How to Watch March Madness Without Getting Fired From Your Job

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You have a problem: You love watching college hoops, but you also love being employed so you can pay rent and feed your freeloading family. Every March, these two loves come head-to-head in a battle for your attention. Slam dunks and buzzer-beaters vs. shelter and nourished children--it's too close to call! At least, it was too close to call. We've cooked up some easy strategies so you can watch March Madness without losing your job.

Schedule long lunches
"Sorry boss, I have another five-hour lunch scheduled with those clients ... those foreign clients. What's with foreigners and long lunches, huh? And the way they wear their pants, too? It's like, uh, hello, we're in America now, short lunches and long pants, am I right? USA!" It is critically important to high-five your boss immediately after this exchange.

Leave abruptly after citing a "family emergency"
No one questions the "family emergency" excuse; it's like the skeleton key of getting out of things. It covers everything from your kid losing his lunch on the bus to your ex-wife's kidnapping at the hands of Romanian gangsters who don't even want money--they just want to see you beg, John McClane.

Watch on your work computer
The NCAA has a pretty good web player that even includes a "Boss Button," which takes you to a fake page that looks like you're drafting an e-mail. Only problem is, the fake e-mail page looks like an old AOL account. That won't work with discerning, paranoid bosses. Instead, keep this post open to the expertly crafted Excel sheet below:

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Schedule a vasectomy during the tournament
People actually do this. If you are a woman, get a tubal ligation. If you are a dog, we'll just take you to the V-E-T to get neutered. Good dog! Aww, he knows we're taking him to the vet. Who's a smart dog? You are! You are!

Become a college basketball coach
This way, you're job is watching basketball!
Pros: Good pay, getting to watch basketball all the time.
Cons: Inability to sleep at night knowing that your generous salary comes from the sweat and hard work of kids who will never see a dime of the billions of dollars collegiate sports rake in every year.

Good luck and goooooooooo basketball!

[ngreene@villagevoice.com][@nickgreene]



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