conversations, office

Teen Coffee Aur Chaku

Yet another random conversation at work today.

LooksGayButClaimsHeIsn’t: Hi baby!

ILoveGayBoys: Hi.

(Insert some indecipherable blabber in Bengali here.)

LooksGayButClaimsHeIsn’t: You have really soft hands (grabbing ILoveGayBoys’ hands).

ILoveGayBoys (secretly liking it): Chhee! Let go of me!

Me: This could construe as sexual harassment in the workplace you know. ILoveGayBoys, you should throw our Code of Conduct book at him!

LooksGayButClaimsHeIsn’t: Dude she’s my wife!

Me: She’s my bachchi! You can’t sexually harass her…

ILoveGayBoys: So sweet…

Me: …at least not in here! I have no issues if you harass her outside office!

ILoveGayBoys: Samit!!!

(A revelation strikes me.)

Me: NOW I get it! Now I understand why you guys have such cool chemistry!!!

ILoveGayBoys & LooksGayButClaimsHeIsn’t: Why?

Me: There’s a reason I’ve chosen your blog nicknames you know…

(A revelation strikes them. Protesting cries emanate.)

Me (ignoring everything): BTW, what do you call a slutty Bong chick?

(Everyone waits.)

Me: A Bonk! Get it! Hahahahahaha!

SpaceCadet (letting go of Second Life for a rare moment): What? What do you call a warped Bong chick?

Me: No, no! That answer’s either SpaceCadet or ILoveGayBoys!

(Now I’m surrounded by two angry Bong girls and one angry alleged Bong guy.)

ILoveGayBoys: But that’s true ya! SpaceCadet is so spaced out!

Me: Yes, I always imagine her with a bubble around her head.

(SpaceCadet gives me a dirty look.)

Me: Earth to SpaceCadet! Earth to SpaceCadet!

SpaceCadet (spacing out): Hey, does anyone want some sponge cake?

(Three chimes of “Yes!”)

LooksGayButClaimsHeIsn’t: I’ll call for a knife!

Me: And coffee!

ILoveGayBoys & SpaceCadet: Coffee!

LooksGayButClaimsHeIsn’t (on the phone to the canteen): Pick up, you wankers! Hello, haan, Samit ke yahaan teen coffee aur chaku bhejna, ILoveGayBoys ka birthday hai, cake aur boss ko kaatna hai!

Me (in splits): Teen coffee aur chaku! Hahahahahaha! (Joined by others.)

SpaceCadet: That should be a film title man!

PS: For all those who may ask, “What is the insight here?” I reply, “Ad agency folks have really random conversations.”

PPS: Teen = Three. Aur = And. Chaku = Knife. Bhejna = Send. All non-Indians and ABCDs, you’re welcome.

insight, office

Alcohol And Advertising

When I was but a lowly (pun most certainly intended) intern, I was invited out for my first drinking session by my boss (The King), my senior (Big Sister) and a senior planner who I’ll call Peg Measure.

So we landed up at Gokul, where The King and Peg Measure had gotten a decent headstart over us. We arrived, they called for one more bottle of Alcazar vodka and two more bottles of Sprite, and we proceeded to imbibe some alcohol.

In those days, I had a strict drinking rule – two, small, tall. So, two drinks down, I stand up and prepare to say my goodbyes.

That’s when The King gives me his “you better not be fucking with me” stare and orders me to sit down. Intimidated, I comply. He pours me a drink, slides it over commandingly, and says, “Bastard, if you don’t learn to drink, you’ll never survive in advertising!”

Six years later, I think I know why. So here are several reasons why advertising and alcohol make for strangely good bedfellows (not the type who wakes up in the morning bleary-eyed and dragon-breathed, not knowing who the girl sleeping next to him is).

1. It helps us overcome the pains of low salaries. Seriously underpaid, man. Here we are, working nights and weekends, sacrificing all we hold dear (including but not restricted to marriages, sleep, a life, peace-of-mind, friends and self-esteem), churning out ideas that earn our clients millions, and what do we get? A salary less than what the graduating IIM class turns down in disgust.

(Note to self: try not to write like Perry Cox talks.)

2. It helps us think. The next time you’re stuck for an idea and you’ve tried everything (including, but not restricted to, searching for images on Getty, searching for videos on YouTube, frequent visits to the loo, a round of Counter-Strike, flirting, walking around aimlessly and one more round of Counter-Strike), head for the nearest (cheapest – refer to point number 1) bar. At the very least, you’ll soon begin to give two hoots about the brief you’re stuck on.

(Note to self: please refer to previous note.)

3. It helps us handle our bosses better. When we’re drinking without bosses, we can bitch, moan and gripe, knowing that there are other people around who feel the same way. And when you’re drinking with bosses, you can get to bond with them and swear at them without fear of reprisal. What’s best, most of the time they’ll pick up the tab.

4. It helps us keep up with peer pressure. Almost every day you’ll hear someone talking about “how fucking smashed and/or stoned we got last night, what a fucking blast it was!” It seems like they’re living that whole cool “advertising” life and you’re just a boring loser who’d have been better off earning megabucks shifting money from column to column in an MNC bank. If you drink, you can swap a story or two and feel like a real part of the advertising fraternity.

5. It helps us drown our sorrows. From a creative’s perspective, alcohol can drown bad servicing and their bad deadlines, bad planning and their bad briefs, bad bosses and their bad judgements of what are clearly great ideas, bad clients and bad rejections, etc., etc.

6. It helps us celebrate. Farewells (“He was so great, we’re gonna miss him, cheers to him!” or “Yippee!! He’s going to mindfuck people at some other agency!!! Cheers to him!”), great sales results (the one time you can mooch off a client and make him open his wallet), annual bashes (where flirting can develop into something far more serious), increments (let’s blow up the almost negative increase in our salaries even before it’s credited to our account) – these are just some of the things we adpeople celebrate with single malt whisky.

7. And finally, to sum up, the greatest reason alcohol works with advertising people is that it helps us keep our jobs. Just ask my former Creative Director, Scary, who threatened to sack me every time I didn’t get drunk. Who cares for the recession if you’ve got your daaru!

conversations, office

Of Tubelights And Whitening Creams

The conversation went as follows:

PataHai (F) (standing at the water cooler): Tubelights!!!

ILoveGayBoys (F) (ostensibly working at her desk): You look white every day.

PataHai: Lekin mein toh dhoop mein chalke aayee aaj.

ILoveGayBoys: Why did you come walking, why didn’t you take the cab?

PataHai: Dekho, dekho! ILoveGayBoys ke pair mein zeher bhar gayi hai! Uske nails blue hain!!!

insight, office

View From The Loo

Here’s a little known insight that springs from the gents’ loo at work.

“If you happen to meet a fellow colleague in the loo at the beginning of the day, you will continue to meet him in the loo for the rest of the day.”

It’s strange, but true.

I think it has something to do with the fact that everyone’s bladder fills up at the same rate. And that people drink (more or less) the same amount of water in a given period of time.

In fact, I’m sure there’s a way to calculate the frequency of loo breaks. As follows:

Let w be the amount of water consumed per hour, in litres/hour.
Let b be the amount of water a normal human bladder can hold, in litres.
Let h be the number of hours between loo breaks.
By logical calculation, h=b/w
So, for example, if w=0.5, b=1, then h=1/0.5=2 hours.
So simple.

Now for a short message to all those good people who’ve put down things like, “Mothers want what’s best for their babies,” or “Baby skin is 3 times thinner than adult skin” in the Consumer Insight section of the Creative Brief.

This is an insight.