Art of misusing company resources – 2. Meeting rescheduled, finally !

The Boss calls a meeting of his team, people who report to him. It is slotted for one hour.

The Boss’ secretary is in the meeting room at the appointed time and passes an attendance sheet around. This is done in solemn silence. As if the people signing the sheet would be the only ones needing to come back to work tomorrow. People missing the meeting need not. Everyone in the room looking at each other with an enquiring look.

Every two and a half minutes she runs out of the room to check with the Boss, and comes running back exactly thirty seconds after going out and says “He will be here shortly. Just finishing an important call that got extended. He is very sorry for the delay”. When someone followed her out of the meeting room she stopped, pulled out her mobile and start dialling nonchalantly as if that is what she came out for. Perhaps she did not want anyone else accompanying her to the Boss’ office and see him playing Solitaire.

After repeating the above about six times, about twenty minutes had elapsed. By now a sense of disquiet and restiveness amongst the participants was visible. She then announced that that the Boss has offered to pay for coffee and cookies for the participants. This was a business meeting after all. This coffee and cookies, she suggested, would be ordered from the luxe Coffee shop just opened in the mall next door and not the cheap company cafeteria. The participants cheered and settled down to wait for the Mochas and Lattes and Cappuccinos. They engaged in a game of Dumb Charades while waiting for the coffee.

As the order of coffee was from the shop outside, coffee arrived about five minutes prior to the scheduled closure time of the meeting.

The Boss walked in at this juncture (when the coffee had arrived and was hot), loudly talking on his mobile. He was saying “OK I will call you back”, “I have an urgent meeting NOW” or some such thing. Presumably he was not talking actual business because that would mean he was actually talking to someone on the phone.

The Boss proceeded to pick-up his Hazelnut Frappuccino, which his secretary had taken to order alongwith the rest (and which on other days he would have paid for), apologised for the delay, and offered to get his secretary to check their availability and reschedule the meeting.

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.