Thursday, 17 November 2011

Bosses and Shells

People often bring back shells from trips to beaches.

Which is wrong, environmentalists say. I'm not talking about the tiny ones that wash up on the beach. Those are fine to collect. I'm referring to the large coral type ones that you buy at dedicated stalls along the beach. The ones with spokes, sometimes with light bulbs inside them.

These large shells contribute to ecology. They act as homes for tiny sea creatures. And they don't just land up on beaches. You dive to get them. That's how shops and stalls get them. Purchasing these large shells contributes to the destruction of the ocean's ecosystem.

Speaking of which, how does one even get a light bulb into a shell?

A company I used to work for used to have large shells adorning a hallway, as decorations. Funnily enough, the Chairman was an ardent environmentalist, and even owned an environmental consultancy, but probably wasn't aware that it wasn't in good taste for us to keep shells as decorative items.

I suppose he eventually found out. Those shells disappeared soon after. I had thought about telling him myself, but didn't want to attract any negative attention to myself.

Speaking of bosses & negative attention, I once almost locked a boss inside a ladies loo at a company party. Almost. It wasn't completely my fault. We were both sloshed, and he had to ask me where the men's loo was. I almost showed him to the wrong door, all the while imagining bolting it from the outside once he went in. But better sense prevailed, and I kept my job.

Then again, there was this one friend of mine who worked at a broadcast monitoring company, who didn't have my level of self control. He told off his boss while drunk at a company party, and then proceeded to never get an increment in all the time he worked there.

I guess I've been lucky. I once had a boss who was a really good teacher, and I learnt a lot about corporate culture from him. But he did have this one nagging fault. He'd always use the phrase 'take a dump' to describe printing something. For example, "Daniel, take this pen drive and go take a dump". Like I said, self control is important. It helps you stifle your laughter at points like these in your life.

Being on good terms with people helps. Like when, as an executive at a call center, I brought back a packet of cashew nuts from Goa, for a team leader who had asked for them. Too bad they turned out to contain worms. Not that he would have ever done anything to me; we were on good terms. 

Which is more than can be said for the passive aggressive relationship I had with my own Team Leader. But he couldn't touch me. It helped that he knew that I knew that a married man such as he had been sneaking around dance bars, and enjoying jaunts with young girls from the office too. Sometimes, leverage is your best friend.


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