slavesincorporated

Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page

Having put it Down

In chirp, day of creation, Hopsquatch, humor, Monday, Office, pontification, Resignation, true enlightenment, vintage car on July 31, 2011 at 23:53

The spring in your step and chirp in your voice is new. But you are used to it already. You greet friend, stranger and co-worker alike. Your average use of the word ‘no’ has dropped to record lows.

Anger has never known you and Benevolence finds a new friend in you. Position, pontification and other terrestrial phenomenon drop out of your field as gravity fails to keep up with you. It may seem like you have achieved Nirvana but unlike true enlightenment, your bliss is temporary, time-bound. And you know it.

But it doesn’t stop you from feeling re-christened; such is the feeling of deliverance. You no longer feel tight under the collar or weak at the knees. For having put your papers down, you are a free bird…till you move into your new galley.

You find people on your contact list you have never called. You try clothes from your closet that have never seen the light of day. With your hair down and your spirits up, you turn a blind eye to the calendar…until, the day before. Realization hits you like gravity hits an out-of fuel airplane.

Realization finally hits you

Like a convict on the last day of parole and a vintage car out for its final spin, you feel anxiety set in. It brings its friends denial, fear and depression along. You rue all the occasions you cursed time for being sluggish. There are so many movies to see, places to go and people to meet. But you can’t, for tomorrow is a befitting first day. Monday, Satan’s follow-up to the Day of Creation.

Having reached the stage of acceptance, you feel not defeat but purpose. Only if you start again will you get to the next interlude of fleeting bliss.

– J.

Putting it Down

In Boss, Hopsquatch, HR, humor, Office, Resignation on July 27, 2011 at 13:55

You are feeling strangely skippy today, like gravity took the day off! You greet people with a smile that is not plastic but recyclable. If you were not in a centrally air-conditioned enclosure, you are sure you would hear birds chirping outside.

Yes!

This rare combination of light-headedness and firm-footedness is befitting the occasion. For today, you shall have the following conversation:

You: I am leaving

Him: (barely looks up)

You: I…I am leaving, for good

Him: (now looks up with a quizzical expression, it is still not worthy of him opening his mouth)

You: (not expecting any better) I need you to sign these papers.

Him: What is this? (Holding up the papers of separation)

You: (having prepared for this day and moment) As I said, I am leaving and these papers will make it official

Him: But why…how?

You: (wanting to savor the moment, take a long pause)

Him: (…after a flabbergasted interlude) please sit down

You: (with rehearsed precision) I want this Friday to be my last here

.

.

.

He; off course, is your boss and the papers are those of your resignation.

Head Slave (HS) is at a loss for words, as is very common with him. But today he is also fumbling. The word leverage suddenly makes more sense to you.

Watching HS go through all 5 stages of grief in expedited fashion makes it worth all the waiting. He throws predictions, promises and the odd apology at you. His persuasion goes from hard logic to soft appeals, the most amusing being, ”Stay back for me!”

‘Hah!’ you go in your head. But on the outside you stay strangely calm, like a seasoned Lama. All the ‘funny’ resignation letters and cartoons you’ve seen on the net seem childish to you now.

You feel neither the need nor the obligation to explain, clarify or confess. You don’t want to give him the satisfaction.

”I appreciate the offer sir but I have made up my mind. Now if you will excuse me, I will send across a soft copy of the letter. Thank you.”

In utter civility you find a befitting rebuke.

You walk out with the tune to “I will survive” ringing in your head.

– J.

Casual Day

In Boss, humor, Office, Wage Slaves on July 17, 2011 at 07:15

You know you have seen this guy before. You just know it. Yet, you greet him like a stranger. Eveyrone infact, looks oddly unfamiliar. You are either in the ‘Twilight Zone’ or on a reality show with a Deja Vu’ theme. Just as you are about to settle into the ignorance, your boss’s ill-fitting jeans hits you in the face.

It is…casual day.

Yes, C-Day, the one day in the week when…you work, but…you can try to look more hip, at your own risk. And most people do. But not you. You don’t think much of C-day. You think it is fleeting and make-believe, like X’mas in prison.

As in most ideological debates, you are in the minority. As with most minorities, you feel looked down and sneered upon. All you want to do is to look like you had showed up to work and not to deliver pizza. Also, you want to avoid looking like you spent half an hour in the morning to wriggle into your jeans.

