Dinosaurs in the conference room
The stupendous worldwide success of Jurassic World at the box office perhaps reveals our fascination for the prehistoric and primal. Dinosaurs have always captured the fancy of audiences across the planet, ever since those water glasses shook with tremulous intent in Jurassic Park.
And no matter how far from Homosapiens dinosaurs might seem in appearance, some people do swear they see a few dead and present relatives in them. The human mind,at most times, is wonderful at finding connections where none exist; ask any self-respecting TV soap maker. So whilst dinosaurs never had to bother about year-end targets, performance appraisals, resumé window dressing, and ducking office on Mondays, it is possible that many white-collar employees might come back from Jurassic World feeling like they have experienced a likeness of their own boss in 3D.
Listed below, in no order of seniority, are a few of these ‘Dino Avataars’ they are likely to encounter most often.
The raptors were perhaps the most lethal of all dinosaurs, what with their searing intelligence, lightning speed, ability to work in packs and unwillingness to turn vegetarian. They set the first examples of how management and teamwork can lead to rip offs, even if only in an intestinal context.
Is your boss prone to hollering out to her peers to assemble in her room, whenever you confront her with a problem? Does she anticipate your mistakes even before you think of committing them? Can she reach the top floor faster than you, even if you take the lift and she the stairs? Now you know what her dinosaur lineage is.
The Triceratops was largely a harmless creature. Occasionally though, it was prone to be rather bull-headed about things, quite literally. Men arriving late to office, driving their SUVs, could have used the excuse of their vehicles having been enthusiastically overturned en route, by a Triceratops in the throes of mating agony. However due to several million years of separation between the two species in question, this excuse is usually likely to raise a few skeptical eyebrows in HR.
There is one dead giveaway to your boss being of the Triceratops variety. He thinks there is one, and only one, approach to solve a problem. This means that he keeps returning to it stubbornly, tries to ram it down other people’s throats, despite all logic, rational thought,and personally directed abuse indicating otherwise. Eventually this cerebral ‘banging of heads’is known to migrate from him to the rest of the people in the room.
Tyrannosaurs were the poster boys of the Jurassic age. They could have done with better promotional agents though. The most celebrated carnivore, his terrifying roar used to clear out the jungle a mile ahead; an idea which might have great applications in today’s oppressive traffic conditions. The T-Rex was largely sensitive to movement; it was known to pass over prey which stayed absolutely rigid, even when this fearsome predator was close.
Tina could be the sort of person who screams at people just to scare the breakfast out of them. She might even like stomping around very loudly at the office, sending blood pressure levels through the roof. But her truest colors are revealed, when she is making a presentation. All those agreeing with her perspective are generously spared. But any suggested modification, moving even a fraction away from her recommendation, is pounced upon. Heads get bitten off, both of the new idea and its source. As things are bound to get terribly bloody, it is advisable never to wear your best clothes at such meetings.
The Brachiosaurus wasamong the gentle giants of the age. Standing extremely tall, it used to feed on the leaves belonging to the high branches of big trees, in an almost giraffe like manner; though like in the case of most controversial goal line decisions, there were no reliable witnesses on the spot to corroborate this. Large and generally peace loving, the Brachiosaurus roamed the plains with an almost aerial disdain for the savagery which usually transpired below.
Bijoy typically embodies many of these traits. Even if he is not large physically, he displays the mental immunity of all big creatures to small problems and irritations. He is likely to unnecessarily stick out his neck at all times, often inviting crises upon his team. But since they have the benefit of being able to shout back at him (even if they get ignored because of his dispositional altitude),they don’t mind that much. Also his genetic heritage ensures he sticks his neck out for them once a while. It is easiest to spot him at lunch tables, because he is the only one standing, insisting on hovering above the others, sometimes even asking for a stool to accentuate this perspective. Normally quite pleasant and docile, he sends the alarm bells ringing once the salad runs out at the buffet counter.
The newly created dinosaur in this edition is the Indominus Rex, a fabulously amalgamated hybrid of Jurassic precedent and human ingenuity. It generously borrows from the star traits of many other dinosaurs, and is quite the alpha beast of the park. There is no beating this creature. Only if one is able to raise serious questions about its rampant bad breath and ill-conceived dietary preferences can one stave off becoming part of that aforementioned diet. But the Indominus is notoriously short of patience, and such conversations are best conducted through powerful megaphones from a safe distance.
Indu often comes with great experience at a range of several blue chip companies, spanning both geography and category. She is smart enough to shoot down your request for a promotion or long leave in seven different ways. Each deliciously articulated refusal display the cerebral and cultural traits of a different organization she has been with. Sometimes she might even just do it for sport or practice. She is unlikely to be taken in, by any of the ‘pretending to work’ charades; her subordinates will attempt to develop just to get away from her pressure inducing presence. She leaves you with the uncomfortable feeling of there being absolutely no escape. She is unequivocally the ‘new and improved nasty’, and the only way you can survive, is if you take your exit pass out of the park.
To be fair other Dino Avataars can as easily be identified by the discerning eye.
My duty was to get your mind to think along certain lines, if only to protect you. For a hundred million years might separate dinosaurs from civilization. But when it comes to dealing with your bosses in the corporate jungle, one can distinctly hear the strains of the Jurassic era playing in the background.
Welcome to the White Collar Jurassic World!