Idiots’ Guide to impressing your boss

My favorite Guest Author comes up with another gem of a post with this Idiots’ Guide to impressing your boss. These time-tested techniques have held him in good stead over the years, given that he has reached a formidable position in the hierarchy of the company he works for, and this post therefore will hold valuable nuggets of wisdom for all of us who are trying hard to move up in the hierarchy at work.


Your spouse and your boss are the two most important people in your life. They can make your life miserable or they can make you happy. At least, you have some illusion of choice when it comes to choosing your spouse. But, you have to live with the boss you get. It is said that there are no bad companies, but only bad bosses. The worst case scenario is where your spouse also happens to be your boss (like in the Airtel ad). In that case, please do post on how you handle things at work and at home. That should be interesting.

If you perform good deeds in this life, you will accumulate good karma and this will help you get a good spouse and a good boss in your next life.

What about in this life? That’s where I can help. You can’t fool people all the time. So, trying to impress your spouse never works. They always know when you are putting on an act. But, fooling your boss, I mean, impressing your boss, you can give it a chance and see if it works.


a. Learn the art of sincere flattery. Try practicing in front of the mirror. Everyone, including your boss needs positive reinforcement. Genuinely try and find good things to say about your boss.

'Rumour has it he's the office gossip.'

b. Don’t gossip about others to your boss. He / She may appreciate the juicy news you are sharing with him/her about others. But he / she knows that you are likely to be untrustworthy and will spread news about him/her to others too. Be a good keeper of secrets. Be worthy of trust.

'It's lonely at the top unless you count lawyers.'

c. Your boss is a lonely person. The ones above him are trying to make his / her life more & more miserable. The ones below him (including you) desperately want to get promoted and take away his/her role. That may account for his/her temperament.

'What did you learn in the board meeting? The boss reads lips.'

d. Say something during meetings. Say you agree with your boss or say you disagree and explain why. It shows you are paying attention.


e. If your boss happens to be of the opposite gender, be professional and be courteous to him / her at all times. Don’t act familiar. Don’t be nosey. Respect their personal and private side.


f. Don’t underestimate your boss. He / She didn’t get there by dumb luck. (OK, maybe I did. But, I think I might have done something right unknowingly sometime in the past to get where I am). Some bosses are good in dealing with clients, some are process oriented while others are people oriented. Learn what makes them tick.

You insist on having the last word don't you?

g. Discuss but do not argue. When you discuss with your boss, you find out what is right. When you argue with your boss, you are trying to find out who is right.

And if you press that one, somebody will come in and tell you what a great job you're doing.

h. Make your boss look good to other teams. He will appreciate you for it.


i. It is OK if your boss is not your best friend. Don’t make him/her your worst enemy.


Now, if these tips don’t help you click with your boss, then nothing can help you.

Go on, share your personal techniques of how you impress your boss at work in the comments section. Give the rest of the readers a fighting chance at going up the corporate ladder.

Guest Post : Idiots’ guide to gymming

I am sure that all of us at some point or the other have at least contemplated joining a gym and exercising to get ourselves in shape, more so, if we work for the IT Sector and lead relatively sedentary lifestyles.

My favorite Guest Author now has been advised by his family doctor to hit the gym and get in shape to bring his cholesterol levels back to acceptable levels. And as is his forte, he shares us some interesting and howlarious observations about gyms in general.



My study tour of the gym yielded many insights. Let me share them with you. Please ask your Supervisor at office to stop annoying you. Tell him that you are working on an important deliverable. Irresponsible, these supervisors, not letting you spend a few minutes educating yourself.

1. You must wear branded stuff only. Make sure that the logos are visible. If it appears too new, you will look like a L Board. So, there must be signs of wear and tear. I bought my gym attire in Saravana Stores. So, if you look closely, the logos will read as ‘Niky’, ‘Adhidas’ and so on. But, I get value for money.

2. The folks on the street will drink water from water bottles. In the gym, you use a sipper. Sipper is basically a plastic bottle. If it is meant for children, it has Doraemon sticker on it. If is for folks in the gym, it has a sports logo and is priced 3 times more.


3. Should you wear close fitting clothes? Those of you who know about my six packs, would have expected me to flaunt it. But, I must admit that I actually disguise myself in loose fitting clothes. This is to avoid distracting all those young folks around me. I may have a body of steel, but inside me beats a tender loving heart.

4. I should however warn you that anything lesser than a 3/4 pants is a risk. This is especially if you wear torn socks like me.

5. When should you go to the gym? Never. Sorry, that is my frustrated real self speaking. Well, go whenever convenient. But, don’t end up having samosas after your gym work out. You might have as well stayed at home.


6. Running on the treadmill doesn’t help you catch the Siruseri bus. What’s the hurry?

7. Weights in gyms are marked in kilos as well as pounds. One kilo is approximately 2.2 pounds. Use this confusion to advantage. Claim to lift 20 kilo weights when you actually do 20 pounds.

8. Grunt when you do anything. It is supposed to make folks around appreciate your enormous endurance levels.

9. Use your time in gym to good advantage. Watch TV, read the newspapers, drink water, appreciate the scenery and the designated 1 hour will pass in no time.

10. Want to know the best fitness routine? Give me a smile. There! That’s the best workout your face has got today.

10. Last but not the least, don’t ever blog about gymming in the official blog network. There are many fitness freaks blogging here who run marathons, climb mountains, ride cycles to work etc. They will give you an inferiority complex and a splitting headache.

