Not Quite Enough

When I was being worked to the bone by the slave drivers of KF, I would have given almost anything for a quiet, peaceful job where I could set the pace, do my work, and go home at 6. And when I joined my current exalted company, I was promised exactly that. Even so, I was thoroughly surprised when I found that promise turn to reality. Despite some of my friends thinking otherwise, the truth is that I am a really lazy person, and a job that allowed me to get in to office around 9.30 and leave at 5.30 with an hour-long lunch break (including a mandatory post-prandial stroll) and a couple of leisurely coffee breaks sounded just about ok to me. And if the work was less than thrilling, it seemed a small price to pay in return for a peaceful existence.

But, lazy though I may be, I never asked for a job where they pay me for doing nothing. As it is, it was surprising enough that they gave me three months vacation last year. It was an unpaid vacation, true, but when I came back I found a nice package awaiting me in the bank! It seems that while I was holidaying in the high hills, they had not only given me my bonus, but also seen fit to give me an award.

Then things got better: less than six months back on the job and the annual appraisal cycle had been completed. I would have expected an average rating, but guess what I got? Outstanding: the highest rating (awarded to ~15% of the workforce – or less) and a promotion to boot! That totaled up to an astonishing 51% hike!

Well, I always said there’s no justice in the world, but for a change it was exactly the sort of injustice I could do with more of. Maybe it was a sort of compensationl for my grievances of KF, where I worked like a horse (dogs don’t work, do they?) and not only didn’t make much money but even got cheated out of 25 k at the end. (The short story is that my boss, after agreeing to a one month notice period, instructed HR to cut my pay for the balance 60 days’ notice period from my final settlement out of spite, because she thought I had snitched on her regarding her communal bias in recruitment, in which suspicion she was totally justified.)

Well, my current company, which is sooooooooo much better than KF and so generous too (despite all the troubles one reads about in the papers) is continuing with its munificence towards me. In addition to paying me for not doing any work, they periodically thrust upon me gift certificates of Rs 1,000. What did I do to earn those? Almost nothing. For instance, in one case I reviewed a 10-page white paper for an engineer on the team. (I only did it because I had absolutely no other work.) In another instance, a project was transferred to me, and the person transferring it handled all the documents and ensured a smooth release before the transfer. For this, I got an award. Whaaa…? Makes no sense, does it?

So, all things considered, it seems to be pretty much a dream company. Oh, and, just to make things easy for me *in case* I ever do get swamped with work, I’ve been given a contract worker to manage. So now, not only do I not have any work, I have also to generate futile tasks for this contract worker, who is stupid and obstinate and argumentative and altogether irritating and keeps interrupting me when I’m doing important things like surfing the net or reading personal emails.

So what am I complaining about (yes, I am complaining)? Well, it’s now six months since I had any work, and guess what – I’m bored! I’m frustrated! I want to do work!!! Not very much work, necessarily, but at least a nominal 4-5 hours’ work per day – is that too much to ask?

Apparently yes, because I’ve been asking my boss for pretty much the last six months, to no effect. Since he sits in the US and I talk to him 30 minutes on the phone every week, it’s very easy for him to forget that I exist and that I have no work – but, though he’s been trying real hard to forget, I’ve been making it really difficult for him. For instance, just yesterday I told him that if he has no work for me, he should start by kicking out the contractor, and if he still has no work for me, maybe he needs to think about kicking me out as well. Ok, I didn’t put it in quite so many words, but I skirted dangerously close to the idea. Playing with fire? Given the current situation in my company, definitely! But honestly, I don’t think I can survive without work much longer… I might turn into a cabbage or something.

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