Sunday, October 16, 2011

Through a jobless pair of eyes

I’ve entered my fourth week of unemployment. This whole newness is so surreal in a very non-Luis Buñuel kind of way. Being free and moneyless and all. The thing is when you have a job, all you want to do is slack. For the employed, job is a dirty word. But as soon as you get to the other side of the fence, things starts falling into perspective. Or rather, things fall into uglier perspective. For the record, most of my weekdays are spent on a mundane hype called weekends. No kidding. I literally wait for Saturday. I haven’t figured out why yet, though.

Once you’re jobless, you notice stuff you used to take for granted or forgot to notice in the first place. For example, all unhappy employees are alike. They’ll find excuse to hate their job more than they are supposed to. It’s an evolutionary build-up against complacency. You’ve got to abhor the very enemy that supports you financially. That’s how it works. Of course, I’m not speaking on behalf of all employed folks. I am just pitching up for 98.71% of the crowd. The bottom-line is some people will never be happy. Let's just call them employees.

I was once Jack's raging employee who was not able to keep up with social media. In my erstwhile office, I used to struggle with the organizational setup to tweet on a regular basis which was nevertheless difficult. That’s one of the reasons why I turned bot on Twitter. But now that I am majorly indoors, I wonder why core issues like unemployment are seldom discussed on the timeline. The reason is pretty simple – most of the tweeps are unemployed and home truths are hard to swallow (or sell). Furthermore, no one can match unemployed folks in driving the point home. There are positive sides too. Unemployed folks try not to take God's name in vain on a Friday morning.

I miss my colleagues as well as my boss sometimes. Just for old times’ sake. Nothing personal. Whenever people ask me why I left my job, I try to be at my diplomatic best and suggest that there comes a time in every person’s life when he contemplates becoming a farmer with unlimited access to internet. And then, in my defense, I remind them that my forefathers were bona fide farmers so maybe I should go back to ploughing. But the truth is there comes a time in an employee's life when he decides to take a lifelong break from serving a particular field. And that’s exactly what I did. On a broader scale, I was done with transcription.

I don’t want to be an employee anymore. I want to be one of those guys from Indian TV soap operas who never have a job yet live a rich life full of dialogues. Just kidding. By the way, although I’m a Christopher McCandless fan, I’ve got nothing against money. I’ll never burn them. I’ve been working since I turned 20 so I guess I value money and the hard work that goes behind earning it. And Nickelback's Rockstar is nothing less than an inspiration. Not.

Having said that, employees are nothing more than salaried machines. We like to call ourselves employees as it sounds cool but it doesn't change the fact that we are bonded laborers who gave up too soon. For the record, the company I used to work for was way too kind to tolerate my mediocrity. I remember the chair I used to sit on. It was like the loyalest employee out here. It won’t let me get up unless my job allowed me to. OK. Granted, that was an exaggeration. I can afford one, as always. Like jobless guys are expected to.

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