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Archive for the ‘Hopsquatch’ Category

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.

Salary Slip

In Hopsquatch, HR, humor, nine to five, Office humor, Wage Slaves on October 10, 2011 at 03:58

Here it is, in black and white. It would be in shades but you know how expensive color printing is. There is something about seeing your remuneration (hope I spelt that correctly) in utter specifics. The surrealism of the experience contrasts with the placid demeanor of the numbers. You are, of course, face-to-face with your salary slip (sic).

This is it. Five days a week (sometimes six), nine hours a day (sometimes twelve) and unquantifiable brain damage gets you only this much. How can one make a decent living on this? More importantly, would you know a decent living if it you in the Bahamas?

Long repressed panic is finally setting in. You should do something about this, but what? Should you start a twitter campaign or a facebook page? Seems juvenile. Should you take it up with HR (seriously)? You signed the deal yourself. You would only be making a (bigger) fool of yourself if you raise a query.

 

Damn those lawyers who draft employment contracts with the ‘fine print’. They must be part of Lucifer’s Legions; for God has surely stopped residing in the details. Maybe you should groom your son to be a lawyer to take revenge on the world/society.

You want to tear, crumple and other wise mangle the salary slip. But printing is at a premium and you remember something about a ‘Save trees’ campaign you had to sign recently.

The thought of the last bus out of town departing in another ten minutes re-introduces you with gravity. Momentary rage having been tamed like a prison riot, you carefully fold and keep the salary slip in a folder. Three consecutive proofs of bondage are required to change galleys.

– 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.

Having put it Down

In chirp, day of creation, Hopsquatch, humor, Monday, Office, pontification, Resignation, true enlightenment, vintage car on July 31, 2011 at 23:53

The spring in your step and chirp in your voice is new. But you are used to it already. You greet friend, stranger and co-worker alike. Your average use of the word ‘no’ has dropped to record lows.

Anger has never known you and Benevolence finds a new friend in you. Position, pontification and other terrestrial phenomenon drop out of your field as gravity fails to keep up with you. It may seem like you have achieved Nirvana but unlike true enlightenment, your bliss is temporary, time-bound. And you know it.

But it doesn’t stop you from feeling re-christened; such is the feeling of deliverance. You no longer feel tight under the collar or weak at the knees. For having put your papers down, you are a free bird…till you move into your new galley.

You find people on your contact list you have never called. You try clothes from your closet that have never seen the light of day. With your hair down and your spirits up, you turn a blind eye to the calendar…until, the day before. Realization hits you like gravity hits an out-of fuel airplane.

Realization finally hits you

Like a convict on the last day of parole and a vintage car out for its final spin, you feel anxiety set in. It brings its friends denial, fear and depression along. You rue all the occasions you cursed time for being sluggish. There are so many movies to see, places to go and people to meet. But you can’t, for tomorrow is a befitting first day. Monday, Satan’s follow-up to the Day of Creation.

Having reached the stage of acceptance, you feel not defeat but purpose. Only if you start again will you get to the next interlude of fleeting bliss.

– J.

Putting it Down

In Boss, Hopsquatch, HR, humor, Office, Resignation on July 27, 2011 at 13:55

You are feeling strangely skippy today, like gravity took the day off! You greet people with a smile that is not plastic but recyclable. If you were not in a centrally air-conditioned enclosure, you are sure you would hear birds chirping outside.

Yes!

This rare combination of light-headedness and firm-footedness is befitting the occasion. For today, you shall have the following conversation:

You: I am leaving

Him: (barely looks up)

You: I…I am leaving, for good

Him: (now looks up with a quizzical expression, it is still not worthy of him opening his mouth)

You: (not expecting any better) I need you to sign these papers.

Him: What is this? (Holding up the papers of separation)

You: (having prepared for this day and moment) As I said, I am leaving and these papers will make it official

Him: But why…how?

You: (wanting to savor the moment, take a long pause)

Him: (…after a flabbergasted interlude) please sit down

You: (with rehearsed precision) I want this Friday to be my last here

.

.

.

He; off course, is your boss and the papers are those of your resignation.