Gymming can’t buy happiness, but Magnum ice cream can 😀


So now that you have been enlightened with the author’s views on gyms and gymming, I am sure you have your own gym stories to share. Go ahead and share them in the comments section 😀

Guest Post : Idiots’ guide to nails

If you thought that this post was about nails that you can hang calendars on, please stop reading right now. You are not high tech enough for us. You can go and join Infosys, perhaps. They do have a vacancy for the CEO post.

The Saturday edition of The Hindu Metroplus carried the rather startling statement that nail polish needs to be matched with the eyeliner that you are wearing. I would not have been surprised if this had been published in the Times of India. TOI is known for making unsubstantiated statements. I will be writing to the Editor of The Hindu not to repeat such mistakes. It is now my job to clarify what to do and not to do with your nails.


Please pay attention. Put the ‘Do Not Disturb’ status on your doorknob so that nobody bothers you when you read this.

These tips will be useful –

a. If you are doing it yourself, you are cutting your nails. If someone is doing it for a parlor, it is called a manicure (for your finger nails) and pedicure (for your toe nails). Notice the language – If you are doing it, it is a ‘cut’. If someone else does it for you, it is a ‘cure’. No wonder beauty parlors are flourishing.


b. The beauty parlor assistant will talk about filing, shaping, varnish and coloring as a part of a pedicure/manicure procedure. Even a carpenter can do it. Unfortunately, he doesn’t accept VISA cards.

c. Girls find pedicure/manicure very relaxing. Don’t ask me why. The fastest way to gain your girl’s heart is to offer to cut her nails while she relaxes on the sofa listening to some soothing music. But, for God’s sake, don’t chew her nails. She can do that herself.


d. Have you ever seen your mother with long nails? Try scrubbing utensils with long nails. No wonder your mother would have kept her nails closely cut. A girl with long nails is likely to be high maintenance. You will not catch her washing clothes or scrubbing vessels. You will have to do that for her. Don’t tell me that I didn’t warn you.

e. It is said that pedicure/manicure was done in ancient China and Egypt civilizations. You know what happened to all those civilizations. If your loved one insists on frequent parlor visits for these services, you could advice her not to and you can claim that fungal infections can happen if the cutting instruments are not sterilized properly. The only risk is that she might go to an even more expensive parlor that uses a disinfectant.


f. The very first nail polish brand was developed by Cutex sometime in 1914 and this was said to have been inspired by car paint. Have you heard the analogy about how both cars and women are expensive to maintain? You now have additional proof of the same.

g. After a hair cut, a girl unhappy with her look will have to wait for nature (and perhaps Ervamatin) to get back her hair. However, with nail polishes, they can easily change their mind. They have ‘nail polish removers’. Every girl has a few bottles of nail polish and a liter of nail polish remover.


h. Every nail polish brands talks about color, shine, long lasting, speed of drying and nail protection. They talk about everything except the fact that some of the ingredients are actually carcinogenic.

So, what’s the best nail coloring for you? Marudhaani (Henna) on your hands and feet?


Guest Post : Idiots’ guide to ladies’ lipsticks

This time around my favorite guest author tackles an important topic which always flummoxes husbands and boyfriends alike, the choice of lipsticks that all the lovely women in our lives make. He provides some easy to understand and follow tips on how we can help our ‘significant others’ enjoy luscious lovely lip shades which last longer and look lovelier.


One of the recent issues of BusinessWeek carried an important article that I very much want to bring to the attention of you dear readers. They have compared this season’s brands to test for which lipstick brands did not require constant touch-ups from 9 am to 5 pm. (I wish, we get Testing projects like that here in Cognizant. Everyone will want to get into Testing then.) The winner was Chanel and the worst performing brand was L’Oreal.

For those of you, who bought into brands simply because Aishwarya Rai or Katrina Kaif said – “You are worth it!” need to understand that these brand ambassadors are getting paid to sell. Never ever buy something after being impressed by an advertisement or the model endorsing it. The most cost effective way would be for you to look around and check who is wearing the most ghastly lipstick. Ask her for the brand name. Make a note to self to never buy it. Through this process of elimination, you will arrive at a shortlist of brands and shades that you can consider.


These tips will help.

1. ‘Fifty shades of Grey’ was written by someone who spent too much time in the lipstick counter in Health & Glow. The best thing for you to do is to spend some quality time going through the displays in the counter. When no one is looking you can even try out some of the sticks there. In fact, if you go to Shopper’s Stop, you can get your entire make up done (applying skin serum, foundation, eye shadow, eye lining etc.) free of cost at the trial counters. Don’t try it every day. They may find out.

2. It will be best if you take the guy who seeks your heart along with you. There are 70+ lipstick shades available. You will need to make use of both his hands to test the different shades. Doing it on your own skin is a risk. Further, it is also a good test of his patience. I mean, a guy who can’t spend 3 hours with you choosing a lipstick shade, has no business looking to spend a life time with you, right?


3. The shade that looks great in the shop will look awful when you apply it at home. Show me a girl who is happy with her lipstick brand/shade. I have not yet come across one so far.

4. Don’t be swayed by shade names like – ‘Butter Shine’, ‘Hydra Lustre’ and so on. To explain, ‘Power Star’ Srinivasan is neither a ‘Power’ nor a ‘Star’.


5. As we have free internet in office, use to find out a suitable shade (based on your complexion) before you actually go shopping.

6. If you are really money savvy, you will choose your shade from the Revlon site, but you will buy the shade from the more economical Eyetex Dazller range.

7. Avoid using black or dark shades especially if you are in Testing. As it is, developers are scared of you.

No. I am not going to advice whether you should use a Lip Liner, Lip Gloss or Lip Color. You can’t get everything free from me. Please engage our Business Consulting team if you need a deeper study into this subject.

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