Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Poster wars

Sight at the office on Monday: Thousands of posters stuck around the office exhorting employees to save forest by not printing emails, recipes, love letters etc.

Sight at the office on Tuesday: Thousands of posters stuck around the office exhorting employees to save forest by not printing emails recipes, love letters etc. being carried away in trash cans. Thousands of new posters stuck around the office exhorting us to save the environment by recycling, reusing blah blah.

Sight at the office on Wednesday: Thousands of posters exhorting us to save the environment by recycling, reusing blah blah being carried away in trash cans. Thousands of new posters stuck all around exhorting us to run regular security scans, back up folders, and other PC hygiene behavior. Also an award for the best maintained PC.

Sight at the office on Thursdays: The thousands of new posters exhorting us to run regular security scans, back up folders, and other PC hygiene behavior and an award for the best maintained PC being carried away in trash cans. Thousands of new posters put up exhorting us donate unused note books, used clothes, toys, sports stuff etc. using the boxes kept at the reception.

Sight at the office on Friday: The thousands of new posters exhorting us donate unused note books, used clothes, toys, sports stuff etc. using the boxes kept at the reception being carried away in trash cans. Hundreds of notices all around announcing that the big conference room is booked for an important pow-wow.

Sight at the office on Friday evening: Thousands of employees hear in wonder and glee ,the Facility Manager, HR Representative, IT Manager and CSR Manager screaming...err I mean pow wowing about removing each others posters. A few black eyes and bruises later, it is decided that posters will now be mailed to each employee as paperless e- mailers.

And *groan* guess who gets to make them!! :(

"Print paper. Save the paper industry" is my new email signature.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Intern-al revenues

The pantry near my workstation has all sorts of posters stuck with messages ranging from saving water, environment to corny poetry, sad jokes, tragic attempts at creative writing and company results. Today, we had a poster put up by the HR folks, that announced that we had done some billion or million in revenues last year. The poster was obviously prepared by some dimwit, as it had given the revenue figures in zeroes, instead of representing it like for e.g. $ 50 Million or Billion, which would be the approach us, smart, intelligent, bright and beautiful communication people would have done. But then hey, everyone cannot be smart, intelligent, bright and beautiful right?

Today morning when I walked into the pantry for my regular morning fix of tea, gossip, slander, character assassinations and smear campaigns, I saw two Interns (girls) looking intently at the poster announcing our revenues. There was no one else at the pantry. Their conversation went something like this.

First Intern (FI): Ooh look! We have made solid profits last year.
Second Intern (SI): Oooh yes!!! Nice na!
FI: I think it is $ XYZ Million
SI: Or it could be a Billion.
FI: Do you think so? Billion is a very large figure na!
SI: But we are one of the largest companies in the world no!
FI: Let me count the zeroes. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5...
SI: I think you left out one zero.
FI: Really? Which one?
SI (pointing out): This one.
FI: Achcha, let me start again. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 oops I think I counted one zero twice.
SI: Wait, we will separate zeroes with a pen. Here you take one...
FI (holding a pen after three zeroes): You keep your pen after the three zeroes after the pen.
SI: Okay!
FI: Got it. Now let’s Google and see whether it is a Million or a Billion.
Me: It is a Billion.
Both: Oh! Thank you!
Me: You are welcome.
Both (looking at each other excitedly): Ooooh! Kitna cool hai na!!!
Me (under my breath): There seems to be a sharp dip in our Intern-al revenues though.
SI: Did you say something?
Me: Oh nothing. Nothing you need to be concerned about. Bye.

God help their Manager. May God give him strength, fortitude and lots of patience this year!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Verbal Diarrhoea

Our European Communications Head is a formidable Englishwoman called Mary (not real name). Impeccable English, stiff upper lip and aristocratic family to boot, the only Indian she likes is me. In fact the only non English person she likes in this whole world is me.

Whenever she calls for a conference call, the agenda and timing will be crisply laid out in the email and she doesn’t tolerate anyone joining the call late. If someone is late she just reschedules the call, after a few impeccably tailored barbs at the late comers that have made many a late joiner attempt suicide in sheer humiliation.

Into this picture comes Avarachan (not his real name), a sales executive, who was scheduled to join me and Mary in the call to discuss some global collateral his boss wanted made. Just before the call, Avarachan developed diarrhea and had to rush to the toilet. Mary started the call and decided to continue when I messaged her over instant messenger (IM) about Avarachan's plight. Mary may be a stickler to schedules but she is a kind person who understands such “emergencies”.

Minutes later Avarachan joined the call panting as he had come running all the way from the toilet. He decided to apologize to Mary over IM.

Avarachan: Good afternoon Madam, I am sorry for joining in the call so late.
Mary: No problem John.
Avarachan: Thank you Madam. I ate something that did not agree with me.
Mary: Ok! Let me conduct the call now.
Avarachan: I think it was the mutton. It was a bit off.
Mary: *Ignores him*
Avarachan: Have you ever had Mutton Biryani?
Very nice at Andhra Palace near our office.
It could have been the Paneer too though.
Or the heat.
Yes, it must be the heat that gave me indigestion!!!!
I have a delicate stomach like you English people heh heh

Mary: John, please join in the call.
Avarachan: I am in the call only. Anjali will speak on my behalf.
The raita was also stinking. Must be bad curds. But bad curds don’t give you stomach upset no? What do you think?
Mary: No idea! I....

