Archive for February, 2011|Monthly archive page

Stock Photos

In humor, Office on February 27, 2011 at 04:57

A group of people you don’t know are smiling at you. You do not know them. They do not share the same nationality. Yet they look vaguely familiar. Their side-stretched smiles and out-stretched hands look a little too far out. But it’s not like you would have been able to pose any better had you found yourself in the same situation. They seem unreasonably comfortable in their business formals. It clearly gives away their non-tropical location.

This could only mean one thing: You are face to face with yet another…stock photo.

A delicate sapling growing out of a little heap of mud secured in clasped palms…

Hands of various skin tones forming a circle of unity/teamwork/any group activity by grasping each other on the forearm…

Goldfish jumping out of their bowls!

Yes, and it may not necessarily be the first time you have come across this particular crop. Forgettable as they are, stock photos can be used again and again without much impact or re-call. A self perpetuating attempt of half-hearted self-defeating communication.

There is something mildly depressing about it. It says: ‘We don’t really care about you.’


‘This ain’t really that important, we are sorry you spent time on it.’

At some level, you identify with the need of such formalities. You are guilty yourself of using the sapling for the long term growth plan you made on short notice. You also used the poor goldfish for your ‘Key Take-outs from Blue Ocean Strategy’ presentation. Get it? Fish–Oceans—

Embarassed as one might feel, we here at SlavesINC are also faced with challenges of visual input. But we refrain from secretarial laziness. Here, for example, is a piece of original work:

This is not a stock Photo...yet like a blank canvas

A stressed/distressed employee is like a blank canvas. He really lends himself to the pharmaceutical/wellness industry. His disposition, as captured here could indicate any condition from depression to indigestion to erectile dysfunction!

So we urge you to resist stock photos. We would settle for a little granulation any day over ugly watermarks. And for God’s sake, have some dignity. If Goldfish had access to lawyers, they would sue for your last dime.

– J.

Moving On

In Hopsquatch, Office on February 19, 2011 at 16:54

The tea stall down stairs, the short-cut you take to punch in on time and your hidden Jessica Alba folder.

Colleagues you love to hate, bosses who have become more of bungling uncles than professional superiors and peons who will bring you special tea and cigarettes as a personal favor.

They are part of your everyday life and can always be kept for tomorrow. But tomorrow never gets old, you do.

These are all soft toys. Little inherent value but subject to your projected fondness. They represent the familiar, cozy safety that helps you get old in anesthesia! They are not harmful by themselves but unfortunately do not represent reason enough not to move on. In an objective world of opportunities that is always in countdown mode, your only true companion is your own good judgment.

There are the homely types who would like nothing better than to stay indoors and play board games till they get gout. Then there are the self-defined ‘adventurous kind’ who like to explore or whatever other excuse their vain online profiles claim. Most modern-day professionals would fall somewhere in the middle. Not wanting to dig in at one place and travelling partly out of compulsion. But when a livelihood requires your most productive waking hours day in and day out, money is not compensation enough at the end of the month. If you would settle for professional, monetary and social obscurity, you’re probably not reading this post right now.

The thing about know devils is, well; they are devils. Unknown devils might turn out to be creatures more benevolent and worthy of your time. Beyond your cubicle surely lies another one. It may be bigger, smaller or smellier. But great things are accomplished from the confines of this contraption by those not mentally bound by it.










Thank your soft toys for the easy times you have spent with them. Keep them in a cozy folder on your online profile if you must. Parting is sweet for in abundance lies the seed of boredom. So tell your heavy heart to stop being a wuss and move on.


– J.


The Call

In Hopsquatch, humor, Office on February 12, 2011 at 19:56

You get the call. You were expecting it, yet you can’t beat the anxiety it brings. There is something racy and exciting about this even though it is just a phone call as of now.

You look around to check if anyone noticed. It is futile, your hushed tone and altered body language give you away like a desi at an English dinner. Soon, generalisations stop being conversationally constructive. You need to go to a secluded location.

The meeting room perhaps.

Darn, it is never vacant.

You make a dash for the stairway. Taking the lift will interfere with your GSM connection. You buy time with ‘ahas, hmms and hello-hellos?’ All the while ignoring furtive glances from current colleagues.

You finally make it to a dingy but lonesome corner at the curb below. It is just you and her now. And a world of possibilities. You are more polite than you were to your great-grandmother on her death bed. You are more expectant than a pregnant lady past her due date.

The conversation ends much too soon. But it leaves you with promises of the respect you deserve, lichen-like synergy and a better life in general. You keep looking at your phone for sometime replaying the treasured conversation in your head. When was the last time your current muse made you smile this way? You ask yourself.

But the promiscuous bliss is soon broken by the site of Mr. Butt who has stealthily been sipping his sixth tea of the day just 7 yards away.

His tobacco-stained smile has a hint of ‘I know what you did last sick leave’. He walks off in his BnW trousers. ‘Your canine loyalty has got nothing on me’, you smirk under your breath. There is a reason why they are called dog’s years.

Monogamy is so 21st century.

– J.

The Carrot Syndrome

In humor, Office on February 5, 2011 at 14:21

It is the Promised Land. Where bosses are kinder, lunch is longer, the computers run faster and the grass does not dare to be anything but greener. The colleagues may be just as uninteresting but at least they are new. The chair won’t kill your back as much. The tea will not taste like camel piss and the loo will be more olfactory-friendly.

You are sure of all this. You are also sure of its veneer and hence temporary nature. The greatest lies are always the ones you tell yourself. Yet it persists, the perpetually dangling carrot. It has a life of its own. It sneaks up on you when you are putting in the long hours. “Last one to punch out again eh?” it asks. “You look like a wreck. If you worked in an assembly line, you would at least get over time. Flexi-timing my ass!” It taunts you when you turn down temptations: “I knew you would disappoint me. At least, you are predictable.” And it always claims to be on your side, ”I haven’t given up on you yet. But you need to give me more attention. You are not getting any younger you know.”

Hence, when you actually meet someone who has crossed over, it is a surreal experience. Here is a once-fellow mortal who has made the leap. Gotten the break and taken it! He now lives in the land of milk  and honey. Imagine that…

That is why when an ex-colleague comes to visit his ex-gallows, the not-yet-ex colleagues gather around him like moths. This same semblance of humanity used to row at no. 5 only a few lunar cycles ago. Now, he earns his bread over there…over the rainbow.

But the anticipation and novelty put together will make a semester of your life easier to remember.

And if you have not figured it out yet, the only difference between you and your ex-mate is: he had the balls to do it.

– J.