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Posts Tagged ‘motivation’

Switch off the damn WiFi

In Big Brother, Blogging, Motivation, SlavesInc, work life balance on December 20, 2016 at 15:46
It’s been an hour since you’ve been staring at your screen, a month since you took a break and a year since you put out a blog post.
But Facebook is the new blogging, Insta is the new Facebook and SnapChat is the new Insta. You don’t even have to wait for the next InstaSwipeClick thingy to take away any residual need left to think or even simply take a deep breath. It just keeps coming, like wave after wave of zombies. You can keep striking them down but drowning is only a matter of time.
Sure you have friends and something akin to an employer and a guiding deity. But they are all increasingly mute. Just acting out their parts in mime unless double clicked to say more. Just one more thing to scroll past on a never-ending conveyor belt to oblivion.
Pearl Jam Virtual Reality.gif
There are happy moments, funny cats and morbid quotes but they are all faint proxies for a real-world cousin who doesn’t even matter anymore. Neither do you nor your blog nor any other form of documentation you force into a habit.
But you do it anyway more as an exercise in free will than in any meaningful defiance. In the flat, hot, post-truth world, creating, holding and relishing an independent thought in your head is by itself revolutionary.
And detox is always just the flick of a switch away. So switch off that damn WiFi and start some real work.
 Merry Christmas!
– Punit Pania

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.

Retired / Absconding / Dead

In HR, Interview, Office humor, Retirement on July 22, 2013 at 17:08

* Resigned / Transferred / Promoted / Retired / Absconding / Dead

There they are staring at you through a pivot table. The universe of choices available to you the employee. Precise, clear, mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. But not very motivating.

Prisoner

Not that motivation was the intention anyway. You remind yourself that you have a tendency to look for motivation in all the wrong places. You need to concentrate on the task at hand. Classifying hundreds of exit interviews or lack thereof into neat non-threatening categories. It seemed at first an unenviable assignment. Your team is bent on churning out some graphs and hitting SEND. But you can’t help but read some of the responses out loud. Most are of the pedestrian ilk:

  • To pursue better avenues
  • Relocating
  • Mom is ill
  • Going for higher studies

But some are interesting, almost inspiring:

  • Going to Osho Ashram for a year to practice meditation
  • Starting a consultancy of my own, connect with me on…
  • Going back to look after father’s farm
  • Finally won a property dispute granting me 70 million!

Now we are talking!

‘Who is this guy?’

‘70-****-million?’

‘Maybe he can hire us now.’

‘Is he married?’

WinningTicket

And similar chatter indicates your team is alive. Who would have thought records of slavery would serve as interesting reading. Seemingly sterile in aggregation, but brimming in isolation. Brimming with sound and poetry. With stories and potential, sunshine and possibilities…if only we decide to.

Decisions are often rued and seldom taken. They are deferred, deterred and pondered over. They bring great power but also attract a great deal of gravity. They seem easier in hindsight and impossible in the here and now. Leaders make decisions, managers execute them and slaves follow.

Obama Chair

Seeing so many of them together is a rather disorientating experience. Especially as these are decisions taken by the average voter. Decisions to leave this galley and move on. Move on to greener pastures, slimmer work hours and fatter pay cheques or at least one of the above. Anywhere but here.

Dealing with decisions is daunting. You would rather have it imposed than go through the ordeal of deciding yourself. This has dual benefits. Less taxation for the brain and you get someone to blame later.

Rock_Paper_Scissors__Hitler

You may have found some motivation after all, albeit in traces. You change the morose classification:

* Resigned / Transferred / Promoted / Retired / Absconding / Dead

to a lighter one:

Quit / Assisted / Concluded

At least, it will force your descendants to dig deeper.

You still need to make those graphs though.

– J.

Are you motivated yet?

In humor, Motivation, Office Romance on August 6, 2012 at 01:09

You remember how it all started. You also remember the time before it started. But you are not sure if any else does.

To think a simple thing like that could be so addictive and so dangerous. They are everywhere now. You don’t know how you did without them.

Motivational posters are what we are talking about. Its a freaking arms race out there. Every cubicle has one, for starters. Then there are the mugs, the printed T-shirts, e-mail sign-offs and more. Oh how you hate the e-mail sign-offs!

And to think it all started with an e-mail, a forward rather by none other than HS. 

Motivational posters have always had the opposite of their intended effect on you. Perhaps you take life too seriously; perhaps you are extra allergic to phoniness. Either way; you could laugh it off and spam the damn chain mails. But now, it’s like your whole life is an e-mail forward. Your most polite mails are being responded with smiley infested replies. You can’t have a coffee break without someone taking you off-guard with a high-five. The only motivation you are getting here is to leave this mad house.

If you had been inert to inertia, you wouldn’t have been a slave in the first place. So you drudge along. You return the fake smiles with one of your own, avoid high-fives when you can. You know it has really gotten out of hand when a motivational poster campaign is announced!

3 days is all you’ve got to pimp up your rowing station. HS will come around on Monday to adjudge the most motivating motivational poster (sic). This is going to be the ultimate test of your undercover skills. Taking a leave won’t help. The non-bling nature of your cubicle will give you away even in your absence.

So you put your head down and do what everyone else is doing; Google search. You could also search your trash mail folder. But that seems too against principle. Being creative when asked to is the toughest thing. So you keep putting it off.

It is the day of assessment and you have nothing. Zilch. HS has started doing his rounds too. When he is about two cubicles away, you remember an image a similarly reluctant friend had sent you. It says: ‘Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.’

You print it out and pin it up quickly. 

‘Hmm…,’ starts HS. He keeps looking at your print-out. It ain’t that long a sentence. But you don’t want to disturb him. He even rubs his chin, deep in thought. The whole thing is so ridiculous; you can’t help but smile a little.

‘I like it,’ he says. ‘I…like to keep it simple, Sir,’ is your honest reply.

Maybe, deep down, HS has decent taste, maybe even a sense of humor. Maybe he just does what he does out of bondage to KRAs. In a phony eat phony world, you will never know.

As for your comfort zone, you will need someone to kick you out of it.

– J.