Watch out, all you cabbies and support groups!

I understand anger.
For example, when irresponsible (not to mention un-bathed) idiots behind the wheel of a rampaging call center taxi swerves in front of me so he can get to the speed bump a millisecond before I do, I loose it. I hurl invectives at the fecal matter in the drivers seat of the white Sumo with venom. And when I notice that my cursing has had no effect other than coat the inside of my windscreen with a thin layer of spittle, I flip the guy off. While that action seldom has any effect other than cathartis, I understand how anger can cause normally docile, timid, cultured, intelligent and handsome people like myself to behave as if the only culture they were ever exposed to was something that people in white lab-coats in pharma labs are trying very hard to kill.

I also understand frustration.
For example, when after thousands of emails, voicemails and meetings, people who are in a support group behave like animals in a zoo (meaning that they scratch themselves, generally look disinterested, emaciated and mangy, and don't respond to your commands to sit, stay, play or roar), I lose it. I find myself wondering if they are actually as dumb as carpet mites, or if they're actually just smart enough to figure out that they can put on a nice veneer of smiles and yes-saars and not really do anything, and I wont even be able to hurl abusive language or finger gestures at them because their support-group friends over in HR would promptly walk me over to jail.

But even though I understand anger and frustration - at some level anyway - I dont understand terrorism.

Maybe it is because I do not hold many beliefs to be undeniably true. And those few beliefs that I DO hold to be true, I dont believe to be universal. Maybe that is why I do not understand that there can be any entitlement so fundamental and universal that being denied it could lead you to lives of random civilians.

Like I said above, I understand how people may get frustrated with negotiation processes. I also understand how people may get angry because of certain acts. But I don't understand how the frustration and anger of a few people could get to the point where they collude to fill shopping bags and tiffin boxes with nails and bolts and ammonium nitrate and set them off around unsuspecting citizens. An it amazes me that they don't see the futility of such actions.

Several camel-oriented nations have been at this terrorism nonsense since I've inhaled my first lungful of pollutants on this blue marble. They still haven't gotten anywhere. So if people who perpetrate this kind of utter nonsense believe that it is going to get them a solution or even the right kind of attention, then they must be more than simply deluded. They must have the intellectual ability of a single celled organism. (And when I say single celled organism, I leave out the mighty and respectul yeast, which, despite having only one cell has figured out how to turn sugar and wheat into beer, which is far more impressive than the achievements of some organisms with thousands and thousands of cells, like, for example, Deve Gowda.)

Anyway - to get back to the point I was laboring to make - these bomb-planters are beyond stupid. But what I suspect is that the people who walked around unnoticed in the shadows of a crowd and placed their little bicycles in various areas around the city are just the tip of the iceberg. The real evil-doers are the people who cammandeered these unintelligent life-forms and blathered enough emotion-filled rhetoric around their cranial vacuums to fill them with dangerous ideas, irrational conclusions, and incomprehensible hatred.

Nothing frustrates and angers me more than the thought that these guys are walking around free right now. And while even this doesn't anger me enough to want to run out with sticks and swords and committing random acts of further violence, I fear for the safety of the next slimeball in a Qualis that cuts me off, or the next guy in a support group that fails to stock adequate paper for the printer.

Change That

People love to change. They change all the time. They just don't like it when somebody ELSE asks them to change. And why should they?

I was talking with a friend of mine last night who had just received a steaming hot pile of management bullshit from one of his fearless leaders. Apparently this dude, in an all hands (and no heads) kind of situation, lectured an entire division on how they should be flexible and adapt to the changes that the business was making.

Every time a company changes anything - either because
a). the business environment is changing, or
b). they want to increase profitability, or
c). some executive believes that you are drinking way too much free coffee for your own good
- whatever the reason - every time a company changes anything, the employees get the short end.

This company I'm talking about is going through a tough business cycle. So they're planning some changes. I bet they will be one or all of:
  1. additional product cost reduction programs,
  2. reduction in training and travel expenses,
  3. reductions in non essential spending (Bring your own coffee, pens, papers etc)
  4. Stifled promotions and raises
  5. reductions in workforce,

What are these changes going to do for the company?
More money and more profit? Maybe.
Happy shareholders? In the short term, maybe.