Avarachan: ...do you British people eat curds? We call it moru in Malayalam and Dahi in Hindi.
Mary: I am sorry; I do not have time to chat.
Avarachan: No problem, you keep talking!
Mary: !!!!!!

Avarachan: You married? How many kids?
I have three. All boys. Naughty fellows heh heh
Elder fellow is just like me. He gets stomach upset very quickly! When we went to Malayatoor last year, he was having full stomach upset after eating some Ice Cream!
Mary: Bleddy hell!

Avarachan: So what does your husband do? My wife is housewife only.
If you come to India, I take you to Hyderabad Delight. You must taste the Biryani there.
Mary: *groan*

Avarachan: Don’t worry; I will see to that you don’t get stomach upset. I know all the good restaurants here.
Mary: Anjali could you please tell John to stop messaging me!
Avarachan: Btw you know any good home remedies for stomach upset? I think I need to go to the toilet again! These allopathic medicines are so...
Mary: *SLAM!!!!*

According to Mary’s colleagues who sit next to her, she was seen rushing to the toilet to throw up. The call was rescheduled and Avarachan attended it in time this time.

People in the office are not convinced though. They are sure that like every cunning mallu, Avarachan deliberately got it postponed so he can join in time, the second time around. No one knows for sure, but Avarachan is keen to chat with her again. I told him that British people do not like to chat. Avarachan was disappointed but has decided to honor the ‘custom’.

When Mary heard this news from me, her colleagues report that this normally taciturn lady jumped up in the air, let out a whoop and danced around the office in sheer joy shouting "hurrah!!'.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Polite dissent

Have you heard those good natured jibes that men make about women? About the oh-so -funny little peculiarities of women like the penchant for matching clothes with accessories, wrapping presents instead of giving it in the plastic bag it came in bill intact, or the hilarious attention women pay to trivial details like slowing down at the amber light instead of revving up and speeding before it turned red etc. etc?

I have always scoffed at these jokes and regarded them as mere platforms men use to underline their manliness. And an incident (amongst others of course) proved that my theory was correct.

Serene Thomas, a colleague and very good friend got married a year ago after she and her husband Polite Antony had done the routine song and dance routine around electric poles and sang songs near the flower pots (trees and gardens too far away), before deciding that they were in love and should stop acting silly and get married. Serene is now consulting a divorce lawyer.

Alarmed at the news I called her up and asked her for the reasons for taking this drastic step. Over muffled sobs, she told me her sad and heart wrenching story. The story was told over 8 hours. I have condensed it for your reading leisure and due to the fact that she has threatened to kill me if I did not make this story spectacular. Yes, she reads this blog.

So let me start at the very beginning, i.e. the first week of marriage after the honeymoon, (where they did the song and dance routine in a real garden, around real trees and flower bushes) in their new apartment and progress towards the end of the year chronologically.

She: Which of these curtain swatches you like?
He: Anything “you” like munchkins. I will be happy even if you draped the doors and curtains in sack cloth.
She (beaming): Okay!


He: The house looks like a magician’s tent with these err ‘colorful’ curtains!
She: *maintains a dignified silence*
She: Do you think this wicker furniture would look good in our living room?
He: Everything looks good with you around pumpkin. You decide and take what you like.
She: Okay!


He: Sweet Jesus! The living room looks like a dentist’s clinic!!
She: *maintains a dignified silence*
She: Where have you decided to go today. Dev’s anniversary or Mohits?
He: Wherever you are comfortable going darling. I do not want you to get bored of the company, so you choose.
She: Okay!


He: Why are we going to Mohit's place?
She: We went for Dev’s sons naming ceremony last week, so I thought we will give Mohit and Sudha a visit.
He: You know that Dev is my best friend! He called me twice and told me to come to his place tonight.
She: * struggles to maintain a dignified silence*
She: Should I wear this Salwar or this Saree for the office party?
He: Anything my moonshine. You look lovely without err I mean you look lovely in anything!!
She: hmmm okay!


He: I am NOT going out with you if you dress like that!!!
She: I am wearing a Salwar!!
He: Yes, but does it have to look like ‘that’!!
She (under her breath): * $#%@&!*
She: What would you like to have for lunch?
He: Surprise me honey-bunch!
She: *maintains a dignified silence*


He: Chicken kuruma? * ugh*!
She: *dumps chicken kurma on his head, followed by the pulao and the payasam and water to wash it all down*

The guys in the office have decided to give him a Vishist Pati Medal. The girls in the office have decided to donate money to a) pay for her lawyer’s bill and or b) hire some thugs to break his legs.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Drunk in the spirit

It is Maundy Thursday. The day the bar in my house gets locked and sealed and an alcohol ban imposed till Sunday and the three men in the family put through regular breath analyzer tests by my mom.

Mom: Open you mouth and breathe out.
Bro (breathing in): There!
Mom: I did not get any smell!
Bro: That’s because I didn’t drink.
Mom: hmmm this is weird, you were stinking of alcohol when you came in.
Bro (with fake indignation): That is the devil's work I tell you. He wants to sow seeds of doubt in you, which will make me angry, go off religion and start drinking on Good Friday.
Mom (walking away with doubtful look): Hmmmm
Eldest bro: Now that you have given away a perfectly good excuse to drink, you have exactly one day to think of something else to have a drink this Friday.
Bro (facepalm): Tch!!!!
Dad: ROFL!!!!

Good Friday is the most painful and sad day for some people (mostly men) in my very 'religiously drinking' err religious family and these people actually suffer tremendous 'spiritual' agony on this day.

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter in advance. :)