fuck love

a blog on 'life' and other popular four letter words...

Friday, January 25, 2013

Politics Office Ki

Somebody once said that politics is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Considering how rich politicians are today, I’m sure a lot of us would love to try our hand at being scoundrels, at least for the money. :) 

But the good people that we all are, most of us may not have the 'required' skills. 

But we all sharpen our axes constantly as we are all subject to politics at another popular place.  And this post talks about Rajneethi Office Ki – or as Dhanush would say in ‘only Engliss’ – “Office Politics”. 

The power plays, the ass-kissing colleague, the manipulation, the sleeping babe (:)) who gets promoted, the favoritism, the good for nothing guy who is the boss’ golf buddy, the nepotism, the low ranking secretary who actually runs the office, the "games" - it’s all very, very real … 

Office politics existed even before Dilbert made a living out of it and a few friends of mine helped me make the following office lingo where one thing is told but the real meaning is something else

What management says
What it really means
“I’ll get back to you on that”
I’ll need more time to come up with a better excuse. 
“He was the only candidate who cracked the case study with such wonderful insights and he exhibits a thorough understanding of the basic challenges underlined in the case study and hence hired” 
he’s my nephew 
“The head of sales may not have the requisite expertise to handle this issue … ”
 I hate that prick 
“He in a meeting right now” 
 he’s gone home for his afternoon nap. 
“She has a great eye for detail and is a hard worker” 
 I’m sleeping with her 
“We may need to relook at your goals”
 You’re screwed. 
“I’ll need a relook at the data to confirm that ”
 I have no clue what the fuck just happened!! 
“Our appraisal process is designed to reward outperformers and motivate the ordinary to do the extraordinary”
 you’re not getting a raise this year. 
“According to certain reliable sources…” 
 According to the latest gossip… 
“That distinguished gentlemen named…” 
Woh haram khor, saala maatherchooo…. 

OK, I must tell you that this post was inspired by this very cool movie I just saw called ‘Margin Call’ – supposedly a ‘thriller in the financial meltdown’ (with thankfully very little finance and very little meltdown :P).  But what the movie really is at heart is about how different levels of office hierarchy react to a particularly serious situation – and their behavior is something that we all can relate to.

The story starts inside a nameless company that is throwing out 80% of its work force. A low ranking analyst discovers a problem that if not acted upon, could wipe out the entire company overnight -  how the different levels of the office hierarchy react to this sinister situation is what the movie is all about.   

But what makes the movie so juicy are the many implications about office politics that we all know but don’t say.   Few of which I could pick up are: 

· The juniors work harder – I bet you knew this one!  It is usually always the juniors of any company who really work their asses off!   In the movie, the men at the top don’t even know the basic technicalities and demand a simplified explanation of the problem in “plain English” - Tuld, the top guy, tells the analyst that “it wasn’t brains that got him to the top” and to explain the issue to him “like he was talking to a golden retriever”.  And the irony is that it’s the juniors who are kicked out first in the event of a downturn (again reaffirmed in the movie!). 

· You will get rewarded if you’re really good – There’s a difference between “being good” and “being really good”. The analyst eventually gets promoted for proactively identifying the problem while his friend, who’s ‘just good’, gets axed.  Their boss too, was initially kicked out and then was bought back exclusively for his unique ability to solve the problem and got rewarded handsomely for it.  Think of it – it’s almost the same that happens in our offices too – that crazy dude in our office who seems to be able to get all the work done by diligently slogging it out much more than us or for having some real hard brains always seems to get the raise. 

· Ooooo...the Games they play – OK, you already know this one – the higher up the corporate ladder, the less it is bout skills and more it is bout politics.  The analyst's  very capable, diligent and hard working boss was still asked to leave.  But the smooth talking Will, doesn't seem to work a lot but has a way with everyone, confides how he survives 34 years in the company – by minding his own business and not taking sides to any argument.  Moral of the story – even if you don’t play politics, it still plays you.  So FYI, CYA (for the uninitiated, 'Cover Your Ass') :P

· Some skills saves lives– It’s still all about team work with each player expected to play their role seamlessly.  In the movie, the team leader has the enviable skill of being able to successfully motivate his team to sell worthless assets at the highest possible price to unsuspecting buyers, with the team fully aware that they are ruining their careers in the process but the team leader still gets them to do it voluntarily!  The strategy guy crafts a strategy within an hour at 4AM in the morning!   These are intangible skills that are not taught in colleges – and unsurprisingly, these two stay even after the downsizing.   On the other hand, many people who were merely “good at their jobs” were shown the door. 

