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Archive for the ‘Organisation’ Category

Late Shift Blues

In Artist, freelancing, Office humor, Organisation, SlavesInc, vitamin d deficiency, Wage Slaves, work life balance, work stress on June 8, 2017 at 20:13
‘You again?’ he said. You could have said the exact same thing but you stick to the more traditional, ‘Hi.’
This must be the seventh time you have ran into the man on the last train home. You vaguely remember him in the audience at one of your dos. You don’t recall ever asking his name and it has not hampered your acquaintance for lack of a better word.
Train Kandivali
You fill him in on all that has been happening in your little version of rebellion. He listens with amusement but that is about it. Then you ask him about his…work. Not that there is much excitement he can share about the ERP offshoring project that is gainfully employing him. Then you try silence for a while and it catches on. Till it’s time for you to say goodbye at your destination. The empty rake takes the man home only to repeat the cycle again tomorrow. He didn’t seem sad but he didn’t look hopeful either. A version of you in a parallel universe. It was a rather Fight Club moment, like meeting your spirit animal.
There is something about late night shifts that brings about contemplation even in the most wound up of automatons. May be it is the moonlight, the relative coolness or just the silence. The sweepers on the platform, the rickshaw drivers waiting for a last ride home or just an excuse to call it a day and you on your post-gig high seem to share an unspoken camaraderie, a loose brotherhood of odd-jobers. Going through the motions of their respective mime acts. Like you were in a video for a blues song together.
New York Workers

PhotoShop always was a latent need of the market.

Some days you see your ex-colleagues on the other side of the tracks, on the right side of market sentiment and the wrong side of traffic. Their belts struggling to contain their impending cardiac episodes and the compartment barely containing the class struggle. As you wave at them from your empty compartment going upstream, the success is almost cinematic in contrast. But it’s not the end, it never is. There is always a higher plane to abdicate to. And unfortunately life is a series of sequels no one asked for.
Rat Race.jpg
Man is a creature of habit. All creatures are. Meaning can always be retrofitted. From training troops to telecallers, most mission calls are euphemisms at best. Lies we decide to believe collectively to make life bearable. One should always be weary of replacing one drudgery with another.
Slice of Life Dexter
Small talk about traffic, weather and elections is just static filling the emptiness of your years. You can choose to wake up or sleepwalk through the rest of your life, no one will notice either way. But at least pick the shift that feels most defiant.
– Punit Pania

Being Polite is the Slowest Way to Die

In Communication, Organisation, work life balance, work stress on March 5, 2017 at 15:39
‘Being polite is the slowest way to die!’ you had heard in a motivational workshop. But that was for sales guys.
Now you are in an air-conditioned office where interactions can be more hostile but language always has to be civil to the point of flippancy. Words like help start losing weight and assume a life of their own. And some words are hunted to extinction. Like the sweet and simple No.
Image may contain: 1 person, standing
No is decisive, firm and has gravitas. No doesn’t wait for regret to seep in, No moves on, No has a life. Which is why it has no space left in corporate life. ‘I’ll get back to you’ has taken its place in perpetuity. Because with enough euphemisms, we will all be immortal one day.
And in the midst of this nihilism you have ended up saying yes to another stinker of a project. Coz it came in the garb of help. Help; a word so versatile it can never go extinct. It’s scale is quantum but it’s demeanor is benign. You can keep helping blind old ladies cross the road remembering that Jesus too once helped us by taking one for the team.
Image result for jesus brb
As you now type away into the wee hours of the evening instead of being home with your family of online subscriptions, you begin to wonder is it that difficult to say no? You wonder how all the succesful VPs and up-and-comers get through the muck of life and come out clean and gleaming. You wonder how people can get away by simply saying ‘I need your help’ instead of ‘I know you hate doing it but there is no way I am going to do this myself so we are in this together now’?
Image result for shawn michaels suck it
But it is difficult to say No. Increasingly so, in the minefield of power structures, dotted line reporting and 360° appraisals. And beyond the niceties and tea parties, No has to come from a very real place deep inside your hollowed conscience, beneath all the layers of conditioning and anxiety. Do it when you are ready, when there is no looking back and there is no regret. Life in the wild can be brutal but life in climate control is excruciating.
– Punit Pania

