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Archive for the ‘humor’ Category

Relevant Experience Junkie

In conspiracy theories, humor, true enlightenment, Wage Slaves, work life balance on July 20, 2017 at 19:41
In the end we are all just chasing experiences. Experiences that crystallize into memories and add to the narrative that somehow convinces you everyday that life is worth getting out of bed for. Getting high is an experience, so is attending a comedy show. Some are deemed legal by the ruling majority, some are sneered upon and others are punishable by law. We are all dealers then separated only by the sensibilities of the owners of the country.
dude-the-big-lebowski
Money is just a common language that facilitates the scores. But some people get high on just the money, too many people if we go by the distribution of wealth in the world or rather the lack of distribution. All that money locked up in nameless offshore accounts and tasteless jewellery. Such a travesty. All the highs you could buy with that money, it would take you to the Milky Way and back. But it lays with a man who is happy just knowing that he can buy a lifetime’s worth of experiences with it but is still busy hoarding more money. May be does not know what he wants, what truly gets him high. So he goes for the next best thing, making others believe that he has bought happiness itself, with warranty.
But hoarding is the opposite of happiness. Money, clothes, social hierarchy and job designations, hoarded for an eventual cosmic audit that will never happen. Energy always dissipates. You either buy illusions of control or you let go and enjoy the free-fall. But first you must find your drug and let it consume you. Metaphorically of course. Physical abuse is just a waste of protoplasm. And the system can’t let you waft away so easily. Who will pay all those taxes?
– Punit Pania

One Page CV

In Communication, creativity, curriculum vitae, cv, humor, Interview on March 21, 2017 at 18:26
After your blood test your CV is the most telling document on how you have lived your life.
You have been starring at it for ten minutes now and even the cursor seems reluctant to blink. It’s all there, bad decisions, regrets, denials, stress injuries and battle scars, all there in black and white. Neatly tucked into two pages.
CV
But it seems like a lot. And not in the least because you want to save paper. But you feel two pages is too pompous for the train wreck you call a career.
Freshers are all over the place with their 4 objectives, 6 strength areas and 11 hobbies. No one really cares coz as a fresher you are a commodity. But with age comes clarity. This clarity can either be liberating in the infinite possibilities free will presents or debilitating in the inevitable mediocrity most of us statistically end up in.
Internship
You have managed to find yourself in the middle of these two extremes once again. Juggling ambition and realism is a loosing battle. The least you can do is be benign about it.
So you start throwing all the excess baggage overboard. Some of it is quite embarrassing; high school competition certificates and ‘basic computer skills’ need to RIP with the 90s. Fluency in secondary and regional languages is redundant in the 140 character world. And hobbies…Where do you even start with those condolences? You have only really gone hiking once and even that trip was cut short after you sprained your ankle at the base camp itself. Your guitar strings broke from rust. And you hate driving so much that you prefer commuting in cattle class over haggling for parking spots. It’s down to sketching, reading and blogs now. And even these hobbies are on life support.
Getting Paid
And they always will be till you keep calling them hobbies. Always looked down upon as guilty pleasures. As an artist the desire to perform always exceeds the desire to get paid. For some reason, businessmen do not suffer from such afflictions. Or may be you are looking at the world upside down. You have to give it to your present and future employers though, they made making money their hobby. And now their visiting card is itself their CV. Till you can do the same, one page is enough to sell your slavery.
Visiting Card
– Punit Pania

