It has come to this: the last instalment of Cubiclenama for 2012 is now upon us.
How do we mark this momentous occasion? What profound message of hope and inspiration do I leave you with as you prepare to ring in the new year?
Now other lesser columnists prefer to mark the end of the year by foisting off on their readers one of a collection of “low-overhead” potted columns. This is because most newspaper columnists spend almost all of December and most of January in one gigantic office-party hangover. During this period most of us are incapable of lucid thought and prone to mild rum-related hallucinations: oh my god there is a giant purple policeman standing in my living room dancing to an acoustic rendition of Pete Townshend’s Let My Love Open The Door and I like it very much.
This is why, around the end of the year, you see a plethora of “list” and “in review” columns such as “The best insider trading books of 2012”, “The year’s 25 greatest moments in corruption”, “Hush Puppies: The 50 most silent heads of state in 2012”, and “Lok Sabha 2012: Where is everybody?”.
However, you will see no such shirking of responsibilities in this column. We too have books to recommend—Antony Beevor’s The Second World War and Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals—and a list of our favourite moments in Indian media in 2012—numbers 1 through to 12 were all “Getting salary at the end of the month”.
But are we going to go on and on about those? No. Instead we present a genuinely useful thing: a suggested list of New Year resolutions for 2013.
Stop yawning. There is a twist in the tale.
Usually these resolutions are targeted at readers. In the hope that some of you may implement a few of these—“Be more viral”—in your lives next year. And then reap the many benefits. This year, I am not going to do this.
Instead, I have sought and found inspiration in all the emails, messages and pieces of delicate lingerie that hundreds of readers have sent me all year. And I have drawn up a list of resolutions, on behalf of the greater cubicle world, that I demand of you: you useless, irritating, unproductive co-worker.
Implement this immediately, you fiend, and I won’t be forced to throttle you next year with my bare hands.
Resolution 1: Be more decisive. When I ask you to choose from a list of something—lunch venues, meeting timings, PowerPoint templates—for god’s sake choose yaar. Don’t pop back into my room four hours of prognostication later and offer me a fresh list of five things to choose from. This makes my blood boil. If I had the time to choose I would have, no? Just choose, goddammit!
Resolution 2: Stop trying to bond with me on the basis of our shared ethnicities. If you made a fool of yourself in the meeting don’t slink back to my cubicle later. Especially if you want to sit and bitch in Malayalam about the “uncultured North Indian barbarian manager” who ripped you a new one. Not her fault that you tried to hide your abysmal sales figures by using font size 4 on your slide. Onam flower arrangement is one thing. Office chicanery is another.
Resolution 3: Stop with this split personality nonsense. Don’t be all nice and friendly in real life. And then be a total devious rascal on email. Don’t say “awesome idea, why don’t you pitch it to Rahul” in the canteen. But when I pitch it don’t reply-all saying “Great idea, Rahul. But I think there are some flaws in Sidin’s ideas, which need pointing out. Please see attached PDF document with my queries…”
YOU BLOODY FOOL!
Resolution 4: I DON’T HAVE YOUR PEN! NOT NOW AND NOT IN 15 MINUTES’ TIME. IF YOU ARE SO ATTACHED TO YOUR STATIONERY WHY DON’T YOU PUT ALL OF IT INTO A PLASTIC BAG AND KEEP IT TIED TO A STRING AROUND YOUR NECK, YOU FREAK OF NATURE???!!!
Resolution 5: How do I put this delicately? Look I understand that you like to talk about your family and social life. This is a normal human tendency. It is also a human tendency to feel like you want to share domestic developments with your neighbouring cubiclist. However, must you do this before and even during the most critical board meeting in my career? Why, when I ask you to draw up an urgent slide on the prospects of the global copper mining industry, do you instead spend 14 hours comparing online tools for estimating ovulation cycles?
Our projects are months behind schedule. But instead of helping, you’ve converted your work station into a mock Bloomberg terminal to manage your personal investment portfolio on Sharekhan. I HATE YOU. AND I HATE YOUR EXCHANGE-TRADED FUNDS. WHERE IS MY COPPER SLIDE????
These are your resolutions for next year. Please do the needful. Happy New Year. You fraud.
Cubiclenama takes a weekly look at pleasures and perils of corporate life.
To read Sidin Vadukut’s previous columns, go to www.livemint.com/cubiclenama