· Money! Money! Money! - At the top, it’s not bout anything else- it’s all about money; no sugar coating, no morality, no loose ends.  The firm in the film has a single minded focus to avoid losing money and does not hesitate to put others (it's own customers included) out of business so that it may survive – they decide to sell worthless assets to their unwitting trusting customers knowing fully well that it would kill the customers and the market for years – but it’s just business, nothing personal.  And after the analysts does a great performance of selling it all, they’re mercilessly axed immediately so that the firm still floats

Some more interesting career pointers picked up from the movie – Talk to the top in simple words ,  look like a million bucks,  your professional pedigree is your resume (the analyst being a rocket engineer earlier only adds to his credibility).  Go see the movie; it’s really very cool! 

And as for office politics, well the biggest weapon against it is knowing that it exists.  And the more you play and get played, the better you get at it.  Veterans say that Office Politics is all about power and competition and someone has to lose for another to win and how you play ur cards could shift the equation to ur favor.

A good exercise to do is to re-map your office landscape not based on designations but by pockets of power - this is a very revealing exercise as it'll expose the real power brokers and the sources of politics in your office.  I did this for my earlier gov organization and I was super shocked to find the most powerful player was a janitor who wielded so much influence on the super boss. A few right questions later revealed that the janitor knew of certain damaging titbits of the superboss' personal life and thus had a very strong say in the company's promotions, pays etc.

The second thing to do is to understand the informal network in the office to find the groups and cliques formed on the basis of friendships, manipulations, respect etc.

Thirdly, start building alliances across groups; a simple staffing decision can tilt the balance of power from one group to another, so it helps to have allies across groups. An assertive personality can reduce being played upon.

But play you simply must.  If you think you can survive office politics, well, think again….. Readers can share their office politics stories in comments below and we can really have a juicy time discussing that, what say? :P

For more ground breaking career talk, click here.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Big,Hot Must See Hollywood Movies 2013 !!!

Hats off to the Mayans for pulling off the greatest practical joke of the millennium!  Now, disaster flick “2012” has just been moved to the Comedy section.

But if you’re into movies, lucky ‘13 could just make you alive and kicking… here’s why.

Iron vs Steel
Just like in ’12, the biggest battle this year is again a Nolan vs Marvel one – Nolan’s ‘Man of Steel’ competes with Iron Man3 for box office glory.  And Marvel’s got not one, but two to boot –Thor 2 comes out later the year to add more moolah to Marvel’s mighty muscle (three if you include ‘Wolverine’).

So with no further ado, presenting hot n happenin Hollywood in 2013:

The Big Fat Juicy Ones

Iron Man 3 (May 3rd)

Tony Stark is back!!!!

After the awesome ‘Avengers‘(‘Hulk Smash!’), Iron Man 3 is said to be more Tony Stark- like we saw in the first half of the delicious first part (let’s face it – Iron Man2 wasn’t great). This could be the year’s monster hit.

Why must you watch it – For Tony Stark, for possible other Avengers cameos and definitely for the post credits scene.

Man of Steel(June 14th)

Man, I cried when I saw the first trailer(see here).

After resurrecting the ‘Batman’ to the spectacular glory it deserves, Nolan now attempts to recreate the world’s greatest super hero.  The ‘300- This is Sparta!’ guy directs.  Wonder when the sequels will come out?

Why must you watch it – Superman, by Nolan.  Period.

Oblivion(April 26th)

The ageless action hero, Tom Cruise, has been ridiculously busy of late and this is another one with the same Tom Cruise formula, but set in the future.  In addition to that gem of an actor – Morgan Freeman, expect Tom’s trademark sprint here - this time from aliens.

Why must you watch it – for the fast paced entertainment that all Tom Cruise action flicks are.

After Earth (June 17th)

Mr Big Box Office Will Smith returns with his son in tow for a sci fi directed by Manoj ‘Sixth Sense’ Shyamalan.  Looks very Avatar-ish to me but the story is about a father and son duo, who crash lands on a savage planet which turns out to be Earth, that mankind had abandoned 1000 years ago.

Why must you watch it – Will Smith +Sci Fi + Shyamalan

The Lone Ranger (May 31st)

Johnny Depp is like the Kamal Hassan of Hollywood – he comes with these quirky roles that can make or break at the box office.  Here he’s teaming again with his ‘Pirates’ director in another unusual gamble. Could this be the next ‘Pirates’?

Why must you watch it – for Johnny

World War Z (June 21st)

OK, this one sounds interesting – for one, it’s about the end of the world, two, it’s about zombies and three, it’s got Brad Pitt.  Planned as the first of three movies, this movie was initially labeled ‘unfilmable’.

Why must you watch it – The last ‘unfilmable’ film was the amazing ‘The Life of Pi’.  Can this go the same way?

Elysium (March 1)

Expected to be the best reviewed movie of the year, Elysium is from the guy who made District 9, which was so good that it begged for a sequel that never came.  Elysium is about class wars in the year 2159 between Earth’s only two classes of people: those living on an overpopulated and decimated Earth, and the elite ruling class who live on an orbital colony known as Elysium.