Born To Follow

In Cause, conspiracy theories, humor, Office humor, Organisation, SlavesInc, true enlightenment, vitamin d deficiency, Wage Slaves on December 5, 2011 at 12:37

God made procrastination so we could sit around, admire nature, bask in the sun and never be deficient in Vitamin D. You would so like to do that. But having come eons past the hunter gatherer stage, you have to earn your living; simply being born does not count. It is difficult. Some overcome this primeval urge to bask; and harden into modern day achievement. Others end up doing jobs.

Your profound insight comes from staring long enough at the most unremarkable of places, you desk. Littered everywhere are hieroglyphs of your employer and its ultra noble mission. They also make some serious profits. But that is more of a byproduct of their lofty ethics and dizzying ‘goals’. You may not remember what grade your kid studies in. But if someone slaps you out of sleep in the middle of the night, you can recite your company theme and pledge without blinking.

You are not a memory gymnast nor are you an exceptionally committed slave. It is just that the branding is hard to miss. It is everywhere, like the skulls on Skull Island. Troopers have their fatigues. You have caps, pens, mugs and even underwear identifying your enslaver. It creeps up on you till you are a part of it. And you play along; it is not like you have some great plans of your own anyway.

You do not resist when this branding is taken one step further. You are the first one to start wearing a badge of the new corporate logo over your breast pocket, close to the heart. Years of subliminal messaging has to be overwritten here. So you act like a good sport and give up thoughts of vain rebellion. At least, they are not printing bar codes or inserting chips in you, yet.

But you do make a note to yourself:

You had better start working for a cause of your own; else people will make you work for theirs.

Theme Song

In Boss, conspiracy theories, Office humor, Organisation, Wage Slaves on October 24, 2011 at 02:22

Wide smiles, vibrant colors and perfect sunsets. Community, camaraderie…utopia. No twisted ankles, no traffic jams, no troubles. No stress, no back aches, no empty calories. You can also sense vague but spastic music and distantly jarring rhymes.

No, you are not at the carnival nor have you licked a stamp. You are being subjected to…the corporate theme song. More pompous than a self-titled rap album, more lame than a Friends re-run, it seems custom made to irk, itch and ­annoy. There are more ethnic varieties of employees than the United Nation’s Assembly, more scene-esque locales than a tourism commercial. For a creature of the cubicle such as you, this seems cruel and unusual punishment. But it could be worse: may be there are subliminal slave control messages in the video.

Since you have to stand up every darn time they play it, letting your mind drift is also difficult. The best you can do is mix truly felt contempt with plastered-on smile to produce a neutral look on your face. By the time the second verse starts, cracks are appearing on your solemn face, revealing lines of dissent. With immaculate timing, Head Slave catches you by the elbow. ‘Sing along sport!’ he bellows over the music. You didn’t even notice he had crawled next to you, so enthralling were the stock images in the video. Now you will have to pay some improvised lip service. Your mouth is already half open in mock-sing along but no voice escapes it. Lip syncing is easy when you are standing next to the speaker but it would be a lot easier if you knew the lyrics. The emotion you need is ‘Acme Sales Corporation: A wholly owned subsidiary of Acme International is God’s gift to mankind.’ But you would have to be method actor to fake it.

You survive this round but there will be no escaping come the sales meeting you have to conduct next week. Not only will you have to ‘sing’, you will have to get fellow slaves to participate. In the absence of options, you will manage somehow. At least, you will use the word sell-out more prudently in the future.

– 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.

Caffeine Clique

In Boss, Health, humor, Office, Organisation, Wage Slaves on June 27, 2011 at 13:40

In most Futuramas, everyone wears the same clothes, uniforms if you will. They also have the same asexual haircut and vitamin-D deficient facial expressions. That is because utopias are boring. Real world is not.

