Dear MxM by Jaisurya Das: If I can’t wear shorts to office, how different are we from BHU?

02 Mar,2017

By Jaisurya Das


Ladies and Gentleman, welcome back to a fresh new edition of your favourite counsellor Dear MxM!

Today, there is much good cheer thanks to all the ominous reports that are being churned out on the growth of digital.

Personally, this is something that we all expected to happen. The advent of portable media changed the way people consume news, information, entertainment and trivia.

The research gurus and soothsayers have established that digital is expected to grow at breakneck speed and consequently digital advertising will only see further growth.  Now this also means that the print medium will see renewed sluggishness that will translate to hard decisions.

We are already faced with severe downsizing be it media, e-commerce, startups or otherwise and this isn’t something we are particularly equipped to handle both mentally and physically…

So, boys and girls, please do not give room to lethargy, indifference or just plain complacence, for now, there is no bandwidth to accept all this Companies are only waiting to trim numbers respectfully and

any slip will cost you more than the cup and the lip put together.

Moral of the Story:  Lie low, Hang in there and Keep chanting … !

On that holy note, let me take you straight to our reader questions for this week… from our readers from Chennai, Kolkata and Mumbai.


Sir, I know this is not a question on media, but would you advise something that I can do to not get distracted and manage my time better?


Ah, the eternal distraction bug. I must ask as to what interesting aspect of life is so distracting or should I say attracting 🙂

Jokes apart, being unable to concentrate must be tackled early as these are often signs of mental unrest. Please work on memory games and exercises in concentration. There are plenty available online and you can select some of them and make it a point to spend half an hour every day on these exercises.

They will help you focus while improving your cognitive functions. Another simple exercise is to take a random newspaper article and start striking off any one alphabet that you choose. Do this from every line and every paragraph of that article. You can decide what alphabet and then start striking it off. For a start, take a print out of this page and use your pencil to strike off the alphabet “a” from every sentence.

While this may seem quite easy, you will soon notice that its quite a task and requires concentration. This is a simple exercise that works very well and is used as part of CBT (Cognitive BehaviouralTherapy) by clinical psychologists.

Am sure within a month of starting these mental exercises you will find a marked improvement in your cognitive functions and power of concentration.


We have been told that there is going to be no increment in the annual appraisals this year. And last year I was told that my increment can’t exceed a certain amount as others may have a problem. When I was speaking to a colleague last week, I was advised that I shouldn’t crib too much about it and be happy that I still have a job in the newspaper company I am in, given large-scale retrenchment. What will be your advice, Sir?

I have reason to agree with your colleague. While I do see reason for your discontent, the current environ is far from bright and chirpy.

Over 10,000 people have been rendered jobless over the past one year in the so-called burgeoning industries. Media has followed suit now and over 2200 people have been laid off by media companies in the past 60 days.

Please do understand that advertising revenues have taken a huge beating over the past few months and media companies are finding it difficult to sustain costs that are proportionately rising. To top this, employees expect a raise year on year irrespective of overall company targets being below achievement.

As of now, I don’t know of any existing media player hiring more than absolutely critical resources. In this scenario, displaying your discontentment may not be particularly well received. I would this advise you to forget all these issues now and focus on bolstering revenue for your company and gain limelight through your unstinted efforts in such times.

This will surely be rewarded besides it being a challenge for any discerning professional. All the best!


I think you have answered this question earlier, but I can’t seem to locate the answer: Is there a dress code in media organisations? And why is it that even people who work in the office and do not interface with outsiders (like sub-editors) can’t wear shorts? How different are we from the Banaras Hindu University??

Right, I was in fact considering coming to work on boxers but my washing machine didn’t get them ready this morning. Wonders will never cease, will they?

No, there isn’t anything wrong in sporting shorts but there is unfortunately something called decorum that must be maintained. Offices aren’t parks and they are supposed to foster good work and not a relaxed environment. It’s important to have your clothes befit the environment. This is true fashion. Adapting yourself to the environment and wearing things that go with the mood and ethos of the place and its people.

Shorts are associated with leisure, comfort and sport, all of which are typically away from routine office work. Media organisations have both written and un-written dress codes but more than that, its about you and how you wish to be perceived.

Well, as for the BHU, that is left for you to research and decipher but my personal advice to you would be do ditch the shorts and look your role at work. It may just help build your perspective and common sense if I may add.



And it’s time to sing the old time favourite: “So long, farewell…”

For most of you this must sound like Greek and yet for a lot of us, classics like the ‘Sound Of Music’ with the von Trapp family will always remain etched

in our memory….

And it’s true tradition of the farewell, Sayonara it is from me, JaisuryaDas !

Till we meet again then.


Jaisurya Das, maverick and media evangelist, eats, sleeps and makes love to brands. His consulting interventions are aimed at making brands powerful and sustainable. He is also the Contributing Editor of MxM India and Co-Founder of more on his work visit The views expressed in this column are his own.


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