Bachelor of Commerce

In humor, SlavesInc, work life balance on January 4, 2017 at 17:46
‘I can’t afford one more baby,’ you say instinctively as the collections start for Govind’s second child’s first gift.
Ideally Govind should have been saying it. Perhaps he did but after it was too late, because the script demanded it.
Everyone is running their own story based on their myths, their favourite band’s lyrics and the last movie they saw. So are you. But while the Lone Ranger, the hopeless romantic and unrequited love are celebrated on celluloid, 9 to 5 bets its money on conformity and predictability.
Bachelors are the new Social outcasts and unlike the Wild West, you don’t even have a Sheriff’s badge in your defense let alone a sidearm. And there too many occasions on which you wish you had a gun, from Baby showers to BringYourSpouseToWorkDay.
rolling-stone-charlie-sheen.jpg
Bachelors have fewer rights than Syrian refugees on Thanksgiving Day in Oklahoma. Need to show that expat from Barcelona around? Someone’s got to stay back in office to ensure the file transfer is complete? Someone needs to represent us at the conference on Sunday? Who you gonna call?
– The Bachelor.
What hurts more than not having a life is the general assumption that you don’t have one. And how is ‘You don’t have a family to go to home to’ still a valid argument? It’s 2016, the only lasting family anyone has is their collection of now defunct smartphones.
Image result for bachelor funny
Buying into the societal concept of legal marriage seems to be like getting a Presidential level AmEx Platinum Card. The privileges are many and ridiculous. How could you not want this lifetime membership?
Any contract that is permanent gives you the qualms. And the budgets for these baby shower gifts keep inflating every quarter. With more people chipping in and more Chinese kids working in factories around the clock; before you know it you are buying a baby carriage with a jet pack and a drone mode for stealth bombing…all for a kid who has not even taken its first breath of polluted air yet.
Image result for baby showers funny
But Bachelors have to play their part, everyone does. Kingdoms are built on division of labour where the King gets to be the biggest asshole the land has ever seen and everyone else gets to clean up after him. At least now you get to pay your taxes to the ruling class and go home and cry in peace.
– Punit Pania

The Biggest Ponzi Scheme in the World

In Big Brother, Christmas, HR, humor, Motivation, Wage Slaves on December 24, 2016 at 08:39
Nietzsche proclaimed ‘God is dead’ in 1882. But HR is keeping Him alive for KRA purposes.
From Rangoli competitions to Secret Santa, no festival, tradition or tribal mating ritual will be left behind. Selfies will be clicked, forms will be ticked and camaraderie will be faked.
IMG-20161224-WA0000.jpg
All in the name of that modern and universal measure of human relations – engagement. Engagement is just the kind of cashless-paperless-soulless term corporations like to employ to make complicated responsibilities seem manageable.
If only 4 AM philosophising could get you far in life, you wouldn’t have to wonder what to get Rozy for her last Christmas in the galleys before she begins her long but terminal affair with pension. What could you get her that she has not seen in three decades of salaried existence and nearly six decades of attracting gravity in general? Where does being a compliant slave stop and being a nice person in general begin? Is Jizas watching us all the time? Doesn’t he take a day off? Not even on his birthday? Does anyone give a flying Rudolph about any of it?
Not really. Not when you consider that the primary purpose of any system is its own perpetuity, be it the Anglican Church or Acme Corp. And the whole thing started as an ad campaign anyway. The whole Santa thing, not Church. And it only took you three Wikipedia pages to come to that conclusion.
So you decide to gift Rozy a frame. She can put her granddaughter’s drawings in it, her own photos or just leave it empty and call it art. Of course, you had to assume that she has a granddaughter…who likes to draw. But you’ve already alloted more brainwaves to this act of corporate Karma that it merits.
Secret Santa must be the biggest Ponzi scheme in the world. And the house always wins. The best you can do is engage, keep your head down and quit while you are ahead.
– Punit Pania

The Way to a Manager’s Heart…

In humor, Interpersonal, Office humor on July 20, 2014 at 19:48

As related by a friend and fellow slave

Managers are people too. This dawns on you from time to time. But in the interim, they just seem like a peculiar tribe slave to rigid practices and pointless ritual.


The-Office-Dance-OffRicky Grievas DancingDavid Brent Dancing
As your department’s pack forages on their usual slope, the new kid on the block stays on the side lines. Besides the one-off documentation and scheduling of meetings, the kid has little to do to keep herself busy. She does try though, her anxiety shows anyway. The veterans of the pack show no signs of even acknowledging her existence. You, as always, are the passive observer.

