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Now, we’re all looking for a lifestyle that supports what we really are and what we intend to become in life and for that, we are handed over to a system responsible for producing knowledgeable, matured and wise human beings since the time we get capable of walking, otherwise known as the education system. But does it actually produce, matured, knowledgeable wise human beings? Does it actually help one pursue the kind of lifestyle that he/she thinks of following? Does it teach us to connect with nature without fear? Does it even produce ‘civilized’ people? I think it doesn’t, I feel it just teaches technical things like 2+2=4 and that’s it. Rest of the values which should be imparted to a human, to make he/she a human aren’t passed on, hence one becomes as cold as a corporation and not a human being.
Here I am, interviewing a certain wise man called Mr. Watdafaa who expresses his ‘first job’ experience of working for an American multinational retailer for 2 years, called TURDget corporation. He actually worked for its Indian counterpart called Turdget India, but refers to it as Turdget everywhere. To give you a jist of this, he believed in the fairy tale shown to him by the education system about how one could be extremely successful in life if they worked before the computer for an artificial body created by law that belonged to foreign land. According to him, pointless business college fests, formal clothing and most importantly the training given in colleges in order to fit in the corporate world are all so tailor made for the corporations that the only thing that could pop up in a graduate’s mind is to join a corporation and that would be the only measure of success in life regardless of whether or not, he’s treated like bonded labor while working for it. Mr Watdafaa’s perception of Terms like success in life, settling down, etc was foggy, not that they are clear now because it is basically a stupid, baseless myth. Nobody ever settles down in life, it isn’t a start – stop journey where you slog for a couple of years and earn enough money to enjoy the rest of it, it needs to be lived everyday just the way you want to live, else in his my opinion, there are few reasons left to spend time in this world.
Mr. Watdafaa got a degree like majority of the cattle did and looked out to make a career in a corporation, he had no idea of how it was to work for one. Stories of corporations sucking blood out of their employees through computers, sex scandals happening in meeting rooms, HR spanking rebellious employees, decrease in the sperm count of employees working in night shifts had reached his ear drums before but he chose to look at these instances himself and test if they were real. His ideal corporate workplace was an independent workplace, chilled out, fun environment with a day shift and a place where he didn’t want to be tracked on the number of times he went to pee. Well, most criterias were met, expect for the ‘independent’ one, which he realized only after he had been employed! His colleagues intended to retire from Turdget because it was that good at looking after its employees. He thought he would be working with people who know what they were doing. Big mistake! The company soon changed path and became suicidal in the name of ESP and profits.
1.What role were you offered at Turdget?
“I was offered the role of a merchandiser. Sounds fancy, but the work wasn’t. It was a typical desk job.”
2. Were you happy with the job?
For the first 6 months, yes. For the next 18 months, no!
3. Tell us about the kind of managers you were led by.
“For the next 2 years, I was led by 3 leads with one thing in common in all of them-pathetic personal lives!
My first manager was an extremely sober, idiotic guy. When he laughed at his own lame jokes, the whole floor could hear it. He used to appreciate the work done and gave me my own time to learn the process but after 6 months when I was confirmed, witchcraft happened and he immediately changed behavior. I had observed that he was easily pressurized and influenced by women, probably they knew his spot better than him. Hence, he began to micromanage my work so I got rebellious, in a polite way and embarrassed him. Since he relied on certain women to take decisions and was no good at being courageous and fair, the corrupt management shifted him to a team he didn’t like 🙂
My second manager was a geeky female who looked like she had a lot of knowledge about the managing a team and the process. In reality, it was only the process that she knew little about. Apart from that, all she could do was talk loudly and cut people off which annoyed most of them. Mental harassment is what she was known for. I won’t be surprised if she shouted when asleep. She pretended to be very excited whenever the company rolled out a new initiative and expected everyone else to be excited too. Why should I be excited if they reduced prices for diapers or if the CEO bought a new car!? I still got the same salary! Also, she produced a lot of noise while typing and pretended as if all employees of the company rely on her to make their ends meet. In short, she was a wannabe dictator and I loved arguing with her.
Then, there was an org change in the company because it functioned in a pathetic way and everybody were shifted to a new department, called ‘center of failure’ or (COF), I got a new team and lead. Now this lead was much better because I worked with him when he wasn’t the lead. We were friendly but with the org change, he was forced to thrust work upon us. I had become good at thrusting work back so I didn’t slog, mainly because hard work isn’t rewarded in this company, only ass licking is! I mocked at my lead once in a meeting about his diary and everybody burst out laughing so I got warnings from him for reaching the office late. I was asked to pay for medical leaves of 10 days that were waived off by my previous geeky manager half a year ago, imagine how desperate Turdget was to get the money off me! Apart from that, this guy had his own problems so I wasn’t very rebellious, his own peer group looked down upon him. He too had a primary weakness though- women! 🙂 “
4. How are you expected to behave at Turdget?
“If you work for Turdget, you’re expected to be excited about everything, even lay off’s (ssshh but not talk loudly about it). Basically, forget who you are and be fake, just smile at some random idiot on the floor and be very proud to work for Turdget even if they’re paying you peanuts. Basically, just be a loyal slave.” Do remember to ask people around about how their weekend was, just to show how collaborative a team player you are.”
