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Archive for June, 2011|Monthly archive page

Caffeine Clique

In Boss, Health, humor, Office, Organisation, Wage Slaves on June 27, 2011 at 13:40

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.

Placebo or enabler

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. Your village upbringing has already given itself away.

 'It's not a gift, I earned it.'

After the initial salutation, SIC does not manage to get one full sentence in:

“But I…

…wanted to…

Let me at least….

We will…

This Satur..

I prom..”

……………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:

  1. The wife doesn’t care two hoots what your visiting card says
  2. 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.

– J.

‘What was your name again?’

In humor, Interpersonal, Office, Office Romance, Organisation on June 21, 2011 at 04:13

“You spoke with my boss, Mr. Doodlesberg?”

You know the guy mentioned some normal name but it just did not register.

“Yes”, you reply, “I’ll send that mail right away to…”

“I am Mr. Hanselboy.”

“Mister…?” – You want one more chance.

Mr. Hanselboy ,” he says matter-of-factly.

 Snapping finger while trying to remember something never seems to help

It has finally happened.

.

.

.

.

Your brain’s contact list has reached full capacity. To remember any more new names, you will have to delete some old ones.

Between online communities and syncing multiple devices, you can’t put a name to a face without it being on a screen. Staring at person’s chest to read his/her name off the ID card is not a good idea either. Memory tools like linking morphological and racial peculiarities to names is too much to handle for today’s hyper-propah environment. Adding them on FB is a scary thought.

When all fails, resort to pen and paper

Maybe, you could actually physically write down the names. If only, you could find a pen, and then, some paper, you could avoid situations such as:

“How could you lose the pen drive?”

“I did not lose it, I lent it to someone.”

“Someone who?”

“You know; the new guy with the eye thing.”

“No, I don’t know the new guy with the eye thing.”

“Well, there are so many of them…”

Pneumonics

The one with the glasses is called Bhavesh for ‘B” flipped 90 degrees looks like glasses!

Perhaps, you are not outgoing as they say. But how social can you be? With 400 employees and an attrition of 20%, you are looking at remembering 2 new names every working day for the rest of your career!

And if you are contributing to the attrition yourself, you have to learn an entirely new set of names. “This is Mr. X, this is Mr. Blah and that is Miss. Liz,” says your new boss as he debuts you at your new galley. “This is like a marriage reception, you just have to smile. Do not hope to remember any names,” he tells you on the side lines. ‘If only more people were memorable, like Liz,’ you tell your dreamy-eyed self.

– J.

The Artiste` and the Doodler

In humor, Office, Wage Slaves on June 12, 2011 at 04:54

How come when I do it’s a doddle and when ‘they’ do it, its art?

…is a question one often asks one’s non-artistic self.

‘Some people are born artistes’ (hope I spelt that correctly) is another annoying preclusive phrase one comes across. If you believe otherwise, would it not make sense to go to great lengths to become an artiste or some such? The recent demise of M. F. Hussain and press it got doodled this post in my head.

A Doodle of the Artiste'

Just consider the benefits:

»      No fixed timings

»      No groveling for approvals

»      You get to choose your co-workers, if any

»      No shaving

»      You can wear sandals and a ragged excuse for clothing and still look hip

»      You can wear sunglasses and hats indoors without anyone cracking a lame-ass joke

»      You can buy Ferrari’s on down payment, no petty EMI business

»      And to top it all…tax breaks!

All these USPs are besides great pay, obscene margins, discounts at pubs and hobnob buddies who look decades better than the hottest chick in your office.

There must be reasons why some artiste’s make a killing with their two pence while others blog in obscurity with their five dollars. You are tempted to make fate the prime suspect. Circumstance; fate’s rural cousin, can be co-accused.

Fooling oneself is a luxury most of us afford ourselves. The truth is; artistes may be hooked on coke or worse, but you and I, are hooked on a monthly salary. Albeit, it shouldn’t keep you from noticing the art in everyday life:

»      The way you prop up the Monitor with just the right number and thickness of old files

»      The way can give Chopin a run for his money on the keyboard when you are in Excel mode

»      The way you renew your ‘action plans’ every month by merely re-ordering the same words

Created by an industrious fellow wage slave

If you can do all this and still doodle for a living, who cares about Sotheby’s, right?

– J.

Approval Pending

In Boss, humor, Office, Technology, Wage Slaves on June 6, 2011 at 04:07

You have been yearning for it for so long now that you’ve forgotten how it started. You are not sure that you want it any more, or even need it. But it has to be done. You can’t give up now, not after 90 days and 67 attempts. You may be the proverbial underdog and your adversary overpowering. But all you need is a moment of weakness…a temporary lapse of guard and/or reason.

What you are struggling for, off course, is a computer upgrade approval. Your adversary, off course, is your boss. On many occasions, you have not even had the opportunity to get a word in; your approval papers brushed aside like a foul smell. Other times, you have retreated, discouraged simply by the look on his face.

But today, things look promising. You have even heard the occasional laughter from the Head Slave’s (HS) cabin, a phenomenon as rare as a Big Foot sighting. Today, you will not take no, maybe or later for an answer. But you’ve dwelled on the mission for too long. HS is feeling so benevolent today that he is leaving. You make dash for it and intercept him right at his door.

No words are exchanged. You have a look that says, ‘you have to sign this, now!’ HS has a look that says, ‘No, maybe and later,’ at the same time. The guy is definitely talented. But you won’t back out this time. You are the only thing keeping him from his half-day, physically so. A faint smile flashes across his face and disappears just as quickly. He sits back on his chair and finally says, ‘Tell me.’

You pour your guts out. You put more into your pitch for a computer upgrade than you have in any business presentation. HS almost starts enjoying it. He starts scratching his back by inserting a stray innocent ruler through his loosened collar.

“Okay.”

“Okay?” you ask. (Making a note to yourself never to touch that ruler again)

“Yes. You won’t be requiring this upgrade.”

“I won’t?” you confirm trying not to think of the various reasons why this may be the case.

“Yes, I have asked for a laptop for you last month. It should be here soon.”

As HS walks out of the cabin and into his half day, you sit there perplexed, staring at the unfortunate ruler. The Galley works in mysterious ways.

–          J.