And as a good observer is wont to do, you survey from a distance without intruding, interacting or influencing the subjects of study in any way. It is a tough job but someone has to do it.

Austin Stevens

The pack almost seems to be trying too hard at times, going out of their way to look past the kid and act generally self-important. The posturing is led by their Head of Department, a man with a big face and a thin voice. He is also the Alpha Male by proxy.

On many an occasion you feel compelled to break in, break the ice and put the kid at ease. But with some effort, you convince yourself that nature has to run its course.

And it does until a day when the pack is feeling particularly restless and hungry, both feelings being often interconnected. They are pulled out if their lazing around into the mildly vigorous activity of looking for biscuits and half-eaten packs of chips in the foliage of files and half-open boxes of forgotten stuff.

The kid, startled at first, makes the bold move of offering her own reserve of nutrition bars and Oreos. It is an instant hit. One of the Oreos makes its way to Alpha for approval. You almost find yourself anxious waiting for his response. But guess what, the big man likes Oreos!
Cyanide Oreos

Over the next few days, banter increases in proportion with the kid’s supply of fodder. They still don’t know the kid’s name and her smile is still awkward. But there is progress…

The kid comes up to you once offering you the last Oreo lying at the bottom of her shallow lunch box. You offer her your pack of nutrition bars instead.

‘What’s your name?’

‘Kim!’ she says with a bright smile.

‘Glad to have you on board,’ you say.

oreo-rainbow

Managers are people too and nature has to run its course. But you can always run your own.

 

– J.

Stranger to Kindness

In Commute, humor, Motivation, nine to five on June 16, 2014 at 02:10

As related by a friend

Of the many things that are in abundance in this world, plight is one that courts you on a daily basis. And plight of a personal nature is like being in an abusive relationship; the more you fight it, the earlier it gets to you in the day.

GroundHog Day Bill Murray

Lately, it hits you as soon as you are outside your door in the morning. You didn’t want to opt for company sponsored transport. It seemed too much like being out on parole. But the traffic and the damn economics of it!

shawshank prison bus

A minivan is all your employer can afford at this stage and the driver is always late. You want to be civil, if not kind to people working hard for a living. But the lack of sleep followed by a tropical morning gets the best of your better senses and you end up giving him an earful. It doesn’t seem to help though.

On the fourth such pleasant morning, the driver gets a call from his boss/handler. ‘I am on my way…on my way, I mean, I am just here…no, not on the highway but I am almost there. It is not my fault boss…’

He turns around to look at you. You try to look like you were not paying attention to the one-way conversation.

‘It is the first pick-up of the day, that guy is always late boss. It’s not my fault’

Roadrage

What the…you almost blurt out. But the driver is looking at you making a sorry pleading face. You motion to him to keep his eye on the road. The driver is off the phone now and checking you out in the rear view mirror making a puppy face. You try to check your rage. For once, counting to ten helps. An ugly puppy perhaps, but a puppy none the less.

Every one’s got their KRAs. Telling your boss the market research team delayed the presentation is no different that the driver blaming you for his running late. The least you can do is take the hit for a change, especially when it is easy for you to do so.

empleo-human-taxi 2

Happy at not letting frustration get to you any further, you even thank him for the ride on arriving at the galley.

‘Sir, sir…,’ he calls out behind you. You turn around with a ‘Now what?’ expression.

‘Sir, you stay at that Jumbo Apartments Complex right?’

‘Yes,’ you reply quizzically.

‘You don’t have to come to the station for the pick-up Sir. I can take a detour and pick you up from your doorstep. It will be quicker for me too. I will be on time everyday!’

‘…Ok,’ you say managing a smile, ‘See you tomorrow at 8 then.’

‘Yes Sir, thank you Sir, good day Sir!’

human_kindness_captured_in_pictures

Of the many things that are in abundance in this world, kindness of strangers is perhaps the most underrated. The sooner you find this out the better.