5. Why didn’t you become a team lead and change things around?
“If you want to lead a team, you need to be an incompetent person with a screwed up personality and attitude who keeps nodding his/her head with full energy during meetings (front-back, front-back, front back all the time), making it seem like they’re indulging in a certain, erm job or act but not actually listening to what the person is presenting. It got so bad that they nodded heads even when nobody was speaking. You also need to not have a personal life along with a proficiency in having a critical or divorced relationship. The leads were able to walk fast around the floor with their laptops and make it seem like that is what generates Turdget‘s revenue. If you wanted to be the lead, you should make it seem like you’re very cool to be using words like ‘cadence’, cognizant, leverage, strategy etc even when it doesn’t make sense in a particular context, just use it and make yourself seem cool and sophisticated. Because leads don’t have good personal lives outside office, they must ruin everybody else’s personal lives too by asking them to stretch for more hours at work. Also, if you realise you’re about to make your employees’ lives miserable, just give it the name of ‘change’, be fake enough to say ‘turdget‘ is changing and give them the assurance to face all bullshit that comes their way. Now, should a wise Mr. Watdafaa aspire to become a lead here? Definitely not!”
6. Do you need to have an American accent?
“That would be a fancy topping and many practiced a fake american accent just to seem cool! Team leads possess an amazing talent of catching accents in a month when they’re in the US, just like you catch a cold when it’s cold, it’s a pity though that they aren’t able to carry it well! “
7. How is the work environment like?
” I haven’t been in a jail yet but it seemed that way. The team leads of COF also ask employees to shift places during meetings and training in the meeting room to stop them from murmuring. They could’ve been better jailers than team leaders I think. Wait, did I just suggest a career that they hadn’t thought of? They also possess the talent of just blabbering crap all day, if you can’t do that, you’re not skilled enough to be a successful team lead at Turdget. Be it repetitive long meetings or training, the leads can talk the same horseshit for hours and bug the hell out of employees. What a Talent!”
8. Is it easy to get a promotion at Turdget?
“If you want to be eligible for promotion, you need to be extremely lucky to be doing all your work sincerely and getting appreciated for that. Chances of People getting promoted for the work they do is 0.5/10. otherwise, people get promoted when they sharpen their pleasing skills, act bossy (basically delegate work to others that they’re supposed to do), pretend like they have a lot of work even when the computers aren’t working or just wait and wait till their lead pities them as if they were a malnourished puppy by the roadside and fed them with a so called promotion that gets them a hike of not more than INR 2000 rupees per month (for the next level after mine). Considering today’s market condition, that extra money will only be sufficient to buy a few more onions hence I didn’t even ask for a promotion because most of the times, I was a rebel and they just hate rebels. Sometimes, they just treat the so called malnourished puppy in an inhumane manner by dumping loads of work, giving additional responsibilities in the name of growth and what not. I remember an instance where an employee was called on the phone at 2 in the morning to reply to an email that wasn’t even critical. If I had received that call at 2 AM, I’m sure my lead would’ve cried over the phone or in the office the next day morning. Sometimes, people just need a promotion because their financial condition may not be that great or they are believed into thinking that their career would go for a toss if they ‘messed up’ and it is this fear which is taken advantage of, at Turdget. You want a promotion at Turdget? Be ready to sell your soul!”
9. Did you work on high- end applications that improved your skills?
“How can an application improve your skills? Living all by yourself around nature, growing your own food, maintaining a healthy body and mind are skills one needs to work upon. At Turdget though, the applications were slow, threw up all kinds of errors, didn’t sync with other applications etc. That isn’t something you would expect to see in a multi billion dollar company in the 21st century but this kind of shit exists everywhere. In COF, they invested in an application that had a name called pimped. I’m not joking, it did sound exactly like that. It was worse than the existing application we were using because they saved costs by utilising amateur people to test the application and then it gave up major errors after it was launched, so major that we had a gala time not working half the time, I loved Turget for that! 🙂 “
10. Tell us more about COF.
“COF was formed as a new division, a company would generally do that to simplify workflow and communication. In Turdget‘s case, it complicated the workflow even more and made it a hell of a lot worse. I mean, were they really that dumb or what because you literally can’t screw up so much by accident! Ah yes, it was definitely because of our leads and their much more ‘advanced’ managers.”
