If I were to describe myself as a human being on the salsa scale, I’d say I am extremely mild.
News reader, astronaut, Catcher in the Rye, lie detector — were all professions I rejected in my head to begin what would be a long, fulfilling, just-the-right-quantity-of-lime-in-guacamole-esque journey at a giant multinational organization. I sense a serious craving for Mexican food, you?
Finance, Marketing, HR, Operations, Business Development, Product Management, Engineering — it’s tiring to even list the different functions that exist at a conventional tech company. It’s the same thing, and then just a little bit more, of what? The same.
And those are just broad functions. Then there’s the performance evaluation and appraisals. It’s the same. Show impact, make a difference, take reward, go home. Perhaps that was the case in 2000’s (do you feel old?). Today, it’s show impact, make a difference, take reward, go home, Netflix and chill.
You have a boss. Boss has a boss. Everybody is giving everybody hell. Some take instructions, some give instructions, some just like to find a quiet corner and talk to their imaginary plant.
It’s all the same.
You are put in a situation where you have a ‘Superior’ who identifies your areas of development. I have developed more than I wanted to this past year (10 kgs to be precise) and yet, these super Superiors, manage to find not one, but multiple areas of development for me, each time. Let me preface by saying that I am the kind of person who is absolutely open to feedback. But I’ll only take it if you have Patrick Dempsey’s smile, Shah Rukh Khan’s wit or if you really want to push it, then George Clooney’s everything. Otherwise, you and I are equals. You are just as <insert neutral word> as I am.
We pretend to care about progress at work when all we really want is to be able to afford Mexican food, at least once a week. But we’ll have you thinking we want to be the best at goddamn everything, so we ask — 2016 is nearly over, 2017 is almost here, next is what, for me, Sir? (yes I used Sir, it will take until 2133 to close the gender gap I hear)
“You are fantastic. You are perfect. You are so good that sometimes I am jealous of you.”
Then promote me, give more money, make me boss or your boss’ boss. Give me reward.
“Umm………..not yet. You can improve so much, so so much….body language….visibility….demeanor……t-shirt…..family….blood group….”
But how is that relevant?
“Shut up and get out of my office. You are very arrogant.”
I read a quote in a book once — can’t remember the name of the book, perhaps wasn’t even in a book but I want you to think I am well-read, “Human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece”
It is almost entirely my fault if my footnotes are making the unfinished masterpiece look ugly, prosaic and uninspired. If I choose to spend a large part of every single day of my limited life being a human being at work, I ought to make it count.
Hi, 2017 — the year of pretty footnotes.
(The Little Chihuahua in The Mission is where you should be eating salsa and chips.)