And what are these changes going to do for the employees?
Higher Workload? Check
INcreased Stress? Check
Reduced Job Security? check
Reduced earnings (adjusted for inflation)? Check

So every change makes it tougher on the employee, benefits the employer.
Which is fine.
Business gets tough and tough shit happens.

But it really ticks me off when a management executive comes down and lectures the hordes on how THEY need to be more flexible.
No bitch.
How about YOU being more flexible with how much money you want to make?
How about you making YOUR BUSINESS more flexible so that you don't have to panic every few quarters for a few pennies per share?

All said and done though, you know what is really sad? The executives are right.
They've got us by our short and curlies.
You've got to change. Because if you don't, you will hurt more than those who do.
Adjust and adapt to the changing demands, and you may be able to keep your job.
You will remain stressed, overworked, underpaid and wretched. And when you come in to work, you won't even be able to swig on muddy dark drown thick goo that used to be your free coffee. But you will retain a paycheck.

So is there no solution?
Yes there is: Change faster.
F than your company can.
Move roles. Add positions, responsibilities on your resume. Change companies. Change whatever. Just do it fast.
Faster, preferably, than allows for any realistic assessment of your performance. That is, before anybody has the chance to find out that you really don't know what you're doing, move.

People like this get promoted my friend.
They get put in CHARGE of change.
Then soon enough, you'll be the executive that waltzes down to India and lectures the teeming millions on how THEY must learn to adapt.

And if you've not had a sip of your own Kool-Aid by then, you will enjoy the irony of it all.

How would YOU like to be rejected?

What do you do with the candidates you reject?

Lets start with the interviews themselves.
Actually, lets start with HR.
Isn't it funny how long it will take you to find a list of 5 candidates whom you actually want to sit down and talk with? And this is NOT because India is facing a huge talent shortage (although Infosys and their brethren aren't really helping by vacuuming up graduates by the millions and not really helping fill the pipeline).
No - it's because HR cant be bothered to actually take the time to understand what the fuck the job is all about, and what kind of skills (other than the rudimentary English, C++, and *insert degree here*) the job role might require.
Even if you had to hire an astronaut, and you asked HR to send you some resumes, they'd begin by asking you - what degree should your candidate have.Lets say you declare that it should be aeronautical engineering or astrophysics. Then they'll sleep through the rest of your well thought out detail on what the candidate may require, and flood your in box with a deluge of resumes who will all have degrees that begin with aero or astro. Aeronautical, Aerospace, Aerobridge, Astrophysics, Astronomic, Astrology, you name it. There'll be a candidate from it. OF course, they will all have about 3 to 7 years of work experience (since you said you wanted someone with 10). And all of their experience will be in software services companies, on projects that are in no way related to their degree.
In hindsight, I shouldn't have started with HR - that is a tangential take-off into a mindless frustrated rant, just waiting to happen

Anyway. Lets say that a few years later, you have found your 5 guys.
You call 'em in. Then for each candidate, you go through the mandatory minimum of 3 reschedules to accomodate for HR fuck-ups, candidates having urgent projects (which probably means they are interviewing somewhere else), and a inevitable 1 to 2 hour delay before the interview (the candidate is stuck in traffic, car broke down, security wont let him pass without a farcical bag check etc). Then you interview the candidates, and say you rank 'em from 1 to 5.
You go with an offer to candidate 1, but by the time HR has processed the offer, he has joined Infosys.
You go with an offer to candidate 2, he accepts (hurray!). You're on!

Now what.
I tell you what you do.
You assume that HR takes care of the other three candidates.
Lets them down gently.
Tells them that they narrowly missed out because a candidate with a slightly better fit in experience and qualification has expressed intrerest, but that they (the candidates) had a promising resume, and if ever anything similar opened up, HR would immediately throw their hat into the ring. And since they had already come so close, maybe they would make it to the second round of interviews directly.

They only way HR will do that is if you sit in a conference room and insist that they do it in front of you.

Otherwise, this is what happens:

You: Praise be to you O! HR representative (that's how you have to address HR - metaphorically speaking)
HR: Speak
You: As you know, candidate 2 has accepted. Would you be so kind as to get in touch with the rest of the candidates and inform them?
HR: Done.


