Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Embezzlers

One of the most disconcerting side effects of a Notice-to-quit is the transformation which it occurs amongst (erstwhile friendly) colleagues (especially those in the HR and administrative departments). Overnight, the ordinary fellow office goer is transformed into the Public Enemy Number 1.

The feeling they (the admin/HR types) try and recreate is akin to what they might envisage for sequestered people on the Death Row – the same disgust, distrust and contempt. People watch you suspiciously with a hawk eye. Morning greetings dry up. People eye the CD you take from the stationary cupboard wondering if precious office intelligence is being siphoned off (This is especially amusing in an office with no intra-net, where the only data you can conceivably steal is what exists on your work station – viz. work which you have created which presumably also exists in your head)

The HR department buzzes around busily with forms in quintuplicate which you are expected to fill up and get verifications from any person you have had a nodding acquaintance with – the non-existent-library in charge, the cafeteria crowd (Okay, more than a nodding acquaintance in this case), the admin department, the accounts department and half a dozen other departments which you didn’t even know existed until you put in your resignation letter.

Most of the divisions are manageable but the admin department, anal schmucks ( pardon the french) at the best of times, rise to extraordinary levels of anality (is that a word?) when confronted with an on-notice-period-employee.
"Have you returned the staple pins? What about advance money? And you’re visiting cards. You have no RIGHT on the visiting cards - they are our property. Where are the books? Have you done the handover”

What conceivable use I could have for old visiting cards I still have not understood. If I worked in an organization which was so prestigious that even the visiting cards were collectors’ items, chances are I wouldn’t be quitting no?

In this kind of hostile-suspicious environment, one MAY find the saintly people who actually depart to the (hopefully) better work-hereafter, with spotless consciences and without having plotted (if not implemented) petty revenge.

And then there is the other set (to which I belong). The ones who have endured years of being screwed over with salaries-that-appear-attractive-only-in-appointment-letters, minuscule hikes which come five months late, bonuses which suddenly get linked to performance, variable pay which unvaryingly doesn’t get credited. And then are viewed suspiciously to add an insult to injury. It's no wonder then, that they decide to inflict maximum financial damage in the organization as their parting gift and swan song.

These include the super studs that steal large sums of money and deposit them quietly in numbered Swiss Accounts. Then there are the glib guns that lure away lucrative clients to their new employer. You will also find some conniving chaps who hijack hush-hush information and sell it to competition. And of course, there are swashbuckling people like me who daringly steal away vast quantities of pens and post it’s from the office supplies cupboard (this has nothing to do with my stationary fetish. Really).

And that is the risky task on which I have been engaged upon these last days.

Everyday some CD’s, scales, blank envelopes and pencils find their way mysteriously into my bag. Every night my bag is inexplicably clunkier than in the mornings. Every evening leaving for home is a quasi-military exercise. First the reconnaissance (to evaluate the lift floor, the precise position and likely movement of enemy personnel) followed by a sprint to the lift under cover from a friendly colleague (who has been promised a part in the spoils).

Once downstairs, I skulk furtively behind bushes so that the passing nosy colleague will not stop to inquire about why my bag looks like it’s on the verge of delivering twins.

And every single night, I, the Napoleon of Stationary-Stealers, relax happily in the afterglow of a successful heist.

Tomorrow, I think I shall pinch some business cards. Hmmmm...


Iya said...

and i so hope no one from your office reads ur blog!!

Akshaya Kamalnath said...

he he u scare me ... 1.5 yrs to go before I enter the same corporate war zone. Good riddance to your old job then.

Shachii said...

Stationary fetish? You too? Where have you been for the past 18 years... we've gotta meet next week!!

Ideasmith said...

Ram, ram, ram....saal ki shuruat chori ki baatein karke? This is kalyug, I tell ya.

narendra shenoy said...

Confucius say "If you can't kick them in their nuts, steal their stationery". Happy Noo Year and all the best!

a million different people said...

Stationery fetish? *guffaw*

I have found though, that what is stolen has it's own charm and USP.

