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Posts Tagged ‘syntax’

Proof Of Existence

In Communication, Office humor, SlavesInc on April 8, 2013 at 12:34

Dear client, life is for living. Add life to the life of your customers by living up to…

You just can’t take any more of this drivel. But you have to. That is what employment is all about. Getting people to do the kind of things that no one would do unless he is paid for it.

Happy Donkey

If you were a beast of burden you could expect the numbness of repetition to help you as an anaesthetic. But unlike a quarry, a desk job can throw anything your way. The only constant is your compensation, for lack of a better word. Today, this anything is proof-reading. It has landed out of nowhere on your desk. And nowhere is precisely where you are getting with it.

Fellow slaves and Head slave himself reinforce the criticality of the task that has been assigned to you:

‘You know these documents are going to travel half way across the world?’

‘That thing is gonna go aaaaall the way to the top!’

‘It’s all up to you now champ.’

…and a couple of other salvos aimed at you do little to prepare you for the blitz ahead. Sure you can take one for the team. But the word one is oft abused, from ‘it will only take one minute’ to ‘just give me one more chance’.

i-dont-give-a-rats-ass

The onslaught on your senses is overwhelming. It is not only the grammar and syntax but also the who gives a rat’s ass attitude towards alignment and downright lack of imagination that gets to you:

‘…is now available in delicious international taste’

‘…so that you have a sleep at nighttime’

and

‘Say yes to life! Again and again.’

School Fail BACK-TO-SCHOOL-FAIL

You can’t be paid enough for this. If you had a dime for every time you have said that, you would have taken an early retirement. But unfortunately, dimes are not easy to come by. Only your monthly salary is. And it comes regardless of the amount of brain damage incurred. So it makes sense to get by with minimum cognitive impairment.

eats-shoots-and-leaves-front cover

Punctuation Repair Kit

 

 

 

It is a big step to take. You have to convince the purist inside you that is ok to let sub-standard work pass from your inbox as long as it is approvable. That the world won’t end if you lower your standards to the level of your remuneration. That pretty much no one might notice. That the only person you need to convince is yourself.

You take a deep breath, say your prayers, ask forgiveness of Dickens, your fifth grade English teacher and the Queen, you hit spell check and call it a day.

Jhonny Jhonny

Life is definitely for living. It is the means of livelihood that are a killer.

– J.

Textually Speaking

In Communication, Interpersonal, Office humor on February 11, 2013 at 13:21

Though no one has ever accused you of being a grandpa, in some ways, you are what one would call old fashioned. For you jeans will always be blue, tea will always be black and formal will always equal no fun.

Homer Blue Pants Headvertising

But that’s you. Natalie is different. She is geographically distant and dispositionally far-off. She is occupied with the person and oblivious to dictionary. She uses more exclamation marks in a week than you would have come across in a life time of reading. Time seems to be treating her well and auto-spell is her bitch.

Bee Girl

A routine e-mail from Natalie reads as follows:

hiiiii

how have u been ??!?

Looong taime

Hey, can you send the MoM of last night’s call?

Thanks a million buddy!

C ya soooon!!

:):)

What do you say to that? You have never used an exclamation mark in a formal mail and you want to keep it that way. You come close though as you feel compelled to return the rare joviality or at least acknowledge it.

What gets to you is the consistency. You may have bad days, mood swings and paper cuts. Natalie seems to be on one continuous acid trip. The same chirpiness, the same exclamation marks and the same devil may read the dictionary syntax. You have come close to slipping in a smiley in your replies. But you fear straying into an emoticon binge and check yourself.

game_stress_ball

Other times you come close to sending the following replies:

‘I am doing the same as yesterday, just like you’

‘You don’t like spell check, do you?’

And

‘On Prozac, are we?’

When the day finally arrives to talk to Natalie you are surprised to find yourself looking forward to it. You hold the receiver some distance away from your ear to buffer the sharp cries you are expecting from the other end. Instead, you hear nothing. You bring the receiver closer.

‘Hello, Natalie? Can you hear me?’

‘…yes. He…hello,’ comes a murmur in reply.

‘How are you? Its good to finally talk to you.’

‘Ye…yes. I am…good, I am good.’

What follows is one of the most queasy conversations of your life. You regret having made the call. The world seemed a better place with crazies like Natalie. Now, its just a place where typing a thought is better than living it.

joker smiley

She has gone back to her vibrant e-mails. But in person, she always comes across as a shadow of her inbox avatar. Now that you know the effort that can go into a putting up a smile, you will never ignore a kind word again.

– J.