I have drawn private censure conveying something along the lines (mildly put that is) “you do not make sense” to public commenting like “I do not understand what you say” (So kind of you Indi) for the last post. Indignant “How could you”s enmeshed with a sense of injury for betraying “those things that make us go down on our knees”. So as way of mending fences and tending apologies, this week I dig out for you those things that you already know of – Knowing when the hand that giveth, wieldeth the stick or the carrot! As they say in my mother tongue Telugu – paapam saminchu gaaka (May the wrong (committed) lose its intensity)
Here I am not giving out anything new; just organizing what you may have mostly noticed or experienced in your long and chequered careers. Under One head – When he swingeth the stick? Or more precisely the signs of when The Omnipotent, Omniscient, Omnipresent one, inevitably and fatally is preparing to serve us the undeserving shoe-shove in that soft and sensitive part that warms the chair. Add to the list any more of your own points, print out and preserve in your wallet. Do not share. Who the hell wants to equip a competing colleague with the missing links that will fetter us in this race to currying favors with the almighty?
When Doth He Swingeth The Stick?
Remember blessed is the soul that gets a boss who betrays his weak human nature and gives away signs of when he is most displeased with you. Imagine drawing a smooth talking and smiling (double)ass-in, as boss, who always gives you a false sense of security and lulls you into thinking his cabin is your mother’s lap. Woe is the fate of such child. So count your blessings in the following manner(s), pregnant with possibilities of him licking you good during the day:
• Ignoring or not returning the “Hi Good morning Boss” and walking away briskly, looking busy past your cubicle. The sense of shame you live through the day is worse had the first-in-the-day meeting place is the lift and he looks the other way as if you just broke the wind
• Showing extreme indifference to your early morning sports-news-casting witticisms like “Man U’s fortunes did a U-turn last night don’t you think so?” Or “Seems like Tiger is out of the Woods… no no I meant the drive is gone, his slump continues”
• Wiping in a micro-second, the sweetest smile lingering on a beatific face and turning into a simian with a stupefying scowl the moment you infest the horizon
• Forwarding to only you some obscure author’s mails or portal links like “How to improve your inter-personal skills”; “Getting a job in times of recession”
• Worse, blocking you off the group forwarding list for brotherhood bonding beauties like “How are women and beer same”; “Ten worst dressed drag queens” etc.
• Getting to know in the last moment about that all important meeting where budget allocations / media spends / process re-engineering / marketing strategies / change management / what have you; is being discussed.
• Worse, getting to know it through your sub-ordinate who is entrusted with that all important task of finalizing the working-lunch menu
• The meeting starts 15 minutes before the scheduled time and all the chairs are taken by the time you rush into the conference room
• Worse, you get to sit on a chair in an informal meeting and the vantage place on the boss’s desk, where you can perch and lean against the wall, is shared by a bunch of juniors
• Showing contempt for your knowledge, simpering time and again “Simple English”, “Big picture”, and repeating adnaseum the dreaded “So What?”
• Worse, talking with your sub-ordinates about their week-end plans or asking them “What do you think?”
• Looking at the slides with expressions of disapproval or worse drawing patterns on the printouts you so carefully circulated minutes before
• Asking you to take copious notes of the meeting (“Faithfully”) but telling you specifically to make your sub-ordinate circulate the minutes
• Instructing you to carry-on with the presentation and walking out when the all important “Implications” or “Way Forward” slide is projected
• Censuring someone for doing something similar to that done by you and jogging one’s memory publicly about the years of experience the doer has
• Taking lunch in his cabin with the rest of the team minus you
• Digging into their lunchboxes while vigorously shaking his head and muttering “Diet” when you open your Dabba and offer green salad
• Smothering you between spoonfuls of soup with “So what are you working on”? ignoring the fact that that was precisely what was discussed in the morning work in progress meeting
• Turning lunchtime conversation into a court-martial for you by checking a hundred times “I hope everything is in order for the 3’00 clock meeting and WE don’t screw up”, while at the same time sharing his school-time pranks with the rest of the gang, with consummate ease
• Sending an email (Not marked High Importance lest you notice it) at 5.30 PM to write a 2 page strategy note (“Simple English”) to be submitted EOD today, to be presented to the board, on a date tentatively fixed 15 days later.
• Worse, you catch “Dinner”, “Drinks”, “8’00 Clock” in chatter around you but have no clue where or what and your peers seem to be leaving early and talking of getting dropped by “The Boss”
• Rolling up his sleeves while approaching your cubicle but worse loosening his tie while conversing with the pretty face one aisle down
• You receive no more dinner invites, save a farewell that’s planned as a surprise by your team
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi (Om, Peace, Peace, Peace)