Candidates Phone: *Ring*
Candidate: Hello?
HR: Candidate 3?
C3: Yes?
HR: Hi this is HR Rep from Acme Rockets.
C3: Yes. Hello. How are you?
HR: Yeah. You failed the interview.
C3: Oh?
HR: Yup. You sucked at it. And what was that about the amount of money you wanted?
C3: Huh?
HR: Ha.Ha.Ha. You must have been kidding.
C3: Sorry?
HR: Anyway. Whatever dude. We'll call you if we need you.
C3: What?
HR: You're pond scum. Loser.
C3: hey! Waitaminute, you can't talk to me like that!
HR: Blow Me. *click*

Of course, I have exaggerated the exchange above for effect. But trust me, not by much.
Whether or not your HR folks use those exact words, the effect they have on a rejected candidate is very similar.

It never hurts to handle your rejects well. They become ambassadors for your company. (Not those white bulbous four wheelers, you jerk.) I heard terrible things about a very prominent company from a candidate they rejected. Instead of letting him down gently, the threw him off the roof, and tossed a bag of cement after him. Then they had the company bus run him over.
We're not talking fresh graduate level. We're talking middle management.
He looked like shit when I talked to him that evening.
He's never going to work for that company is his life, he told me.
And he drew conclusions about that company's culture, it's values, and it's relationship with it's mother among other things from the way he was handled.
Nobody's ever going to hear a good thing about this company from this guy.
A good, capable, connected guy.

Their loss.

Shut your mouth

Don't you just hate the guys who can't stop walking up to you and talking their ass off for an interminable hour about stuff that even they know you can't possibly give a shit about?

Some of them want to impress upon you how hard they're working. Every day the see you, they will try hard to look nonchalant while the desperately scout for an opportunity to mention how they had to take a call at 6 in the morning. And a few minutes later they will - almost inadvertently - mention that they were up till 3 in the morning as well. It's obvious that there motherfuckers are not working so hard or so late. If they were, they would either be getting promoted or dropping dead. Neither of which seems to happen to them. I've got a message for these guys too: Nobody cares how hard you're working. Get your shit done in 1 hour or 8. As long as your shit's done on time, that's all that matters. Stop telling me how long you worked and how hard you worked. Nobody cares.

Then there;s those who just come by and will talk about whatever it is that they can, and will NOT leave your cube. Even if you patently ignore them and stare at your monitor and type away while the speak. To these guys, I just want to say: Get a life dudes. You're boring us normal people. We pretending to work even though we don't have anything pressing to do. We prefer working on the dregs of our priority lists to conversing with you. That's how much we like having you around. Now leave.

And how about those arseholes who will call you when they're commuting. These guys are so not used to being by themselves, that when they're on the bus or in their car, they have to fiddle with their phones and call you up so they can ask you a transparently unimportant question or give you a frighteningly unnecessary update. And if you make the mistake of answering the phone, they wont hang up till they're conveniently close to home or if the call drops. To these guys, I say: Get a life. Are you really so scared about being alone with your thoughts for a few hours? Can't you get a radio in your car or your phone and listen to crappy nasal renditions of the Himmesh kind? And do you think you're fooling us when you scream over honking maniacs to talk to us about an update on what the IT guys told you about how to get your email signature changed? You're annoying both us and the people around you. And no the call isn't dropping and the cell network doesn't suck. I just like hanging up on you.

There's these guys who can't stop talking about their children. Well, I got news for you. Nobody likes your children - especially your newborn children.
Your newborn children are cute only to you. And I wonder why given how they look more like they were born when the creature from Alien fucked a California Sun Dried Prune. I understand you're all gung-ho about the kid you just had, but really there should be a limit on how long you should be allowed to talk about them - especially at work, with people who might actually qualify as total strangers except for the fact that the logo on their badge matches the logo on yours. I mean, if you like them so much, why don't you quit wasting your time, finish your work and go spend some time with those precious little runts inside your house where neither they nor you can bother me while I furiously try to get to the next level at my favorite online free game.

So… How much do you make now?

I need help understanding something.

There’s only so many kinds of jobs. And there’s only so many levels. Right?