11. Could you give us a hint about the performance appraisal program that fetched you your hike and bonus?
” In Turdget, you get to choose the score you want to give yourself during your performance review based on certain criterias and then your team lead approves it based on which, one is rewarded their bonus and hike. But, in reality, it is actually the team lead who scores you based on how loyal a slave you were in the last one year, hence there is no point in the employees scoring themselves. Also, the management gave pathetic excuses to employees for their low bonus and hike, excuses like some major event that turned down Turdget’s goodwill or their inability to keep up with competition. How could they do well? Turdget is run by turds! They could stoop down to any level to save costs.”
12. You just mentioned about saving costs, could you shed some light on that?
“Saving costs was a major Turdget feature. I initially belonged to a team that won the some award and the reward was a pizza lunch from the company with the director of our department but since our team was big (12 people), they cancelled the pizza plan and insisted we have an ice cream with our director to save costs! Lol!! Turdget‘s idea of giving ‘goodies’ to its employees means giving out Toffees, magnets, key chains and they expected the employees to be grateful for that! (Some were very proud of these goodies though).
I wouldn’t even reward a kid with those as I’m sure to get cursed. I think Turdget survives mainly because of the cost they save off of their employees and not because of the profits it earns.”
13. By what you’ve said so far, is there nobody who is happy to work at Turdget?
“It is difficult to find a happy employee in Turdget, lately.”
14. But, didn’t you get free lunch at Turdget?
“The free food at Turdget is fattening because it is designed to make employees fat and lazy, hence they’re bound by desk jobs wherever they go and working for corporates becomes an integral part of their lifestyle, for which the employees must be grateful!
P.s: I’ve seen other employees taking pictures of cockroach in their food which is served by Turdget appointed caterers, so there’s not much to be happy about!”
15. How Democratic is Turdget as an organisation?
“Turdget says it values feedback but it actually doesn’t give a damn about feedback else things wouldn’t have gone out of hand with regard to managing the company and doing well in business. Actually, the person who gives feedback bears the brunt many a times for speaking up, so people have their mouths shut most of the times. If you speak your heart out at Turdget, you are bound to have a long meeting with your team lead!”
16. How are employees appreciated and rewarded at Turdget?
“If you work your butt off at Turdget, you are rewarded with a cardboard that has your name on it, basically called a certificate, signed by someone who you have no idea of. That piece of cardboard will not help you earn a living and neither will it return all the health you lost while slogging. When it comes to monetary rewards, that doesn’t happen. A certificate and a toffee cannot fuel an employee’s motivation and neither will it help him in meeting daily expenses. Appreciating great work through a certificate I feel is an insult to someone who has worked very hard because eventually when that employee leaves the organisation, the certificates won’t be of any help but are bound to turn into garbage.”
17. Does Turdget at least looks after the health of its employees?
“Nope, Turdget doesn’t care for the health of its employees. If you run out of leaves and you’re still very sick, well have a gala time paying for the days you didn’t log in. The company offers some flu shots and free medical health check ups but wait until December and see the number of employees falling sick, breathing each other’s virus in the air conditioned floor. Also, when work is high, you’ll have to spend all 8 hours a day working before the system, that can cause catastrophic damage to the nervous system and overall health but no, you will get an ‘awesome performer’ certificate for staying back and finishing your work. I did none of that because there was no point screwing my health up for no reason! After working for just a year, many college graduates in their early twenties look old like they’re having a mid life crisis, such is the overall impact on the human body”
18. But there must be people who are willing to work despite all the challenges?
“Yes, because most don’t have a choice and many have high tolerance levels. But you will find some employees who are loyal to the the company as a dog is to his beloved owner. Such employees, no matter how much they are harassed mentally, shown false promises, made fun of indirectly, don’t get rewarded for projects they undertake, don’t get a good hike but still choose to stick around just because they’re excited and love to be a part of Turdget. Yes, idiots like them still exist and you thought it all got over after the colonial rule. I still don’t understand why they do that.”
19. How does Turdget in India treat its business partners that come down from the US?
“Turdget India loves to please partners that come down from the US. I mean I have seen ass licking being escalated to a whole new level and they think they’re being smart and hospitable. Sigh. I won’t be surprised if they hosted a 2 hour meeting to decide dinner menu they should serve the partners when they came down from the US.”
20. But the company talks so much about ethics and values, what about those?
“Turdget boasts about ethics and human values but lacks both in every way! I feel it has these as its principles so that it could trap the employees in an ‘illusionary‘ ball of goodness and righteousness and then treat them like crap eventually.”
21. Turdget is mostly in the news for laying people off, is that true?
“That’s a signature move of almost every MNC, recruit employees and then throw them out in a bunch when you can’t afford them. Turdget went a step ahead though. The management at Turdget actually closes down the balcony doors when they lay employees off so that employees under the burden of loans and other commitments don’t commit suicide in Turdget’s office premises. Ambulances, taxis and security were always ready on standby when employees are layed off but then they say Turdget cares for its employees. What a joke!”
