Work This Way

Years and years ago, I had a blog in which I wrote some things related to work. It was not a smart thing to do even though the resulting kerfuffle forced me to leave Blogspot and that led to me discovering WordPress (yay!). I am not going to make the same mistake again because really, migrating the near-400 posts on this blog would be a pain. Also, rumour has it I’m older and wiser. However, because I need to get it out of my system, I’m going to have one last post about the working life before I zip it so far as that topic is concerned. The other consideration is that I can’t think of any better use for the following gifs.

Once upon a time…

…in an island city, there was an office. In the office worked a small team of people, led by Boss. Boss had two able lieutenants and one of them was Grumpy. All of them worked together in happy harmony and the office was full of good cheer.

Then one day, when Grumpy came into work, Grumpy realised there was someone new and un-minion-y at work. Not just that, Boss said Grumpy had to work and share turf with the new person, Newbie. Grumpy was not amused.

When Grumpy met Newbie.

Newbie got off to what seemed like an uneventful start but the calm was misleading. With a little bumbling here and there, Newbie started figuring out the ways of this new workplace and as things started to feel familiar, Newbie felt more settled. Meanwhile, Grumpy was getting grumpier and grumpier. When Newbie started making friends with the rest of the team, others seemed tentative but welcoming. That was when it struck Newbie that Grumpy wasn’t very friendly. If Grumpy not replying to messages or being unwilling to say even a ‘hello’ every morning hadn’t clued Newbie in, there was Grumpy’s smile when in Newbie’s presence:

Grumpy’s smile.

As time wore on, things got more and more tense. Newbie couldn’t shake the feeling that Grumpy, who did everything possible to make sure interaction between the two of them was minimal enough to make Piet Mondrian request frills, wasn’t quite happy working with Newbie. In fact, Newbie had the feeling that if Grumpy was given free reign, this is what Grumpy would do to Newbie:

Grumpy’s fantasy.

One day, Newbie came into work to find Grumpy in deep conversation with Boss. Newbie was sure that Grumpy was complaining to Boss about having to work with Newbie. They talked and they talked and they talked and they talked. This was what Boss looked like:

Boss, listening to Grumpy.

It was, of course, possible that Boss and Grumpy were having a long chat and it had nothing to do with Newbie. But when someone doesn’t tell you what’s happening in a cubicle out of earshot but within range of sight, and one of the participants of the conversation is your disgruntled colleague and the other is your boss who shoots glances at you from time to time, you assume you’re the problem being discussed. Finally, after what seemed like forever, Grumpy emerged from the cubicle and immediately headed out of the office. One by one, all the other members of the team, except Newbie, went out too. Newbie blinked and looked around to check that it was still an office that Newbie was in because for a couple of moments, Newbie felt like the weird new kid in school rather than an adult at work. Boss finally came out and with a kindly smile said that the team was to be reorganised and Grumpy would be doing other things and a different person would work with Newbie.

While Boss spoke, Newbie felt like this inside:

But so far as anyone in the office was concerned — which was only Boss, since everyone else was probably devouring Grumpy’s retelling of what had transpired between Boss and Grumpy — Newbie probably looked like this:

On the plus side, now neither Grumpy nor Newbie had to think of coping tactics for one another. On the down side… wait. There isn’t a down side, is there?

Right.

And so they lived happily ever after.

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