Let me explain what I mean through a long winded example:
Say the entrepreneurial bug wafts by gives you on day, and give you a good chomp on your rear. Right after you yell “FUCK!”, it’s likely you will run out and start a small business.
Say it’s a restaurant.
You hire a few people. A cashier to handle the cash, a buyer to scout for the deals in raw materials (a few veggies, a brown gravy and a red gravy), a chef to decide which gravy color to use, a waiter to plonk the things on the tables, and a disheveled minor to pick up the empty plates and clean up the ash trays.
Say you do well in this business.
And you grow.
Are you going to create more jobs? As in – more job types?
Probably not. You’ll promote those that haven’t yet been lured away by Infosys and hire under them some assistants or more thambis, and annas.
If you start serving beer, you may add a barman and a bouncer.
If you do really well, you may add a valet.
You may even add a guy in marketing that tells you when to air annoying jingles and sponsor irritating contests on the radio.
But that’s it.
So there’s only so many kinds of jobs. And there’s only so many levels.
And, what’s more, as a business owner, you know how much you want to pay for what kind of job, at each level. Right?

Ok there’s not one number, there’s a range for each level which may vary based on how good that hostess will look. But still, generally, for each level, there’s a range of salary outside which, you wouldn’t expect to pay. And once you’ve seen the new hostess and you’ve “interviewed” her about her “skills”, you will have a pretty good idea how much you should pay.

And here comes the leap – stay with me now – you NEVER need to know what she is making today.

With me so far?

So here’s the part I need help with.
Why is it that these HR guys in India are always asking to see your last pay slip?
I think it’s fair for them to ask a job seeker how much he/she wants, but not how much he/she currently makes. So OK, I’m no babe in the woods, I know that HR is not really out to be fair. Or intelligent. They’re just out to lunch – in the metaphorical sense. So I’m OK with HR asking for the pay slips. What blows my mind is that PEOPLE TELL THEM!!!
People tell them even before they ask.
They put it on their resumes that they send out.

Are these guys some kind of dimwits, or what?

Look you idiots, the biggest bargaining chip you have is that these guys don’t know what you make. So if you’re confident that you’re getting considered for the job, (meaning that you are going to be entering a negotiation for salary), then telling them what you make currently is like opening up your cards even before the ante’s on the board.

Whether you like it or not, HR here (in India) has a policy of hiring somebody at the lowest pay the guy will accept. They don’t believe in paying for the job. They believe in paying for the candidate. If that sounds suspiciously like whoring to you, I don’t have to tell you who’s being the whore in this bargain.

Then again, if that needs to be spelled out to you then you deserve what’s happening to you.
And you know what? The company will get what it’s paying for.

The thing about tall cubes

I used to have a nice cubicle.
Ample storage for stuff I never used, A whiteboard for doodling while on long drawn our phone calls, a pinup board to stick up motivational posters of the deviant kind (it's OK, they were fully clothed) and short walls so I could look around.
Then the facility god moved me. They put me in this corner cube, which was supposed to be more "special". I've still got the storage and the whiteboard and the pin-ups, but I've got tall walls.
I hate it. You know why?
Two reasons.
For one, I can no longer see the nitwits approach me. They just sneak up behind me now and stand there for a few seconds till I get that weird sensation of being watched. And when I turn around, they're standing there looking at my computer screen as if captivated by the pastel colors on the powerpoint presentation on upcoming cost cutting measures. But this is OK. I'm never really looking at real sensitive information while sitting in a cube. They worst that they will see is me amusing myself with Knuckleheads while pretending to be working. So this is just a minor moan. Here's my major bitch - my second reason - about the tall cubes: Previously, I could see people approaching me, and now I can't.

Everybody has people they don't want to spend time with. Especially people from organizations that are always trying to get you to do their job. So whenever I saw one of the people approaching, I would open a serious looking excel file that I built in one of my more productive meetings. It has multiple charts, a pivot table, a couple of dollar signs and looks like a business review template, but it has numbers that mean diddly squat, and column headings that are random acronyms like AGHM, HHTG, and TRGS. So, I would open up this excel file and stare at it like I was trying to melt the computer screen. When the offensive intruder got close enough and said something patently useless - usually something like "Hey D, can you review the 987657 page procedure I wrote up for ordering pencils to stick up my ass, and give me your feedback?" - I would just excuse myself because I just HAD to make sense of the excel file. I have that file on my desktop and it's called "savior".
Another technique I used if foul colleagues approached, is that as soon as they got close enough to my cube, I would get up and start walking away, pretending to talk on my phone. If they called after me, I'd just point first at my watch and then in some random direction, all the while saying "On my way, coming, coming." into my phone. I would then raise an arbitrary number of fingers to signal a vague time for me coming back (could be 30 minutes, could be 3pm). I'd go take a walk or a piss and come back to my peaceful existence.
Now I can't see people approaching.
I'm trapped.
I'm frequently unpleasantly surprised by irritating idiots who walk up and first ensure that I am doing nothing remotely important looking, and then pounce on my free time and club my motivation to death with their dull personalities and inane ideas.
I think they only put me in this "special" cube, because they were onto me.
The scheming bastards.

