Office Space

I got a hard working group of friends... which is a good thing considering if they plan to retire by 40. But unfortunately this is not the case in a country like India. Where people being employed by MNC's, Media houses, telecom and corporate giants are used for their own greedy and selfish motives. Hard work is a good quality.. for a willing donkey. So here are a few guidelines for my fellow friends about the ten things the employers will never let you know.

First Thing

" You will be paid the lowest possible salary "

Why should this be so?

1. For a start there are not many people who know their own self worth.
2. You are expendable in the first 6 months. Goof up and you will be replaced.
3. There are plenty of other people waiting in the wings to take your
place for a lower fee if you refuse.
4. If you do protest, you can typically kiss promotion goodbye.
5. Employee costs are a significant percentage of total costs and
are usually monitored in budgets and reports. It is often a key
management performance indicator (like production, wastage,
stock levels and so on). So it is in their own promotional interests
to keep them as low as possible.

The Second

"You'll never make good money working for other people."

How many senior managers are there at your place of work? And
how many others are there? The ratio is likely to be anywhere from
40:1 to 200:1. So if you have their education, background, ability,
contacts and perhaps luck, those will be your odds of making that
kind of money also. If you lack any one of those parameters, the
odds increase exponentially.

Then ask yourself how long you would have to wait before you
started earning that sort of cash? By the time you start making
enough money to relax with, it's nearly time to retire.
Pah! You want the cash NOW, just when you need it most - when
you want to build a home, raise a family, do stuff, take activity
holidays, drive a fast car or whatever.

So what do you do about it? hehe

The Third Thing They Never tell you

"The willing donkey carries the heaviest load"

Quite self explanatory.

The Fourth

"They don't really mean it"

"They" applies more to senior than to middle managers. When
they get ratty or annoyed, they often don't really mean it.
Let's begin with the basics. There are 3 types of person in the
- Those for whom the job comes first, regardless of who suffers or
indeed who does it.

- Those who believe you should care for your people first and only
do the job within such comfort zones.

- Those who don't care about the job or the people, so long as they
are in control.

The latter category is the most dangerous. These are the
politicians and the senior managers of the world and they achieve
their position through a craving for power. The nature and success
of both the people and the job are irrelevant, so long as they have
the whip hand.

The Fifth

"Get noticed - Get promoted"

It's not what you know, it's who you know - and, indeed, what they
themselves know. A few percent increase in the quality, quantity or
thoroughness of your work can take a lot of effort. This is time that
could be used to rub shoulders with those who have the power to
promote you and whose opinion of you counts.

The Sixth

"You don't go to work to be liked"

That's not to say you have to be a miserable, awkward git to
everyone around you. But if there are people who don't fit your
desire to improve, you don't have to hang around with them or
tolerate them.

There are a multitude of whiners, moaners, groaners, rumourmongers,
gossipers and malicious corrupters in any organisation.
These people are toxic. One bad apple can spoil a whole barrel.
They also need the company to pour their scorn out onto. They will
walk considerable distance to have a good old moan with someone
who will sit and listen. Just watch them do it! Their self-esteem is so
low, it is impossible for them to keep it to themselves. Misery must
seek company.

The Seventh

"Perception is reality"

How people perceive you is how you really are. If you dress like a
slob, they'll think you're a slob; if you speak with firm authority (even
though you may be churning inside) you will be perceived as
authoritative. If you're perceived as a keen, early starter, that is how
you will be considered, regardless of what you are actually up to. If
you behave like management material (see Number 5), you'll be
perceived as management material.

The Eighth they Never Tell You

"Information is power"

Oh, boy, don't they just know it. There are various forms of power
and information is one of the critical ones. This is why there will
never be open management. It is far, far more one way than the
other. The information that managers hold is one of the principal
pillars of their power base.

The Ninth They Never Tell You

"It's only a game"

Although this means you do have to master the technicalities of
what you do, it also means there is nothing wrong with bluffing,
cheating and rigging the cards. If the slack in the system gives you
maneuvering space, use it. If there is a way for you to make it look
good without having to bust a gut doing it, then take it.

The Tenth Thing They Never Tell You

"Watch the X-Files - i.e. Trust no-one"

Don't even trust the stuff in this write-up! Pardon? Well, it might all
be true; then again, it might not! It's up to you to decide.

So the next time your boss says something is really important, ask
yourself for whom? Can you do a quick job on it and still keep him or
her happy? When something is a rush job, is that really the case, or
have they just not considered the options? Or are they just kneejerking?
Or are they just trying to get you to work faster? Or is it
down to their lack of organization and planning and so their own
responsibility to do it? Can you gain a favor out of doing it? And
from a million other requests made to you during your tenure.

You may think of me being excessively cynical. And cynicism is
often cited as being highly detrimental. But that usually comes form
those who are trying to exploit you. Remember, even if you win the rat race,
you're still a rat.


A good analysis on several points but don't you think a majority of this is a 'little' too umm, 'cynical'?

For example, you can make money working for other people. Just make sure you are 'worth' it to them. I'm sorry, but there is a reason that corporates give you a lesser salary than what you could make on your own; security! Dude, they took all the risk, it's done. Now all you have to do is keep doing a good job and you will constantly keep getting money.

Another for example is, trust no one? Sir, I understand where you are coming from but that was a TV show and not reality for a good reason. Just because 8 out of 10 will betray you if needed doesn't mean the other two should be penalized. If you believe that other two don't exist? Then I'd have to ask you to meet more people.

January 31, 2008 at 4:30 AM  

(waving white flag) Peace bro :). I can see my cynicism left quite an impression on you! I wouldn't get "deep" into the justification of things.

All I want if for people like you - "working professionals" to wake up to the light of realizing your own potential and start your own thing like a business or something. At the end of the day, you might boast that you work for infosys, but do you own it? It's my personal belief that "why work for crumbs off the table if you can grab the entire bread". After all isn't JOB is an acronym for Just Over Broke?

Oh and if you can't trust 8/10 people in a work environment like you said, then the remaining two poor suckers are shit out of luck for being trusted anyhow?!.

Imagine a scenario where you and your best friend / colleague at work are up for a promotion and just one position is empty and the next promotion is after 2 years. Will you gladly give it to him if asked during the interview or will you try n grab it yourself by demonstrating higher value for yourself than your friend / colleague? Let's be realistic here. :)

I know I need to meet more people. Being in business does have it's drawbacks.

January 31, 2008 at 9:50 AM  

Newer Post Older Post Home