Friday, November 6, 2009

Judgement Day

"Judgmental" has become quite a fashionable word of late. Tune in to a talk show on TV and the most common statement of defence is on the lines of "Well, you can choose to be judgmental about the whole issue, but the fact of the matter is... blah blah blah". Eavesdropping into a conversation about Obama winning the Nobel for peace, yields the same result. I admit, I've used it on several occasions myself. So many times, that I have come to question the negative connotation of the word itself. What is so bad in being judgmental after all? Nothing, really. As long as you're not biased, its ok to be judgmental. Just as I get into the mood and switch to my psychoanalyst avtaar, better sense prevails and calls for an abrupt change of topic.

On an average, I spend nine hours at my workplace everyday. Of this, I put in about six hours of productive work that counts towards progress. About an hour towards lunch and coffee breaks. And the rest of the time is dedicated to my "Watch, Listen and Enjoy" sessions. The first two factions of my day are quite mundane and any elaboration on them will put you to sleep. Let's not go there. However, what I must share with you is the experience of WLE. Here is what I do. I have a program or document opened up on my computer screen and I stare at it, seeming visibly attentive. Now that the stage is set, I let my mind wander. Not too far. Just far enough to observe and absorb the happenings and conversations among my neighbour colleagues. I'm careful enough to make sure that I click randomly on the screen, switching between tabs, scrolling up and down, lest someone suspects me for my unusual stillness. Honestly, this turns out to be the liveliest portion of my work day. Although my observations are based on what I notice around me, the fear of losing my job prevents me from giving you specific details. :) So what I'll let you peek into is a generalized taxonomy of the contemporary workplace.

First there's the quiet, shy guy. Asocial. Remains rooted to the seat from 9 to 6, oblivious to his surroundings. The only talking he does is during meetings, which is when you realize he's been working enough to put an industrious worker bee to shame. Quite the dedicated chap. Then there is the kind who can't work in silence. They love to let the whole world know what they're up to. One thank you mail from a higher up for having delivered a task promptly and they'll rave about it the entire week. Of course, they're cunning enough to avoid even the slightest of embarrassing incidents. Who isn't!?

But right across from there is probably the loudest, most obnoxious person in the office. He does everything, but work. Sitting at his seat, he pays his bills, discusses grades with his kid's teacher, chats up his ex-colleagues, trades on the stock market and despite that, cribs constantly about how much work there is to do. His cellphone ringtone is forever set to the highest volume possible. The worst part is that he does all this so unabashedly, completely disregarding basic work etiquette. It's hard to understand why companies tolerate such incompetence. But you know, this doesn't annoy me half as much as the next type. The ladies. The evil, conniving ladies. It seems like I possess a certain magnetism that strongly repels my female colleagues away from me. I would not be exaggerating if I said that they despise me. They make it a point to leave me out of their coterie. Not that I'm dying to be part of it. But, such things make a difference to me. I would rather choose not to be part of it than be left out! I'm amazed at how they have the cheek to look through me even when we come face to face. Of course, these women are not part of my generic classification. They thrive only in my current habitat. Hopefully.

Apart from these most prominent ones, there's the kind who itch to get up from their seat every five minutes, the cellphone whisperers, the Christmas trees who come decked up everyday and not to forget, the late-latifs who come in to work coolly at 12 noon blaming the early morning mist and mid morning traffic! A few months more, and the Carl Linnaeus in me is sure to discover many more of these classes.

And you tell me not to be judgmental! Come now. This is fun! :)


ScrewLoose said...

Amazing!... Easily your best post to date... It actually had me laughing at certain instances... I think the mean streak in you can yield good results if well channelised!... Cheers!

Charu said...

:) Thanks Akshay!

Gowri said...

Hard to make friends in such a workplace :( I was lucky I had a few of my college classmates in Infy

Preethi said...

Finally found it :) I know the types you are talking about! Its like a disease, they exist everywhere!