In most Futuramas, everyone wears the same clothes, uniforms if you will. They also have the same asexual haircut and vitamin-D deficient facial expressions. That is because utopias are boring. Real world is not.
Social orders, stratifications and competition make the game worth playing. Unlike video games and competitive sports, we can’t have people walking around with jet packs and sashes. So we give them milder trophies. Like a shinier name plates, a costlier chair and better quality tea and coffee.
These everyday drinks, humble in their commonness are also stratifying in their variety. From your chicory-adulterated pedestrian cuppa to your boss’ Darjeeling organic to his boss’ ultra green, there is one to suit every palate and pocket. There are almost as many varieties as there are layers in your company’s organogram.
You would think a ‘company with presence in over 100 countries’ can afford better coffee for its employees. But you may be missing the bigger picture. You realize this on a fateful day when your boss’ boss calls you to his cabin for the first time. Let us call him ‘Slave in Chief’ – SIC for convenience. SIC is known to be magnanimous in person but stingy over e-mail.
“Have some green tea, it’s organic.” So far, he has stuck to his profile.
He serves it to you without waiting for your reply. You awkwardly slump into the chair facing SIC’s ping-pong table-sized desk. Small talk ensues, mostly moderated by him. He is intermittently distracted by his phone that seems to be flashing something unpleasant.
“What is it?” he finally barks into the phone. This initial pleasantry is followed by long drawn silence, interspersed with nods.
Meanwhile, he motions you to add honey instead of sugar. You village upbringing has already given itself away.
After the initial salutation, SIC does not manage to get one full sentence in:
Let me at least….
……………someone just hung up on your SIC.
The rest of the meeting, post phone call, is vague and unproductive. However, two important things were learnt on this day:
- The wife doesn’t care two hoots what your visiting card says
- Organic Green tea tastes like expired cough medicine
High end caffeine drinks must be an acquired taste, like classical music. Weather they are an outcome of or means to enter inner circles…you will only know when you cross over.