Sunday, 19 May 2013

Women in the Corporate Jungle #1

Today, I bring you the first in a series of posts that will introduce a smattering of female characters from my workplace. Some traits describe many whereas some are unique to the individual. Some make me proud of being a woman, and some inspire indignation. I will kick off this series with some women who make me laugh (without meaning to do so).

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Exhibit - 1 (The Complaint Box):

She enters the floor with a perpetual frown that refuses to leave her face even when she's laughing. She finds faults with everything at office- the firm's elegantly branded coffee-mugs, which are either too plain or too cumbersome to wash or too bulky for her; the nutritionally balanced cafeteria-food, which according to her either lacks salt or spices or comes with veggies she can't recognize (due to her limited gastronomical experiences, ofcourse!); the free office supplies that are way too unfashionable for her extraterrestrial taste; even her own (talented and mostly experienced) coworkers! She can make a bouquet of fresh flowers wither under her scowl, I'm certain!

Exhibit - 2 (The Name-Dropper):

She only just got here but will act like she knows 'em all! She will tell you she lunched with A, B, C, D & E. (Never mind that none will recall her name when they next meet her.) She will boast about the MTV Music Awards night that she went to the previous weekend and will spend the whole of Monday telling you (and every other hapless soul in your bay) how many actors/singers/DJs she brushed shoulders with. This will almost always be accompanied with grainy pictures you can make nothing of, and videos of sparkly objects that emit incoherent sounds. The one thing I genuinely admire about the name-dropper is her infinite memory to store names.

Exhibit - 3 (The Brand Ambassador):

She only wears big brands (and makes sure you know it). The echo of her Louboutins will reach you before she does (eerily, despite the carpet that was put there for the very purpose of muffling the clicking sounds). The alligator of her Lacoste bag looks so giant, it could eat you! What? You cannot tell the brand of her tiny diamonds? Don't fret! She will carry her lunch in the Tanishq paper bag (for your eyes only). 

Now, most brand-wielding women are composed and dignified, and wear what they wear 'cause they can afford to. But the kind that really entertains me is the one that tries too hard to announce that she's "arrived". She starts conversations with "I know I'm wearing checks but this is a Tommy Hilfiger" or "Is that a Vero Moda dress? (snootily) No? You bought it from ____?! (with a fake shocked expression) I'd never risk shopping there." And it only gets hilarious when she sometimes gets the pronunciation wrong. Every time I hear "Chae-nell", "Woo-ton", "Tiss-ott" ... I struggle to clench my teeth so I can control the imminent laughter.

Exhibit - 4 (The Far-From-Formal):

She is the lady who was going to a mall with her giggly friends but lost her way and ended up in the office. (Mine is a global investment bank, mind you! We consider checks, corduroys, sleeveless and polos a strict no-no, just to give you an idea.) She will wear bright red chinos with a floral top. She cannot breathe without baring her shoulders. If she ever deigns to wear anything with sleeves, it'll invariably be sheer or have sleeves of net. She flaunts polka dots like they're pinstripes, and bright-coloured flip-flops like they're closed-toed black heels. Her utter disregard for the corporate policy makes people balk, but they stop short of warning her for the fear of hurting her sentiments. Her actions may seem bold, but she's usually a sweet, harmless woman and mostly very helpful.

Exhibit - 5 (The 'Man'ager):

She can delegate better than your own manager. She treats every man like her personal "Man Friday". She has one to make her coffee, one to carry her stuff, one to drop her home, and a separate one to pay her bills. She is an astute businessperson (not in the traditional sense). She will get the brainy guy to help with her office work (while she browses through the catalogue of her favourite online retailer); Mr. money-bags to take her to the local pubs where she'll knock back vodka shot after vodka shot (without getting unconscious, ofcourse) and leave him to pick up the check (despite earning the same amount as the guy!); the innocent-looking good guy to get her out of trouble; and the guy with "connections" to get her exclusive passes to assorted award functions/shows. The only people who intrigue me more than these ladies are the men who fall for their traps.

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My stomach hurts with all this giggling, so I'll go get some rest. But I'll be back some other day to entertain you with more species from the corporate jungle! Buenas noches a todos!


  1. "She can make a bouquet of fresh flowers wither under her scowl"... ROFL! :D


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