Epiphany said...

So which is the new lucky company?? :) BTW do you courier stationary to other deprived souls??

manuscrypts said...

eeeyuck!! THIS is the blogger i've been reading for these many years??!! tch tch!!

PS. if you get those tiny multicolored post its send me some :D

Nandini Vishwanath said...

LOL I have a stationary fetish too! And ya, such a usual feeling described really well, Cyn!

Amit said...

Hi,Cyn-tell me u're kidding..I can't believe u've a stationery mania!!No way!hehe!!I can,though, imagine a bag looking like it's on the verge of delivering twins.Most suspicious:)
So,what's the new Co like?I'm sure it'll be better than this one...good luck!!
You know,I always say that a Co can be judged only by how they treat you after you quit-touchwood-my last two companies have been really good that way!(In fact,both did their utmost to convince me to stay back..hehe!!)

Reluctant Warrior said...

When I had quit my job from this ultra super-duper MNC bank, the exit process required me to get a sign from the watchman, whose only task was to ensure that I return the staplers and the staple pins.

So Stationery huh!

There was a time when I used to lurk furtively around the toilets of the business class section so that I can get hold of that brush set and small toothpaste.

Gradwolf said...

hahahaha, I think it's quite common everywhere! Not many people confess, though.

Anonymous said...

OMG, we're surrounded by cleptos!



Cynic in Wonderland said...

..iya I so hope too! Why do u think i blog anon? hehe. One of my old offices, one colleague - came and informed me that he knew i blogged. i had a few heart attacks and had to wade thru every line and delete it. ( he was the brother of an old blogger)

akshaya - oh no doubt abt that. good riddance bit i mean.

shachii - definitely HAVe to meet next week. really? but how do u steal stuff from your own office?

ideasmithy - new years resolution no? to never buy office supplies? im trying to keep to that na

naren thank you and same to you. and confucious was one wise man.

I have another post on this fetish. which i shall dig out and post here now that rediff is gobbling it up there. ( any excuse to recycle the posts

Cynic in Wonderland said...

( Ok that last bit was for million different people but accidentally posted it before i could write your name)

apiphany - no new company - speaking to few people and trying to work out a self-working deal.

manu - i thought you READ my posts coz i was like that? hmmm. those small colorful ones are damn cute no. i love em too.

nandini - we should have a club. stationary stealers unite. only we wont be able to have an office with supplies.

amit i have all sorts of tendencies which are best kept hidden hehe.

reluctant warrior - yes, those are nice too. specially when they are color coordinated.

gradwold - so that theory of planet full of biros is not true you think? its just going into peoples pockets? hmmmmmmmmmm

swb and to you too. have a fantastic year ahead

Princess Fiona said...

LMFAO!!! good one...fuck stationaly...i spent all my notice period time downloadin music and movies to my pen drive...we have to put the hi-speed internet to some good use....staplers and pins u can always steal!!! ;)

happy new year babe.. blogrollin u :)

thunderskies said...

new year had brought in a new start it seems.. all the best :)

and m so glad to know lot of ppl have a stationary fetish like me.. yay ! m not alone.. makse me feel normal.. well almost normal :D

wishing u a very happy new year !

p.s : thanku for stopping by :)

Amey said...

And so starts a life in crime. And before you know it...

Pinku said...


doesnt the office give any new year diaries?? i could do with some...

good luck with the hunt for the new one...

Rajtilak Bhattacharjee said...

I worked with an MNC for more than a year and knew that our days were coming to an end due to recession. So when we were handed the pink slips I was not surprised, which in turn surprised the management. I think it was my lack of persistence to work their is what insulted them. Would keep a tab on your blog and hope to see you on my blog someday, soon :)

Cynic in Wonderland said...

princess fiona - well i did that too. productive use of notice period that is. and also stuff which was there on intranet - its a gold mine of useless stuff no?

thunderskies - normalacy is overrated i say. steal all you can.

amey - shush.

pinku - verr cheap office. nothing theygive .

rajtilak - hope to see u more often here as well!