GARB OF CAMARADERIE

by Rajib

I really don’t remember the last Good morning that I wished from my heart to my colleagues – it has always been the customary wish with the puppetry nod of head – a ritual, so to say.

Rajib in the middle

This is just one amongst innumerable examples – wishing Happy Birthday on Face Book timeline, wishing Good night when we are leaving for the day – all comes from the veil or the facade that we unknowingly wear nowadays – all to make sure that we remembered our duty.

Let us talk about the prevalent corporate culture which has also undergone a metamorphosis over the last decade. In fact, we all have ……from the caterpillar to the Butterfly.

Like how we have had the metamorphosis from school to college to office and the corporate world – similarly, this transition also changes the focal point like in our childhood, the child or we are the focal point in the family, same is a student (again us) in schools and colleges but in a corporate, we are the medium and sometimes become mere pawns.

A job and its workplace never remained the same – How much to say, how much to show, how much to deliver and then maneuvering the steering based on whether I am dealing with my peers, with my subordinates or the superiors – all needs to be carefully prepared and presented every moment – more than he instinctive approach, it is the tact which matters more now.

Gone are the decades when the typical Babu used to go to office and come back home in the evening with a bagful of goodies for the household – children, even in our generation used to wait for Baba to return home – Office used to be a workspace and in most cases, it used to be left there – we were not even concerned what could have happened at Baba’s office.

Today, it is a different world with Skype, Hangouts and Zoom meetings, every place could be and becomes an office – with a new word “call” having been coined, it has sort of become a weapon for all and sundry. You want to cancel pre-scheduled meetings, not let others bother you, ignore anybody and everybody, put a Do Not Disturb tag for even family members, you can shoo everything & everybody away by just mentioning “I am on a call or I have a call” .

We are becoming creepers – want to hang on to any excuse that could make us escape. Escape – but from where?

I was talking about our parents or fathers returning from work – on the hindsight, we work in a much more comfortable and luxurious ambience now – at least – from infrastructure point of view – I had heard later, my father had lot of stress handling factories, disgruntled union workers, Board etc and to top it all – since he was part of the bureaucratic framework – he was threatened at home by Naxals and that was a testing time for him and my mother…and maybe a lot more but we could never sense a whiff of it.

Does this again prove that we, as a generation and the next gen Millennials are becoming more intolerant, more impatient but look at it – it is not only the socio economic structure or the consumerism – it is also the radical change in our work environment – with all amenities, specially in the modern IT scenario – it ought to and should make us more adaptable then why is our attachment –the human quotient diminishing with every passing moment ???

Not only at our workplace with the Good morning and Good night – even when we meet a neighbor on the road, the customary “How are you orKemon aachen? has become very hurried and just for the sake of it – and instead of “I am fine”,Bhalo aachiif the reply tends to be longer, we become impatient and our subconscious mind says – Oh No ! now I have to wait and hear him out…

However close a relationship might be, I have seen the best of friends turning into foes in the Corporate Chakravyuh. I myself have had such incidents where people I engaged in jobs began to have professional rivalry and our relation was never the same sweet brotherly one any more.

Thinking what to think

Make no mistake, once the professional rivalry comes to the fore and till such time you do stamp on anyone’s toes – a “friend” remains a “friend” so I can conclusively say that at your workplace, no one is a friend and in fact, never was. A colleague of mine used to get Accupressure done by a lady colleague and that set the grapevines abuzz to a scandalous level whereas it was just nothing but slowly, when it came to performance metrics within the organization, they did not remain cordial in the long run.

Going back to the diminishing moral values in more places than one across the length and breadth of our society – who are we blaming – we are part of the system and people like me, who have been part of the yesteryears, watched Chitrahaar on Wednesdays, saw Buniyaad, Hum Log, Khaandaan on TV, read Chandamama and Tinkle, posted letters in letterboxes at post office, then got excited at using a Pager have gone through a 180 degrees whirlpool and now being made to float in the virtual world of Artificial Intelligence & having Whatsapp video calls with relatives staying away , we(the present gen – around late forties)have been on both sides of the river and experienced this paradigm shift in the lifestyle.

I read somewhere –Before the invasion of internet and Technology, I had a childhood. I fully agree –we have lost our childhood– our children hardly go to play in the evening to the ground – either it is the tuition or the X box. And with the advent of technology and losing our childhood, have we lost the innocence and the purity and that is why we are always carrying this façade. Are we, to an extent and the millennials to be blamed ? There are two different schools of thought – one says that they think they can do anything and everything and care a damn about anyone but if you realize, they have consumed whatever has been served to them and they have been more honest and upright than maybe we could have been or dared to be.

Why do I write this? Let us stop the Blame game – let us not argue over which is right and which is wrong – the Coffee/Toffee argument will never end BUT try to salvage the residual virtues and move on with the times. We can’t be losing track of the modern inventions and fall behind but need to hold our societal morality in good stead but there is a thin rope we have to walk on in maintaining the balance between the two.

I THINK OUR GENERATION is best equipped to handle this and be the guide for the future as we have been through this revolution and the technological renaissance.

Let us not hide behind this Garb of camaraderie and plead helplessness but impart our drop of learning in this vast ocean – who knows maybe others may have already poured in their share and with few more drops, a vessel could be full.

Photographs by Gautam (except the office photos)

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