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Archive for the ‘Hiearchy’ Category

Friends, Family and People You May Know…

In Boss, Head Slave, Hiearchy on February 3, 2017 at 02:19
Sometimes you wonder if beneath all the layers of niceties and formalities does a real person exist or did he go into a coma a long time ago. May be your colleagues think the same way about you. But you don’t want to let the line between friends, acquaintances and co-workers blur. You don’t mind being called old-fashioned but having three real friends is better than having a hundred and seventy ‘people you may know’.
And so you resist. You resist Friday drinkathons by getting all your bitching done during coffee breaks. You resist the annual sports day by feigning hernia. And you resist adding your colleagues on Facebook by not remembering your password. But for how long? Between auto logins and your company’s official ‘fan page’ your online profile is ironically more relevant than your flesh-and-blood self and will outlive it too. The thought of willing your online avatars to your heirs seems disturbing only if you plan to start a family.
Image result for spiderman desk
However most people still do. And they plan the expansion of their clan around their appointments, promotions and transfers completing the circle of modern day slavery. Adding them as friends can be pretty disturbing. Specially the tenured uncles whom you have only seen behind their respective desks. You are not even sure if they have legs! The ones who wear the same blue-striped shirt which is 2 sizes too big; every day of the week. May be they wear different equally forgettable formals every day and your brain has decided to store just one default image of these humanoids to save precious RAM. Or may be they have 5 exactly same shirts so they only have to wash and iron once over the weekend. You would like to believe the later. But on Facebook, Mr. Bhatavdekar is a different person. He has two kids, he wears t-shirts and on weekends, he almost manages to look happy! In some cases the contrast is so dramatic you think he either has an evil twin or he is himself a serial killer!
Image result for linda mcmahon wwe
On recent unavoidable social treks, you have run into the mythical creature known simply as the boss’ wife. She seems normal enough but you have your doubts. She could not have survived Head Slave for over five years without even being compensated with gratuity and still be a nice person. And soon enough, she proves you right. Between comments on your casual dressing and suggestions on how you should start yoga, she went from the boss’ bride to Cinderella’s step-mother pretty quickly. Perhaps by some extended logic, she may feel like the entire office’s mother-in-law. And it gives a whole new meaning to the term dotted-line reporting.
You want to tell her that having a kid does give you a passport into the comfortably fat zone and definitely does not exempt you from atherosclerosis but you can’t, not before updating your CV. And not when HS is there himself tag-teaming on you while you are down. The only thing more annoying than a cute couple is a power couple because they don’t even pretend to be nice.
Stone Cold Stunner Linda McMahon
One would think in the class-less global economy nearing automation, there would be no clans and no extended chains of power. But only the era changes, appropriation always remains a matter of might. And if by chance an honest man like yourself should make enemies, then…
Image result for your enemies godfather quote
– Punit Pania

Property Dispute

In Head Slave, Hiearchy, HR, Office humor on August 14, 2013 at 04:40

Some words are married to each other. No matter how hard they try and how traumatic their relationship, they still end up staying stuck together. Like terminal and illness, Herculean and task, company and policy, property and dispute.

Some of these words have been married so long they don’t remember how life was before they tied the knot. It is true that wherever there is property there is bound to be dispute. There is not much evidence but in all probability, the first word man ever said was, ‘Mine!’
space-odyssey-apes

 

You have to remind yourself of this and the minimalist approach you want to take to life when faced with an encroachment. You have to remind yourself that all ownership is assumed. And the lesser one assumes, greater the chances of him avoiding disappointments.

Matrix minimalist poster

‘There’

‘This one?’

‘Yeah, that cubicle looks fine.’

‘But he sits there.’

‘Oh that’s alright. We will shift him to the new office near the train station.’

You; off course, have an ‘I am sitting right here!’ expression on your face. But it is lost on your HR colleague’s fascist sensibilities.

So you verbalize the feeling. But it has little effect.

‘One of our VPs wants to move to this office. We need to build a cabin for him. You will be shifted to our new office near the train station.’

