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Posts Tagged ‘project manager’

I am a Straightforward Guy

In Interpersonal, Office humor on July 6, 2013 at 18:55

In a world of pretentions, a manager is the ideal citizen. He knows no cast, creed or compassion.  But he excels at compliance. He knows no fright, folly or free will. But he flatters the fraternity. In a social situation he may closely resemble the framework of a jerk. In a climate controlled environment, he is an ideal resource.

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So when you get a call from the new project manager; let’s call him Skippy for the time being,  saying he needs to talk to you ‘man-to-man’, you are more amused than surprised and more eager than anxious.

You enter Skipppy’s cabin. He offers you a seat with a stoic look on his face and a stony look in his eye. Emotion; be it any kind, is a refreshing change in the galley.

‘Let me tell you I am a straightforward guy. I tell it like it is. Apolitical to the core. I have paid the price for it many times. But that is how I am…’

The unsolicited self-introduction goes on for another couple of minutes. Whenever three consecutive sentences begin with the all powerful ‘I’, you switch off. In this case you let Skippy’s mannerisms convey the broad message of his monologue while an Opera high note plays in your head. It is almost like he is shouting in slow motion; and on mute.

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He goes on to relate to you the tough times he has had in his life and how he has survived. To the manager, this is of little interest. To the sentiment being, it is mildly engaging. So you listen with a bemused smile on your face.

Skippy leans forward and grabs your knee with a ‘look into my eyes’ expression. You assure him that you are listening and are waiting for him to finish.

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It turns out one of your emails made its way to his inbox as a backhanded commitment. The manager inside you wanted to tell him to express his displeasure over email. But you leave it offline with an assurance that your email was not meant for him and drew on a different context.

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Several compliments and handshakes later you leave Skippy’s cabin. In a world of pretentions, Skippy may not be the ideal resource.  But you may have made for yourself one of those rare things, a new friend.

– J.

Elevator Pitch

In Office humor, Office Romance on June 22, 2013 at 05:20

Life is a series of slots, some memorable, many forgettable but most repetitive and largely uninspiring. Like your sister’s music collection or your uncle’s wardrobe.  So is the case with your elevator buddies.

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This is the crowd that seems to clock exactly the same twenty four hours as you. You see them every day. Same time, same elevator. There is the grumpy aunty, the almost hot secretary,  the fat guy seen perpetually with a coffee mug and the guy who is always digging his nose. Then there is you. Staring at the floor number flashing.  Wondering where the hell the last twenty four hours went. The ring of the bell snaps you out of it and you are primed for yet another shift. Office Elevator But it has not been working for the past week. Not since she joined your elevator group.  You can’t call her buddy, not yet. You have not managed to get her name.  But she should suffice for now. She stands out of the elevator crowd like those stock images. A kind face in a raging mob. A stray ray of sun in a coal mine. She has the right mix of assertion and girl-next-doorness to elicit your attention.

Umbrella ray of hope

You have been trying to inch closer to this ray of hope every day. But there is not much give in a rush hour elevator. It is still something to look forward to…the little adventures in life… All this talk about elevators has got you thinking about an elevator pitch. A project manager from the head office has been cited recently in your premises.  But he is too chic to give you five minutes face time. The elevator is the only place to throw him a curve ball. You ought to have a pitch for her too. But that is a whole different skill set. On a fateful Monday, both candidates are within pitching distance.  The project manager actually recognises you and asks you what you wanted to see him about. You are about to start your routine when 7th floor arrives. The usual suspects are holding up the elevator for their friends to budge in. The resulting squabble throws you off mark. She seems disturbed too. You tell the manager you will send him an e-mail. He seems disappointed as he walks out at the eight floor. ‘Quite a racket over a couple of minutes,’ her first words to you. “If time were money, we would all be kings,” is your not so bad reply. She smiles. The elevator door closes. A Monday rises above average. Image Life is a series of slots, some memorable, many forgettable but most repetitive and largely uninspiring. You have to make the inspiring ones count. – J.