I hate it.

In Flight Irritations

Last weekend I took a trip on a renowned low cost airline, and the experience was fairly detestable.

For starters, they had done such an admirable job of turning the plane around quickly that my seat was still warm from whose-ever ass was on it before mine. I don't know why but this puts a vague sense of discomfort through my being, even when I KNOW the person who has left his bodily warmth on a seat for me.
Then I had the best travelling companions I could ask for.
  • A restless dork ahead of me who would move his seat back up and down every few minutes, with a vengeance that could only have come from WANTING to take out my knees,
  • A kid behind me who kicked MY seat back repeatedly because he was spoiled little brat and because his parents are probably ugly un-caring trolls
  • A guy next to me that was big enough to be his own republic, and who had that smell that seems to accompany only the grotesquely large specimen of our kind. And of course he insisted on unburdening his experiences in Bangalore on my hapless self.
The only person who talked more than him was the pilot. He insisted on telling me how high up we were, what turbulence was coming and how, if I scrunched my nose up against the window (which I didn't have to put much effort to do, since my desire to get away from the ginormous idiot next to me had already put me in said position), I would be able to see some landmark that I didn't care about.
And this captain would come back on the speakerphone to bring me up to date on the fascinating fact that he had either turned on or off the seat belt sign.
He did have a deft touch though.. When we landed, he seemed to skim off the runway much like a stone skims over the surface of a lake, only - thankfully - we didn't all sink at the end of it. (Is that a terrible analogy, or what?).

Anyway, the most interesting part about my flight was how anxious everybody seemed to get off the plane. It seems like only a few nanoseconds had past after the first time the rear wheels touch the runway that half the plane sprang out of their seats and started shoving each other out of the way to get their bags out of the overhead compartments and got ready to walk out the door. How much sooner are these people going to get out? And most of them stand staring at the empty baggage conveyor for hours after their hurried exit out of the tube. I don't get it.

But the highlight of the trip was that the flight was on time, and the chunk of change I saved on the tickets allowed me to consume a copious amount of cold alcoholic beverages at my destination.

And that was almost reward enough for me to try low cost airlines again.

Quality Experiences

That's a word I have come to severely detest.
After I moved to this country, I have had low quality employees in the Quality division all over me trying to get me to support their hare brained process documentation and audit passing schemes.
These idiots believe that all you need to do to be a quality organization is write everything down, link up a bunch of word documents in a ridiculous home grown kluge of a database, and then sit back and relax as the auditors waltz in an out of your facility asking mind numbing questions and making non-value added remarks.
Of course you get certified - you paid the auditors for that - and then the Quality organization picks up their bonus check and smiles their annoying smile on the way to the bank.

Now here's the rub.
Sometimes you get smart, scheming people. They know how the system works, they exploit it to get paid, and they end up with large sums of money in their back pockets with nary a bead of sweat on their forehead. They're bad, evil people. I detest them.
The people I've met, who work in Quality, are not these kind. They're people with the IQ of a glob of sputum, who just are in a system that helps them get paid. I detest them even more because I'm jealous that they receive the recognition and financial rewards that I get only when I find enough time from my job to sneak in a nap long enough to allow me to dream.

I'm struggling to understand why the Quality division has the lowest quality of people in the organization as a whole.
These people believe that the tool is more important than the outcome. They will spend insane amounts of time and money to come up with a database/automated scorecard/statistics package and what have you without ever trying to understand what needs to be stored/measured/analyzed.

