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Archive for the ‘nine to five’ Category

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.

KRA

In Appraisal, Boss, nine to five, Office humor, SlavesInc on February 21, 2013 at 23:21

Whoever said fate is in our hands never had an appraisal. He never had the good fortune of knowing Head Slave either. It is almost a religious experience as the Maker’s hand randomly does and undoes your exploits of the past 12 months, 4 quarters and 3 seasons on a single A4 printout.

Creation of Adam

You stopped putting up a fight some five minutes ago. But HS seems especially spirited today. You don’t recall having ever had as much face time with him during your entire tenure.

The third time HS asks, you are moved out of your trance.

“What about this Kaizen project sport? I haven’t heard anything about it.”

Neither have you. In fact, the last you heard about it was in last year’s appraisal. You try desperately to remember what your answer was back then. It couldn’t have been anything convincing.

Since you are already two strikes down, you shoot out the following:

“You know boss, the Kaizen project was always on my radar. But looking at our priorities, I had to let it go. I knew it would mess up my KRAs, but it was the right thing to do for the company.”

A few moments of silence follows as HS looks at you with his glasses lowered. That was some inspired hooplah!

“Tell you what sport, we still have a week to go before closing the appraisals. Why don’t you do a quick pilot on Kaizen and we will discuss again?”

Dilbert Kaizen

Now you look at him with your glasses lowered. This is not exactly a SlavesInc. moment but you decide to go for it for the novelty of it.

The next week is spent looking high and low for anything that can pass off as Kaizen and more importantly, for something that can be rounded up in one working week. You settle for an area you know most about: attendance rolls.

Login sessions reveal that an average Slave spends three to five percent of his official time on checking, plotting and in general obsessing over his attendance records. This is more than the time expected to be allotted to real work including ‘generating new ideas’.

925

Being a clone of the system yourself, you know that correcting the names of the slaves on payroll can cut down much of this time. It would also mean fewer loop holes for clock-watching colleagues. But you can’t please them all.

Flintstones-fove-o-clock-whistle

fred_flintstone_clocking_out

Project in bag, it is now time for another appraisal session with HS. For once he likes what he sees:

“Nicely done sport. We are through for this year. What was that line you said…’the right thing to do for the company?’ – Brilliant! I used it myself with the man upstairs. Kaizen was part of my KRAs too you know…”

Ghost Rider Contract

HS walks out with a pat on your shoulder and a wink in his eye. He leaves you with a higher KRA score and fewer friends than you have ever had before. Whoever said we make our own destiny was never bound by KRAs.

– 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.

Daylight Saving Time

In circadian rhythms, conspiracy theories, day of creation, Health, humor, nine to five, Office, rare occurrence, Technology, Wage Slaves on September 6, 2011 at 03:16

As you near the gates, your steps grow anxious. You are still trying to determine if this is really happening. You have a look of heightened disbelief on your face as you approach a familiar milestone. But it looks different, better, happier. As you finally step out, “Daylight!” you utter loudly ‘Daylight,’ the guard concurs affording a faint smile.

This is not the last scene of a formulaic prison movie. This is you leaving office on time; it is a rare occurrence, a blue moon. For a few seconds, you just stand there, not knowing what to do next. Your eyes are still adjusting to the extra lumens, your nose taking in whiffs of what actually feels like cleaner air. You want to do a Hulk and tear off the shirt but prudence is hard to shake off even in broad daylight. This is your interview shirt but you can afford to loosen your collar, let your hair down and call it a day (sic).

You have still not understood why your galley pulls the blinds and uses flourescent lighting throughout the day. It does not fit the penny-pinching personality of Slaves Inc. You can think of numerous evil reasons why artificial light would be imposed: to develop detachment from nature, induce vitamin D deficiency, scrambling circadian rhythms, acclimatize to never-ending shifts… But there will be loads of time for conspiracy theories tomorrow, and the day after. Today, you need to make the most of day light hours. A quick nap seems appropriate. Sure there is a mountain of work to climb tomorrow. But for now, the demons of your desk seem to have sublimated like Vampires in sunlight.

– J.