The Versatile Blogger Award

Have hesitated on this for many weeks, but am ready to finally give it a go. I was in mortal fear of having to write about me and, fortunately, always had other important tasks cropping up just as I was about to.

Having finally, and only recently, realised that that was not a show-stopping requirement, next time, which is now, when I sat down to write this post, for some strange reason, no other important task cropped up.

So, over to the award.

Firstly, thank you to my fellow bloggers for nominating me to this award and opening up my Blog to their audiences. I hope some of my readers make the effort to visit these unique bloggers and their distinctive styles.

This includes :

Mr MuthafuckingMaryPoppins at who seeks to administer dosages of reality, in his own inimitable way, by softening it up, breaking into small pieces, and many other ingenuous devices.

sorryiamnotsorry at who enjoys taking a lighthearted look at love and life through her Blog.

HaLin at who explores linkages that make life interesting (and liveable) in a manner that makes the humorous, humorously serious and seriously humorous often undistinguishable.

Through the short period I have been blogging, I have had the opportunity of reading some unique and wonderful creations, on a varied set of subjects.These include seasoned bloggers blogging from before blogging was invented to others who started only yesterday.

I hope to spread the joy and pleasure that I get from reading their blogs by nominating a few of them for the Versatile Blogger Award.

These include (in no particular order) :

Carl D’Agostino at for prolific cartooning output on a wide variety of subjects; democrtisation of cartooning if ever there was one.

Hilarius Bogbinder at who has been writing about subjects I would call meaningful. Has been inactive of late. I hope he gets back to what his readers enjoy most; his writing.

Rob Rubin at which, with its bite and sarcasm, manages to even get through to ardent non-followers of American politics (I mean other than American politicians) like non-Americans.

Eric at who has been bringing snippets from the life of Mechanic Leigh from the Singapore of sixties onwards, including some poetry.

Barry Parham at for high quality humour. The subject can be anything he chooses to write on.

“A British expat living in the Algarve” at Very close in subject to my own with his version of happenings at The Firm. Has been a little quiet these last two months. I hope he gets going once again,

Grumpa Joe at A versatile blog on a variety of current events and Grumpa Joe’s family.

Avtarit at who, I believe, is a recent convert to blogging and writes on subjects similar to mine, i.e. the empty spaces in large corporates. Occasionally, he also writes on other subjects.

Five Reflections at for plain old-fashioned good writing and poetry.

Martha B Mills at who, once again, can write about a variety of subjects with equal aplomb. She was one of the first non-family/friend visitors on my Blog and also left a comment which indicated to me that I was getting through. I am indebted to her.

The rules of the award are what have been passed on :

Firstly, the nominated bloggers should make an attempt at carrying on the tradition and nominating bloggers of their liking, in turn.

Secondly, they should contact the nominated bloggers and let them know about the nomination.

Thirdly, they should display the “Versatile Blogger Award” on their Blog.

Though unrelated to the Award, I also want to make a general request to all readers to try and leave comments on the posts they read and which touch them in some way.

Art of misusing company resources – 1. Call urgent meeting

The Boss should call a meeting of his team, that is, of people who report to him.

The meeting needs to be designated as urgent so that people who need to attend have no choice but to drop whatever they are doing and rush for the meeting. This will permit the effort they had already put into the task to be wasted, requiring the task to be restarted from scratch.

Care should be taken that the subject of the meeting not be specified. This will create intrigue and interest and get people, who may have skipped the meeting if the subject did not pertain to them, to attend in the belief that something of importance for their area may also be discussed. Otherwise, some may have skipped the meeting and spent the time doing work.

The call for the meeting should be given at a time when a significant number of the intended participants are expected to be engaged in meetings with their own teams. This will create a powerful multiplier effect as many other meetings involving many other people will be disrupted.

Care should be taken that the Boss does not invite peers and seniors to participate. The Boss’ successful conduct of these meetings is likely to spark jealousy amongst peers leading to a campaign of misinformation against him.

In the meeting, the Boss could either sing the company song in chorus, announce the introduction of a new vendor in the cafeteria, give a sneak preview of the new policy on cars to be only parked backed-up in the office compound, or any other important and urgent matter, puff out his chest, and say that the CEO wanted that information to be personally disseminated by him to his team and that he would like each of the participants to “go forth” and do the same with their teams within the next two hours. He should then thank them for their participation and close the meeting.

Important Jobs in the World

If someone runs about helter-skelter as if in a daze, is often rude to his colleagues and disrespectful to juniors, is unable to give time to or fulfil commitments towards near and dear ones, has no personal interests, has no identity other than as an employee of the company he works for, repeatedly stresses on how important his job is, it is highly likely that he does one of the following important jobs :

1. He sells coloured, sugar-water, often low on nutrition and high on calories.

2. He trades in third-world debt or some other arcane financial product that 99.99% of the world’s population has neither heard about nor cares about.

