Dear MxM by Jaisurya Das: Why this culture of staying up till late?

13 Apr,2017

By Jaisurya Das

 

This world doesn’t care for columnists. I am convinced of this now and hence decided to share my grief with all of you, my readers.

Ladies and Gentleman, welcome back to YET ANOTHER meaty edition of Dear MxM! Damn, I don’t even know how many columns I have written so far and my kind Editor doesn’t do the maths either. Tsk Tsk, apparently the maths may lead to some serious depletion of corporate funds or so I am told.

The only hope in hell is the imminent possibility of making it to the Guinness. and with this utopian faith, I hammer on relentlessly at my keyboard. I must confess I often wonder, when the world will realise my contribution to the virtual world, week after week, column after column…

It’s now begun to feel like ‘P.C.Sorcar’s Water of India’ ; Each time you think its all done with, it fills up again. Serious issue this is, considering that the assumption one is making right through this pursuit, is that these columns are actually read by normal human beings.  And if you are one of those, actually reading this, you are doing reasonably well for yourself and have the liberty of time to read banter.

I know we all have this desperate need to amuse ourselves every now and then and in the absence of the comic books of my generation, this can be prove to be fairly tough to put it mildly. But let me tell you, that this serious stuff and is designed to empower you with a plethora of skills.

But for now, all that you need to know is that you are being empowered and amused all at one go, albeit at this colonist’s expense. And yes, in case you have forgotten, the Editor is still doing his maths.

And should you wish to keep yourself empowered and entertained in the meanwhile do read our famed Q & A for the week. For the record all the questions this week are from readers in Mumbai and Kolkata. 

It’s seething hot there apparently…

 

Sir, we often have to stay up late in office for work, but this gets tough in April-May every year as my team wants to watch IPL matches. I raised this with the CEO and the HR department and asked them if we can put a big TV in the office so that people can watch the matches along with doing some work, and my proposal was shot down. 

Not only that, they’ve even blocked WiFi access to HotStar and some other websites airing it live. While I understand that IPL isn’t work, but why are HR departments so stuck up on things like these. They say we track the score on the internet which also distracts. But how about facilitating a work environment where people don’t have to stay after office? Sorry, a long question. What’s your advice?

Very long question! But, yes, I shall attempt to answer this with a similar manuscript!

Pertinent point you have made on this trend of keeping people late in the office. This seems to have become integral to a lot of industries and more sour fraternity or advertising, media and marketing.

It is considered sacrilege to leave office on time. I am reminded of my own experience with this during my corporate days. I remember having moved to this city and taken over the reins of the advertising department at first. Unfortunately, my work ethics didn’t allow me to sit back or hold back my team beyond what was absolutely necessary. I remember having received a curt call soon after taking over asking me if I was in office. This was at the hour of 8pm and I emphatically said no. I remember the boss asking me If i had forgotten that I was the head of an important department and was expected to be there at work like him and the others, including my predecessor.

Well, I stood my ground and refused to wait back in the absence of work. Time healed this and eventually the boss realised that work was happening and probably even faster than earlier despite me closing office at the hour of 6. This is a cultural issue and unfortunately a lot of people don’t have it in them to be upfront and change these mindsets. Leaders are used to wasting time in unnecessary meetings to deliberate every piece of paper that comes to their table..

I seriously believe this trend is taken head on by the young professionals today and beaten to death. People must work and effectively but not at the expense of personal/ family time. And yes, if you are being kept back inordinately, you ought to be given a chance to watch your match too!

I know this may sound ludicrous but I seriously think this disease must be controlled before the generations to come move in to work with sleeping bags and anti-depressants.

 

Sir, I find my boss is always hesitant in clearing my cash vouchers as if he owns the company. Why should there be such stringent measures for checking if things are legit?

Well, if he does he think he has ownership of costs, he must be a very loyal boss and the company ought to be proud of him. This is a dying trend and protecting and saving your company’s money is far from priority today…

Having said this, it is important to understand that by signing your vouchers without giving it a look could lead your boss to trouble too. Please do not forget that a faulty claim need not be engineered and is often caused by silly human error. It is thus important that this is scrutinised by more than one person to ensure it is appropriate and of course legitimate expense as per your company policy.

I don’t think you should be taking this so personally. If you have a just claim, forget about the process, collect what is due to you and move on. No one is doubting your credibility or honestly. It is a process and it must be respected.End of Story.

 

In my appraisal this year, I was told that I need to brush up my spoken Hindi and Bengali as my company plans to eventually only retain those who are trilingual. But, Sir, i am not a native Bengali speaker and have come to Kolkata from Bihar. I love my job (and my bosses are happy with my work), but I can’t get myself to be reading news or conducting interviews on camera in Bengali. Please advise.

So linguists are in order now. Well, cost-cutting measures call for almost anything now. So have the same team handle all genres and all languages.

At this rate, it won’t be long before you are asked to learn Hebrew and Spanish as well! But then, the company is always right.

Now that roughly translates to “stop cribbing about your company when you are still there”. Leave or just soak in the trend.

The job market is terrible now and hence finding a great job isn’t as easy as it seems. While i do understand that languages aren’t like buying yourself a pack of chips but is there an option?

If you do find another interesting job, move on. Else take the grind, attend language coaching and prove your mettle. It’s a tough world and an even rougher patch with media revenues not at their best, so am afraid I cant give you a more consoling answer.

I do take this opportunity however to wish you the very best ahead.

 

And now, if you will excuse me, I need to go and replenish my stock of beer for the weekend. It’s Vishu and good Keralites like me do justice to all that the state is famous for… So till we meet next time, Sayonara and God Bless. 

 

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 pune365.com. For more on his work visit www.xanadu.co.in The views expressed in this column are his own.

 

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