Half a day is spent at work. And if you start at the age of say 23, and hang your boots by 58, you will have logged in 25 years of service and that translates to 12.5 years of contiguous work (at 12 hours on an average). So offices take up a substantial part of our waking hours (not counting colleagues who manage to catch forty winks in creative positions to avoid being caught!) and I decided to blog something on office life. Below is the cumulative experience of self and many other friends, most of whom are in investment banking circles ...
Offices are beeping places. From the start of the day to the end the entire friggin place beeps. There are telephone beeps, callback beeps, computers beep, doors beep. Thank goodness that people don't. (Or did I just hear someone beep .. rather buurrp). It rings in my head all the way home. Beep ... Arrrgghhh!
Bankers are a uniform lot. Light plain shirts, dark pinstripe trousers, neatly combed hair parted at the side in an oh-so-immaculate parting. Round rimmed glasses. The sophisticated accent ... Shit! Is this my future?
Microsoft Excel is a gift. The more I court it the more it shows me different things. But life has become complicated after excel showed up. People demand fancy graphs, creative tables, single line logic formulae ... Sometimes I feel more of a programmer than a banker. And the hard part is I had divorced computer logic the first time we met.
PowerPoint's are no longer the 'five points on a slide in font size 20' routine from college. Bankers love to pack data on a slide like sardines in a can. Sometimes using font size 9??!! Damn. Animations (even the subtle professional ones) are a big no-no. Takes the fun outta life.
Lunches and dinners are a quite, serious affair with perfectly co-ordinated hand and mouth movements. If you end up eating with bosses you end up stiff rather than full. I have always eaten with my (clean) hands. The cutlery put up at formal dinners looks like a kit on a post-mortem table. Last time I tried eating chicken with a knife and fork, the chicken resurrected and flew off the table. Whatever happened to good old hands???
I have always squeezed the teabag with my fingers. Now I use an elaborate mechanism which involves using a spoon and wrapping the teabag around it, winding the string and squeezing the teabag in the process! I want freshly brewed piping hot tea. Middle finger to you teabags!!!
Finally, I have a grouse with the air-conditioning. I think they mistook me for an Eskimo during hiring. Or did they think I was cold blooded? Maybe its to chill down the heartbeat racing treasury chaps? I don't know but after encountering Mumbai's rains on the way to office you don't want to sit in an AC. Brrr ...
So this is it, until I come across a fresh set of experiences ...
Disclaimer: None of the above is to suggest that I do not enjoy my work. This was just an attempt to see the lighter side at work.