Tuesday, October 23, 2007

God Damned it!

Regular swearing at work can help boost team spirit among staff, allowing them to express better their feelings as well as develop social relationships.According to a study by British researchers Yehuda Baruch, Professor of Management at the University of East Anglia, East England and graduate Stuart Jenkins, swearing helped foster solidarity among employees and express frustration, stress or other feelings.

Indian Express October 18, 2007

Day in and day out I slog out since I am part of this headless system. I mean, not exactly. I am the head of my office. So in that sense my office is not headless. But if you allow me to explain the larger picture of the system in which my office is just a part you might understand and might also, can it be possible, agree with my proposition! See, as I told I am the head of my office but I have my boss in the headquarters located 2000 kms away from here. And my boss reports to –all said and done- a Minister. But, who does the Minister is reporting to, you may like to ask. The Minister reports to the Prime Minister and he is accountable to Parliament representing the public in general. That’s why I said it’s a headless system a.k.a executive in a democratic set-up.
Like any other organization my office has its score of disillusioned employees, subordinates who see stars even when they are wide-awake, eccentric bosses, rules and regulations which no one can make much sense, unfair ACR system, office politics and back biting. As a result of all these there is a huge communication gap between subordinates and subordinates, bosses and subordinates and so on. You can do all the the permutations and combinations. This communication gap can run miles long.Till the other day I did not know the reason for this complete apathetic, lethargic and lackadaisical air that was circulating, for god knows how many years, within the crumbling office building, built sometime during the British Period.
On a starry Sunday night while I ate non-fat food, so as to protect my feeble heart,and greedily stared,licking the saliva from dripping on the favourite shirt of my wife, at the spread of a heavenly feeling on the face of my old college chum, who is now a big corporate honcho as he relished the spicy hyderabadi chicken biryani, he enlightened me about the positive effects that the usage of swearing words can have on the morale of the employees. I figured out that he himself had a diploma from the Foundation for the Universal Application of Swearing Words (FUASW), since he could swear with great panache in English, German,(if you ask me, 'Deutsch' itself souncds like a swear word!) French and also Spanish. There was a light at the end of the tunnel after all, I told myself. Suppressing the cry of joy a la yahoo or eureka that could have rivaled Archimedes’ joy, I visualised myself informally interacting with the employees using new skills in my armoury. I saw the thawing of personalities that had frozen since the beginnning of Time. I thought I might get a Sevottam Award for my efforts to spread feel-good factor resulting in increased efficiency and a greater amity and solidarity among the employees. My quest for acquisition of swearing skills did not have to go through all the beleaguered processes like Indo-US Nuke agreement. With the motto ‘Boss leads the way’ I joined the FUASW and emerged after a 45-day short term course with a dictionary of swearing words, which could have turned American rappers green with envy.
I didn’t have to wait long to use my newly acquired talent. At the traffic junction, two young fellas on their bike came to a zooming halt on the left side of my car. With the full knowledge of ‘the fault lies in you and not in your stars’ I downed my window and shouted,
‘ Hey, you chubby fucking asshole, what the hell you think you are doing by fucking overtaking us from the left. Crazy,Dickhead I can turn you over to police where they will convert you into a bag of shit, you realize that?'
After that little speech the two dumbstruck boys smiling meekly and sheepishly said ‘Sorry’. I, in return smiling at the success of my new technique said, ‘Go fry your own shit, young man’. They, without another glance at the chauffeur-driven, swearing-like-hell man, whizzed past. But to my surprise our car was not moving. The driver sat in his seat like a statue as though stuck by a thunderbolt. Slightly bending and in a voice coated with honey and sugar I asked him, 'what’s the bloody wrong with you dimwit?’ At these words the driver grinning from ear to ear, as though he had just heard the best joke of the year, at last started the car.
In the office my enthusiasm to show off my expertise was overflowing. As soon as the old lady who is steno cum PA cum receptionist entered my chambers with a broad smile signifying how happy she was to welcome me back, I said
‘It’s so fucking nice to be back in this goddamn shitty office, Mrs.G’
‘Pardon me,Sir…err..I didn’t quite get you’ she said.
‘Oh, I am goddamn sure you do dear. You are the finest old farthole I have met in my life’ caressing every word with affection as I said them.
‘Sir, but what is a fffaafaa.’. I cut her question, because like all great bosses I didn't know the answer and said
‘huh. Cut the crap Mrs. G. Now please don’t be a slow turd, fuck off and ask Mr.S to see me’.
‘Okay sir, Its very nice to see you in such great spirits. Hope you had a good time during leave’ she said, all the while blinking and looking extremely puzzled.
I flashed a smile of utmost satisfaction to her in reply and she scampered off.
Likewise the meeting with Mr.S also went and I sent him off asking him to do a Joining Report, which should be sent to HQ. When he came again with the letter, I signed and said ‘now get this damn piece of shit faxed to HQ’.
Mr.S looked amused and I think, emboldened by my approach said,
‘ Sir, there is a tremendous change in you since you went away on leave’
I said in a supplicating tone, ‘You think so? Bloody heck, do you think it will make a fucking difference in this bullshit of a office?’
‘Sir, everybody is talking about you in the office’.
‘Okay, lets have a staff meeting today over lunch. Please make all the fucking arrangements Mr.S’ I said.
Meanwhile I dreamt about the camaraderie that was building up and the end of moronic state of affairs in the office where everybody was aware of each other but still didn’t know anything about each other.
Over lunch I suggested that ‘they have all been just cotton headed ninny muggets and if they don’t fucking freak out on work they will remain cretins for ever. And they will just screw up their best time of their life in a god forsaken office if they don’t free their arses once in a while and start understanding each other better’. I also gave a speech about how if they loosened themselves a bit and worked together, it would increase the efficiency since they would be trusting each other more and blah blah.
To the best of my knowledge the meeting went off well. But the staff instead of looking happy had morose faces. I surmised that since I talked about efficiency and sharing of workload etc they would have been disappointed.
Two –three days went off like this. I freely used my skills of swearing and waited for its effects i.e its ability to boost team spirit among the staff and foster their social relationships. I could feel the excitement among the staff. I, several times spotted them near the computer with the internet facility. I just assumed that they were now learning to work together. Meanwhile, the flight of my imagination knew no bounds. I imagined that after my success, they would make a course on swearing compulsory during training and they might ask me to do all the groundwork for such a program. At the end of the third day my new approach had its effect. But not the desired ones. Someone in the office somehow had leaked about the changes happening in our office to the HQ and there it was, in my hands, a letter of warning from HQ, which among other things said,
“it has come to the notice of HQ that your behaviour in the office is quite unbecoming of an Officer of your rank and stature. As the head of the office you are required to maintain discipline and decorum in the office. Since it has been noticed that you have failed in your due responsibilities kindly show causes why no action should be initiated against you”
Sweating profusely at the implications such a letter had on my ACR and the prospects of promotions, I rang the bell and when the peon came, I asked

'Get me a glass of fuc…no just water!'