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Posts Tagged ‘fellow slaves’

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.

Karma of the Commute

In Commute, humor, Office humor, Wage Slaves on October 3, 2011 at 14:42

The final stretch will decide the fate of your day. Like a fifth set tie-breaker or the final of forty laps, you are running purely on adrenaline. That is how you started the day too. Down in the 5th base, you have got to suck it up, put in the long yards and control the sports analogies. Post the morning high, it has all been downhill as expected. But the day ain’t over yet. Not until you clear the obstacle course that separates your quarters from your galley.

You are, of course, referring to your eventual bus ride home. It is the most sporty thing you do all day. You do not exactly look forward to it. But it is amazing how resourceful one can be in the absence of options. As the fateful vehicle approaches, you become aware of an impatient, heavy breathing flock of fellow slaves around you. This is not going to be easy. But what would life be without competition?

As you jump, lunge and land, predator-like focus takes over your senses. The only thought that comes to your mind is: ‘This would look really cool in animation!’

 

Most slaves have developed their own techniques: elbowing, blocking, side-stepping and toe-crushing. You too have to play ball for the prize. Looking prim is the least of your worries right now and civility a distant acquaintance. Like sniffers trained to lunge at the prize, you and fellow slaves scamper for the few and vacant seats.

You see your target, a vacant aisle seat on the left. With random precision, you spill into the seat. The look of reclusive relief on your face seems to say: ‘Life is not so bad after all!’

Having caught your breath, you look around at the losers who could not corner a seat. A lady standing right next to your seat catches your nearly gloating eye. She is uncomfortably contained in her formals and has a familiar look of disappointment on her face. You had the same look on yesterday when a miscalculated side-step cost you a coveted seat.

You get up, at once compelled, and offer your seat to the morose lady who takes it in disbelief. As you hang on in the public transport vehicle, your legs are wary but your eyes have a glint. Good deed in bag, free will practiced, you have salvaged an otherwise forgettable day.

–          J.