Friday, November 22, 2013

What My First Job Taught Me & Why I didn't Learn Anything From It

When I first started my career, I made some grand assumptions about how I would transform the world, make it a better place and not compromise on my ideals or the values that define me as a person.

One year into my first job, I saw through my stupid notions and knew it is all bullocks! You know there is nothing else you can really do but turn a blind eye to the small-skirted, hardly-can-write-a-sentence, cleavage showing girl who is definitely closer to the top brass/caucus than you can ever possibly be. Even her voice, which when she talks to a person of the same gender is sharp like a seagull's mean cry, becomes - the most and only accurate way to put is like this - sexually provocative as though she is in the middle of an act...it's exactly what can turn the toughest man into mush in minutes. I have seen this happen countless times and wished a thousand times I didn't exist to see this repeat itself over and over again. 

But especially in the field of law and print book publishing, men will be men and there are women who know exactly how to leverage it at the workplace. Sadly, the women aren't really women anymore. 

When I joined my first job, I met and trained many freshers from law college - ambitious, smart and all set to conquer the world by hook or crook. It's no longer about right or wrong. It's about getting the life of your dreams and trampling over other people's hard work and dreams too. 

The paradox remains that there are still women like me who believe that hard work, commitment, integrity and sincerity at the workplace are all that it takes to excel at work. I believe it is even when the world, during my first job, reflected something else altogether.

No, I am not being sarcastic here. I am telling you what is happening in many workplaces. And in this post, I am sharing what I refused to learn from my first workplace.

In the days thereafter, you learn the art of pretending to be blind everytime the chick falls on her knees spangled in  a most embarassing way in front of the management comprising (obviously) of males and you know that your principled stand and professional attitude are definitely not going to impress in comparison. At best, it will bring about some boring yawns. By the end of the first year, you even master the zen of maintaining icy silence to survive your first job and many that come thereafter. You change nothing in the process - except yourself and tweak the idealistic person you once happened to be.

But still some people like me are so nutty they won't mend their ways. They continue to be humble even around the young chicks that come out of college, chewing bubble gum at the workplace and rings on not just their nose but chin, navel and waist and you sigh as you learn to balance your humility with their 'we-know-it-all-because-we-need-less-clothes' attitude.

If you actually wear clothes to work more than skin, learn to lose gracefully to those who know next to nothing but they think do. And yes, they know the game better than you do because it takes a great deal of relentless practice to have the cleavage angle perfectly turned out. I mean, how many of you can get it right every time? I doubt it. It takes relentless practice and razor sharp timing.  Admit it, it is more superior to any thing you can possibly conjure up in your own head such as creativity or innovation!

Still I wouldn't go that route. It's just not me.

And if you don't believe me yet, trust me. I know many people like that from my first job. They are smarter, more successful and know what it takes to reach the highest positions in the shortest span of time. They embrace life with no regrets. Unfortunately, I learned nothing valuable from them and continue to be the old-fashioned professional that I am.  

By the way, I can guess your next question. Here's my answer: I don't remember which company that I had joined first...pun intended! 


Funny, I have no regrets about being me. Right now where I am, I am very happy. Isn't it all that matters? 

6 comments:

Asha said...

This post goes to show what a strong moral foundation you have been raised with. Great swapna, These are not even things worth learning.

I see around me such type of people too. funnily these women allow their teen children also to dress up by wearing skimpier dresses and cleavage showing tops. To them, it is considered feminist, progressive and fashionable.

Zafaran said...

Your post is not only a great read, but so true too! Yet, I feel, the cleavage touting females will not figure anywhere in the horizon when actual, real intellectual work needs to be done. There will come a moment of recognition of chaff from grain!

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