Skip to main content

There's a kind of hush

Two things happened today that brought an involuntary wistful smile to my face. One, whilst leaving for work this morning, I realised my trousers & shirt were the exact same ones I'd been wearing on my first day of work (of course they've been washed after that day). Two, as part of my handover, when going through the numerous folders and documents that have accumulated over the year, I chanced upon the very first piece of work I'd been assigned.

It has been just over a year since I started working at this organisation and today is my last day. It was a good first job; not very demanding and convenient in many ways but in the long run, not the most ideal of workplaces. Every employee among you must have collated a list of negatives about your respective office & I am no different. However, I will not be airing the dirty laundry in public except to say that I have learned a fair amount over the last 13 months, though sadly none of it had anything pertaining to my work. Instead, I've got a very good idea of work-culture in India. This was my first proper employment gig and I was laughably naive about office life and group dynamics. Not any more.

I want to say I feel sad or nostalgic about leaving but it would be a lie. The truth is I was tired of working here. Having never worked in a large corporate office, I'm no expert on office politics there. But its also pretty rough working in an office with a small staff and even an even smaller team. Its especially tricky when other people in the team are long established. I realised very gradually that these people may loathe each other and not respect any contribution except their own but are forced into an ambiguously-twisted symbiotic relationship to keep their jobs. Don't even get me started on the sycophancy permeating the team. Suffice to say, I want to salute the tenacity with which things seem to get done in an atmosphere more suited to a shabby murder-mystery. You know... whispered conversations, endless gossip, pointed looks and childish attempts to introduce difficulties into the simplest of processes.

I am going to miss a few people though. They all seem to be the ones with a sense of humour I can relate to and who know how to mind their own business. In their own way, they made the hours tolerable and I am thankful.

Knowing what I know now, I did not forewarn the new employee who's coming in to replace me today. Like mine, this is her first job & she has a right to choose to learn the lessons I did.

Today, the clock will tick calmly towards closing time & I will take a final glance at my desk with the piles of papers & other stationery that prove I existed here professionally till now. Lying around for a better part of the year in that naturally higgledy-piggledy way, they will now be stacked neatly. Too neatly... hinting gently that at least one person won't be back here on Monday morning.

Over the year, on many a frustrating day or stiflingly slow afternoons I have written blog posts sitting at this computer. This is my last post from here & the only thing left to say is "Bonne Chance".

Song for the moment: Long nights - Eddie Vedder

Update: So, I felt a little bad after all.

Comments

bhumika said…
"...people may loathe each other and not respect any contribution except their own but are forced into an ambiguously-twisted symbiotic relationship to keep their jobs. "

well said.
Anonymous said…
:) such is life eh ? And this is a NGO, mind you.

Popular posts from this blog

Night Boat

I usually don't write honest pieces. They're true to facts but I tend to lather my emotions and thoughts with a heavy dose of attempted humour or misdirection. This post deserves some raw emotional honesty, though.

Yesterday, 29th August, a Tuesday (or should I say, another Tuesday) was about me making choices. It was raining quite heavily when I left for office, sheeted down the windows of the train throughout the 1-hour journey to Churchgate and kept going with renewed intensity by the time I made it to the entrance, looking verily like something that had drowned in a gutter and lain there a while before being discovered by a cat and dragged in. I made the choice to go to work as I suspected my boss would be there and not because I wanted to go.

I was right about my boss but that cardiac fizz of being right flattened out rather rapidly once I realised, around 11:30 am, that no one else from my team of 20 had bothered to make a similar effort. And, some of these guys live 5 …

Drink up and be somebody

Dear Reader,

History will boldly testify that your favourite blogger is usually slow on the uptake, a state of affairs that's blooming with each passing year like a reverse-Revital. "Why this self-harshness, G", you may ask? Well...

I've been doing the Bom-Pune-Bom trips for 9 years and it's taken about that long to accept that MSRTC Shivneri, still the best bus service of them all, simply cannot (or, realistically, will not) cope with 3-day weekends. Since my job profile does not allow me to plan my travel in advance on said Fridays, I land up at Dadar, view the queue of potential passengers snaking a long way from the ticket window and mentally prepare to arrive home at the hour of morning reserved for sheepish teenagers and dacoits. The Expressway doesn't help anyone's cause thanks to truck drivers spreading themselves generously across 3 lanes and clogging the Lonavala pass to a point where the traffic jam is about 3 km long. A stretch that would tak…

Country Comforts

Part 1

With timing that was far more impeccable than their usual service, the MSRTC went on strike 2 days before Diwali over a pay dispute. I've traveled on their buses for close to 9 years and know full well just how popular they can be just before a major holiday. The chaotic crowd at Dadar is so dense, one would only need to introduce a few Naga sadhus into the mix and hey presto! we've got ourselves a brand new Kumbh Mela. Albeit one where getting out of Bombay ASAP is the only kind of salvation devotees seek. 

News and newspapers being what they are at present, I was unaware of the jolly bus crisis until Wednesday morning when a well-wisher asked how I proposed to go home for the holidays, flourishing the paper in my face with the reluctant panache of a small-town magician. Realising the gravity of the situation, I looked up train schedules and was stunned to find General category seats available on an outstation train departing later that afternoon. As far as I could see, …