Gossip, Grapevine And Workplace

Gossip, Grapevine And Workplace

If you are on the lookout for some zest, then this should season your palate with an interesting flavour.


What's life without that extra 'zing'? We would love to see it on our plate and in our workplace. However, we certainly would not like to overdo anything that disarrays our functioning. Many a time, we long for a Mocktail and life surprises us with a Cocktail! Life, as we know, is sinusoidal, a roller-coaster voyage with untold topsy-turvy experiences. And we are not completely in control of every situation that life sets up for us. Similarly, we do not enjoy the absolute choice on who our colleagues would be at our office either.

We usually invest around nine hours at work every day, and the time thus imparted predominantly decides the material comforts and luxuries we would enjoy for the rest of the time. And with luxuries going hi-tech, the price that we pay for convenience is higher too. Higher the cost, greater the need for money. More the need for money, more is the drive to earn higher salaries, and more the pull towards higher salaries, more workplace competition to outclass each other.


In this race, irrespective of who shall emerge as the winner, the ingredients which make one triumphant are the same. The star performers of an organisation are the beholders of the 'glitterati', not merely for their domain expertise, but, by virtue of being able to communicate tactfully and to manoeuvre to get things done from various stake- holders. Of course, it is about being smart, and wit is an invaluable ingredient in this process of winning accolades. For those who assume that they need to work on developing this quality, one of the best ways to do this is by throwing themselves amidst informal office discussions.


An interesting workplace discussion at lunchtime that spanned for around 30 minutes, right from the cubicles to the canteen to a walk around the office.

The characters: -


Amit: The party planner of the group. Fond of making short films. Dreams of making a commercial movie someday.


Vijay: The happy go lucky types. A reliable resource and the boss' eye candy.


Riyaz: An aspiring Entrepreneur, who wants to quit as soon as possible to start his own venture.


Stella: The HR Specialist and one of the most beautiful office divas


Amit: Guys, let's go to that new restaurant in Banjara Hills. It has been getting good reviews. And by the way, the treat is on Vijay for the promotion and pay hike.


Vijay: Yaar, it won't be possible today. I have a client call to attend along with the Boss. Let's plan it for next week. By then, I would have received the hike and I'll be super happy to buy you all a plate of Idly! Don't expect anything more from the increment that I'll be getting!


Riyaz: Arey Chindi, you will treat us with Idly? Have some shame, you have received an increment of 5000 rupees per month. I learnt this from the great Stella! (Grins at Vijay and Stella)


Stella: Oi! He is lying! He has sneaked into my mailbox and checked everyone's pay hike letter, while I was on a call with an Applicant.


Amit: Okay then, let's plan for next week, but, we will drive in your car. And, you will be paying for the fuel, and you will be chauffeuring us to the restaurant.


Vijay: Done dear. No big deal... But treat me today in the Canteen. I have to be available for the call in 45 minutes.


Riyaz: Arey Amit, when are you launching your new short film? Your previous film received only 15K views. Let me know if you want some help to increase the viewership.


Stella: Oh wow, Amit! Your second short film within a year. Kya baat hai… What's it all about?


Amit: I am yet to coin the title. But, it's about how bigger companies unknowingly are acting as incubators for startups. Let's take Riyaz's example, who is an aspiring Entrepreneur. He is being trained and mentored in this company and he would be starting his own venture very soon. So, he could be a competition for our company, which unknowingly, helped him to incubate his idea, by providing him with the tools to refine and reform himself and his idea.

Riyaz: Abey, all Entrepreneurs have used some platform or the other to launch themselves. Most of them have worked somewhere before they started something on their own. So, what's the big deal? That's how the world works. Frankly, your concept won't be liked by a majority of the people.