3. He conceptualises, develops and markets a new, super, improved quality of washing powder every three months which replaces what was new, super, improved three months back.

4. He “consults”; that is to say, he tells other people how they should be doing their business, without having any experience in that line of business, and without any responsibility for the consequences of implementing his recommendations.

It is almost certain that he is not one to waste his life engaged in any of the following :

1. Growing food for the teeming, hungry billions.

2. Educating the downtrodden and underprivileged and giving them a chance to get out of debilitating poverty and deprivation.

3. Curing people of their crippling and often fatal diseases.

4. Inventing and creating new technologies to improve the lot of fellow humans.

“Ethical” business practices

Stated policy of the company (boldly displayed across the office):

“We do not support any unethical and unfair practices while pursuing our business interests. Action will be taken against any employee
found to have indulged in an unethical or unfair practice in pursuit of the company’s business objectives.”

Practiced policy of the company (not stated or displayed anywhere) :

“We do not support any unethical and unfair practices while pursuing our business interests, after they (the unethical and unfair practices) are discovered and brought out in the open. Till such time, we will gladly turn a blind eye to any unfair or unethical practice that we believe will be profitable for the company and there is no risk of this knowledge (of unethical and unfair practices being followed) being traced to the propagators of this policy (read – senior management). If usage of such practices does get discovered and brought out into the open, we will, without compunction, act speedily in the best interest of the company, and blame it as a wanton act of deception, fuelled  by personal  greed, on part of some employee low down in the food-chain.

I maintain standards. In fact, two of them. I maintain “double standards”.

Scene 1 – Employee in office

The employee : “What ? Airconditioning in the office is down again? For as much as thirty minutes ?? It was down for as much as 45 minutes on one occasion only three months back. Who does the company think I am? I refuse to be taken for granted by the company. I refuse to do any work under these inhuman  conditions.”

The employee’s supervisor : “It is not such a big deal. They have assured me that it will be up and running in another 15 minutes. This is the first breakdown in over 3 months. It is a machine and requires occasional maintenance. Please get back to work now.”

The employee : “No way. You and other people in senior management are trying to fatten the margins by saving on electricity cost. But what about the conditions under which we have to work ? Have you ever thought about that ? Will you pay us for our sacrifice by sharing the better margins with us ?”

The employee then stomps out of the room, to return an hour after the AC has been restored. He claimed “nobody told him”.

Scene 2 – The employee returns home in the evening from a hard day at office

The employee’s 8 year old daughter : “Dad, it feels very hot now. When are we going to get an AC for our house ? It is difficult to do my homework in this heat.”

The employee : “You know darling how harmful ACs are for the environment. They produce fluorocarbons that damage the ozone layer. Besides, they are huge guzzlers of electricity which, again, the more we produce the more environmental damage we inflict. We are all making these little “adjustments” for the good of the environment. And, as you already know, working in a challenging environment  builds character. Now go and finish your homework.”

Demonstration of commitment

Faced with a choice between “demonstrating” commitment to my job and leading a healthy and balanced life, I have chosen the former, i.e.
I am ready to sacrifice health in service of employer and work. In order that my supreme sacrifice does not go waste, I am making an effort to get my employer to notice this by complaining about late nights, insomnia and work-pressure. That way, I can expect recognition from my employer and also a suitable reward for the same (ignoring health in the line of duty). I can do this through one or more of the following ruses :

  • Keeping a packet of harmless placebos in my pocket at all times and popping one each time my boss is watching, followed by a slight lurch
    to one side and grasping the nearest piece of furniture for support. When the boss asks what the matter is, I can mysteriously say “work pressure” and zip up. On further prodding I will only say “don’t worry boss, I can handle it” in the manner of the strong, silent cowboy who manfully bears all burdens of his boss.
  • Each time I need to see my boss I must be chewing vigorously on a strong smelling candy, especially one which smokers are known to use to suppress the tobacco smell. I must proceed to offer him one, out of courtesy of course, and then, as if a realisation has dawned, pull back the offered candy just as his hand was reaching out for one, and apologise for not remembering that he does not smoke. This must be followed by a comment to the effect “I wish I had your will-power sir. Because of the pressure of work I end up smoking more than a pack a day. But you, with even greater responsibility and pressure, are able to resist the temptation. I wish I could learn from you”.
  • Making sure that I send out an inconsequential mail to my boss just before I leave office, even if it is to forward stale jokes. It would help to keep handy a bunch of stale motivational emails that get forwarded from time to time. Better a stale motivational email than a stale joke email for your boss. This mail should ideally be sent after he has left for the day. My consistent late departure from office will thus be imprinted on my boss’ mind.