Over several dull weeks, you learn to live with this phenomenon. The jeans genre thinks you are trying too hard. You think they are trying too little. C-day does remind you of people’s names though: same shirt Sam, too tight Tim, bright and burly Bridget and  loose-fit Larry.

On an otherwise forgettable C-day, you happen to be in SIC‘s cabin at an opportune moment. Your presence there is random, for a signature. But when IT engineer ‘Bob’ enters SIC’s cabin, the randomness gives way to providence. Bubble Boy Bob (BBB) has always been on the way side of even the jeans genre. Just as he clears the niggle on SIC’s computron, he can’t help but pop a bubble with the gum he is chewing.

An eerie silence ensues…

Even BBB knows that was faux pas.

‘Thank you,’ says SIC, his voice betraying his murderous intentions.

As soon as the door closes on BBB’s hurried retreat, SIC calls his deputy, Head Slave (HS): ‘I didn’t know circus outfits were allowed in this office’ he spits into the receiver, following it up with strict Nazi dress code instructions.

As he hangs up, he looks at you. Your formal demeaneur seems to provide some solace.

‘Workforce these days…’ he trails off.

You walk out with a deserved smugness on face, brownie points in bag.

– J.

Call Me Sam

In Boss, HR, humor, Interpersonal, Office on July 12, 2011 at 15:00

You wear Wal Mart shirts, Woodland shoes (sneakers on Fridays) and have Nescafe…or whatever is available. He wears Allen Solly forced fits, Red Tapes that thunder with each step and sips green tea. One would think you guys are at least from different neighborhoods if not a different geographies altogether. But actually, you practically grew up on the same street. He calls you Stan and insists you call him Sam. He was, at best, a slow starter. You were, on your worst day, above average. Or so you believed.

But a couple of promotions and one round of restructuring later, Sam-the Man has arrived. What he lacks in spunk and stature, he makes up with the length of this back rest and per day allowance while on tour. For Sam is now the General Manager…of support services…but GM none the less. You; are still ‘Chief Manager’, the Al Gore of managerial races. He calls you Stan in a way that is patronizing and condescending at the same time. You manage to call him ‘Sir’ and ‘Mr. Estello’ in a mixture of badly disguised defiance and resentment…which is why he insists you call him Sam. Sam is a background irritant. Overtime, you internalize it, learn toFore! tune him away. But when he calls you on a Sunday, you lose it. On a good Sunday, you play ping-pong. Sam called you from the luxury of his newly acquired Golf club membership. It is not a business call, not even a follow-up call. It is the worst kind of call of all, a ‘courtesy call’. Just in case you missed the news, the man yelling ‘Fore’ in the background puts all doubts to rest. You want to tell him to mind his golf club so it doesn’t stub his toe. But you don’t. You are just left to stare at your lonely ping-pong bat. That is when you know it’s time to upgrade Sam from an annoyance to a purgative, a motivation to get off your ass, a propellant to shake you out of your procrastination. In the long run, you will thank him.

– J.

Cube and Cupid

In humor, Interpersonal, Office, Office Romance on July 3, 2011 at 17:59

The thing about bright spots is, they always appear if you look for them hard enough. They drive and motivate like no other incentive.

After months of futile attempts, you finally began to make it for the 8:15 am bus. Not through doggedness and ridiculously early alarms but because she takes the same bus. Yes, she the is one person you let cut in line at the photo copier. You never ask her to return the pens you lend her, even staplers, making her the only one with this privilege. You are the first one to notice if she is absent for a day. You momentarily resent the fact that she did not tell you about her plans yesterday only to slap yourself on the back of your head a minute later…

As obvious as an office romance

…you, my friend, have a case of  office crush.

I would say office romance but modesty is an art that has to be practiced forcefully. Sure there are stats about how common office romances are and how a large number of office romances end up in (gulp) marriage. Many others are lawsuits waiting to happen.

But you don’t give a rusted paper clip about that, do you? What you want to know is where she was a few months ago? Has she just returned from a ‘Get Gorgeous’ style ‘reality show’? Are you feeling the effects of the dearth of a social life? Is this what they call ‘The Mermaid Effect’? One thing is for sure, you do not want to look like a stupid college kid with a crush.

Office would be more boring without Amber

You purposely miss the 8:15 bus for the next couple of days. Things start looking as pedestrian as they were and as they really are. You miss the spring in your step. But you are happy to have realized that a routine life can be more than bearable with a bright spot. She…will probably not even notice you are gone.

– J.