The most irritating aspect is the scorecard part. They will measure things that don't matter, reach conclusions that are just plain wrong, and take actions that don't even justify their conclusions! It's truly amazing to me.
They don't have the ability to generate a simple root cause analysis. I was -probably inordinately - pissed off with a (low) quality employee who had completed a root cause analysis and arrived at an explanation so startlingly inadequate that it seemed he did not understand what "root" cause even meant. I found out later that this dude's entire understanding of RCA was to ask the question why. And this guy wanted to do a six sigma project. **shudder**

So Quality dudes, here's some advice for you, which, if followed, will help you and your parent companies actually get some benefits. In fact, you should write out the parts in bold and stick them in your cube.

  1. Screw the tool. The tool is not the end. Team Force India will beat Ferrari every time if Ferrari chose to seat you behind the wheel. Sometimes the tool is not even the means. In fact, screw the tool, it's the last thing you need to develop. Focus on the intent
  2. Think before you measure. (I know I know, thinking is hard, it makes your head hurt, I know.) Measuring the wrong things is worse than measuring nothing. If you select "number of times your employees take a dump" as a metric to indicate "productivity", You're not going to end up with higher productivity. All you're going to have is a smelly workplace because your employees are shitting their pants.
  3. Any actions you recommend based on one metric is wrong. Metrics never tell you causes. They only measure things. You have to analyze to get to the cause. And to analyze, you need a couple of things (a) some basic intelligence, which means you have to evolve a brain that is a little better than your current single celled thing (b) understand the business process you are measuring, which means you gave to get down and dirty with the boys who actually do the work
  4. Documentation is step 0. Documenting a process and putting a bunch of crapola in a database so you can show it off to a bunch of asinine auditors (and trust me these guys are the bottom of the barrel even in the Quality organization) doesn't achieve anything. You have to understand the process, ensure that it reflects reality, and then set about improving them.
So stop nodding your heads and question if you truly understand the four things above.
If you do, please spread the word in any forum of Quality morons you attend, and maybe some day the world will live as one.

On Visions and Slogans

Do you know your company's vision?
If you work for an MNC, or for a company that primarily serves MNCs, I'd be surprised if it didn't have one. It's supposed to be a compelling description of your desired outcome. Something that energizes and motivates you to get up and come into work everyday and beat your head against the brick walls of bureaucracy. Many companies take pains (as in - pay consultants a gazillion dollars) to come up with a sufficiently inspirational vision: Something that is inspirational, catchy, and sometimes involves improving the world at large and making every body happy. But more often that not, it turns out to be just a sticker people put on the walls.
Isn't it ironic that a vision is also something you get when you consume copious amounts of illicit hooch or something sufficiently hallucinogenic? Read your company's vision and tell me if you think that people were on drugs when they came up with it.

And a related thing is slogans. Each one of our big companies is coming up with slogans, closely related to their visions. I don't know about visions. I've never really had a religious experience, and I say no to drugs (even though they don't seem to be listening when I talk to them, and passers-by think I'm on them because I'm frequently yelling "NO" at white powdery substances, but I digress...). But here's one related thing that i DO know about - Slogans

All large companies are coming up with slogans. And it's really simple to come up with one.
Step one: Write the following words on small pieces of paper: Application, Innovation, Imagination, Solution, Thought, Quality, Your business (engineering, services, construction, whatever)
Step two: Fold the pieces of paper, jumble, and throw them on your desk.
Step three: Pick one
Step four: Convert the noun into an adjective or a verb. E.G. If you picked "thought", convert it to "thoughtful" or "thinking"
Step five: Pick another.
Step six: Combine the two and you've got your slogan.

Some examples:
Innovating Thought
Thinking Innovation
Imagining Quality (probably not a good one there)
Qualtitative Engineering (also one for the dustbin)

You could also come up with variants by combining the two words to form one. E.G. Thinklity (Thought, Quality);
Or you could use prepositions. E.g. Application at Services, Imagination in Quality and so on.

Now you have the basics in place. You could expand on your list of words, or pick three istead of two and use the same logic. Either way you will come up with a slogan that I'm sure many companies would pay good money for.

