‘If you don’t act on life, life has a habit of acting on you.’
That is just the kind of misnomer of an insight you want to start your day with. The new vendor for your intranet sites is still in his show-off stage. Hence, a daily dose of dumb-down wisdom (‘Quote of the day’) greets you every time you sign in to view your salary slip (a depressing exercise in itself).
But it does get your attention. There are bald guys out there making a killing with the verbal equivalents of stick figure stock photos and you are just sitting there in your cube…reading them! What is with this inertia?
You put it down to lack of motivation/provocation.
With appraisal season upon you, the creature that is your loyalty is getting wings again. ‘Once the letter in my hands, this little birdie will fly, fly away!’ said Mr. Anders, a fellow slave and 10 year veteran.
‘Didn’t he say that last year?’
‘I think so, but in a less delirious way.’
You don’t know whether to laugh at a grown man doing a birdie flutter motion or to be scared by the wild glee in his eyes. You choose to take the scissor out of his reach when he is not looking.
One by one, nine to fivers are being called into the fateful glass cabin of Head Slave. The whole thing has a very Big Boss feel to it. One healthy year of your mortal existence condensed in a couple of pages of type…the letter of your dreams. Much of the type, off course; is legal spells. Just in case any of the laborers gets any bright ideas. You are surprised HS does not have security, a Rottweiler perhaps, to stand by him in case the letter triggers a slave to go Spartacus on his ass!
It has all gone uneventfully, if not amicably till now. Mr. Anders is up next. Slaves awaiting their turn line up at an angle to the cabin to get a peek of the silent drama across the glass, much against the secretary’s assertions. It is like seeing a silent movie without the subtitles and a background music that is only playing in your head.
Into the third minute, Anders has not done his birdie dance yet. You expect the worse. He comes out a couple of minutes later, walks slowly to his desk and goes about randomly clicking icons. You walk up to him, more out of solidarity than wanting to know.
‘What is one more year huh?’ he says not looking up from his screen. An implosion can be a dangerous thing. Good thing you took the scissors away.
You strike lack of motivation/provocation off your list of reasons to stay back.
No one stopped smoking overnight. And Mr. Taleb has said: ‘The three most dangerous addictions in the world are heroin, carbohydrates and a monthly salary.’
Now that is your kind of quote.