Sunday, October 17, 2004

Squawks from the Horizontal

People sometimes ask me, why I spend so much of my time writing about
TCS, and the innate stupidity of large corporations and consultancies,
when I could be writing stuff, which could still be as funny, but of
much more general nature.

Well, for me to want to write about something, it needs to be funny,
quite idiotic and well... a large corporation like TCS is likely to have
a much larger concentration of idiots, than the normal world.

The corporation functions as the kidneys of society, which if you know
anything about kidneys becomes rather nasty, except that when talking
about corporations the nasty bits are even nastier.

A corporation takes in a large number of people (this is called
recruitment). A recruitment drive resembles the feeding of a large
killer whale, rather than the selective pecking of the average Briton,
and that's saying something about the people who can't get through the
interviews. After this, the corporation retains, the waste parts, the
rather poisonous elements, and the rest of the recyclable stuff which is
still useful or moderately intelligent to society, escapes (quits), does
the collective post graduation, which is either an MBA or an MS, and
rejoins the corporation again, this time with an added vehemence, and
becomes middle management, which integrates the verticals.

Not very intelligent, but on the whole we need to remember we are all
descendants from one single ape, who tired of foraging for food decided
to sit in a boardroom and delegate, outsource, and decided to branch out
into the service space.

But a lot of idiotic things happen in TCS which still continues to
surprise me, because well, they are just so darn idiotic!!

Consider the screen saver for instance.

TCS has a large and broad selection of screensavers, which would
gloriously refresh, rejuvenate, and make everyone happy about his/her
job, if all the screensaver were to do is stay pitch black.

Unfortunately it displays, some vague corporate MBA mumbo jumbo like
"integrating verticals", "do it to a llama", which makes life quite
miserable for most of us.

But what, really takes the coconut, cake, or the llama, is the fact,
that the screensaver, is written in Flash, and then installed by the
support people almost exclusively on machines which do not have flash.

My machine has flash, but I don't have these new screensavers.

Well, I felt I needed those new screensavers, since I like my bit of
self inflicted violence.

So I raised a request for the new screensavers.

I got back a message stating that my system did not have the necessary

So I asked them, what they were.

And there came the reply.

"You have FLASH".

Excuse me! But you are supposed to install that damn thing on machines
which have FLASH. Not on machines which don't. But these arguments did
not hold water with ISM, who promptly came and removed FLASH on my
machine, and then installed the screensaver.


Every time I step away from my comp, the computer like a recalcitrant
child starts beeping in a monotonous, one beep every one second fashion.





It keeps going this way, till in a fit of fury somebody else who is near
your cubicle gets up and switches it off.

So I have a question...


Or is it that my standards are too high.

Or, is it just a diabolical plot by HR and ISM to let all the world know
that we are not working at our desks.

And so it goes, life which is quite miserable when you are staring at
green on black letters on your screen and gets even worse, when your
computer decides to let the whole world know how much it misses you by
hiccupping every second like an incontinent dog.

Another thing which is extremely idiotic, dumb and nonsensical has been
the talent show organized by HR, to unearth the talent amongst us.

This is quite laughable when you consider that HR policy in a place like
TCS is to hire people who are intelligent, but not too intelligent, and
don't have any special skills.

HR policies in fact, quite closely resemble the policies of poachers who
went after gorillas in the Congo during the 1800s, and later shipped
them off to zoos around the world, but mostly in Britain.

The trick was to catch a gorilla that wasn't too smart, or he would
simply go bonkers, when he is put into his little cage.

One also had to avoid the rather dumb gorillas that had absolutely no
talent, because they would not get the zoo any eager patrons.

Nor the aggressive ones, which were let's say tricky to handle, and bit
one rather savagely in the butt.

The trick was to collect a group of docile individuals, who were almost
exactly like each other, and did not display any aggression except in
private, and had no individuality whatsoever.

That's the policy of HR

And that would explain the hoards of people, who work in software
industries, and are completely indistinguishable from each other, and
even themselves. All of them have their cell phones which they whip out
as they talk to their girlfriends before climbing on stage to render
another song, or to dance, a jig, all of it a pale representation, of
their awesome talent, that they hide, so that they can live, another

And those were the rebels. Most of the docile lot sang old Hindi and
Tamil numbers, in a voice quaking in parts with stage fright, and

The event is on Saturday, but I can guess who the first prize will go

It will certainly not go to the guy, who sang "Welcome to the Machine".

But I am going to participate. And rebel. I am going to do a pole dance.
I even have a title for it.