MIDWAY:The Faustian bargain

An office is like a nursery class. If you make good friends and if the environment is congenial, you long to go to office but if the environment is bad and your teacher (who also happens to be your boss) is voluble and demanding, you wake up every morning with a heavy heart, dreading the day ahead. And yet if the job is challenging, there is always something to look forward to.

In any typical workplace, there are two personality types: A true worker and a pretender. A pretender is a person who pretends to work when the boss is around but a true worker is a pretender in the eye of the boss. The pretender is a dramatist ever ready to put on an act, but the true worker is like a cricket, chipping and chirping away at its work without any concern about who might be keeping an eye on his activities.

It is either the bad luck of the true worker who really does not know the ‘real tactics’ to please the boss like the pretender or he is too honest and bound by strong work ethic that prevents him from climbing the ladder of success. For a true worker, it can be heartbreaking to witness a pretender get a pat on the back in his stead.

The pretender has his wily ways. Ever ready to hand over the desired file to the boss at the snap of a finger, he knows how to back out of difficulties should any mistake crop up in the file. There is always the real worker to get the blame. The amazing part is how often the pretenders manage to get off the hook.

Hence, at the end of the day, all the good work is done by the pretender and mistakes are committed by the true worker in the eyes of the boss. With luck smiling upon him, he gets promoted while a true worker is left behind to ponder. Sometimes, the pretenders too fall off their perch. For instance, when there is a change at the top. In such cases, the follies of the pretenders might be exposed in no time.

Pretenders ascend faster but might hurtle down equally quick. It is not necessary that the true worker’s work will not be appreciated in due course of time. But as things stand, he has no option but to learn from the pretender the only sure way to the top.

Yes, he strikes a deal with the devil to avoid the deep blue sea.