Sunday, 27 December 2015

Santa Claus: The Salesman with Claws

Having emerged from the Christmas season, which is not yet over, a not-so changed man, I wonder how many actually did bring about a change in their lives in this year.

Well Christmas is indeed a time of cheer and goodwill among men but it is also the international standard for sales targets, advertising budget overruns, depleting savings and burning through piles of hard earned cash – all in the name of the Lord.

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Well, that’s at least what I’ve heard some of the clergy say this year what with the birthday boy, Jesus himself, disappearing out of the whole Christmas picture with every passing year. To put it into perspective, there seems to be a feeling that Jesus didn’t get invited to his own birthday party because somebody brought the cake, another brought the drinks, a third brought the food and the fourth brought the dessert and there was nobody left to inform the guy for whom they actually threw the party.

Sounds weird?

Some seem to be concerned that the commercialization of festivals has led Santa Claus to become an even bigger idol that Jesus today. And that should worry the leaders off the church if it doesn’t already. One has to admit, it is great for the propagation of religion but the essence as such keeps losing significance.

To kids today, Christmas seems to mean nothing other than the fact that their parents getting them gifts, for teenagers it’s all about the parties, for young adults it’s a day off of work and the others, some time to spend with the family.

This obviously doesn’t hold true for everyone but observation has led me to believe that the importance of Christmas has dwindled down to just the poster boy of a soft drinks company and means nothing more than just another holiday.

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It is just like what happens to other festivals celebrated here in India that I’ve written about in this post on Durga puja. But well, something needs to be done to drive sales and what better way than appealing  to peoples sentiments that inadvertently force them to show their love towards their family by having them make money for companies.

In the memorable words of Lord Cutler Bekett from Pirates of the Caribbean:

It’s just good business…

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A very Merry Christmas to you and a Happy New Year!

Note: This post is not meant to be disrespectful to any religion, people or God/s. It is just my personal opinion on what I've observed in my vicinity. Any connection to people (living or dead) or Companies (and franchises) or Gods (and Goddesses) is merely coincidental and is not deliberately meant.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Can Meritocracy survive in the face of Corporate Seniority?

There is usually a lot of chatter at different workplaces about quality of work, standards of employees, dishing out of credit and progress of the deserving and the unworthy alike.

Now, it may occasionally happen that a young employee with formidable talent and skill and may come along, one whose talent may overshadow even those with many years of experience under their belts. These suave and confident beings may or may not realize their potential but in a highly competitive workplace, contemporaries, if not superiors, are sure to take notice sooner rather than later.

With enough time spent and hard work put in, these young ones may tend to catch the eye of the boss if they’re looking enough attention. Well, that is a prerequisite for bosses nowadays when even CEO's are out hunting for jobs. The constant need to improve on the workplace and generate better profits for the company keeps even the laziest of bosses on the lookout for those who have the ability to grasp things and climb the proverbial ladder.

This is where the problem occurs.

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Should the boss promote the underling and bypass the senior?


Or should the boss risk wasting potential to preserve peace in the workplace?

Not all bosses have the kind of rapport with employees so as to understand the dynamics and offices politics playing out under their own noses. In their rise, they leave behind common ploys and play the same game at a higher level.

But only those working together actually realize how team dynamics work under the complex hierarchy that modern industry is based on. They know who works well with whom, who works better than whom, who cannot work with whom and who cannot be trusted to work at all. And they often know all this more than the bosses themselves who have glass cabins shielding them from the best and worst their employees have to offer.

So, does meritocracy really survive if the hierarchy is put in danger?

Does the workplace dynamic take a hit in light of a jump in promotion?

Does merit even stand a chance in the face of superiors taking credit for everything?

Or is the cumbersome method of seniority the only way to ensure smooth functioning?

Food for thought, dear leaders…