Sunday, November 1, 2015

Beyond the threshold

Are all bosses jerks or they become one when they are a boss?

Ans: YOU NEVER KNOW! Sometimes it’s easier to understand when you know where your boss is coming from. I mean, not their background or their point of view, but in this case, it’s the literal meaning. It is very important for us to know our bosses before we judge them to be complete jerks.
Scenario 1: Let’s start with a positive response. NO! They are not jerks (just so our bosses feel relieved).They come to work from near or far place doesn’t define their ‘Jerkism’. The important question to ask here is, “In what state of mind do they come to work?” If they come to work with a mindset that today they will change the world and give the best of their talent to the society, they might end spreading this contagious inspiration to everyone working in his team. If he comes to work with a determination that, today will be the day when the world will know what teamwork actually means, that boss will go on to prove everyone that he is never alone when success visits his doorstep. Such bosses are never jerks. They are leaders and role models whom we would love to follow. We would love to be mentored by such bosses who are less than a boss and more of a friend. But, when it comes to work, they wouldn’t hesitate to beat us black and blue (figuratively, because workplace harassment isn’t that inspiring thing) instead, they would guide us to do the right thing and teach us to avoid repeating our mistakes. They’d rather appreciate if we created new ones every time (not on purpose though).
Scenario 2: YES! All bosses are jerks. They think that they’ve reached an ultimate position in a company where they have the authority to ‘own’ people. NO! We are not living in a Mayan Civilization. We work for you, and you pay us in return. The amount you pay is the amount we are supposed to work – that’s how it works after all. If you have returned from the US of A, we don’t give a D. What matters to us is, how much chocolates have you brought for the whole team, and how much gadgets you’ve brought for yourself (jokes apart, but this can be seriously true too). It doesn’t matter if you’re left-handed or right-handed, what matters is, have you ever held your employee’s hands and pulled them up the corporate ladder? It doesn’t matter if you’re using a Mac or Windows, what matters is how much work you’ve done yourself as an individual and haven’t got your work done by your team members, being a boss. And, for the finale - it doesn’t matter if you’re an illiterate or a con-artist, what matters the most is how many top management’s feet you have to lick to stay a boss or how many of your team members would you want to do the same.
Which brings us to the next threshold point –

Loyalty vs. Slavery: Which one wins in a company?

Ans: I’d love to say Loyalty! Because it is the foundation of any company. Great minds that create a revolution together, stick together, is what I would want to believe. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were different personalities who built different companies, but still their vision was the same – to bring the best of technology out into the world and make it accessible to common people. Piyush Pandey and Prasoon Joshi – though they work in different agencies now, there has never been a creative clash between these two legends. All because they wish for the same end result for this world, and any conflicts over the authority won’t solve anything, instead bring chaos and unrest. When loyalty becomes the primary requirement of any company, and is served well with positive ambitions and rewards that keep the employees happy, no company would ever face the issue of attrition. But these days, loyalty is considered to be dangerous in a way. The moment an employee starts liking his job, he starts working with all the passion that he’s got, the results would definitely be good and the HR would have to give the employee the deserving raise which is their primary and the most important expectation. But, would the company start giving raises to every employee that way? Every time? The history has it. This is a myth. If there are a minimum of 100 employees and everyone performs well, the company wouldn’t have any reasons to declare losses. Even if they claim to be running under losses, and the employees have worked their ass off to get their share of raise, it is management by objective (by definition) – an individual working towards his own growth in a company so that the company grows as a whole. If this management lesson isn’t an applicable concept in its true nature, then loyalty has no place to stay in any company; so do the employees. This brings us to the loyalty’s contender – Slavery!
As said earlier, we are not living in a Mayan Civilization and no company owns us. But, every boss who feels that way treats you like a slave. And as long as slavery is in the picture, loyalty has no role to play. The only reason that every company lets go a loyal employee is because they can no longer afford their loyalty. Or in other words, they do not deserve such loyal employees. All they need is a bunch of minions who just follow orders and do not question the authority or the intelligence of the boss. It is the duty of every slave to remain silent when you are shouted upon and take shit from them when they are shouted upon. It is also an economic option for the company to save the employee’s fund from reaching the employees. The employees sometimes end up giving bonus to the company, every Diwali. Even the company is kind during Diwali – they pay you in different assortments of nuts. So, as slaves, we should be celebrating about such a magnanimous offer. Because in the end, that’s what we work for, right? As slaves, we are not allowed to take paid leaves, because we would get paid while we’re on a leave. Instead, we have to work overtime and not even ask for a compensatory off. As slaves, if you come late consecutively thrice a day, your one day’s pay is cut off. But we are prohibited from asking one day’s pay if we work for three days continuously without going home. I’d not even begin the topic of reservations. Because the only loyal employees who have their feet rooted in the company are the ones who’ve been a slave of the company from the beginning. And, we have no comparison to make in that case. And for them, loyalty equals slavery and that’s not what we learnt in school or at home. Even dogs have much better and much superior sense of loyalty and that’s what we have to learn from them, instead of their infamous sexual position. They have much more creative and interesting life to lead.
Which brings us to the last point of threshold –

