Irregular Sloword BirthMonth Festival
Featured Guest - Suresh Chandrasekaran
After working for sixteen years, Suresh parted ways with his employer to their mutual satisfaction; what the management guys love to call a win-win situation. He was happy to quit because his employer held the illusion that he was there to work. His employer felt that he was under the illusion that he was lounging in his living room while he was in their office and were probably happy to see him go. From then on, he has been trekking, traveling and writing…sporadically, all of them, for what is the point in retiring if he cannot indulge in his favourite activity – lounging in his living room reading books?
He has managed, though, to keep blogging regularly at Life is Like This and, ever since it was listed in the ‘Top 100 funny blogs’ in a world-wide listing by Feedspot, he has been suffering from delusions of humour. Sufficiently to dedicate a Facebook page for the blog.
The only use to which he put his management education was to write a satire on management, specifically marketing management – A dog eat dog-food world. To his surprise, people said that it could well serve as a primer for marketing management though, thankfully, they also admitted (perhaps under duress) that it was funny AND a satire.
Retirement suits him for he never did manage to understand why life should have a purpose. Other than to live.
Check out the links at right to buy his book and see more of his work.
The magic of retirement
Marriage, they say, is a laddoo which causes regret to both the one who eats it and the one who refrains from eating it. The one who marries looks back on the carefree days pre-marriage with regret for their being gone; the one who refrains longs for the perceived joys that he is missing out on by not marrying. Or so, I suppose, people thought it would work. Marriage, though, is not the only thing which works that way.
See what I did there? They call this…hmm, what is that technical term? Ah! Click-bait, that’s what they call it. I do not know why, being of that ilk which ought to be regretting not marrying, but talk of marriage or love draws readers like…err…flies, if you will not be insulted by the term. To be sure, I could have done a better job with the title, called it ‘Of marriage and retirement’ or some such and caused you to come in salivating at the thought that I was going to give you some priceless advice, or heart-warming tales, about how marriage can flourish after retirement. THAT extent of duplicity, I am afraid, is beyond me.
So, why start off with marriage? Because it talks of laddoos which cause regret in both the haves and the have-nots. Which is precisely how it works with retirement as well. He, who is yet to retire, possible longs for the day when he can; he, who has retired, wishes that the day had never come in his life.
It is a comforting feeling, no doubt, to be sure of a hefty addition to the bank balance once a month. The problem, though, is having to work for it. More than the work itself, it is the people who you have to work for or work with who cause you to wish that this phase of life were over. You start counting the days to being free every time
- When your boss tears open a new hole at the nether end of your alimentary canal when you already have a perfectly serviceable one and had not applied for a spare.
- When you are presenting an innovative solution to a problem and all that your audience seems interested in is the colour combination of each slide.
- When you are urgently asked to modify your presentation just as you are about to leave office and take your spouse out for dinner. The outrage you feel is exceeded only by the outrage of having the chaps tell you blithely that they have decided to go with the previous version after you have spent a sleepless night over the modifications.
- When you have an urgent report to make and your subordinates seem to be bent on identifying all possible ways to misinterpret your instructions.
- When a client rings you up just as you are at that stage of the party where you cannot make out the difference between your mobile and a glass of whisky; and realize that you made the wrong choice AFTER using your single malt for an ear-wash. (A suboptimal use of the single malt exceeded only by using it for a hand-sanitizer, as may well happen in these degenerate days)
Retirement seems like Heaven and you thirst for it.
And then you retire…
I know, I know! You are all chorusing ‘The grass is greener on the other side, so what else is new?’ It is not really the same thing, you know. Not with retirement, it isn’t.
You see, when it comes to other things, you hate what is bad in your current situation and take for granted what is good. Whatever is good on the other side of the fence seems heavenly; and there appears to be nothing that is bad. Till you exchange places whereupon it BECOMES your current situation. And, then…well, you know how it is with a current situation.
With retirement, though…there is a trans-mutational magic. When you become an unnecessary fifth wheel in the house and nobody seems to need you…
- When your boss was tearing that extra hole, the poor chap was only upset because he felt let down by you when he needed you badly
- When people were talking of only the colours in your innovative presentation it is only because they had such respect for you that they took your innovation for granted and wanted it to be showcased better
- When they first asked you to modify your presentation and then went with the old one, it was because the full genius of your original presentation took time to sink in; and when it did, they accepted that you were right and it was the best way to do it
- When your subordinates rang every change on your instructions, it was only because they were still learning and looked up to you as a mentor
- When the client rang up at the party, it was only because the poor chap’s business would have floundered without you hand-holding him at that moment.
See what I mean? Comes to retirement, and its magical influence, it is not merely the good in the past that you miss. The so-called bad in the past transforms to being the good things that you miss because you no longer work. (You do not necessarily miss getting that spare hole, yes, but being sought after is a drug that has serious withdrawal symptoms.)
The wand that transforms is that almost mystical thing – being needed! THAT is what gives you a sense of purpose, the feeling that you MATTER to the Universe. Truth be told, you would feel ennui sitting at home solving Sudoku puzzles. If, though, an organisation paid you to solve Sudoku puzzles, you will suddenly feel enthused to keep at it. After all, the organization NEEDS you for solving Sudoku. All the more so if there is an incentive scheme based on how many puzzles you solved every day.
Me?? Now why is it always about me? If you insist, then please note that all this happens ONLY for those people who are NEEDED by their office when they were still working. THAT should explain why retirement made no difference to me.