Sunday, 11 July 2010

"Person" Chauvinist Pig

This zone has been tag free for some time now, achieved by skillful deflecting of the multitude of girlie tags that swish around in the blogosphere. But when cornered by two begums, here and here, and one gils, this MCP could not resist nibbling at this loose grenade that has been lobbing about.

The tag is supposedly about gender stereotypes and you are cursed with wearing pink pants for 12 years (?) if you drop the tag. Since my entire wardrobe consists of shades of white above the hip and shades of black below, this is a rather dire threat; especially as the aforesaid gils has been known to be partial to, shall we say rather colourful combinations of green and red. So, as is my wont, I am twisting this tag to a company.

It is well known that companies are an extreme version of the male chauvinist pig. Idle Sunday speculation on the feminine traits hidden in the closet might be a fruitful line of enquiry. So here goes.

- Friday dressing. As is well known, obsession with what you are wearing is a peculiarly feminine trait. Companies pander to this by declaring casual dressing on Fridays. And what does it lead the female of the species to wear ? Exactly the same abomination they do on all the other days . (The begum who has hinted that I am a southie of the pattu pavadai , malli poo variety – please note !)

- 360 feedback. Whoever invented this has to be shot. This is supposed to be the goodie goodie touchy feely process of telling your boss that he’s a rather likeable chap, but could he yell just that teeny bit less. Instead of the masculine way of telling him to his face that he is a s.o.b.

- Paternity leave. Now, this leaves me open mouthed. MCPs are supposed to be out bashing other guys to dust in the market. Not changing nappies for two weeks. Please …..

- Pink offices. Have you noticed how garish offices have become. All sorts of colours and so called “swanky stuff” that rival the colours of the version of feminine attire that I have alluded to before. Instead of the austere black that truly represents the hellholes that they really are.

- The company magazine. Makes you want to gag. How great everything is and photos of the 20 suckers who got married or had babies. Instead of plastering it with photos of the office beauties, they then spoil it all by having the CEO’s mug on every page. A pity he looks like a constipated owl.

- The water cooler/coffee machine. Have you noticed that the average coffee time of the fair sex is about 75 minutes more than the he men ? For this is the gossip area. Not about office politics, but about the other girl over there who is wearing a new kurti. Ugh !

- Declaring a holiday for Karwa Chauth. Non Indian readers – you miss nothing by not understanding this gag inducing Indian “festival”. Nobody remembered this prehistoric tradition until the saas bahu serials resurrected it. Now it’s on the holiday list. Eeeks. Where will it end ??

- Potted plants in the corner office. Can horticulture be restricted to botanical gardens please. The man in the corner office is supposed to be a growling tiger. A sad drooping apology of a plant (the watering lady has bunked) rather spoils the picture.

- Gender correct English. What on earth is a Chairperson ? A tea lady should be a tea lady and not a “tea human being”. And please don’t change this popular sound bite – “The consumer is not an idiot. She’s your wife”.

- Tissues in meeting rooms. It’s alright if they are for wiping lipstick, but not if they are an open invitation to bawl. Like smokers, if you want to bawl, you have to go down outside the gates ….

I better duck, for I fear I am in mortal danger !


Vishal said...

Hahaha... Hilarious post Ramesh! Understood the thread once I went through the blogs where you have been tagged. Indeed hilarious!

You have thwarted the risk of wearing on PPs beautifully. Wonder what Gils has to say! :D

On the coffee machine item, I guess the incremental avg. coffee time of FS is more than 75 minutes. To add on, what about those cribbing acts in company cabs! ;-)

Sandhya Sriram said...

Another Refreshing Sunday Post. I always wonder how you always manage to find something absolutely different every Sunday and each one – a completely different shade.

Well Mr. MCP, now this is not a remonstrance as you haven’t encroached too much into any sensitive area  just an amplification of certain lines on your post.

Friday Dressing: If there wasn’t a concept of Friday dressing, many offices will have to put up with unwashed jeans with threads hanging out and free T shirts with all sorts of logos through out the week. Atleast this way, the exposure is restricted to a day

360 Feedback : the 360 is not coz the giver is frightened to give otherwise, but the taker never wants it otherwise.

Paternity Leave : People are normally granted 3 weeks leave for marriage and 2 weeks leave for paternity. I guess, it’s a outcome of a scientific study of how long a relationship can keep a man’s mind occupied. Maybe empirically it has been seen that men prefer to return back to the “Office Beauties” after this period

Pink offices: These are small attempts to distract the MCPs back to work from the other colors in office which occupies their minds if not their eyes most of the time.

The company magazine Atleast there should be one magazine which can be kept on the desk and which dosent distract the MCP from work – isn’t it. the other magazines ofcourse fill the racks and the bags

Water cooler, coffee machine : Men manage to sneak out to the road side chai wala accompanied by a smoke without being noticed. Women still need to learn the act and get caught at the coffee machine.