Is being good bad, or is being bad good?

Ans: BOTH! In total, you’re not meant to be an absolute saint or a devil. Everyone has a good side and a bad side. Like a cassette, we have to play our good side to the ones who have been kind to us, been our guide, mentor, friend, and everything we expected them to be. There’s no question about that. We are all human beings after all. If we were dogs, we would be barking at each other, sniffing each other’s bottoms to see what mysterious treasures they hold, and not expressing emotions as we are meant to. Being good also establishes the positive relationships with people you meet, being creepy doesn’t. Because that’s what happens sometimes when you’re too good to be a friend, or an employee, or anyone - your goodness is considered to be some sort of psychopathic killer trait. Your goodness makes them feel like you are feeding a lamb before slaughtering it mercilessly. That’s the reason goodness is mistaken as a villainous characteristic and people do not trust the goodness these days. That’s when you have to play your ‘Side B’ of the cassette.
Being bad keeps you away from bullies. At work and even at play. If you aren’t bad enough, there might be some more badass people in the world who’d love to teach you a lesson and be a ‘Good boy’. But then, the vicious circle would go on. By being a good employee, you might have been treated like shit and might have made you the butt of all jokes. By not saying anything, you’d be good, and you’d even be their bitch. But, the day you rebel, is the day you see the true side of the other side. From being a pet dog that used to sit in the owner’s lap every day, you are suddenly a wild beast now. Everyone in the company would take their new designations as Matadors and try to tame you and finally decapitate you. That’s when the boss would take up the role of being the taxidermist and place your head as a trophy in his living room. All your original body parts would have been trashed, all your blood would have been drained out and all the guts and glory that you once had as a rebel, would have been completely washed away. So, that’s when you turn into a ruthless virus. If being good didn’t help the world understand your goodness, let the world know how dangerous can your evil side be. A silly microorganism can never cause harm to a company they said – look what SARS did to China, look what AIDS did to Africa, and just imagine what the ‘God Particle’ could do to the entire universe.

If companies these days would have considered even a tiny bit of what conspired here entirely, they would get a hang of it. Maybe some people enjoy being a slave, some enjoy being a rebel and maybe some still enjoy being passionate about work. It’s a crucial matter that whom will the company feed more. A slave will always churn out mediocre work every day, because they don’t have any passion left. All has been sucked out and they’ve been living in a vacuum. So, nothing more can be expected of them. Feed more to a rebel and he will slowly transform into a passionate employee. While he marches against the army of mediocrity, if the company equips him with a deserving authority and an army that can defeat mediocrity with creativity, or convert the mediocre army into a creative battalion, it’s a win-win for everyone. And in the end, if the company feeds the passionate ones, the passionate ones will grow into an orchid of assorted fruits. Any fruit that the company wants, the orchid has it. Any flower the company wants to create a bouquet of, and present it to their international delegates, the orchid has it. The only question remains is, who decides what does passion mean? For the slave, slavery might be the passion, for the rebel, the rebellion, and what about the passionate ones who just know it to be their life? Will they be slaughtered by the jerk bosses? Or the bosses who’re slaves to the management? Or the management itself? Nobody knows how passion dies. But everyone knows it won’t live for long.

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