March 2015
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Minds in the gutter

Staying alone might be fun, but its not easy. It has been two months since I shifted to another city, and after  three years of unwanted parental protection I was most determined to stay absolutely alone this time. No roomies, no flatmates, just me and my much savoured solitude. So far, it was so good. Until [...]

The joys of quitting

My base had been in the same place for so long it had started to get a bit sore. And I admit, itchy. So I decided to shift it. Some people in their good senses had already done the privilege of initiating the process by making me an offer that I saw no point in [...]


I am presently touring Orissa for work. There were a couple of workshops to be held all around the state and each one of us was assigned one district level event. I was earlier assigned a place called Angul, a terribly hot place (50 degrees, i googled) that I desperately wanted to opt out of. Somehow someone [...]

More about Boss

Serious work

What do you guys do on days you do not have enough work? How I wish I could sleep those hours off or barter those days for the ocassional sundays when I am traveling on work. But no, I shall have to log in and sit online staring blankly at the inbox in want [...]

Being active is not enough

I am a very moody person. I might be in the mood to work even when there is no work; and sometimes despite having enough work, I am not in the mood for it so I pretend to myself that I have all the time in the world to do the most idiotic things one can dream of. One of these pastimes is scribbling random words in the air, random words that I come across at meetings or on the streets or in the song playing on the radio on my way to office, random words fascinate me no end for reasons totally unknown to anyone with a normal thought process. But like most of you know, normal people worry me so I usually tend to ignore them. Today I suddenly came across a word that has hounded me in the past – I found myself scribbling ‘Proactive‘ all over the sky.

This started with my first workplace where I have attended more team meetings than necessary; my boss was a mad woman who knew little about my core subject (environment) since she was an economist. Nobody is born knowledgable but she had little interest in learning further, instead she resorted to a rather convenient defense mechanism to make up for her lacuna. Whenever she was caught in a situation, instead of finding a solution she threw at us an assortment of corporate jargon which, novices as we were, boggled us enough to forget our acid rain and global warming fundas. ‘Proactive’ was one such word that would make us roll our eyes.

She always made sure that our team had enough work to make us sit late everyday. When I complained she told me I should be ‘more proactive‘ to get things done quickly. After the first few months, I devised ways and means to finish the work quicker than it takes so that I get some free time after working hours. So one day I told her sharp at closing time that I am leaving. She asked me if I have finished my work, I nodded my head. She told me there is a lot of work, I asked her ‘where?’ She said I should me ‘more proactive‘ and find out jobs to do before they are given to me. I spent the next couple of months spending my extra time in reading up new articles and updating myself and keeping myself occupied till she left office everyday. In my subsequent review, she told me I was not proactive enough. I came back to my seat and wikied up the word that had made my life miserable. I read on:

The use of the word proactive, sometimes also written pro-active was limited to the domain of experimental psychology (??!!)in the 1930s. There was a reference to proactive inhibition which was the “impairment or retardation of learning or of the remembering of what is learned by effects that remain active from conditions prior to the learning” (#^%&*?!). Whatever I cannot understand or gets too confusing for me essentially holds no value for me.

Thus enlightened with the realisation that the word meant nothing to me, I got back my self esteem and worked the way I felt was right for the next couple of years. I put in my papers within a month of my fourth appraisal. My boss asked me if I was sure of my decision and I told her I only wish I was more proactive in doing this.

Bonded Labour

After my month long break from work of all serious kinds, I have finally been pushed into taking up a job by people around me who could no longer tolerate to see me enjoying ‘me time’ at home. It goes without saying how unwilling I was to let go of my freedom like this. Afterall I could have survived some more months on my savings, especially since I hardly spend much except an occassional splurge on clothes, shoes, books and grana padano cheese.

Anyways so I dragged myself to this new place on the day I was supposed to join, and was handed my appointment letter and was asked to read the clauses before I signed. I groaned and started reading not expecting to find much of a surprise and then something caught my attention and I jumped off my seat. They required me to sign a service bond of one year. ‘Not over my deadbody!’ I told the HR manager. Since I did not bother to explain, it left her tremendously nonplussed and she frantically rushed to everyone around and finally to the boss. We later had a discussion which I think left her more confused. She tried hard to explain the new rule they had introduced due to obvious paranoia which had doubled seeing my averse reaction to it. I tried to find a reason that I could tell – I told her ‘what if I get married suddenly?’ What I couldn’t tell her was ‘I don’t trust my temper lady, I can quit any moment!’ Anyways she told me I can work from any location even after I get married. I asked her ‘but what if they don’t want me to work after marriage?’ I admit that was lame but I couldn’t think of anything more. She gave me a disbelieving look that said ‘that doesn’t sound any bit like you’, and then went into the boss’s room to discuss the issue. She came back and said I would have to pay 3 months salary in lieu of quitting before a year. I calmly declined with a smile and reminded her I haven’t signed the papers yet. She looked pained and went back into the cabin, and came out in some time to tell me I’ll have a 3 months notice period like all senior management. I started protesting. By this time she looked pale and asked me if I really intend to leave in short time, that is if I already have wedding plans ahead. I told her my parents had those plans since the day I was born, but had I been sure of the date (sigh) and more importantly the groom (double sigh), I wouldn’t care to join a job in the first place (deepest sigh). Coming back to the subject, I told her that I am not really in the top mgmt and they could settle it for two months notice. She explained to me how my position would be pivotal since I would be starting a new unit, they would need time to look for a replacement etc. Besides, she told me if she goes into the cabin once more to negotiate she would lose her job. After a long thought I had to grudgingly sign the papers. I still wish I were sitting at home though! sigh..

Ant Rant

Arghh I am bugged! At present, two things are bothering me terribly. One is at work, the other one on my way to work.

Firstly; I do not understand why, exactly why,should I keep traveling every week, without an adequate mandate! (That the client has no ceiling on airfares is not enough reason!) And why shouldn’t I be informed about the ongoing activities/ requirements of a project unless I am at the project location? Even if it is not afield based project? Do we really need to sit face to face if I only have to send an email to transfer a file, something that I have worked on independently? Why should I respond to queries that land up in my inbox at 6pm? And why should I respond to an sms from work at 12am? No matter how urgent, can’t it wait till next morning? Even 6am is a more decent time! I guess its time to unleash mini-me on them!

Secondly; I am usually not very superstitious, am not even matching horoscopes for grooms. But have decided, before I keep a driver, I’ll ask for a horoscope match! Afterall who would like to keep reminding the route we take everyday from home-office-home? Who would like to sit with seat belts tied even on the rear seat? Who would like to sit in a car that always ends up behind the car with a flat tyre, in the middle of a traffic jam? Or a car that is always in the right lane when we have to take a left and vice versa? Or a car that always manages to turn the signal red the moment it reaches there? I’m sure the reason is astrological. Perhaps a kundali match between the car and driver might work.

I guess am done. sigh.

P.S. I know could chuck the driver and drive on my own too, but a) I don’t know how to drive and b) Even if I do learn how to drive (not a big deal I guess) I’ll never drive in Kol traffic, never.