Saturday, May 31, 2014

Monday Musings 203 -That time of the year

Monday Musings 203 -That time of the year

Every corporate wallah will tell you it is that time of the year, when the mercury outside will be competing with the mercurial inside - both will hover at extremes and will vie for the reason for human insanity. It is the rating season. 

Every office goer knows that it is the decision time, the time when his labor will bear fruits, or at least it is expected to bear fruits. The employee will search for the evidence of the fruit, while the boss will search for the evidence of labor. The general trend is to overestimate fruit on the back of overestimation of labor or under-allocation of fruit on the back of underassessment of labor - and between the boss and the bossed, it is not very difficult to guess who does what!

Actually the preparation to this season begins from somewhere January itself, for the month not only heralds a new year but also a nice inflection point for those who were in slumber for the rest of the year, They wake up and that too with a vengeance, and try to work hard and portray the work harder than it is, to nullify the lack of both in the previous period. They rely on what is called 'recency effect' - in the hope that their boss will remember the proximate hyperactivity camouflaged as work and will forget the usual somnolence that was passed as work for most part of the year. The boss however is not the boss without a reason. He understands the trick because he himself indulged in it not very long ago.   

The employee behaves like an expectant parent - for the effort must be rewarded, and must be healthy. The boss behaves like sentry, who has the power of holding you off from the sanctum sanctorum till he derives his own sense of pleasure and power. Technically the reward is for work and is independent of who is guarding it - but sometimes the guard becomes more powerful than the guarded. The priests sometimes start believing that they can actually regulate your access to God, and the worshipper starts focusing on the priest more than the divine. 

The canteen, the cooler, the corridor is abuzz with who will get what. Everyone overestimates the ratings for the friend and underplays his own chances - both sides knowing that this is not what each other really believes in. In his own mind each is listing down all the reasons why he has far far far far.....exceeded expectations (not of the organization alone but also the industry, the country and often the civilization itself). The boss may also be preparing a similar script but towards a very different outcome.  

Cometh the day cometh the havoc. Faces will tell the story. Those who miss the bus obviously curse the boss, his aunt and her dog - but those who get rewarded also curse the boss, his aunt and her dog - because they either got less than what they thought they deserved or because someone else got more that what they thought that someone else deserved. How unfair!! Rarely does one find a really happy man walking through the organizational corridors. Everyone is in mourning. 

I am a boss and an employee. I know I, my aunt and her dog will be cursed. I also know most likely I will pass on the favor. 

I need a drink. 


1 comment:

  1. One of the most insightful pieces I've read on this topic yet.. the tongue in cheek narrative does have strong observations hidden within. Bosses do observe n note more than what you give them credit for!
    Actually a bit scary to imagine the author as a supervisor, with very less escaping his eye.. & I certainly don't envy the poor subordinate who might foolishly rely on the "recency effect"..

    hell, guess I need that drink as well.