Why must you watch it –  cos this could be the ‘Dark Knight Rises’ of this year.

The Last Stand (Jan 18th)

Even though Arnie never sez it, he’s back!  Expendables had him say a line or two, but this is Arnie’s official full-fledged comeback vehicle.  The Hollywood debut of the Korean director who made the awesome ‘Old Boy’ (yes, which was made into Hindi as that forgettable ‘Zinda’)

Why must you watch it –  cos even though he doesn’t say that over abused line, Arnold Schwarzennegger really is back.

The Sequels

The Mayans never prophesied that ’13 would be the year of the sequel, but it does appear that way.  Check out the amazing number of sequels that’ll hit the screen:

Hangover 3 (May 24th)

The wolf pack is back – and this time in a different template.  Said to be the last of the series, Chow’s got a bigger role this time.  That rockstar named John Goodman also joins the pack.  Debauchery has never been so much fun!

Why must you watch it – For reliving the bachelor party we never had.  Again.

Thor 2 - The Dark World(July 26th)

I never really liked the first one, but for Azgaurd, the Marvel after credits scene and for tying it in neatly with the Avengers.  Thor 2’s supposed to be an FX-heavy epic with Thor battling a mysterious enemy older than the universe itself.  Yes, Loki’s back.  I might get excited once the first trailer’s out, perhaps.

Why must you watch it – Ho hummmm…..

Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug(Dec 13th)

Peter Jackson is a genius – he makes one movie, splits it into three and releases each part every year.  And makes shit loads of money in the process.  He did that with LOTR ($3 Billion in gross) and now he’s doing the same with Hobbit. Second installment out this December.

Why must you watch it – for having seen Hobbit 1 and its sequel LOTR

Fast Six (May 24th)

The Fast series was conceived on the ultimate guy fantasy of fast women and faster cars, though it slowed down after the second movie; now with fast five, they’re successfully changing gears from street car racing to action heist films with great car chases.

Why must you watch it – Like I said - fast cars, fast women – ultimate guy fantasy.

G I Joe Retaliation (March 27th)

The first G.I Joe was big but sucked big too.  So in part 2, they added in The Rock-Can-Do-No-Wrong, Dwayne Johnson and the Resident Aging Action Hero Bruce Willis to get more of the same big, jack ass dumb, mindless, action movie– but I must say, the trailer looks really cool.

Why must you watch it – Big explosions, huge men, girls in suits, and guns… yes, big fucking guns.

Star Trek: Into The Darkness (May 17th)

I never have been a fan of anything that started with ‘Stars’ but the first ‘Star Trek’ was a genuinely good watch and a smash hit. Expect the same with the second.

Why must you watch it – Ho hummmm…..

A Good Day to Die Hard (Feb 14th)

Die Hard action hero Bruce Willis comes back with yet another installment of the series that made him one.  This time Mclane hits Moscow with his son.

Why must you watch it –  “Yippee kay yay Mother Russia”

Other sequels out in ’13 are Bruce Willis’ Red 2, Adam Sandler’s Grown Ups 2,  Kick Ass 2,  Sin City – A Dame to Kill for,  300-Battle of Artemisia,  Smurfs2,  Hunger Games Catching Fire and Percy Jackson- Sea of Monsters… whew!

The Animated on Side of Life

Ever third movie watched last year was animation.  And expect that ratio to only get better.  So here’s the big news from the Animation counter –

Monsters University (June 21st)

Pixar, the guys who started it all (another remarkable brainchild of a certain Mr Steve Jobs), is the gold standard in animation. This one’s the first Pixar prequel, of their monster hit, ‘Monsters Inc’ with voices of Billy Crystal and John Goodman.  Expect fireworks here.  And lotsa entertainment.

Why must you watch it –  Pixar! Pixar! Pixar!.. and ‘Pixar!’

Despicable Me 2 (June 26th)

The first part which was all about heart, smarts and laughs and it worked in tugging our heart strings. The same team returns and Al Pacino joins the voice talents for this one. Oh ya, overheard that there’s a movie with The Minions as the main characters, coming soon.

Why must you watch it –  For the same reason u loved the first.

Epic (May 24th)

From the guys who gave us ‘Ice Age’ and ‘Rio’ comes this charmer of a movie (check out the trailer) that comes with such a sad title – but wait, the original title was ‘Leaf Men’…. Oh well.

Why must you watch it –  Well for one thing , that’s a very nice trailer.

The Croods (March 22nd)

After the very impressive ‘How to train your Dragon’ comes their next. And with a stellar voice cast - Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone. One of the best casts of the year.

Why must you watch it –  Hmmmm… wouldn’t you???

