Archive for the ‘Casual Day’ Category

Higher Resolution

In Casual Day, creativity, Cubicle, day of creation, humor, Office humor on January 7, 2014 at 12:23

27 and counting. That is how many times you have had to wish people ‘Happy New Year’ superimposed with a smile. At least, online you can get away with abbrevating to ‘HNY,’ using copy-paste and throwing in the odd smiley for good measure. In the real world, it takes a lot more energy.

 Season's Greetings - A Lawyer's Point of view

So you pre-empt discussions and greetings with a lot of the everyday stuff so that your would-be greeter drops the idea altogether. This is a little bit more difficult at state level.

Because at state level, there is no dialogue,  there is only diktat: ‘All employees are requested to be dressed in their sports day attire with matching sneakers on the first working day of the new year…’

Beyond a point, if your handlers can tell you what and how much to wear, you have got to question if you are in the right profession. You wouldn’t want to begin the year on a non-compliant note, especially since you haven’t even updated your CV yet. So you lay your sports gear out on the morning of the big day. You even try it on. But it is very clear: You look ridiculous in it.


Non-compliance it is.

But for once you are surprised to find you have company in this department. With only around 10% slaves dressed for a marathon, it would be fair to say this ‘initiative’ flopped. It is still amusing though to see the odd guy dressed in a red tennis jersey in a meeting room with formally dressed drones around him, especially if he is leading the discussion.

Around lunchtime when most slaves have already begun their countdown to punch out time, another state sponsored e-mail lands in your inbox: ‘All employees are requested to gather at the central lobby to participate in the New Year Resolution Tree Planting Ceremony.’ These would not be your usual loose weight-avoid-junk food-sleep early nonsense, you know, the kind of resolutions that ought to be suffixed with a *lol* in brackets. No. These would be more corporate. Ask not what the company can do for you but what…

Resolutions Gym
Lightweight promises to ‘add value’ on post-its stuck to a make belief paper tree. You sure hope the company is not counting on these to make or even maintain profits. You do go to see the fair. There are not many participants, the paper tree looks like a last-minute craft project destined for a ‘B-‘

The little that is there is predictable at best: ‘I will collaborate more with other departments,’ ‘I will be more responsive to customer calls,’ ‘I will only hold meetings when essential.’

You can’t partake in this. You decide there itself to drop the fleeting idea of finally making your own list of resolutions. If professionally run organiations can delude themselves around a calendar year, what chance do you, the common underling have? The wrinkles on your face, the the extra inches around your waist and the fire in your heart on its last flicker don’t give a dime about what date it is. You shouldn’t either. The best time to do what you want to is always right now.

– J.
SlavesInc Visiting Card

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 12,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Semi Casual

In Casual Day, humor on May 29, 2012 at 04:11

You look around you and you are surrounded. By no one in particular. But there are lots of them there. All the familiar features are present: forgettable attire, back pack strapped on, thinning around the north pole and bulging around the equator. Similar profiles and no personality. You are standing amongst an army of yous!

No, this is not a nightmare nor is it a science-fiction flick. This is just you waiting for your usual bus at the usual time for your usual job. Public transport is a great equalizer. It does not care for designations or dressing sense. And that is just as well. You were never much of a wardrobe person. For you, people with expensive wardrobes are snobbish; people with shabby clothes are lazy. And you occupy the sweet spot of simple living somewhere in the middle.

In the middle of a particularly long-drawn week, you take an uncharacteristic decision. You decide to actually dress casual on casual day this week. Nothing else seems to be helping. Everyone else has been doing it. You have been sticking out like a telephone pole in your tucked-in shirts all these Fridays.

So come Friday, you show up in your best loose fits, looking more blunt than usual. You feel unarmed but try to walk it off with a smile. Come lunch time, you find yourself seated at a table of elders, none of whom look like they have ever owned a pair of jeans. And that is just as well. The thought of HS contained strenuously in denim and a Yankees shirt isn’t something you would want flashing across your brain at lunch time.

These senior gentlemen look particularly uptight today with ties and cufflinks. You on the other hand are cloth in an un-ironed old T-shirt. You limit your eye contact to your plate to avoid any embarrassment. You are through to desert and it has been uneventful so far. But just before you can excuse yourself and your casualness off the table, one of the elders starts elbowing HS. Maybe it’s just nerves but it sure seems like they are talking about you. And sure enough, while getting up, HS leans over and tells you to come see him in his office immediately.

‘Why are you dressed like this?’

The question seems simple enough. It can be met with various replies ranging from aggressive to submissive. But all you can manage is:

‘I can go change sir…’

‘Please do. We are giving away the President’s Award this afternoon and you will be needed up on stage.’

What a way to receive good news. You rush off to the nearest mall and end up buying the most expensive white shirt and dark trousers of your life. But it feels worth it when you are up on the stage receiving the award on casual day, no less.

You don’t say this often enough but there is a lesson in this experience. Your dressing or the lack of it is a form of misplaced rebellion, not a matter of socio-economic circumstance. You ought to dress sharper for yourself, not for conformity or the lack of it.


Pipe Music

In Casual Day, Friday, HR, humor, music system, Office humor, SlavesInc, work stress on March 22, 2012 at 17:38

It startles you out of your trance-like working state. A sound mellow in nature but sudden in occurrence spreads through your shackled surroundings. You look around at similarly dumb-founded fellow slaves. You look up at the heavens, Noah like, but are only greeted with the piercing fluorescent lamp and a security camera. Once you get over your initial queasiness, the sound which can almost be called music seems strangely déjà vu –ish.

This could only mean one thing:

It is pipe music day

(The horror!)

As if garish clothes courtesy casual day were not enough, you ears have to suffer too, via mass announced generic tunes.

More cheesy than elevator music, more awkward than a loo at a 5 star hotel and more pedestrian than a gimmicky restaurant, office pipe music will strain your ear for music, if you have one. Touted as having a positive effect on ‘employee productivity’, pipe music is as cutting edge as it gets in HR practices.

For the reluctant rower such as yourself, it is one more reason to have jangled nerves. To the more imaginative, it may even seem like subliminal mind control. By noon, you are so bugged that you are ready to believe ‘It’s a wonderful world’ played backwards’ sounds like Death to all Mankind or Type faster ye slave!

You know they are never going to play Hard Rock or even Reggae. But you do try slipping a CD to the Admin guy disguised as an engaged employee. His reluctance makes it clear that the ambience is just another chore for him. It is as routine as music on – music off for him, just like the lights, AC and server.

You have tried everything including shutting yourself off in the loo. But a faint chiming of spastic music still reaches you. Sitting on the commode with your palms over your head, you feel like a difficult student at a pre-school for autistic children. Once again, you have forgotten to carry your own music on this difficult day. With nothing to drown out the tranquilizing ‘instrumentals’, all you can do is suck it up and keep a straight face.

The day does have its moments:

Head Slave pleading with his secretary over a MIDI version of ‘Bryan Adam’s ‘Everything I do…’

Your neighbor straining to hear over the phone to Lionel Ritchie’s ‘Hello’

The anorexic new marketing manager gesturing with her hands wide in a meeting room with Celine Dion’s ‘My Heart will go on’


Grateful for still being able to find humor in the ordinary, you get through your 9 hours with a note in your calendar for next week:

Friday: Get iPod or stay at home!

–          J.