slavesincorporated

Courtesy Call

In humor, SlavesInc, work life balance on September 22, 2012 at 05:18

You are spent, disillusioned and disoriented. But it is still blinking. And a blinking smart phone has to be answered. You may feel like you are being professional, displaying the height of courtesy even. But the thing about courtesy is; it is seldom extended willingly, like it ought to be. What is extended is obligation. And this obligation travels around the world and comes back to you smugly disguised as civility. You return the gesture in clockwork.

You used to think to-do lists were lame. Now you can’t function without them. You also have a to-call list. And right now, there are three entries left, begging to be checked off:

  1. Your girl-friend whose 7 missed calls you are yet to return. (Alright, she is not your girl friend. But she may very well be)
  2. Your mail-only colleague who has sent the 4th reminder for the 3rd quarter report you had promised you would send 2 days ago

And

  1. The air-conditioner servicing guy who has already gone back twice because you were not at home

What you really want to do is doze off right there on the sofa in your formals. Unfortunately, that option does not feature on the list. So you pick up the phone and hit the little green button to call her. Then you immediately hit the little red button. You just don’t have enough left in the tank, not even enough to sound courteous.

A nap on the sofa it is, in your formals, to hell with it!

If only sleep was to come that easy. You have too many to-dos swimming around in your brain. TV and hot chocolate it is. After flipping through various abominations, you settle with a rather queer choice, Devil Wears Prada. It is more of the protagonist’s enslavement to her job and phone rather than the wardrobe that gets you hooked.

Miranda Priestly may make Head Slave look like an amateur. But the similarities are uncanny.

Even in your disorientation, one scene really sticks with you. Having had it with the protagonist’s constant engagement over the phone, the boyfriend says:

“You know, in case you were wondering – the person whose calls you always take? That’s the relationship you’re in. I hope you two are very happy together. ”

Don’t you hate it when chick flicks teach you something about your life?

You know what you have to do. You pick up the damn smart phone, hit the little green button and tell her that you’ve got your priorities messed up. You tell her you are in so deep that you need time to set them priorities right. You also tell her she doesn’t need to wait for that fateful day. You also wish her best of luck.

Now that is courtesy.

– J.

  1. one of the best things that happened to me a couple of years ago (in the corporate world) was a long, drawn sales-oriented training that I attended (4-6 sessions each month over a period of 8 months).

    the advice that made the most lasting impression on me – “don’t be afraid of being shameless”

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