Well, now that is pretty straightforward. Insensitive maybe. But it definitely leaves no room for ambiguity. Got to appreciate that. Perhaps this guy should try another profession where his skills could be better utilized. Like an announcer at a train station or crowd control at a religious event or slave driver at a Puma sweatshop in Bangladesh. But with your squatting rights being quashed you find it difficult to be benevolent enough to give the HR person these suggestions.

sweatshop just do it

You do go to Head Slave though, as soon as he is back from his Mediterranean holiday/business trip. He listens patiently and assures you that no such relocation is as yet confirmed. And if at all it is, everyone will move together.

Sweat shop Simpsons

 

There is not much you can further protest to. But you do put in a kind word for HR and their landlording.

The word together sticks with you. Even if you were to be shifted to a warehouse or a far off hanger, would you want to see the same tired faces every single day? Like the nth rerun of Wonder Years or Home Improvement.

Couch Potato

 

As you proceed back to your cubicle, memories of blurry, bad and bearable times you have had here flash before you. You realise you are assuming too much again. One thing you need not assume is the inevitability of disappointments. And if you are to endure them, facing newer ones would be less painful than courting the same ones again and again.

challengeaccepted– J.

Exit Strategy

In Boss, Head Slave, Hiearchy, Hopsquatch, Office humor, Resignation, Wage Slaves on April 16, 2012 at 23:21

You have always felt there are two cuckoos in your nest, if not more. One is the forceful voice you hear in your head and the other is the whimper that comes out of your mouth. They seem to co-exist uneventfully if not peacefully.

It has been growing inside you for months, prodding, teasing and pontificating. But you can’t…just do it. It’s not like ripping off a bandage now is it?  So you build a strategy, an exit strategy. It’s about time you applied some of your business acumen to your personal business.

Off course, you can’t just stand up and leave. That only happens in movies and sitcoms. In all your years as a paddler, you have never seen anyone stand up and yell, ‘I quit!’ Maybe you are not working in the right kind of office. Where is the drama?

Profound tragedies and arid humor do occur in your galley but at a subtle level. Oddly enough, Head Slave always seems friendlier when you have rebellion on your mind.

‘What are you thinking?’ says HS in the middle of an impromptu meeting.

‘I…was just trying to…get my head around how we are going to do this…thing,’ is your elegant reply.

‘We sure need to do a lot of thinking. We should get the server in-house next year. I want you to start working on it.’

‘Like I am gonna be here next year,’ is what you want to say. ‘…Oh..kay,’ is what you actually say with a crumpled smile.

‘Keep working this hard and we may give you an extra screen…and an assistant!’

‘That sounds…very…generous…,’ you stop short of saying thank you.

‘I want you to really sink into this thing. If you face any problems, you come straight to me. As this team gets bigger, we want good people to be in-charge.’

By good, he means government mules and by in-charge, he means fall guy. You have always been confused between a negative and a realistic take on things. When you are non-committal, the self-perpetuating nature of things is clearer than ever…from dictatorships to corporations to relationships.

You want to think this through but you don’t want to go Dubya on your exit strategy. Sure the world is full of opportunities. But what about the Greener Grass theory? Sure you could do better than HS? But what about the Known Devil theory? And what about all the time and energy you have invested in your current liaison/contract? What if he finds out you are straying? Sound familiar?

Between lost weekends and stretch working, HS seems to have talked more to you over the past one year than his wife and kids combined! That is a scary thought. You can’t keep this hollow relationship going for long. At some point, you have to tell him: ‘I am seeing other people!’

A very wise but evil boss told you once that no one leaves overnight, mentally; you have left six months ago. It has been about that long now.

J.

Charting your Existence

In Boss, Head Slave, Hiearchy, humor, SlavesInc, Wage Slaves on February 5, 2012 at 23:49

You are staring at it. You just know it’s going to ring. And it does. You almost pick it up at the first ring. But you hold back, affording yourself a few seconds to catch your breath.

 

When you are institutionalized, things move like clockwork. You can predict most developments, even human behavior. It is the grind playing on loop that kills you, not anxiety.

‘Hello?’ you say betraying your gurgling annoyance.

‘We are in trouble’ says HS, salutations and niceties being a thing of the past.

‘What is it Sir?’

‘What is it?’ Have you not checked the report?’

‘I have Sir, it is submitable.’

‘Not like this it isn’t.’

He hangs up. The click of the receiver is an unspoken summons to his lair.