The rest from Animation Factory for ’13 are Ryan Reynolds’ ‘Turbo’, Disney’s ‘Frozen’, ‘Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2’’and ‘Dorothy of Oz’.  Also this year marks the 25th anniversary of the classic ’Who framed Roger Rabbit’

The laugh riots

Anchorman: The Legend Continues (Dec)

Male chauvinism has never been so hilarious with the outrageous antics of Ron Burgundy and his politically incorrect posse.  Besides Hangover3, this is the comedy that I’m putting my money on.  Stay classy, Planet Earth.

Why must you watch it –  Cos they continue to bring you the news.. so you don’t have to get it yourself.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (March 15th)

Ok, so lemme get this right …. You take one rising comedy superstar, team him up against an older comedy superstar and get it directed by a guy who did the awesome ’30 Rock’.. and the stars in question being Steve Carell and Jim Carrey…. Ooooh, that is legit.

Why must you watch it –  cos the last time we saw them together in ‘Bruce Almighty’, we really were ROFLMAO

The World’s End (25th Oct)

OK, Trivia time - Each film in the ‘Blood and Ice Cream’ trilogy is connected to a Cornetto ice cream flavour – the films showing the purchase of a Cornetto of the appropriate flavor. Shaun of the Dead features a red strawberry flavored Cornetto, which signifies the film's bloody and gory elements, Hot Fuzz includes the blue original Cornetto, to signify the police element to the film and now, the third of the series, The World's End will feature the green mint choc-chip flavor.

Why must you watch it –  cos the first two – Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz – are two of the best comedies of the last decade.

This is the End (June 14th)

A very cool concept where celebrities plays themselves - Seth Rogen, Rihanna, Emma Watson and other celebrities attend a party at James Franco’s house  and then they encounter the end of the world

Why must you watch it –  Hey, the trailer’s cool. And so is the concept.

The Internship (June 7th)

A relatively good ‘Wedding Crashers’ later, you now have the same team reuniting with the director of the perfectly okay ‘Date Night’ with a Will Farrell cameo. Also the company is Google.

Why must you watch it –  cos the last time we saw these guys together, it was hilarious!

Scary Movie 5 (April 19th)

Of all the slap stick series that come out with regularity, this was one of the better ones.  Now they’re rebooting and slapsticking Black Swan‘and ‘Paranormal Activity’

Why must you watch it – Ho hummmm…..

Other major comedies hitting the screen being Ryan Reynolds’ ‘RIPD’ n Nick Cage’s ‘Frank Or Francis’.

The Legends

Spielberg’s ‘Robopocalpyse’(might be pushed to next year)

After having a dream run with ‘Lincoln’, Spielberg’s next is his first sci fi after Minority Report.  Based on the book by Daniel H Wilson, Robopocalypse is about a robot-reliant world that’s threatened when one of its number becomes self-aware.

Why must you watch it – Cos everyone else would….

Scorsese’s ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ (Dec)

Marti returns with Leo Di Cap with another crime drama about a New York stockbroker, played by DiCaprio, who refuses to cooperate in a large securities fraud case involving corruption on Wall Street, the corporate banking world and mob infiltration.

Why must you watch it – Cos the last time crime drama and Marti came together, it was classic - also known as ‘The Departed’

Pacific Rim (July 12th) 

The Pacific Rim refers to places around the edge of the Pacific Ocean. The movie with the same name is about a world where soldiers pilot giant robots and battle against giant monsters who have mysteriously risen from beneath the ocean.  Earlier works include HellBoy and Blade II.

Why must you watch it – Cos it could be ‘Transformers’ all over again, but this time with heart.

Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ (May 10th)

This could be visual poetry.  And Leo’s starting to have fun by playing flamboyant unlikeable characters starting with ‘Django’. Also Amitabh Bachchan shares screen space with Leo and Peter Parker with this one.

Why must you watch it –  Go check the trailer – it’s visual poetry

Emmerich’s ‘White House Down’ (June 28th)

Disaster specialist Roland Emmerich comes back and teams with Channing Tatum and Jamie Foxx (as the president) to present another one of his signature big FX laden movies.

Why must you watch it – Cos his ‘2012’ is still one of the biggest hits of India.

2013 will also see the remakes of yesterhits like RoboCop, Dirty Dancing, Wolverine, Oz: The Great and Powerful and The Evil Dead.  Also the 3D releases of biggies like Jurassic Park 3D, Independence Day 3D, Top Gun 3D, Texas Chainsaw 3D and Star Wars.

Other fun additions for the year are Stallone’s ‘Bullet to the Head’, Machete Kills (with Charlie Sheen and Mel Gibson) and jOBS.

So that’s the list – do drop in a comment below as to what movie you waiting to watch n why.

So in '13, let's movie jovanu, popcorn khavanu, majaaa ni life.....


And yes, you can also see the list of big, fat, juicy, Must-See Bollywood Movies for 2013 (here)