Archive for the ‘Friday’ Category

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.

Office Party

In Friday, humor, Interpersonal, Office humor, Party on January 6, 2012 at 01:39

Your body has gotten used to the forced comfort and your mind is abuzz. Your senses are being blasted from all directions but without any coherence. Some faces are familiar, others a blur. Some are hard on the eyes. But you are having a good time. You had better be having a good time now…

It is the office after party. It lies somewhere between dull and dicey, interpersonal and intrusive. It starts off as an extended Friday and can end as a social disaster. It is not the most screenworthy of parties but nothing like a free tab to get slaves to a rally.

Three tall ones down, you are hit by sudden clarity. You don’t feel so lost anymore. It is like your entire office got teleported to a bar. All the characters: Head Slave, the Cribber, the bright spark, loose fit Larry are there. They are in the same position/disposition and posture you are used to seeing them: behind a desk, slouching over a screen, cup in hand, hand scratching head and so on. Only the lights are not as bright and the coffee machine is replaced by a beer dispenser.

The topics of conversation are also the same, only louder due to the crappy music and intoxication on the house. Fourth one down, things start moving in slow motion. Like a Guy Ritchie movie, you can foresee the near future. You are pretty sure the cribber will continue to crib till somebody gathers the courage or the blood alcohol level to tell her to STFU. You can also see that too-tight Tim and the fat guy whose name you can never remember are going to come to blows. Meanwhile, the intern is being provoked by well-meaning seniors to chug one more glass which he will puke out any moment.

In an instant, you decide to press the eject button. Dragging your coat behind, you slip away like a cat. As the door closes behind, you can almost visualize vomit smearing colleagues and onlookers, punches landing on rounded cheeks and pot bellies and the choicest words ringing out over the music.  You could have stayed back and made a video. But you are not a big fan of YouTube.

You so need to meet new people.

–          J.