You are confident of your work but not of HS’ creativity. You didn’t expect this report to be your breakthrough performance but you didn’t expect it be a self-goal either. Having almost reached, you remember you are without the moral support of pen and paper. You rush back to your desk to get it.

Slowing down your steps, you touch up your hair in the glass of the cabin. It is time to take one of those deep breaths again.

You walk into the dreaded chamber. HS looks at you dismayed. He holds up a page from the report, clutching it like a butcher would handle a chicken’s neck.

‘The Organizational chart!’

Your eyes search frantically for the pain point but you’re stumped.

At utter loss for safer words, you ask, ‘what about it Sir?’

‘There are no photographs!’ says HS in disbelief. ‘Head Office will never approve it. Get everyone to a studio immediately! Will the prints be ready by tomorrow?’

Ignoring HS’ ignorance of technology and not bothering to enlighten him, you move out with a compliant nod.

You spend the next two hours knocking and entering every cabin on the floor. Your mission (since you had to accept it) is to click every last ugly kisser on the payroll and then paste it onto the Organizational chart. There is also the unenviable task of editing and aligning these candid shots on PowerPoint.

It is still an honest buck you are making. And you have one more story to pass on to your grand kids.

Thank God for camera phones.

–          J.

Hamster Paradise

In conspiracy theories, Head Slave, Hiearchy, humor, SlavesInc, true enlightenment, Uncategorized, Wage Slaves on November 28, 2011 at 13:34

Have you ever got the feeling that you are paddling away in a trance? Like a long drawn hypnosis that is hard to tell from reality. Like some Art of Living mojo you heard while on the herb. Has to be some out of the ordinary explanation that keeps you slogging away in the ordinary. How else could one mire in this daily drudgery till death or old age prevail?

There must be thousands if not millions of hamsters like you at it every day. You cannot fathom how your drone-like paper pushing ultimately makes business happen, generates revenue, satisfies share holders and credits your monthly ration.

Its 2 pm in the afternoon. And it is just like you to drift into a heady day dream post lunch.

Just when you think you are on to something…the phone rings to snap you out of realization. It is Head Slave and he wants you in this cabin with the Acme contract. You rush in trying to collect your thoughts only to find HS even more disoriented.

‘We have 9,000 employees in 73 countries and we can’t get an auditorium entry?’ HS was demanding of his secretary.

‘They have been all booked for a week sir,’ explained Sec.

‘I am Vice President of this enterprise,’ reasoned HS.

‘Sir, there are 123 Vice Presidents globally, Head Office had only reserved seats for 90,’

In visible disbelief, HS turns to you. He keeps staring having forgotten why he had called you in. At this time, he would probably have trouble recalling your name too. Finding HS in this very pedestrian situation, you too forget what you were there for.

After an awkward few seconds, you wisely step out and slip into the comfort of your pointless but peaceful existence.

Knowledge is power but ignorance is bliss.

J.

My Chair

In Coffee Mug, Hiearchy, Hopsquatch, humor, Office, Organisation, Quick Sand, Table Fan on August 15, 2011 at 03:45

You have been together since the time your memory is foggy. She has always been there, supporting your wild pitches and cushioning your falls. You have seen 2 rounds of restructuring and 3 Presidents come and go. Exchange rates have halved, GDPs have doubled and the continents are few more inches apart. But you still find her every day you wake.

She off course is your chair, blindly loyal to you, as you are to your employer. It knows you, it understands, it cares. It knows you fear intimacy and like familiarity. In turn, you fight to keep her yours. No one dares lay claim to it, even in your absence for a quick meeting. You mark her with signs of your togetherness and adorn her with accessories. She is unmistakable, even from a distance.

Along with your personalized table fan, your coffee mug and your computer system, your chair represents a self propagated gravitational field, forceful and hard to resist. Like a black hole, it sucks you in and escape seems too difficult to even attempt.

 

Consistency through a different mirror also looks like lack of progress. The length of your back rest represents the obesity of your pay check. And your back rest needs a lot of propping up. Beyond these gallows lie other enclosures with other chairs, more ergonomic, with better colors and cushioned arm rests. And they are waiting to be-throne you. If only you could escape the quick sand of slow procrastination. So wake up and smell the Styrofoam! It is time to shed your security blanket, shun the familiar warmth of your chair and move on. I am sure she will understand.

  

–          J.