22. Is the Human resource management at Turdget employee friendly?
“Not at all, it is definitely management friendly! Some HR Generalists are of no use, they don’t help when you need them but when they do, they speak extremely rudely to your relatives when you’re on the hospital bed. Such a thing happened to a friend of mine but his dad didn’t take that lightly and immediately reported it to the president of the company to which he received a reply but I still saw the HR generalist in the organisation when my friend was back at work. Turdget‘s insurance partner rejected both his claims that should’ve been reimbursed. My friend then explained to me of an Insurance- HR nexus in many companies where if the HR doesn’t push the insurance agent to reimburse the claim amount and if that amount is saved by the insurer, then the HR receives many benefits like commission, holiday package offers etc. This was most likely the case with my friend. Not only that, his salary was cut by Turdget for the extra days he was in hospital! How unethical could a company get!?”
Mr. Watdafaa goes on to say “There are many, many more things that I can go on talking about, from the hideous annual days to the useless photo happy community events Turdget conducts but to conclude, well I I don’t posses any grudges against Turdget, it was all a part of learning for me and most importantly, I thank Turdget for giving me a piece of what the corporate world really has to offer and consequently helping me decide whether or not, I should pursue a career in a similar organisation. The only thing that pops onto my mind is that why is the real picture about the corporate world so blurry to us in college? Why are we not aware of the bullshit that most get to face after they join a corporation? A lot of my batch mates work in corporate environments today that are worse, then why don’t the best of institutions who want us to do well in life show us the ugly side of blazers and meeting rooms? Deep down there, I know that the institutions know it all but they still push us to work this way. The bigger picture of it all is the government that isn’t creating stricter labor laws in the country so that employees aren’t harassed at work. The corporate world has become a dirty black hole where you’re sucked into a lower dimension of misery and unjust practice.
I respect countries where it is illegal to work for more than 6 hours in a day and countries where the weekend is a 3 day weekend. We’re human beings and not machines, we’ve got other things to look after and do rather than copy-pasting numbers on a computer, especially in a country like India where majority of the population lives in small and big families!”
23. Is there another career option?
“To anybody who has a keen eye for things and a creative mind, the corporate world should be the last option in terms of career, especially in India. I see the era of foreign companies as another kind of colonial rule which is similar to historical British rule over India, but in a different way where you are asked to enjoy the freedom of expression by being yourself but you’re not actually allowed the free will to bring it to reality. It is difficult to be yourself in a corporate world, you’ll have to put up fake smiles and follow too many don’ts which could frustrate anybody, be it sooner or later. My idea of Entrepreneurship is coming up with a mad idea that is environmentally, practically, logically and humanly feasible, not those crappy business ideas where you’re required to do a SWOT analysis and please investors. Till I come up with an idea like that, I’m gonna get a job in a small Indian company that is a part of an industry that I’ve never been in before, but am slightly interested in. If, you’re not getting a business idea for now, then startups could be an ideal deal to work for provided you actually know and understand the business plan, think if it would work and ask many other experts about it before you join the startup. But most of all, get into a field that relates to an item or service that grabs your interest (not money!) or is related to your passion.
Mr Watdafaa goes on to speak about bright days ahead..
“I feel that nobody incarnated here on earth just to sit before an idiotic screen for the rest of their lives and no wonder, people today are getting into jobs that are off the beaten track, jobs that pay you a bomb to drive cabs or jobs that pay you to travel and take pictures! Many, sooner or later realize that doing what they do all day around desks and laptops doesn’t make sense but its better if you realize sooner about what your passion really is and then spend the rest of your energy in practicing it or doing something around it that fills you with a sense of satisfaction and purpose and please, don’t give a damn about what your neighbors, relatives or society have to say and think about you or your career! Desk jobs I feel are life threatening, the human body isn’t designed to sit all day. Such jobs help you put on weight, make you look older than you are and most importantly, they may give rise to shoulder and back problems in the long run. As a result, its important to not sit constantly for a long time before the computer in order to live a healthy lifestyle. One can’t help sometimes but to go for such a job, well I think its an opportunity to sit down and think what you want to make out of life. Even if you do decide to continue with a desk job for a long time, its important to keep taking breaks no matter what the workload is as no corporation is not going to help you get your health back.
The average human life across the world is 26,000 days and I’m sure you would want to spend most of those days doing what you like or at least doing something that is close to what you like doing.”
“What I’m seeing lately is a change in the way people look at their jobs and career. What was a compulsion earlier is slowly turning into an option. Work life forms an integral part of life after graduation, hence it mustn’t be perceived as a phase to just go through, but it must perceived as a phase to live through and grow through”
I thank Mr. Watdafaa for sharing his work experience and most importantly for enlightening us with his wise thoughts.