MICHAEL JACKSON AND THE CORPORATE MADNESS

My Billie Jean Performance_Smallest

Get relief from the coporate madness.  Go mad and do something outrageous. Fight fire with fire.

As we go on and on with the drudgery of our daily grind, we tend to be so absorbed into what we do at work that we forget that work is just a means to an end – not an end in itself. Unless of course you are a volunteer in a not-for-profit organisation that is committed to serve the needs of society. The problem with the corporate world is its capitalist roots where greed is a legitimate pursuit which in turn comes back to serve the survival of the system itself.

The way the corporate world is structured – a cold, unforgiving, stiff pressure-cooker environment wrapped in a pleasant neat and compartmentalised matrix bathed in blinding flourescent lights. The kind that imresses upon you so much that it tends to hang on to you wherever you go till you get desensitised to the nightmare that you call work. Most of the time you get a small part to play in the big picture – sort of like a jigsaw piece. Over time you tend to lose the forest for the trees and develop tunnel vision where you lose your sense of direction, lose the meaning of your being there in the first place – which is to do something meaningful by the way. And finally you start losing your mind way before you start losing your hair. And then you go into this drunken state of zombie-ness where your main priorities is to pass the buck and clear as many files from your table so that you can have some time for yourself to think about your problems that you don’t really have.

The truth is, the files never get cleared and you get desperate day after day, deadline after dealine, meeting after meeting until you just go with the flow of the corporate river and develop some nifty ability to dodge the bullets and knives come your way to haunt you for your corporate sins of old. You learn about the best carpets to sweep your corporate dirt under, the best holes to bury your undischarged corporate responsibilities from prying eyes. Once in a while you succumb to stealing an hour or two to surf the net or do your personal stuff or even steal from your office – without a whiff of guilt.

And you try ways and means to escape the daily drudgery but you can’t. The you start managing the drudgery by just concentrating on only your area of work while giving excuses for the rest. Then you realise that you can even go one further by passing the buck to others.

They call it “tai chi” in chinese – a skill that is a fine art in the corporate context wher you gracefully push your work and its responsibilities out of your purview. You now go into survival mode and use the newbies to run your show and maybe even do your personal errands. That is until they find out its not their job – but by which time it’ll be too late for them.

Congratulations, you are now a corporate caricature that Scott Adams so deftly portrays in his comic strips. You get lost in your own world and move about in sober drunkenness. You think you are in control of your faculties but not realising that the system has overtaken you and has started subsuming your existence into just another appendage to it’s numerous tentacles.

It sucks dry the very life in your personality and the very humanity in your character to become a flat one-dimensional object the existence of which is only a teensy weensy bit more than the existence of your office furniture in your cubicle. You lose your sense of humour together with your personality and become this dry one-dimensional corporate zombie to whom laughter is an alien experience and totally out of place in the office, you develop a nervous twitch and become stiff in your movements  and think you are cool. You develop a blankness in your face which is a reflection of the state of your mind.

So something must happen to release – sort of like an explosion – to release you from this pressure that you didn’t know existed in the first place. Weekends never work beacuse they come to an end and the mondays dangle over your heads like a guillotine that is slowly descending as the weekend comes to a close. So the release is never full and is never really there because the fear is always there no matter how many bottles you down at a corporate pub and lose yourself in a glass of strong drink to find a way out of your pain that you can’t really feel.

As I was sinking into that corporate quicksand, there came an opportunity to go mad. What is mad in the corporate world mind you is sanity for the people of real world – and the bulk of this group are made of sages and children in a world gone mad and greedy.

I seized it and went before an odd corporate crowd of 200 and put my three days worth of practicing of the Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean to the smooth carpeted floor of the Sheraton Ball Room. I mean I had to. Well, how often do you get to grab your crotch in front of your top bosses and still expect to have a day job turn up to the next day? This in my view is an excellent opportunity to showcase all you have, release yourself in the most un-artistic way and get one up your colleagues and bosses while getting an applause!

What I didn’t expect is the complete release from the pressure after my five minutes of crappy performance. I decided not to have any shame for that moment and as the minutes ticked by I got more audacious and I felt exorcised of this corporate demon that had consumed me for the longest time. It felt good and I’m thankful for that guy who did the Elvis who said that this is his real self and in work he performs. And he is known as the crazy guy! Now I realise he could’t be any saner.

Well my only regret is that I didn’t take off & throw the Jacket and rip my t-shirt off. Maybe I’ll do that the next time cos this release is just like crack-cocaine – the dosage needs to be heavier with each successive fix to get the same amount of high

Release yourself. DO somehing crazy. Like the NatGeo Advert Goes – “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” But I hope it does’nt turn out to be the graveyard of the many firsts that I did for the last time! Now I know, Small time performers have it good (and maybe not the money) because they don’t get embroiled in the muck of showbiz.

THANK GOD FOR MICHAEL AND ELVIS . God bless them.

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