Social orders, stratifications and competition make the game worth playing. Unlike video games and competitive sports, we can’t have people walking around with jet packs and sashes. So we give them milder trophies. Like a shinier name plates, a costlier chair and better quality tea and coffee.

These everyday drinks, humble in their commonness are also stratifying in their variety. From your chicory-adulterated pedestrian cuppa to your boss’ Darjeeling organic to his boss’ ultra green, there is one to suit every palate and pocket. There are almost as many varieties as there are layers in your company’s organogram.

Placebo or enabler

You would think a ‘company with presence in over 100 countries’ can afford better coffee for its employees. But you may be missing the bigger picture. You realize this on a fateful day when your boss’ boss calls you to his cabin for the first time. Let us call him ‘Slave in Chief’ – SIC for convenience. SIC is known to be magnanimous in person but stingy over e-mail.

“Have some green tea, it’s organic.” So far, he has stuck to his profile.

He serves it to you without waiting for your reply. You awkwardly slump into the chair facing SIC’s ping-pong table-sized desk. Small talk ensues, mostly moderated by him. He is intermittently distracted by his phone that seems to be flashing something unpleasant.

“What is it?” he finally barks into the phone. This initial pleasantry is followed by long drawn silence, interspersed with nods.

Meanwhile, he motions you to add honey instead of sugar. Your village upbringing has already given itself away.

 'It's not a gift, I earned it.'

After the initial salutation, SIC does not manage to get one full sentence in:

“But I…

…wanted to…

Let me at least….

We will…

This Satur..

I prom..”

……………someone just hung up on your SIC.

The rest of the meeting, post phone call, is vague and unproductive. However, two important things were learnt on this day:

  1. The wife doesn’t care two hoots what your visiting card says
  2. Organic Green tea tastes like expired cough medicine

High end caffeine drinks must be an acquired taste, like classical music. Weather they are an outcome of or means to enter inner circles…you will only know when you cross over.

– J.

‘What was your name again?’

In humor, Interpersonal, Office, Office Romance, Organisation on June 21, 2011 at 04:13

“You spoke with my boss, Mr. Doodlesberg?”

You know the guy mentioned some normal name but it just did not register.

“Yes”, you reply, “I’ll send that mail right away to…”

“I am Mr. Hanselboy.”

“Mister…?” – You want one more chance.

Mr. Hanselboy ,” he says matter-of-factly.

 Snapping finger while trying to remember something never seems to help

It has finally happened.

.

.

.

.

Your brain’s contact list has reached full capacity. To remember any more new names, you will have to delete some old ones.

Between online communities and syncing multiple devices, you can’t put a name to a face without it being on a screen. Staring at person’s chest to read his/her name off the ID card is not a good idea either. Memory tools like linking morphological and racial peculiarities to names is too much to handle for today’s hyper-propah environment. Adding them on FB is a scary thought.

When all fails, resort to pen and paper

Maybe, you could actually physically write down the names. If only, you could find a pen, and then, some paper, you could avoid situations such as:

“How could you lose the pen drive?”

“I did not lose it, I lent it to someone.”

“Someone who?”

“You know; the new guy with the eye thing.”

“No, I don’t know the new guy with the eye thing.”

“Well, there are so many of them…”

Pneumonics

The one with the glasses is called Bhavesh for ‘B” flipped 90 degrees looks like glasses!

Perhaps, you are not outgoing as they say. But how social can you be? With 400 employees and an attrition of 20%, you are looking at remembering 2 new names every working day for the rest of your career!

And if you are contributing to the attrition yourself, you have to learn an entirely new set of names. “This is Mr. X, this is Mr. Blah and that is Miss. Liz,” says your new boss as he debuts you at your new galley. “This is like a marriage reception, you just have to smile. Do not hope to remember any names,” he tells you on the side lines. ‘If only more people were memorable, like Liz,’ you tell your dreamy-eyed self.

– J.