You think I jest? Just look at some examples I dug up while merrily traipsing around the net:
Applied Innovation (Wipro)
Applying Thought (Wipro)
Imagination at Work (GE)
Think Different (Apple)
Innovation (3M)
Empowered by Innovation (NEC)
Keep on Thinking (Infineon)
Imagineering (L&T)

And to think. I could have been a millionaire. I should have struck it out on my own. I even have a slogan for my company - Thoughtfully innovating in sloganualityneering

Starting Block = Writers Block

So I started this blog thinking that I would post eloquent rants on workplace frustrations and other related aggravations, but as soon as I registered my blog and did the usual introductory posts, my mind kinda shrivelled up and went on a holiday.
I'm still surrounded, baffled, and just as frequently irritated by the idiosyncrasies of corporate life as I was before, but somehow I can't seem to write about a topic where I can be funny and simultaneously make a point of some consequence. I figured that maybe I have ambitions that are just not supported by adequate skill. Or maybe I'm just worrying too much about the quality of my writing given as how I'm probably going to be the only one dropping by this nascent neighbourhood.
So I thought I'd drop by some workplace humor blogs to see what existed, what they were posting about, and maybe generally get some inspiration.
Logging into Technorati and searching blogs tagged workplace humor turned up 37 blogs.
Mad Kane, by far the most poplar of these (by authority) was actually more of a light humor blog with limericks and song parodies and stuff. Not really workplace humor as I thought I found find.
And in a fit of rage at not finding what I wanted, I signed up for the limerick prompt.
Here's my (lame) limerick.
I'm a newbie to blogging too,
frustrated by work I've got to do.
Limerick-ing is lame
coz it's a rhyme scheme game
But since I'm a deviant, I'm just gonna end it whatever way I want in a shameless attempt to get hits to my blog

The others that showed up on the rankings didn't interest me, OR fit what I was looking for, so I thought I'd try searching for Corporate Humor.
Pointless Drivel, by far the most poplar of these (by authority), is now closed. That's kinda sad, because I looked through some old posts, and it was at least funny, though not what I was looking for.

From those excursions, I realized two things:
1. I still haven't found what I'm looking for
2. That is a U2 song.

So I figured that looking for similar blogs as a search of inspiration is pointless, and that I'd just as well go on and write up some stuff, throw it up here, and see how it goes. And given how many words I've put out here in spite of my brain being shut out on vacation, I may be able to get a hang of this pretty soon.

Radio Ga Ga

As if it was not bad enough to begin with, radio in Bangalore has really started to get worse.
There is nothing that differentiates one station from another save the inane by lines they have.
Indigo (apparently the colour of music), Fever (which I guess is the disease of music?), and Mirchi (Sucketh lots maga), who used to play some English and Hindi stuff in addition to a little Kannada have now all shifted to a mostly Kannada format.

I have nothing against Kannada music other than the fact that I don't understand it. But doesn't any one radio station want to set itself apart? Focus on a genre, a language, a niche of some sort?

There's GOTTA be a large population in Bangalore that doesn't understand the state lingo, and I'm sure they're sitting in the parking lots that Bangalore roads turn into during rush hour and banging their heads against the steering wheel because regardless of the number of times they wildly switch radio stations all they hear is Satyaaa is in luuhhhve...FLIP... Ay Mutttu Mall-Laye...FLIP... suthide yaako elloooo.... FLIP... And this is Rohit Barker wishing you a....FLIP.... Radio One FM 94 point... FLIP.... Oh Gunavantaaa.....FLIP....Satyaaa is in luuuhve.....

Cut us a break somebody. And play something different. My steering wheel is getting blood on it.

Oh, and Rohit, get rid of that accent. You sound like you've taken one too many accent neutralizaton classes at call center operations.

Welcome The Deviant Cynic

Q). In the immortal words of Pete Townshend, "Who the fuck are you?"
A). I'm another one of the teeming millions who moved to Bangalore over the last few years to work for an MNC, got sick of the traffic in spite of the weather, got drunk on weekdays in spite of the 11 0'clock travesty, got raped on the rent in spite of living 30 kms away from work but still loves it here in spite of being sick of it.

Q). Deviant Cynic?
Deviant is the nick name I picked up in college. It's a play on what my real name sounds like. It's also a fairly accurate adjective for me - I don't always meet the norm or the accepted standards of society.
And my faulty vision only allows me to see things as they are, and not as they should be. So that makes a Cynic, says Bierce...

Q). And why in blazes are you intending to impress your deviant cynicism onto hordes of unsuspecting surfers?
A). I have opinions that I can not express publicly for fear of damage to my physical configuration and my cash flow situation. I also can not keep them bottled up for fear of my brain exploding from the pressure. Solution: Blog