Croak a bye Hammy
It has been a long sneaking suspicion that my company is trying to work me to death. I’ve been weighing the facts this way and that for a while. I’ve put the case forward to friends all around, just to see if I was being paranoid. With the workload in the past two months that seemed designed to break backs, nine out of ten friends agree that it’s not paranoia; they really are out to get me. And as for the tenth friend, he’s probably in on it.So they WERE trying to slowly work me to death. Not anymore, though. They found a shortcut.
Current company policies seem strongly in favor of deploying me into the hot pockets of regional warfare. It has been a dormant, but impending decision that I shall travel on a market research job to Pakistan. I didn’t object to that at the time. While it is not the safest place one can expect to be, people told me that it is not as bad as I had imagined, mostly because my imagination typically runs wild.
And then all of a sudden, we had the Mumbai terrorist attacks, when snarling retards with guns and grenades started popping people off the streets, showering Mumbai with crimson fountains and flaying bodies like a Quinten Tarantino movie – and the first thing I hear as I walk into office, is that I am to do a new Focus Group Discussion exercise in Mumbai. Just like that. It’s like they’re waiting for the perfect storm before they send me out fishing. Ceasar would probably have had more remorse when he said “Throw him to the lions.”
I am not a news reading man. Talk to me about the latest buzzword from the front pages, and the astute man can observe a dazed and confused look camouflaged by concerned head-nods and practiced tut-tuts at the appropriate times. But I am not as bad as my dad makes out to be. When he learned about my Mumbai and Pakistan trips in the offing, he decided that it was because I didn’t understand the situation. He has nearly given up trying to get me to read the newspaper every day.
He called me up and explained things as simple as he could. “Son”, he said,”There’s this place here… Mumbai. You’ve been there before, you’ll remember; It’s where your friend Visakh lives. And recently, terrorists have gone on a blood rampage in some of the busiest and affluent areas of…. Am I going to fast? Well, you see… There are these terrorists… terrorists are bad people. Really bad people. They have guns… bang bang… and bombs… boom. And on the 27th of November… that is, under a week ago…”
“Dad!! I’m not THAT bad with current events. I know what’s happening.”
“Oh, no you don’t. Or else you’d not have said you’re going to Pakistan and Mumbai now.”
“Dad! I didn’t say that. I just said that maybe the company may ask me to go.”
“And what are you going to do?”
“I’ve thought very carefully about this. At first, I’ll laugh out loud, hold my stomach, say – ‘Good one, boss’, and walk away.”
“Ok. And what if they ask you again. This time, more strongly?”
“I’ll roll my eyes around, look them straight in the eye, and… wait.. Can I look them straight in the eye if I’m rolling my eyes around?”
“No. I think that’s going to be difficult. Unless they are on a ferris wheel. A small ferris wheel. But fast. A small, but fast ferris wheel; that way, I can roll my eyes and look them straight in the eyes at the same time. The trick is to find a ferris wheel like that and to get them all on it. Now how do I do that? Hmm… Maybe, if I…”
“What in blazes are you talking about??”
“Ferris wheel, dad. That goes round and round, kinda in line with the rolling of…”
“Son… you’re rambling. Again.”
“Spurting incoherent junk”
“Totally off track. Get back to the topic”
“Fine. What was the topic?”
“What are you going to do if they ask you again…?”
“Ah. yes. I’ll roll my eyes, say – ‘You’re serious?‘, shake my head, and walk away.”
“Walk away again?? How far can you walk away? How big IS your office anyway?”
“Well, it’s not a large office, I admit. But if I can manage my way AROUND the management, maybe I can retrace…”
“Aarrgh. You’re rambling again. You just tell me this much – Are you going to accept a trip to Pakistan?”
“There. That wasn’t hard, was it? That’s all I wanted to know.”
Lovely chit chats dad and I keep having.
Anyway, that’s the stand. I am not implying that all of Pakistan is violent, but the way things are right now, I wouldn’t risk it. I’m a market researcher. I’m not trained for these situations. With my luck, once the project is under way, and I’m in the middle of collecting consumer reports for some random product, turban clad Jihadists with spare ammunition will chalk me up as a chubby terrorist and try to use me as a bargaining chip. I really can’t afford to be taken hostage right now. Chances are they won’t let hostages browse the net or anything. And I have my blog to think about, don’t I?