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Archive for August, 2012|Monthly archive page

Slavetopia

In Big Brother, humor, SlavesInc on August 25, 2012 at 19:02

‘Who wants to slave away all their life?’

‘Not me.’

‘If on a year or two’s investment, you get to sit back and relax for the rest of your life, isn’t it worth it?’

‘Off course it is.’

‘Then why hold back?’

‘Coz it sounds like a Ponzy scheme.’

‘See, I spend just 10% of my time in selling. The rest of my time is concentrated on building a team.’

‘And what does your team do?’

‘They recruit more people.’

You couldn’t even say ‘I rest my case.’ Mr. B seemed to have drifted beyond the perimeter of reason.

They got to him. It was probably Mr. A that bit him. A had been babbling about this scheme for almost a year. This is like Zombie Apocalypse without the special effects.

Mr. B was one of the smartest Slaves you knew. So you decide to humor him. You decide to actually go to these ‘Seminars’ that Mr. B spoke about. Best case scenario, you will be able to save him from the brink. Worst case scenario, you will be sold to the idea yourself but atleast you will have something to believe in.

It is scarily similar to what you had imagined it would be like. Big posters everywhere. Participants looking so happy and chirpy you would think they were drugged. Aerated drinks masquerading as fruit juices, continuous subliminal announcements and…branded merchandise.

Mr. B seems to have blended right in with other Slaves from other Galleys, all exuberant on a mirage of freedom. When the ‘training sessions’ finally start, the attention and interest is staggering. If only these guys had been so rapt in school, they wouldn’t have to be here.

Between all the forms you have filled so far, you have already had to give away more details than you would have to if you were jailed for murder! It seems the longer you stay, more your chances of becoming one of them. As a precaution, you decide not to consume any of the food and drink.

So far, the Seminar has hit all the check marks for a scam in your book:

1. Greatest thing since sliced bread

2. Good for everybody including housewives and students, may be even your dog

3. ‘We sell everything, from underwear to Life Insurance.’

4. No disadvantages whatsoever

5. Plans for World Domination

and

6. A joining fee

So you decide to make a run for it. You don’t even deem it necessary to say goodbye to Mr. B, he is one of them now.

Rather than doing business yourself, you are giving business to people who are in the business of making you feel like you are doing business! If Slave driving has a future, this is it, Slavery on auto-pilot.

Mr. B may have found something to believe in but you already have your Clarion call:

Have the kahunas to break free on your own or go down fighting.

– J.

Independence Day

In Big Brother, Office humor, SlavesInc on August 15, 2012 at 16:47

The Security Guard at the gate waves at you as you arrive. You groan for you have probably forgotten your dog collar (ID card) at home again. The Guard has a smile on his face which you return with frown. He hands something over to you.

It is a tiny flag! Once again, your reluctance to use the calendar has left you unaware. It is Independence Day silly. And what better place to celebrate it than in the galley? Everyone else including the receptionist is dressed in national colours. It is like you have wandered back stage at a circus and are feeling under-dressed or you are caught in a time warp in a sci-fi movie where only you appear in black and white. You have to unmark admin e-mails from the Spam folder.

You dig into the trash folder and discover that today is; indeed, the day of Independence Day celebrations for the Slaves. Little flags everywhere that will be in the dust bin or under foot tomorrow, tri-coloured desert at lunch and what’s more, a fashion show to adjudge the most garishly dressed zealot. If only you had signed up for the army, you wouldn’t have had to see this day of plastic patriotism.

The mail from your socially aware admin dept. also states that at 5 pm sharp, we shall all rise to the national anthem. ‘Stand up wherever yo are,’ it says. To ensure compliance, a .mp3 file is also attached. It is supposed to go off at the designated time preceded by a meeting reminder. Off course, none of this goes according to plan. More mails follow instructing you to open the file yourself and directing you to web pages to update your Media player.

When it finally does go off, all workstations are out-of-sync. In addition to the annoying loop on the track, it makes for one big racket. You can’t take the fashion show after this, you may end up shooting someone. So you walk out, exercising the freedom of flexi-timings.

To make sense out of this holiday of irony, you have to watch one of your favourite movies again:

Network, 1976:

‘There is no America. There is no democracy. There is only IBM, and ITT, and AT&T, and DuPont, Dow, Union Carbide, and Exxon. Those are the nations of the world today… And our children will live, Mr. Beale, to see that… perfect world… in which there’s no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused.’

– J.

Are you motivated yet?

In humor, Motivation, Office Romance on August 6, 2012 at 01:09

You remember how it all started. You also remember the time before it started. But you are not sure if any else does.

To think a simple thing like that could be so addictive and so dangerous. They are everywhere now. You don’t know how you did without them.

Motivational posters are what we are talking about. Its a freaking arms race out there. Every cubicle has one, for starters. Then there are the mugs, the printed T-shirts, e-mail sign-offs and more. Oh how you hate the e-mail sign-offs!

And to think it all started with an e-mail, a forward rather by none other than HS. 

Motivational posters have always had the opposite of their intended effect on you. Perhaps you take life too seriously; perhaps you are extra allergic to phoniness. Either way; you could laugh it off and spam the damn chain mails. But now, it’s like your whole life is an e-mail forward. Your most polite mails are being responded with smiley infested replies. You can’t have a coffee break without someone taking you off-guard with a high-five. The only motivation you are getting here is to leave this mad house.

If you had been inert to inertia, you wouldn’t have been a slave in the first place. So you drudge along. You return the fake smiles with one of your own, avoid high-fives when you can. You know it has really gotten out of hand when a motivational poster campaign is announced!

3 days is all you’ve got to pimp up your rowing station. HS will come around on Monday to adjudge the most motivating motivational poster (sic). This is going to be the ultimate test of your undercover skills. Taking a leave won’t help. The non-bling nature of your cubicle will give you away even in your absence.

So you put your head down and do what everyone else is doing; Google search. You could also search your trash mail folder. But that seems too against principle. Being creative when asked to is the toughest thing. So you keep putting it off.

It is the day of assessment and you have nothing. Zilch. HS has started doing his rounds too. When he is about two cubicles away, you remember an image a similarly reluctant friend had sent you. It says: ‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.’

You print it out and pin it up quickly. 

‘Hmm…,’ starts HS. He keeps looking at your print-out. It ain’t that long a sentence. But you don’t want to disturb him. He even rubs his chin, deep in thought. The whole thing is so ridiculous; you can’t help but smile a little.

‘I like it,’ he says. ‘I…like to keep it simple, Sir,’ is your honest reply.

Maybe, deep down, HS has decent taste, maybe even a sense of humor. Maybe he just does what he does out of bondage to KRAs. In a phony eat phony world, you will never know.

As for your comfort zone, you will need someone to kick you out of it.

– J.