Vijay: I agree with Riyaz. What's the objective of this film? What message do you want to give to the world through it? I don't think whatever you are saying makes sense to most of the people. Let's say, if an Alumni of an Engineering college starts an Engineering college on his own sometime later in his career. And if that college becomes a competition to his Alma Mater, do you think the parent college would be worried or threatened? I don't think so. They, will in fact be proud of their Alumni, and in case they do get worried, then with such insecurities, they don't deserve to call themselves an Alma Mater.

Amit: Bhai log, you people are overreacting without even listening to me fully. Listen, I would be covering both sides of the coin, and would be painting the story in such a manner that it would encompass all the relevant shades. And then, it's for the people to decide. Let's leave it to their perception and judgment. What say?


Riyaz: I'm still not convinced. You better take some lighter subject and make a film. It's a short movie and people like it light yaar!

Stella: Guys, I think we shouldn't be interfering in his work. It's his passion and it's best if he expresses his ideas without any prejudices.


Amit: Okay, thanks for understanding Stella. I'll buy you a lassi for this! Hey, did you guys watch yesterday's News? Our PM has been given UAE's highest civilian award by their Government. He has been an amazing brand ambassador for our country. There is a genuine positive image which one can experience about India as a progressive society and an emerging economy. The thumping majority with which he won the recent elections is a testimony for his success. However, without mincing words, the Muslim community still seems to be polarized, and hence, can't accept him as their PM. What say Riyaz?

Riyaaz: Dekh bhai... My community is extremely defensive and possessive about anything remotely related to their religion. I've travelled the world and I understand what's what. I agree that my community requires a lot of re-education and re-learning. As a kid of the 90s, I've seen how most people from my community would taunt the country's majority population by comparing everything in our country with Muslim countries. It's not their fault. They were systematically brainwashed to think that way. It's only from the late 2000s that things have started changing. Thanks to social media, people from my community are now in-sync with the real world. People have understood how tolerant this country has been towards them, despite all their rants, including the latest intolerance rant. I don't want to comment anything about other communities when my own community requires lot of correction.


Vijay: That's a very frank admission buddy. All communities go through an evolution. It's a reality of life.


Stella: Guys, can you please change the topic! And, please don't be so philosophical. It doesn't suit you guys anyway.


Amit: Okay Ms Kerala. Hey, did you guys watch yesterday's cricket match? It was a cakewalk for the Indian team. I hate such matches. I couldn't enjoy my beer either. Felt as flat as the pitch.


Riyaz: What else do you expect? World cricket is enjoying its glitter because of the Indian fans. Minus the Indian fans and the BCCI, world cricket would be struggling. Anyways, for most of us Indians, cricket is still the only sport that we truly enjoy watching.


Stella: That's not true ya. I enjoy watching Badminton. We are doing well in many other sports too. But, it would be an amazing moment for the nation, when we can be one of teams in the FIFA world cup.


Riyaz: That's a distant dream. But, I'm sure that it will happen one day. Hey, by the way, Mahek from the Finance department is coming to the Office Gym these days. I'll be joining the Gym from today. Amit, do you want to join me? (Winks at Amit, as Amit has a crush on Mahek)


Amit: No, you go ahead. I have joined the Guitar class where your girl comes. And, we have become great pals you know! I dropped her home last time after the class. (Chuckles back at Riyaz)


Stella: Guys, can you stop these silly PJ's please!


Vijay: Hey folks, I have to leave for the call. See you all later. (Chao from the group to Vijay)


And the discussion continued for few more minutes before they got back to work. There are numerous interesting office discussions like these, which are very candid and highly insightful. One needs to fit in well with the group and just allow a free-flowing discussion to happen. It is a wonderful tool to just vent out and refocus on your work. However, you need to be responsible enough to call the shots, and not allow discussions to be counterproductive. So, enjoy your workplace chit-chat!

Keshav Sridhar is an HR Consultant & OD Specialist. A seasoned HR Professional, he wields an experience of 15 years and has worked with Google, Partygaming, Aditya Birla Group, BITS Pilani University etc. Keshav holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Post Graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management. He can be contacted at


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