24 February 2007

Work = Worship

Today, I was thinking of dingo teaching me how to make drawings… dingo and his sensitive mouse. tango used to have precisely one drawing in his comp, lost in a sea of forwards, photos, general crap and stinking documentation. His screen was perpetually zoomed in… every now and then he’d zoom out, and zoom in elsewhere, just to fool us into thinking that the guy works. I used to hate dingo, one of my main bosses. He caught me, on different instances, reading papers, magazines, playing minesweeper, listening to music, reading ESPN basketball reports saved from elsewhere, writing letters and long posts for my blog… he came close to tying a bell around my neck.

The milk break was at 9… I usually entered the place just in time to open my inbox, check the mindless fwds and break for milk. Then it was a wait till 10:30 for the exercise timepass. I used to find it funny. Why couldn’t they let us off early, so that we can play some sport. Initially, they used to frown at me when I left the place bang at 5:30 pm. With time, they just got used to it.

Back to the exercise, tango used to get up at 9:40 am and walk around, engaging in idle talk with fellow institutionalized specimens. Then he’d go to the loo and pee for a while, followed by extended reps of splashing water onto his old face. Then he’d comb his sparse hair for a while and walk towards his place. After (slowly) rolling up his sleeves and removing his shoes, he’d start the exercise routine. Following, the physical madness, he would dress up again and comb his hair. By now, it would be time for tea. This is time for the second round of gossiping for the day (remember the milk break?). I can’t recollect the exact mindlessness of their talk… anyway, once the tea has starts drying up into sticky patches in their cups, they’d slowly return to the office and go straight to the loo.

When they take their seats at roughly 11:20 am, it marks the start of the toughest, most strenuous period of their existential work lives. The clock ticks slower, the drawings stare at you with familiar menace, and everyone’s working hard. So, poor tango has to work too. This pre-lunch span is akin to the third term at IIM Indore: even the free-riders are forced to work. There is no escaping reality. So, tango calls upon his subordinates and starts his daily lecture on how to perfect the art of designing a jackass. He reputedly knew everything there is to know about that annoying piece of engineering. I shall not go into the details of the distress meted out to his poor subordinates. I’m guessing it must’ve been really tough listening to that guy talk. He’s plain boring. 30 years in that place does shit to one’s mind. In his defense, I don’t entirely blame him for his brain being the way it is.

Lunch is a big event in that place. We used to get 30 (yes, THIRTY!) goddamn minutes to walk to the mess, shove the (good) food down our throats and rush back. Next to the mental alarm signaling the end of another agonizing day at 5:30 pm, lunch was the best part of my life at work. We would all slumber back to our office. It was honestly difficult to stay awake after lunch… even we greater mortals couldn’t do it… *wink*