Tuesday, January 18, 2011
A confession to start with - am no ornithologist, not even a fake one. But I would be damned if I wouldn't be able to recognize a Bustard, especially when he would try hard to play peacock. And yes, I would be damned even if I did recognize him. Damned if I do, damned if I don't. When the Bustard in the peacock avatar comes calling, dear sir, you need to check your stars. And get the hell out. Presto.
Bustard De Ville (BDV) was no ordinary winged creature. Having schooled at the river side campus of the grand company, he had developed a keen sense of entitlement..especially for work done by others. Well to be fair, he was a workaholic. However, he got his highs not from any technical mumbo-jumbo that could emanate from his own (but highly limited) gray cells, it was from his advanced sense of entitlement. If there is one single characteristic that went beyond his exaggerated sense of entitlement, it was his uncanny ability to forfeit it when it suited him the least. Yes, the Bustard might walk like a cat on the ramp, but it can be an eel when you try to catch it.
BDV set about his career with an unerring sense of clarity. Be it the river-side campus and the highly topical assignments he was part of, (ex., deverticalization, as the Bozos from BeerDam would later call it), the move to the then "very happening" sour-grapes valley, then taking refuge at the asylum of Mr CC before injecting copious amounts of "you don't know shit about tech" into the veins of the lethargic, risk-wary Bozos of BeerDam.
You got to give it to him. He could, on the one hand, without flinching an eyelid, tell the dispensable Bozos to go to hell. An instant later, confronted by a crafty query from their boss, he would be the very statue of compliance and obedience, digging up tonnes of (pseudo) technical mumbo-jumbo and explaining why, by being an asshole, he was only doing the organization a favour.
He took to authority like fish to water. And he bettered himself when it came to boot-licking the powers-that-be to get their blessings. His best of course was reserved for dumping his bosses in the wake of opportunity to step up. He mastered this cycle of good-better-best to the point that it became a "mechanical process". Piss of incumbents, get patronage, move up. That's what leadership is all about. Results? Silly, that's a detail that was long delegated.
BDV was a man of action. He lusted for it. He hated status quo so much that if he could, he would rather have green sun light or blue milk or square wheels. It didn't matter to him if it was good, if it was working, or if it was for free. It had to change if he couldn't claim credit for it, if it was there before him, if it was invented by someone earlier and especially wiser.
Armed with a superior degree in power point, he could even sell square wheels to the head Bozos at BeerDam. Of course him being a native of the shroom country, speaking the same language and cracking the same jokes helped. So the grand company fell for his pitch. And pitches, he had dime a dozen. The elevator pitch for the execs, the 10 sliders for senior management, the 100 sliders to STFU for marketing, the 200 sliders to beat the techies with, the 300 sliders for STFU for the barking dogs of fake-lion-country. Every audience got their due. Every one treated to exquisite, fine roasted, crisp slides. So smooth were the slides, and smoother the rendition, I can't but help remark: Lies, Damn Lies and BDV's slides. Hat's off!
And so rolled in the famous Chinese (or more accurately, Taiwanese) take-away. Who wouldn't enjoy a takeaway for a change? The question was how long will you enjoy it? A week, may be two ? A month? A quarter? Don't hate me now. Takeaways, when done well, can be good for your health, your pocket, your environment, your grand children and what not...but will you still like the taste? Especially, if you insist on knowing the ingredients and the recipes? Snake oil, anybody?
And so it came to pass that the takeaway sucked. Big time. Was only suited, at best, for the lesser mortals from fake-lion-country.
The grand old company had to have a descent sit-down dinner, 5 courses and coffee; Good, but not overly sized portions, eminent recipes cooked in clean kitchens, by wax-eloquent chefs. So BDV went hunting. Who could offer this 5 course meal and then some? He came across Uncle Sam, of course. Who better? BDV's due-diligence and crisp slideware concluded - Uncle Sam was the best, by far. Not all people round the table agreed, but BDV's analysis left no other option open. The big boss, probably hesitant if not out right reluctant, agreed. So Uncle Sam it was.
Uncle Sam made the takeaway look ridiculous. That was easy. Uncle Sam made cooking-at-home look tiresome. That was easier. Uncle Sam made it sexy to dine out. That, was the best part!
And BDV, basking in the glory of the discovery of Uncle Sam, proudly took the grand old company out for dinner. A dinner to remember. A dinner to forget - forget about takeaways, forget about home cooking. Delicious starters, well made stakes, highly animated service, followed by desserts - just the right amount of wrong! Couldn't be better, could it?