Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I just had the greatest insight of all time a few days ago.

Damn ... all those days of browsing through blogs with my body positioned strategically so that nobody could see the monitor, constantly expanding my peripheral vision to check if anybody was checking me, minimizing and Alt+F4-ing every time someone sneaked up on me ... Damn. I didn't know.

I didn't know that people think you're 'reading' when you're actually blog-browsing. Think of it. There's (mostly) no advertisement on the page, which means you're not putting that credit card of yours to good use. No HTML crying out 'Inbox', which means you're not checking email every 5 minutes. No scantily clad women leaping out of the screen, which means you're not doing anything you're not supposed to be doing. You don't have headphones plugged into your ears, neither is there a video streaming on screen. There's just text, text and more text. Of course, they think I'm 'reading'. They think *snicker* they think you're updating your knowledge (yeah right), reading stuff from multicoloured websites (A colleague actually asked me, "What's with that black coloured website you keep reading?").

Damn. Well, better late than never.

So what do I do with my newly found knowledge? I play it up, of course -
  1. So I'm reading about how a friend finds religion and God fascinating. I notice this guy peeping at my screen from his desk. I lean back from the monitor, make sure he gets a good look at the screen. At this distance, he can only see a lot of blue, green and yellow, and of course, dense text. He goes back to work. I should ideally cut my scene here. But I don't. I lean back into the chair, do something intellectual (like scratching my head), look away into the distance, make intellectual noises (like 'Hmmmmm' and clucking my tongue), open my notebook, look at the screen, and write today's date in a page already filled with a lot of dates, and get back to my 'reading'. This way everyone within hearing distance knows I'm engaging in something productive.
  2. So I'm a little sad that another friend will not be updating his blog for the next three weeks. And I spy my teammate typing code furiously, and glancing at me now and then. I look at her and say, "You know it says here MATLAB has an auto-code feature which is as good as hand-coding ... it could put you ... I mean ... us ... out of work". She looks at me, and gets back to work as if nothing happened. And then says, "Send me the link." Argh! Oh well, I do know there's a link somewhere. I just have to find it. Meanwhile, teammate is suitably impressed about my 'reading'.
  3. So I was reading how it's not just me who's jobless enough to talk about curd rice on the internet. I look at the time. 3 'o' clock. I open my mailbox, navigate to the newsletters folder, open a latest one, pick a link making sure it has the words "embedded" or "automotive", send out an email to all my teammates with the link saying "makes for interesting reading". And I resume pondering about how jobless people are to talk about curd rice on the internet. The next day, I get replies saying, "Fabulous link! Thanks for sharing :)". I'm wicked, I know.
So there, feel free to use these tips at work. They work for me. No money-back guarantees though.

Of course, the network administrator sees everything.

PS: Sometimes, I suspect the only reason why I don't get fired is a little similar to this.


The Soliloquist said...

Tried and Tested... ;-) Foolproof....

Btw, have some more in my kitty.. will give them for a price if intrested..

Somedays, blogs are the only things that make me remain in my seat...

The Man Who Wasnt There said...

A different perspective...

colleague 1: "Ah!!! damned orkut!!
I hate that 'No doughnuts message'!
I might as well sneak upon others and see what the heck they are me see what is with musafir (insert choicest nick name here!) and his constant creening of the neck and his musing look? The exact look one gets when one is pondering over the purpose of Paris Hilton's existence..anyway might as well just go over to his desk and pretend to be all serious.. is it his blog? will I get to know what he had for breakfast? anyway let me just ask him..

(Inset lesson 1: A colleague coming over to your desk more often than not first checks your monitor and then depending on your gender and his/her orientation you. It's almost like a reflex action. ) technical stuff? yeah right!! Anyway atleast he does more work than me..let me get back to my orkut..."

(Inset lesson 2 : Most self respecting employees think their colleagues are more loyal,sincere,hardworking than they are though obviously less brainier. You see they have to work hard because they have less grey cells. The 'self respecting' employee can do the work in a jiffy but it doesn’t 'challenge' him enough...this is a pretext which would serve well in life.

colleague 2 : "....damn them..they told me MATLAB would do all the stuff and all I had to do was sit in front of it and click on some buttons...why did they so much exaggerate the capability of MATLAB raising it to some omniscient software that they said by some heuristic technique the software would even anticipate the buttons you are going to click and all I actually had to do was pretend to click something or move my hands at furious pace so that the geeky colleague next to me thinks I am actually typing something fast...
..err..what? damn..looks like he is catching on to my trick...He does seems to know that the MATLAB has the auto code feature..! Look at the smugness on his face! most guys have it when they discuss 'technical' stuff with better of the species... I know something is coming on the monitor though have no frigging idea what it is...maybe a link for it would help..might as well ask him..."

( Inset lesson 3 : The rapidity of the keystrokes is inversely proportional to the relevance of the code in the monitor and the working of the mind. )

Colleague 3 : "Sigh..ANOTHER spam mail from that geek!! What perverse pleasure does he take in sending me those links? I have a feeling he hardly reads them....
"makes for interesting reading" Forsooth!...what does he think it is?kamasutra? Now I have to send a courtesy mail...might as well turn on the auto reply feature...

( Inset Lesson 4: It is annoying..I tell you extremely annoying for the 'self respecting' employee to get technical links in mails. If the employee wants he will use the bloody Google thank you. (context demanded the profanities..) )

Network administrator: What a life...everyone is pretending...whom do they think they are kidding? I am the big Brother…

( Inset lesson 5: Yes there is a philosopher in every network administrator....and worse a Big Brother..enough said..)

Universal ‘Truth’ :
1. All is fine with the world as long as two people who think they are cleverer than the other person doesn’t let the other person know it.
2. The Whole world's a stage. Everyone's playacting.
3. There is no Universal 'truth' but only 'truths'....

musafir said...

The soliloquist

"Somedays, blogs are the only things that make me remain in my seat" -- And Ph.D. comics of course :)


Lol ... Hilarious :-)) Some "techies" we all are!

Of course, Lesson 4 takes a turn for the worse now and then when they start asking questions about the said link.