I grew up in an Army environment marked by discipline, integrity, work ethics and staunch beliefs. And the more time I spent with rules, the more I decided to never work in such a stifling atmosphere. I don’t have personal issues with an immaculate work culture, but just need a free spirited, vibrant, new-age office to work in. I could never see myself going ‘Yes, Sir’, ‘No, Madam’ and nodding to orders that came my way. It’s a free world, after all, isn’t it?
One of the many reasons I decided to come to Mumbai to pursue my passion was the amazing work culture tales I had heard from friends. My first day started out great; my new office did not have long rows of dull desks or arrogant men-in-suits. Large windows with white curtains billowing, community tables and cool personal laptops, quirky art flattering plain walls and cheerful faces, were what welcomed me and I couldn’t have been more ecstatic.
But like they say, all good things must come to an end. For me, I got a reality check when I met Avaan! You think your boss is a nightmare? Please come and meet mine; she is my Devil who doesn’t wear Prada. I think she was the inspiration behind the quintessential definition of a ‘horrible boss’. From the word go, Avaan has been nothing but nasty towards me. I have been trying hard to prove my worth, showcase my capabilities, but all she does is look down upon me. She steals my designs, makes me run around in the scorching heat of Mumbai and has no respect whatsoever. She is condescending, thinks too highly of herself and… Sigh. I can honestly write a thesis on her. I mean the boss is never right, right? But with me, it’s all true.
My mom says you can never choose your parents or your boss, and that’s so true. You don’t have a choice. I wanted to work with Rohan, my super boss, who seems so affectionate and considerate. I was sure he is that ‘perfect’ boss we all dream of. But what happened the other day with Avaan kind of changed my mind. I caught her crying and overheard that Rohan had pulled her up for a design she wasn’t even responsible for. Maybe, Avaan isn’t the devil I make her out to be; maybe, it’s the underlying and unspoken stress of the industry and pressures of surviving in this competitive city of dreams that turns one into a horrible boss. Or perhaps, bosses are never meant to be perfect.
Everywhere I turn, and everyone I have ever spoken to, has the same complaint: The horrible boss in their lives. So, it got me thinking, why are we letting them ruin our lives? We don’t have a choice to pick our bosses but by cribbing and thinking about them, we let them reign over our lives. I think I have found my perfect solution: learn to live with them but not let them boss over. Sure, Avaan is my superior ‘at work’ and that’s where it ends. If I need to make a mark for myself, I have to tread the uncharted path without fear. So, no one’s my boss, I will boss over my thoughts, emotions and actions starting today.
Catch the interesting tale of Meera Sehgal in Girl In The City on bindass'’ Facebook page every Thursday at 7.30 pm