Life goes on, though it now alarmingly resembles a fresh, steaming and stepped-on pile of doggy droppings. Ah, how one can seriously underestimate the destructive powers of a dead-end job. I recently came across this quote on a friend’s profile on Orkut: ‘An optimist is what a pessimist is before he has a job.’ Something like that. Very Murphy-like, and also equally true. The TOI office is fast turning into something which uncannily resembles Azkaban, the wizard prison in the Harry Potter novels. The management, or as they would prefer to be known, ‘the gods’ suck out the happiness from all other lesser mortals, and the office is chilly enough to give Antarctica a serious run for its money (the chill is also an indirect result of the Dementor effect, as the gods have given specific instructions to keep the air-conditioning at around 14 degrees Celsius.) Brrr.
Anyway, the gods live on a staple diet of, nay, not nectar, but self-praise, and the praise showered on them by a bunch of sycophants (prominent stereotype often found in government offices and most other bureaucratic establishments). Burp.
The gods set brilliant examples for the mortals, and teach them the virtues of working hard. On their part, they painstakingly trudge on the deadly and treacherous roads to meeting their targets while being confined to their office, surfing precarious websites (a.k.a. Orkut and Facebook), striking deals left, right and centre, all while sitting and surfing. Talk about multi-tasking! On some days, when the work pressure is back-breaking, they fight all odds to go out of station for a well-deserved break, a 3 hour long lunch, for I have forgotten to mention a very important factor. Of the thousands of virtues that the gods possess, their true superpower is but one: Delegating. From finding a phone number online, to striking deals, the gods have the supreme power of delegating anything to anyone they can catch hold of. But of course, when it comes to taking the credit, the gods, of course, take it all. You can’t mess with divinity, can you? After all, ‘sab kuchh bhagwan ke haathon mein hai, na?’
Lastly, after working for nearly 18 months in this organization, I would like to compile a few things.
Signs that you are working in The Times Of India for too long:
1. You start off the week with a countdown of how many days are left to the weekend.
2. You routinely suffer from chronic depression and suicidal thoughts as soon as Sundays arrive. Alternatively, you fall sick every weekend.
3. You prefer roaming outside during peak summer or torrential rainfalls pretending to make calls, rather than coming to office.
4. You are already suffering from body aches and illnesses that usually afflict people twice your age.
5. You get so familiar with press releases, that you unconsciously start writing them yourself.
6. The rare days that you take off are frequently interjected with phone calls from office. So much so that it stops feeling like a holiday.
7. You are so habituated to taking crap from people that a crap-free day leaves you feeling incomplete and unfulfilled, not to mention generally dazed and light-headed.
8. The first thing you do after reaching office is to check job sites and your email (again to check for any mails from prospective employers.)
9. You seriously contemplate becoming a gold-digger and marrying for money, just so that you can quit the job.
10. While talking about anything related to work, your normal speech is generously sprinkled with ‘censored’ words that you previously found too offensive to use before you started working.