Sometimes you wonder if beneath all the layers of niceties and formalities does a real person exist or did he go into a coma a long time ago. May be your colleagues think the same way about you. But you don’t want to let the line between friends, acquaintances and co-workers blur. You don’t mind being called old-fashioned but having three real friends is better than having a hundred and seventy ‘people you may know’.
And so you resist. You resist Friday drinkathons by getting all your bitching done during coffee breaks. You resist the annual sports day by feigning hernia. And you resist adding your colleagues on Facebook by not remembering your password. But for how long? Between auto logins and your company’s official ‘fan page’ your online profile is ironically more relevant than your flesh-and-blood self and will outlive it too. The thought of willing your online avatars to your heirs seems disturbing only if you plan to start a family.
However most people still do. And they plan the expansion of their clan around their appointments, promotions and transfers completing the circle of modern day slavery. Adding them as friends can be pretty disturbing. Specially the tenured uncles whom you have only seen behind their respective desks. You are not even sure if they have legs! The ones who wear the same blue-striped shirt which is 2 sizes too big; every day of the week. May be they wear different equally forgettable formals every day and your brain has decided to store just one default image of these humanoids to save precious RAM. Or may be they have 5 exactly same shirts so they only have to wash and iron once over the weekend. You would like to believe the later. But on Facebook, Mr. Bhatavdekar is a different person. He has two kids, he wears t-shirts and on weekends, he almost manages to look happy! In some cases the contrast is so dramatic you think he either has an evil twin or he is himself a serial killer!
On recent unavoidable social treks, you have run into the mythical creature known simply as the boss’ wife. She seems normal enough but you have your doubts. She could not have survived Head Slave for over five years without even being compensated with gratuity and still be a nice person. And soon enough, she proves you right. Between comments on your casual dressing and suggestions on how you should start yoga, she went from the boss’ bride to Cinderella’s step-mother pretty quickly. Perhaps by some extended logic, she may feel like the entire office’s mother-in-law. And it gives a whole new meaning to the term dotted-line reporting.
You want to tell her that having a kid does give you a passport into the comfortably fat zone and definitely does not exempt you from atherosclerosis but you can’t, not before updating your CV. And not when HS is there himself tag-teaming on you while you are down. The only thing more annoying than a cute couple is a power couple because they don’t even pretend to be nice.
One would think in the class-less global economy nearing automation, there would be no clans and no extended chains of power. But only the era changes, appropriation always remains a matter of might. And if by chance an honest man like yourself should make enemies, then…
– Punit Pania