 

–          J.

Not a Morning Person

In Health, humor, Office humor, work life balance on June 2, 2014 at 01:02

As related by a friend and fellow slave

 

As the minutes pass into hours and hours turn into the morning, you realise time is unforgiving. It is cold and consistent. No wonder you are not on good terms with it.

If you were to plot a graph of the number of hours you sleep, it would be a morbidly declining picture. But wake up you must for you have got for yourself what is called a day job. And after years of doing it you have realised that it would be fair to say you are not a morning person.


not a morning person

After your second visit to the loo and the third rerun of Two and a Half Men, you shudder to even look at the watch. Various methods including multiple alarms on different devices, keeping the curtains ajar and paying the watchman to knock on your door at 7 am every morning have ensured you hold on to your job. In hindsight it seems like one continuous nightmare with interludes of hazy wakefulness…at least it pays the bills.

two-half-men-charlie-sheen

And it has taken a toll on your circadian rhythms. You find yourself wrestling with sleep even on weekends. It is hard enough training yourself to be one type of person; there is no place to fit in a weekend mode in there. It doesn’t help that the watchman doesn’t keep track of what day it is.

It is 3 am and every cell of your body is crying for a reboot. You tell yourself to power through it for one more day even though you know by now that the tomorrow of work-life balance never comes. The tomorrow when you go to bed early, have an apple in the morning and ditch coffee for green tea is a modern day myth.

Lack of sleep or lack of coffee

You check your calendar: One client visit, two meetings and three con-calls. So you decide to suck it up, you double check your alarms and order your brain to stop thinking. Being professional is a 24-hour job.

coffee-you-can-sleep-when-youre-dead

At ten minutes past eleven, you realise being professional is overrated. A full blast of sunlight through the window is accompanied by a half-cake recipe being discussed on the telly. The morning rush has passed and all you can hear is a distant dog barking, a bored baby crying and maybe even an odd bird chirping. It’s like you hit a fast-forward button in your brain. You even get a fleeting feeling of what they call…peace.

Truman In case I don't see you

Then you check your phone: three missed calls, two skipped meetings and one defaulted radio taxi pick-up. But the world didn’t end.

Calvin Stars

There are more missed calls coming in. You switch off the phone and look out of your window. Time is cold, consistent and unforgiving. The least you can do is forgive yourself once in a while.

 

– J.

OUT OF OFFICE

In Communication, e-mail, humor, Office humor, Resignation on May 19, 2014 at 03:56

Courtesy is a form of formality. And formality is; in most cases, imposed. At least you find it so. This adds to the tedium of being in an office for the major part of your waking day.


Keep calm Courtesy

Till your major jail break takes shape, outdoor duty is the only gasp of fresh air you can take. But this too is fraught with formality starting with: ‘Out of Office’ replies. There are ready formats available ranging from the apologetic: ‘I will have infrequent access to emails. In case of urgency, I can be reached at…’ to the whacky: ‘You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn’t have received anything at all.’ Then there is the high flier who says the same thing in 5 foreign languages in case his long lost Czech friend finally decides to add him on Pinterest

Out of Office Beach

But none suits your style. This is because your style would be to leave no automated reply at all. You can’t imagine anyone’s life depending on your responding to a mail on the same day. But invariably, when you are out of office, some unfortunate soul’s life does land the misfortune of doing so.

