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.

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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.

01Flattery

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.

05Familiarity

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.

06Underestimate

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.

09BestFriendBoss

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

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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 : Happily Ever After


Today my favorite Guest Author takes on another topic which is very close to his heart, and am sure all our hearts as well – the concept of happily ever after and what it takes to achieve this utopian dream. As always, his worldly wisdom clearly shows through in every paragraph of this post and his trademark brand of humor is also kept intact even when he delivers what remains an important message in this day and age.

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On most days, our house resembles a battle zone. It is understandable right? I mean with so many ladies…. It is a complete falsehood that wives will fight only with their mothers-in-law. The reality is they will fight with anybody who shares their kitchen – whether it is mother, daughter or mother-in-law. The specifics don’t matter.

One of things that you may wonder about is that whether it is a love marriage or arranged marriage, what happens to couples after marriage? ‘Happily ever after’ is one of the most misleading concepts that people have about marriage.

My analysis of Indian history is that the decline of the Mughal Dynasty began when their harems became too big to manage. The Mughal emperors were probably busy settling disputes amongst the ladies while the East India Company went all over the country. Of course, you will not read this in any conventional text book. Please don’t teach this to your children. They will figure it out for themselves when they get married.

So, what could cause disagreements among couples?

'You can have any opinion you want as long as it's mine.'

a. It is said that God could not be everywhere, so he blessed you with a mother and the devil could not be everywhere & so he sent across a mother-in-law for you. In-laws can certainly cause some ruptures.

b. You spend too much while your spouse spends too little. It could be reverse also, but I doubt it. Folks like us in IT are not exactly smart with money.

c. Responsibilities not shared. You may believe in thought leadership. Your spouse doesn’t.

d. Your friends. Just look around you. Are you really sure your friends look decent and presentable? I don’t think so. No wonder your spouse doesn’t want them around the house.

e. No common interests. (This is actually a blessing. But most spouses think otherwise)

f. The unknown side of you. Whether it is a love marriage or a courtship before an arranged marriage, we are at our best behavior. There is a side of us that our spouses don’t see until too late. Psychologists talk about everyone having a public side, personal side and also a private side.

So should you run away from committing to a marriage?

'I didn't realise a long-term commitment would be so...long-term.'

When an acquaintance made some rude comments about our apartment (it’s an old one!), my wife retorted that every old building leaks and needs to be maintained. This applies to marriages as well. Let me tell you something. All families are dysfunctional. You see perfect looking families only in the movies. Everyone is made of clay. Do you remember the Kurkure ad? “Tedha hai par mera hai!” This applies to families as well! We may be imperfect, but we are capable of loving each other.

How to kiss and make up?

'Care to do something crazy, like kiss and make up?'

Well, I am not going to answer the first part. The Moral Police is lurking in the blogosphere to catch offenders. Well on the second part, I can say this. Every time you hit a speed breaker in your married life, don’t give up. You are far more resilient than you think. Nothing helps like a heart to heart conversation with your spouse. If this doesn’t work, try ordering something from Caratlane. It’s expensive, but hey, who ever said it was easy!

If you are going to avoid getting married after reading this..

You have no idea what you are missing. Never mind. Can you stay back today and do some additional tasks for me? In any case, you have no one to go home to.

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So what are your secrets to a happily ever after. Go ahead and use the comments section to educate all of us.

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.

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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.

gym002

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.

gym003

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 😀

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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.

nails001

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.

nails002

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.

nails003

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.

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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.

nails005

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 footwear


Today my favorite Guest Author decides to tackle an issue which has piqued and continues to pique my interest all my married life, that of what the various variables are when women go shoe-shopping. And as is the norm with all his posts, his tongue-in-cheek humor and whimsical way of looking at life ensures that this post will be a laugh riot, at least with the readers that have a sense of humor.

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Old lady: 'HEY! I said GET outta here you lot!'

It was only when I noticed that our servant maid was wearing Dr.Scholl’s that I realized how important footwear is to the ladies. Of course, with the kind of money our servant maid makes, she can buy a pair every month. Gone are the days when shoe racks at home were for storage. Today, shoe racks are built for display.

Here are some pointers –

a. When ladies meet up, they discuss heels, flats, pumps and mules. These are not types of boys. These are types of footwear.

b. No one has just one. The only ladies I recall owning only one set of footwear or less were my daughters when they were babies, less than 6 months old. That time of course, they wore socks and mittens.

c. The average shoe store retailer will show 9 pairs before a lady makes up her mind. Don’t pity him for patiently dealing with your loved one for 1 hour. He actually has got it easy. You are going to deal with your loved one for a life time.

shoe2d. Every lady needs that extra pair of footwear. She hopes that like Cinderella, that one extra purchase will make a huge difference to her romance prospects.

e. The smart ladies try out footwear in the nearby shopping mall and then buy the same brands online at discounted prices from Jabong or Flipkart. That’s retail therapy for you.

f. The men buy footwear that they are comfortable in. The ladies buy footwear that they look good in.

shoe3g. After a tiring shopping expedition to Bata and Reliance Footprint, my wife exclaims that finding grooms for our daughters will be a lot easier than finding footwear that they are happy with. Both boys and footwear are similar. They are stamped all over by the ladies. Yet, they endure.

The elder one frets that her feet are too big. I explain to her that having Ranganathar paatham (big feet!) is considered very lucky. The younger one fancies Udayanidhi Stalin after watching ‘Idhu Kadhirvelan Kaadhal’. I don’t mind taking her to Mochi if she will get over her fancy.