Karwa Chauth : Well any holiday is just a reason to find one more day not to work. Whether you call it karwa chauth or you call it Bharat Bandh. All these are ways which men have devised and strategically, if is tagged to any heavy emotional stuff linked to the other sex, it works.

Potted Plants : My doctor tells me, it seems, 40% of the population in any city which uses corporation water in India is struggling with gastric complaint. Let the plants be – it helps

Gender correct English - you don’t call a post “person” or a lift “person”. A chair woman sounds like a chair maker. Chair person is still better.

Tissues In the meeting room : well, she wouldn’t mind to bawl outside the gates. Provided you can manage those activists coming right into your nose and asking you 10 questions.

You can come out of your hide now - dont worry, people like you so much that whatever you say, you will most get acknowledged, you may sometimes get a repartee but never anything which you ever need to fear off :-)

ambulisamma said...

What do you want me to note from the friday dressing?
I So agree with Sandhya on Coffee break and others as well.

But you escaped logically from this tag.

zeno said...

Again a real classic example for how much the comments make this blog more interesting!
What a great 360 degree feedback by Sandhya :) :)
Coming back to your blog, wow, what a bashing what a bashing. Am i having too much bad influence on you?

Ramesh said...

@Vishal - Yes, I think I am saved, especially since one of the begums has commented that I have escaped !!

@Sandhya - Trust you to come with a superb repartee. Zeno joins your fan club

@ambulisamma -Nothing to note ; only needling the fair ladies :)

@zeno - Absolutely; the comment section is much better than the post. Bad influence ?? Sir Zeno ; you are my teacher. My knowledge has grown immeasurably thanks to you - seriously from all the links you send and more lightly, about Asin & Co !!

Indian Home Maker said...

Gender correct language makes sense - I saw this ad where this man says something like, "... no she is not my boss's wife, SHE IS THE BOSS."

There was a time when all one's colleagues were male, that has changed. Now one could simply use words like boss, colleague, coworker, chairperson, lift assistant, PA, clerk or peon.

The way we don't have gender specific (but unnecessary) words like teachress, doctress or surgeoness, one could do away with chairman and too.

Enjoyed reading this creative take on the tag Ramesh!! Sandhya Sriram's response is very interesting too :)

Anonymous said...

Do leave a link to this post here,
so that Sinners Against Gender Stereotypes (SAGS) can read your list :)

Chennai Vibes said...

I or colorful offices. I am all for dressing down not only on Fridays but all days (except when meeting a client). I remember when I was transitioning a project from Unilever Aus, we used to stay opp to the office and will go and work in our kachas (would you believe it!!) after dinner in the night. It was a liberaaaaaaating experience. I still have a laugh about it.

kiwibloke said...

Boss you left out some more holy grails of office - the team lunch/dinner whatever, town hall meetings by some pompus nobody, the visit of the firangi bigshot to the colonial outpost (I think you wrote a blog on that) Honestly the touchy feely HR stuff leaves me retching! There is no show business like HR business

Ramesh said...

@All - IHM is the originator of the tag and has very kindly visited and commented. See the original tag link on her comment - she writes a nice blog; recommend following.

@IHM - Thanks for visiting and your comment. Will leave the link on your post.

@Sanjay - Ugh. You really did that in Australia. Wow !

@kiwi - Since there are a few HR types who visit this blog and since I need their benevolence in the years to come, I am refraining from having a dig at them :)

Deepa said...

The offensive and the counter offensive were both suppperrr! :)

Office beauties' kurtis are a point of discussion in male circles as well, btw!

My addition to this list is the 'The Communion of the Lunch-box waalas'. They consider themselves superior to the poor mortals who eat from the office canteen and can't stop discussing and exchanging recipes of whatever is in the dabba. aaarggggh!

Ramesh said...

@Deepa - The repartee was far better than the original thrust !

And kurtis ... Please !!!! You think men discuss that awful attire. Eeeks !! We may certainly discuss the beauty (or otherwise) wearing it, but that offensive rag..... Never !!!!

Anonymous said...

Hahahaha... you are one funny genius Ramesh. We have conference rooms which have hand sanitizers in them as well. Guess one does need to sanitize post usage of tissues.And yes I think you are in danger. Disappear my friend !!

Ramesh said...

@blogueur - Well, I considered running, but the fair maidens have been very kind and spared my life !

Reflections said...

LOL Ramesh u r just too much. I was all set to give u a dose[after laughing ie] but then saw tht almost everything I wanted to say was voiced very clearly by Sandhya Sriram....I was cheering at every sentence of hers, pls do convey my regards to her;-D

But have to give it to u for giving the tag ur unique touch:-)

Ramesh said...

@Reflections - :) Now I can truly come but from under the table - ben spared from a true bashing !!! :)

Oh yes, Sandhya is a treasure. She's truly amazing.

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