullshit questions

DOES your boss like to ask ridiculous questions during your catch-ups? Here’s how to answer their tedious, pointless queries:

How much revenue will this idea make in five years?

This one is easy: just get out your trusty crystal ball and divine an answer from the ether. Failing that, pick a large number at random and make a mental note to leave the company just before the five years are up.

How is your wellbeing?

Your boss has clearly just been on a course about empathetic leadership styles, but, coming from an habitual sociopath, this question is just plain sinister. Ask the question back to them, and then copy whatever they say. The workplace is no place for reflection or honesty.

Do you like the new process?

The process reeks like Satan’s toenail clippings but you can’t say that because it was the boss’s idea. Instead, wax lyrical and ignore the shrivelling feeling of your soul dying as your one precious life slips through your fingers.

Did you sort things out with Lisa?

If by ‘sort things out’ they mean had a frosty and combative Zoom call where Lisa repeatedly said, ‘that’s not my problem’ whilst obviously flicking through a magazine on her lap, then… yes.

Where do you see yourself in five years’ time?

The genuine options of ‘far away from here’ or ‘dead from burnout’ are both off-limits, obliging you to bullshit rapidly about ‘building on your current skills’ and ‘taking on more responsibility’. Both of which, if you are made to carry them out, will make life much worse.

Can we get this done by Thursday?

By ‘we’, your boss means ‘you.’ Clearly this is not really a question, but an order. Moreover, the request will consume enough time to ensure you are too exhausted and broken to do anything else, like go on LinkedIn and look for a better job.

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Your guide to good parenting, by Boris and Carrie Johnson

EVERY new parent likes to buy a supposedly authoritative book about raising children. Here are our top parenting tips.

Boris: Set boundaries

For example: ‘No – you can’t fill the shopping trolley with bags of Haribo. Put them back.’ On the other hand, constant lying and cheating is fine. Rules like this will make sure your children grow up with a clear moral compass.

Carrie: Get a pet

A pet is a great way of teaching children about responsibilities. Also they provide excellent photo opportunities, which introduces them to the basics of a lucrative job in political PR.

Boris: Encourage them to be independent 

Children need to explore and develop self-confidence. I have encouraged at least one of my progeny to do this by having literally nothing to do with them. If that doesn’t build their independence, I don’t know what will.

Carrie: Be a loving couple

True love is what relationships are all about. Don’t marry someone because it’s jolly good for your career and you can ditch the porky old bastard later on. That would be totally unromantic.

Boris: Read to them 

An overlooked parenting skill in the age of texting and iPads. Forget Dr Zeuss, Harry Potter, The Gruffalo and drivel like that – at bedtime read them a couple of chapters of my crappy novel or poorly researched history books instead. I really need the sales.

Carrie: Don’t get hung up about food

Children are picky eaters and very conservative when it comes to food. Don’t get stressed about it. If there’s a load of leftover beef Wellington from your household chef your husband will probably just stuff it down his fat gullet while opening another bottle of red.

Boris: Research local schools

The right school will improve your child’s life chances. Skills they need include: massive overconfidence, social connections with horrible Tories, and how to trash a restaurant. So Eton, basically.