Head Slave (HS) is at a loss for words, as is very common with him. But today he is also fumbling. The word leverage suddenly makes more sense to you.

Watching HS go through all 5 stages of grief in expedited fashion makes it worth all the waiting. He throws predictions, promises and the odd apology at you. His persuasion goes from hard logic to soft appeals, the most amusing being, ”Stay back for me!”

‘Hah!’ you go in your head. But on the outside you stay strangely calm, like a seasoned Lama. All the ‘funny’ resignation letters and cartoons you’ve seen on the net seem childish to you now.

You feel neither the need nor the obligation to explain, clarify or confess. You don’t want to give him the satisfaction.

”I appreciate the offer sir but I have made up my mind. Now if you will excuse me, I will send across a soft copy of the letter. Thank you.”

In utter civility you find a befitting rebuke.

You walk out with the tune to “I will survive” ringing in your head.

– J.

Moving On

In Hopsquatch, Office on February 19, 2011 at 16:54

The tea stall down stairs, the short-cut you take to punch in on time and your hidden Jessica Alba folder.

Colleagues you love to hate, bosses who have become more of bungling uncles than professional superiors and peons who will bring you special tea and cigarettes as a personal favor.

They are part of your everyday life and can always be kept for tomorrow. But tomorrow never gets old, you do.

These are all soft toys. Little inherent value but subject to your projected fondness. They represent the familiar, cozy safety that helps you get old in anesthesia! They are not harmful by themselves but unfortunately do not represent reason enough not to move on. In an objective world of opportunities that is always in countdown mode, your only true companion is your own good judgment.

There are the homely types who would like nothing better than to stay indoors and play board games till they get gout. Then there are the self-defined ‘adventurous kind’ who like to explore or whatever other excuse their vain online profiles claim. Most modern-day professionals would fall somewhere in the middle. Not wanting to dig in at one place and travelling partly out of compulsion. But when a livelihood requires your most productive waking hours day in and day out, money is not compensation enough at the end of the month. If you would settle for professional, monetary and social obscurity, you’re probably not reading this post right now.

The thing about know devils is, well; they are devils. Unknown devils might turn out to be creatures more benevolent and worthy of your time. Beyond your cubicle surely lies another one. It may be bigger, smaller or smellier. But great things are accomplished from the confines of this contraption by those not mentally bound by it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank your soft toys for the easy times you have spent with them. Keep them in a cozy folder on your online profile if you must. Parting is sweet for in abundance lies the seed of boredom. So tell your heavy heart to stop being a wuss and move on.

 

– J.

 

The Call

In Hopsquatch, humor, Office on February 12, 2011 at 19:56

You get the call. You were expecting it, yet you can’t beat the anxiety it brings. There is something racy and exciting about this even though it is just a phone call as of now.

You look around to check if anyone noticed. It is futile, your hushed tone and altered body language give you away like a desi at an English dinner. Soon, generalisations stop being conversationally constructive. You need to go to a secluded location.

The meeting room perhaps.

Darn, it is never vacant.

You make a dash for the stairway. Taking the lift will interfere with your GSM connection. You buy time with ‘ahas, hmms and hello-hellos?’ All the while ignoring furtive glances from current colleagues.

You finally make it to a dingy but lonesome corner at the curb below. It is just you and her now. And a world of possibilities. You are more polite than you were to your great-grandmother on her death bed. You are more expectant than a pregnant lady past her due date.

The conversation ends much too soon. But it leaves you with promises of the respect you deserve, lichen-like synergy and a better life in general. You keep looking at your phone for sometime replaying the treasured conversation in your head. When was the last time your current muse made you smile this way? You ask yourself.

But the promiscuous bliss is soon broken by the site of Mr. Butt who has stealthily been sipping his sixth tea of the day just 7 yards away.

His tobacco-stained smile has a hint of ‘I know what you did last sick leave’. He walks off in his BnW trousers. ‘Your canine loyalty has got nothing on me’, you smirk under your breath. There is a reason why they are called dog’s years.

Monogamy is so 21st century.

– J.