Office emergency

There is no escaping formality. So you decide to go through ‘OUT OF OFFICE’ replies that you have received in recent months for inspiration. And there are quite a few of them. A lot of people seem to be gasping for air. One in particular catches your attention for its sheer length:

‘I am out of office right now…

Since you are still reading, might as well make it worth your time. This is a little story about a young girl who had joined us last year. After months of neglect and taking photo copies, she finally left voluntarily. This is the resignation letter she tendered: When I had joined last fall, I felt truly happy after a very long job search. Being a management trainee with this organization would be the perfect start to what I want to be a long career, I thought. The stipend wouldn’t hurt either. In fact, if I commuted by bus, it would help pay off some of my student loan. But after 9 months of only taking photo copies for pretty much everyone in office except the other management trainees, I feel guilty. The pay as I said; doesn’t hurt. Not that I have not eagerly asked for work from anyone who would listen but you guys seem to have everything pretty much covered. An office boy in more dire need of employment could do my work. The only consolation is; the coffee was good!

The letter does not seem to have affected HR much but I thought it would be better than a Plain Jane auto-reply. Thank you for your e-mail. I will get back to you as soon as I rejoin.’

Well, you don’t remember reading this yourself though it lies very much in your inbox. You do believe that rebellion no matter how ill-fated never goes to waste. But you also believe that you should save your energy for those who care and for a time that matters.

Resignation Letter - Cake

For now, you stick to the bare minimum: ‘I am out of office, I will return on the 29th,

And to liven the mood, you add: ‘In case of emergency, dial 911.’

 

– J.

Fire Drill

In humor, Office humor on May 12, 2014 at 01:57

Your father always talked about learning from experience. That way to wisdom has long since been discredited. This is a world of preparation and pre-preparation. And we are better and safer off for it. In this world, exams are cleared before they are written, matches are fixed before the toss and wars are won before they are waged. Foretold, forewarned amd foreclosed.

The Venus Project

You still try to be natural though, being unnerved by every act of deceit and moved by every act of kindness. However, the overriding emotion seems to be that of surprise. The jingle of the announcement system comes on and you expect the receptionist in her sorry voice to declare the occurrence of some non-event. But it is not her. It is not even the stand-in receptionist. It is a man’s voice. It is a very old man in charge of training very young recruits. His voice starting with the presumptuous “Hello friends…’ rains down from the skies. On more than one occasion you have imagined the end of the world to be akin to this. So you look around for what you could take with you for the arduous journey.
yesman mike

 

‘Saifty is verry imporrtant,’ says the old man in an accent thicker than a thick milkshake during HappyHour. Somewhere in the middle of his seventh long sentence you understand this is a fire drill. If you were to wait for the old man to finish, the whole place would burn to the ground. Fellow slaves have by now started scampering.  Well, not exactly scampering but getting their act together in general.

 

office-fire

 

Groups of slaves are to follow their assigned leader or ‘Fire Marshall’ as these guys like to be called; in a straight line to the designated escape area. If you were to guess the protocol you would have said, ‘Scream fire, run like hell and lock yourself up in the bathroom.’ Which is why you will never get to be Fire Marshall. But you can make like good sheep and follow your shepherd to the parking lot. If you were to follow your own path, you would keep running, as far away from the burning building as possible and not wait in the lot. But while in employment, policy rules everything right up to possible death and posthumous insurance claims.

A safety instructor awaits the rescued lot, mike at the go. Keeping a straight face was difficult enough without the instructor being a Comedy Circus wannabe. ‘Imagine its a fire in your kitchen, is that the best you can do?’ he says to one lady. ‘You will only stoke the fire further,’ he says to another ample volunteer trying to douse a flame by sitting on it!

ConductingFireDrill

 

The festivities are brought to a halt when the headcount does not add up. Two slaves are definitely missing, even after counting twice. The Marshals and the Instructor seem more crestfallen than one would if a loved one had met an untimely demise. You find their commitment admirable and amusing at the same time. They can write out all the fire safety SOPs with their left hand with their eyes closed but they can’t for the life in them figure out the cause of two possible casualties. After it stops being funny, you walk up to the Instructor and suggest that he check the tea stall outside the office building.

In case of fire

 

And sure enough, your two casualties are very much breathing, enjoying their third cuppa for the day. Foretold, forewarned and foreclosed but no real-life experience.

 

– J.

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.

homer_mascot

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 WordPress.com 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.