As a Sr. Associate Analyst of Business Processes III (with Supervisory Duties), I know a thing or two about successfully climbing the corporate ladder. You guessed it, I started out as a mere Jr. Assistant Supervisor of Systems Implementation (with no Supervisory Duties). Crazy, right?

Well, what if I told you that in only 13 short years with my company, I have secured no fewer than two — count ‘em, two — promotions! That’s right, my salary-plus-benefits package is now pressing upon that fabled glass ceiling between lower middle class and the scraping ass-end of straight up median income, an accomplishment all the more impressive if you imagine there’s no such thing as inflation or that we’re just still living in the 1980s.

The hard truth of it is that this whopping 4.58% growth in my base salary is the result of a surefire method for professional advancement that I have handcrafted after years of firsthand research and analysis. You see, we’ve all been taught from birth that hard work, a can-do attitude, and perseverance are infallible paths to career advancement. But ask yourself this: What if they’re just not?

The Kratzman Method is the world’s first professional development seminar on how to actually leverage professional development seminars for any value whatsoever. My revolutionary approach is built upon the hard-earned revelation that today’s jobs aren’t going to those that earn them, but instead to people like Bert Kratzman, complete and total fucking morons profoundly inept at their jobs who nevertheless seize with ninja-level precision upon every opportunity to create the perception that they will make life easier for people in power.

And where are higher-ups forced to be in a room with you while giving the appearance of paying attention for extended periods of time? Bingo: the annual company-commissioned professional development seminar.

The post-truth of it is that such mandatory seminars are not, as billed, opportunities to gain valuable skill sets, but they are the perfect public audition, a veritable combine to showcase the myriad ways you can lean into the shit the executives don’t want to deal with.

As a sneak peek, here are just a few of the 52 principles that I teach as a part of the comprehensive and innovative Kratzman Method:

  • Home Games Only. If there are no higher-ups in attendance, then you, my friend, are at a circle jerk. Any training that takes you out of the office is for your résumé — and résumés are for people with MBAs.
  • The Six Minute Rule. Arriving six minutes early gives you the perfect amount of time to be seen but not pitied by the seminar conductors. And when their questions are greeted by a sea of blank stares, they’ll come looking for that punctual, serious individual who clearly has enough significant time commitments not to get here excessively early. This tacit third-party endorsement of you as a knowledgeable, reliable contributor will not go unnoticed by upper management.
  • Front row is the only row, but to the side. You’re not hiding, but you’re not showboating. You’re dedicated, but you pick up on social cues. What protector of a six-figure salary doesn’t love someone on their team who leads quietly from the perimeter?
  • Ask for the PowerPoint. You’re a problem-solver. You go straight to the source. And you know the difference between actually needing information and needing to appear as though you need information.
  • “…as an institution…” Weave this phrase into your public comments at least once every time you speak, demonstrating how you think beyond your own, personal interests to the larger objective of securing people’s salaries and career trajectories.
  • Scapegoatism. Tell one story that features you taking the fall for your department. Do not use names. Stay general. In fact, fabricating the entire thing is ideal so no one can dispute you. But you need to show that you are adept at being wrongfully blamed and taking it squarely on the chin with no festering resentment.
  • Always. Be. Presenting. The working group is the beating heart of the professional development seminar. And every working group assigns a leader, a secretary, and a presenter. Repeat after me: “I don’t mind presenting.” Presenting on behalf of the group is the perfect vehicle for showing your ability to speak while saying nothing and offending no one.

If I knew 13 years ago what I know now, I wouldn’t be charging the low, low price of $599 for The Kratzman Seminar at 6 AM this Saturday at Singer Park (sorry for the early start, but I’d like to secure the picnic tables without having to pay the reservation fee and it’ll let us wrap by noon before the soccer games start getting really loud), but the long overdue shattering of my naiveté is your gain.

You will leave our time together with a concrete action plan that I have very little doubt might result in you not living paycheck to paycheck at some point in the next ten years. And if enough of you sign up, I might not have to ultimately retire to some Podunk town where you can buy a distressed property for pennies on the dollar.

Register today by finding me at Singer Park, where I take multiple walks each workday to avoid the hellscape that is the shared workspace implemented per my working group’s recommendation at last year’s company seminar. All industries and experience levels are welcome, but those with 20+ working years left in them stand to see the best return on their investment. Apologies, but no refunds will be provided if the tranche of middle class you are targeting officially disappears before you get there.