Archive for the ‘Cubicle’ 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.


In Cubicle, Office humor, SlavesInc on January 15, 2013 at 03:45

One of the axioms of life that you learn very early is: there will always pop more mails in your inbox than you care to read. So you have to prioritize some, ignore others and delete most. The few mails that you read on priority include those sent by your utilitarian admin department. Their economizing worldview extends to their use of the English language too. It makes for entertaining reading and is rather refreshing in its approach towards slavery. There is no sugar coating here. Sugar is expensive.

This particular mail announces change in seating arrangements. No notice, no choice, just a declaration. Your new cubicular location is neatly highlighted in an excel attachment. A boxed existence as it is. Before you have time to let the gravity of this change sink in, the new occupants are already all about you, checking out the real estate they will be inheriting. If only they were this responsive to other e-mails. You suddenly feel like a broke tenant sitting on his eviction notice. The team that is to take your erstwhile place is touching and feeling everything including the chairs and the LAN cables. They only come short of feeling you up.


You realize you have to spring into action. You take a print out of your new jail cell and go about locating it. There is an air of a carnival with a potential for riot all around. Boxes are being overturned, trolleys are being mobilized, there are papers flying everywhere all in a mixture of excitement and anxiety. You know what this is. This is a mass migration. An Exodus. And if history is anything to go by, such displacements do not end well. Though this migration will happen in an air-conditioned environment with the average migrant being at least a high-school grad, crowds anywhere have the same personality, that of a crowd. And creatures everywhere are territorial, biped or otherwise.

Exodus MosesMass-Migration

You spot Head Slave standing by where your new rowing station seems to be. He is already swamped by a swarm of grieving migrants. You are too late. The losses are many and varied. A comfy chair, a raised partition, a wall facing your screen, a fleeting view of a rare window. Things that slaves took for granted till today, snatched away by the vagaries of company policy. Though in the modern open planar office, all work stations are the same, many external factors define the neighbor’s envy and the owner’s pride. Proximity to the pantry, the exits, the printer and distance from HS’ cabin, the washroom and the security camera decide the covetousness of a cubicle. Just like in real estate, it is all about location.


Your new place is nothing special. It seems to have a little bit of all the undesirable factors. But you fail to voice your grievance to the boss. You call it your sense of decency; others would call it a lack of fighting spirit.

Life is going to be that much more difficult now. You feel like you are on the waiting list for a train that is never going to arrive. This too shall pass though. If you stay there long enough, you can get used to hell. You have to remember that: Salvation lies within.


– J.