Saturday, 20 July 2013

Caution: Men at Work #2

The first post in this series can be accessed here.

Some introspection has revealed that I spend way too much time singing praises of the boys and mocking the fairer sex (well, at least on my blog). So, today I will endeavour to take the mickey out of the men at the workplace! This post will be similar to the ones I wrote on women (which you can read here and here).

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Exhibit - 1 (The Beach Babe):

No, he does not have washboard abs or a bronzed complexion. He's probably never gone surfing either. But he's got a mind boggling collection of floral shirts, mostly of the beach-variety. It isn't very hard to spot the big, bright patterns on his shirt that flutters nonchalantly among the stiff whites and blues. His sartorial experiments lead him where even women fear to tread. (Really, no sane woman would be caught dead with so many flowers on her self!) His very presence makes me hear the sound of ukuleles and I imagine he'll break into a hula-dance. The only prop missing on him is a Hawaiian garland. With that sorted, he'd be all set to go to a luau!

Exhibit - 2 (The Gadget Ghoul):

A technology-freak, he has impatience written on his forehead. I once made the mistake of making him wait for 5 minutes and I found him playing on his PlayStation Portable-2 as he composed a text message on his phone with the voice command while also listening to something on his iPod. I forgot to add, his iPad rested on his lap and the office computer (with 3 monitors) on his desk. The glowing red mute button on his IP phone let me know he was on a conference call at the same time. The gadget-ghoul is a classic multitasker but displays unearthly behaviour that gives you the creeps. He is also a man of few words and will only talk in tech-speak.

Exhibit - 3 (The Ladies' Man):

We all know this one. And every school/college/office has one. (In fact, most places have multiple ladies' men these days!) He'll wink at you from 20 yards away. And of course, you'll look away and pretend he's winking at someone else. But he'll walk towards you with swift strides and you'll frantically search for a turn in the corridor you can escape into. But we all know such escape routes never materialize when you want them to. So, you'll tell yourself he's caught something in his eye and is not really winking (as he continues to hold that wink). But lord, what do you make of that unmistakably frisky smile that accompanies his wink!

This exhibit has some varieties. There'll be one who'll block your path and force you into a conversation even as you wear your I-have-tons-of-work-and-really-need-to-get-back-to-my-desk look. Another one who'll throw a random one-liner in your first language and lean on a wall with his hands folded and a smirk plastered on his face, in anticipation of a response from you. This reminds me of a funny incident from college that I MUST share with you (excuse my digression)-

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So, I was walking past a bulletin board near my classroom and this decent-looking guy tossed a full Bengali sentence in my direction (a complex and grammatically correct one at that!) as he stood grinning with a friend of his. I politely complimented him on his flawless delivery of a foreign tongue. That's when he said he was Bengali too and threw another Bangla line in his defence. And believe you me, I gave him quite an earful about how a couple of sentences won't make him Bengali and he should stop messing with me! He recoiled at my angry outburst and helplessly tried to convince me he wasn't telling lies. What followed was a barrage of questions that I threw at him to verify his claim. And that poor soul patiently replied and got all the answers right. It was my turn to look guilty. I sheepishly apologised to the guy who gave me his it's-OK-I-won't-kill-you look.

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I know you're getting bored and want me to move to the next exhibit, but please allow me to speak about just one more variety of this kind: this one will drag you to have breakfast with him (and later confess he has already had his). He will joke about the dishes and ask you if you miss your fish-and-rice (to which I will squarely reply that I'm vegetarian). And then he'll tell you his ex was Bengali too and how much she loved her meat and fish (and you'll really not know what to make of it or where the conversation is going).

The ladies' man makes women giggle as the other men frown and plot his murder. But his disease is contagious (which is why we have more and more of this type with every passing season).

Exhibit - 4 (The Gym Junkie):

We've all seen biceps threatening to bulge out of shirts (at least on TV? C'mon!) and gym-bags slung over the right shoulder as the office-bag hangs from the left. But have you seen those really-serious-gym-goers who will not stop an extra second in the elevator to say goodbye to you? They just HAVE to clock their 60 minutes of cardio/weight/circuit training! And some will go the extra mile and throw in a football practice AND a game of squash to make sure their muscles don't slack for even a minute. This exhibit's dizzying workout routine makes me wonder if even his jawline will become muscular and talking, synonymous with flexing his cheeks. I always expect the gym-junkie to drop dead in front of me (he never does).

Exhibit - 5 (The Gossip Guy):

I've always thought ladies are the queens of the gossip-club, but the men have proved me wrong! There's an entire breed of men who love to talk (mostly about people). I remember this quote for some reason:
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.
- Eleanor Roosevelt
(Oh wait! Did you just classify me as a "small mind" because I'm discussing characters here?! :-| ) Anyhow, gossip-guys are plentiful and scattered all over the work premise. You'll find them huddled at a table in the cafeteria, in their restrooms as they do their "business" (NO, of course I haven't been there! I have have guy friends who tell me some things sometimes), near the coffee machines and water coolers, and obviously at their desks. How do you tell if they're gossiping or having a random civil chat? Well, you watch their expressions. They'll wear a funny smile (if I get time, I'll write a blog post on "smiles" to educate you about the different kinds) and laugh snootily. The gossip-guys don't even leave the digital world alone as their back-fence talk spills into social media and Whatsapp group-chats (sometimes in the presence of the very people they slander).

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So much inside scoop should be enough for you to digest for today. There's more, of course. But we'll hear that some other time. So long, fellas!


  1. OMG...Landed at this blog and pleasantly shocked :-O *cough* *Cough*


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