Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Corporate Bliss...

Tomorrow, it will be19 months since I began my career in the corporate world. As a kid growing up, I would always look at my dad and wonder, what’s he got to worry about? No homework, no tests, no formulae to mug up, I can't wait till I start working.

Now, after 19 months of experiencing the working world, I want to go back to that little kid , ring his neck and tell him, “Son, stay as long as you can studying!!!”

Welcome to the Corporate World.

That glorified existence which manages to squeeze everything out of you. And if that’s, not bad enough they make you take “Employee engagement” surveys resulting in initiatives such as “ Activity clubs” where in short you end up spending more time in that same place, you want to get away from.

But, in my time here, it has more than anything thought me one important lesson. The 80-20 rule does apply, with a slight deviation though :-

  • 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people
  • The remaining 20% ask 80% of the questions

Its quite simple really – the questions are answered and the answers are questioned. Corporate bliss.

Blissful, as it may be the corporate world has spawned a new lingo without which most upper management corporate pretenders wouldn’t be able to breathe. In the following few paras, I will take you through some of the more illuminating contributions, which would be aptly followed by how you should in your best interest actually interpret them.

I must admit, I’ve been guilty of using quite a bit of it myself.

“ You should try to think out of the box”

Listen mate, your ideas so far haven’t been working. In short, they suck. Try something new, actually try something that would work. I don’t really care if it’s new. Come to think of it, any idea that works becomes by default “ out of the box”. Oh, and that includes any idea, I might come up with as well. :)

“You should put it on mail”

Listen buddy, you might have a point. But I’m a lazy dog. To add to that, I’m over-worked already. But you know what, if I ask you to put it on mail, there is a good chance that you will forget . Even if you are jobless enough, to actually send out the mail , there is a good chance that I just won’t check it. If I do check it, I just wont reply and you guess what, no one will really care. Yup, that suits me just fine.. :-)

"I'm a numbers guy”

I’m a son of a bi@#$. My boss is a numbers guy as well, and I feel the same way about him. However, there is a good chance that in the event you deliver the numbers, I’m looking for this month, you will have to deliver twice that next month. Best of luck.

“ Sorry, I'm not allowed to do this"

Hey Sonny, Im a tight assed ba@#@#$. Why should I help you? What’s in it for me ? Besides, the last time I checked you get paid far more than I do.

“ Tell me – off the record”

Scene : You bump into Mr. All Important, at the cafeteria, the water fountain , or you know one of those places you least want to meet him.

I've been looking for you, I've got you cornered now ha. Now go on, explain yourself, tell me what you must. Oh and ofcourse , if any of this was off the record, I really would'nt have any use for it now, Would I ?

“ Let me get back to you on this”

I actually know the answer, but I cant really get tell you about it cause I don’t think you or the others here will like it. So let me make up something, and get back to you. In all likelihood, however, I wont. :-)

“There seems to be some disconnect somewhere”

Rumour has it that, Enron's last Board meeting started on much the same lines.

Is it just me, or does there seem to be some massive fu@# up somewhere? You better get this sorted out or both me , you and everyone else here might soon be “disconnected” from the organization.

" Let us touch base, first thing tomorrow morning"

(When Mr. Phaneesh Murthy used these lines , it took on a little more literal meaning but then, let's not get dragged into that )

Honestly, if it or you were that important, we would be "touching base" right now, now would'nt we? Oh and btw, I'm off tomorrow.

“ Fair enough”

This would have to be my personal favourite, It can actually be used as a reply for practically anything that might be said.

Usage #1

“ Congratulations ! You have done a fabulous job, we are giving you a raise !”

Yeah! Thank you. Fair enough, Yes! Fair enough, Yes! I guess, I deserve it.

Usage #2

“ Your performance, has well, been just about mediocre.."

Eh, well. Fair enough. Room for improvement. Fair enough.

Usage #3

“ You Suck. Your fired !”

Huh? What ? Fair enough, well I guess I have to start looking for a new job now.

Corporate communication abridged for you, use it to your advantage, and hopefully you won't be having too much use for fair enough - Usage #3. Just remember however, that it's always best to make someone else do something, then to do it yourself. Else, who will you blame if something goes wrong ???


Sisto said...

great post sudhir. shows you can really think out of the box.

how many times have you touched base in office? and was it first thing in the morning?

well anyway, your post was praiseworthy, fair enough.



Sheela said...

Unbelievable - ur understanding on corporate in just 1yr......

How could u think out of box and touch base with all 2ndflr meetings/townhall?

Had a great laugh Thanx..........Cheers

peelster said...

How many bases have u touched dude?? Thats a very obvious question... but how many times did u think out of the box to touch bases?? Were the bases that u touched Fair Enough??

Siddhu said...

LOL!! Dude, your boss better not read this!!! ;)

Academics seems to be free of this hypocrisy ... thus far, at least! I think that bit comes along when you want tenure, and start stealing your PhD students' ideas, and worse still, papers!

Abhinav said...

lol.. awesome post man.
I especially like 'tell me off the record' cos i use that quite a lot at interviews.
i also tend to add 'its only to give me perspective..' which of course is complete horseshit. like you put it so well, if it really is off the record, of what use is it to anyone?
i hope you think that was fair enough!

Sudhir said...

@ Sisto

Thank you, Mr. Kumar.

It seems like, you have already mastered the art of Corporate communication.

Even in your pre-corporate existense...


Sudhir said...


Thank you Madame. I do think, being in the company of senior AVP's like yrself , and Sr. RM;s like the Big B, have helped me quicken my learning process.

Due credit, Thank You.

Sudhir said...

@ Peelverizer

Not had too many luck with the bases, Mr. N.

You however, or so Ive heard have a boss who has a fine base. Go for! Go for!

thushar said...

u write well

Sudhir said...


Hahaha...Siddhu the Plagirizer.

To tell u the truth, anyway, my boss was the first one who read this.

He recommends it to most. :-) Ha

Sudhir said...


Yes, this is how it goes..

You know Abhinav, off the record that guy is a totally useless.

And then Abhinav writes,

"That guy is totally useless", he lamented. :-)

Sudhir said...

Thank u for visiting Tushar..

Abhinav said...

anyways, so off the record, tell me, what do the letters LW mean to you?
totally off the record.

Sudhir said...

LW - Well Lightweight obviously.

Hang on, there seems to be some sort of a disconnect.

Let me get back to you on that. :)

Kartik Kannan said...

U just echoed my thoughts....

Sudhir said...

Thank you Kartik,

Thought that smaller organizations, would be devoid of this hypocrisy.


Apeksha said...

And I will be the 17th comment on this since you have so graciously ensured I read this...So Sonny Syal - I wouldn't go about the bases or the bosses...will just KISS (another corpo lingo for Keep it Short and Sweet, in case you were taken aback, pleasantly ofcourse) - its a fun article, worth being converted into a mass forward, a comic relief to all those young minds that are rotting away in the well lit, but dungeons nevertheless, of average work and mediocre counterparts, narrow cubicles and peanuts (ofcourse)! hahaha now this perhaps would classify as a tragic ending to your comic relief so I will now shut up but LG approves :-)

Sudhir said...

Apeksha, dear.

That is one of the most delightful comments, I have come up against or I have had a 'brush' against in the recent past.

Well written !

its a fun article, worth being converted into a mass forward, a comic relief to all those young minds that are rotting away in the well lit

Young Minds - Are u referring to those Junkie ba@#$%#$ ??? .Be rest assured, like the one wise man said, " I'm not a Junnnkie Ba@#$%!!!!!!" I'm sure, the rest of them arent as well.

Viddy well.