Saturday, July 12, 2008

Cheeky chicanery, eh?

seems to me like we are loosing the Battle of the Front Page, even as i am told, by many a faithful reader, that we are winning the War of Readability (oh, but our page ROCKS!). every morning, on my way to the daily meeting, i hear the rustling in the conference-room, and have to try very hard to resist a peek inside to see the gladiatorial parade of the pages... our successive front pages, jostling for wall space with our nemesis', while the various lords do a SWOT analysis of the home team. but today, i'm sure, those voices must have been tempered with moments of confused silence and mild to vehement defense/denials, their eyes going back to the travesty that was Page One... in fact, for a moment i thought someone had ripped off a section of my copy's masthead... for the rest of the day, my eyes kept returning to the scene of the crime, tortured as i was by the near-headless monstrosity. enough, already. can't bear to talk about it anymore!

oh, we are also losing some of the other battles. like against inflation and rising costs.. today there was no air conditioning in office, ostensibly due to some maintenance work, but my conspiratorial mind seems to think there is some sneaky cost cutting going on here... the coffee machine at the entrance often has no mineral water dispenser. so we go to the one in the Hindi-heartland, which, for some reason, never has any cups. but by the time you go to the one near the entrance for a cup, those have miraculously disappeared too and so have the tea bags at another machine... and so on and on....

so, in the end, you land up either going without tea, or have to find a pretext of another meeting to get a more palatable version made by the office boy. ok, so that last part was a fib. i do only have one meeting to attend daily, but the ruse comes in handy to avoid pesky calls during office hours, avoided by murmuring importantly into your handset, suitably muffled as it is with your hand clapped over it.. yes, yes, i am a dedicated worker, and no the last time any of you called, i was really in an emergency meeting! you know nah baba: Leftie Inc, Softie Singh, etc etc have been running circles around Manu bhai and Sonya aunty after all.... its giving me dark circles for crissssssake!

but now i am getting ahead of myself. so, we have stolen one of our foreign editor's portable fan, who is enjoying better (physical, not security-wise) climate in Kabul, and stuck the offensive Page One into the grimy window to keep it open. oh, another fact that supports my cost cutting theory is that why would you do this on a saturday, albeit on a day there is, mercifully, a decent breeze blowing, and why would you 'slimily' place portable fans at strategic locations (lots of hyperactivity in one hour), if this was to be only a one-day-few-hours' job! why, tell nah, WHY? now, i'm getting pissed. its hot. and we have to watch how much paper we use in these inflationary times....damn, there goes our paper boat sailing competition in the loo and the air show in the sports section :( AND they only keep mirinda (and no fanta!) in the cafe. does it cool with less power, i wonder? oh wow, its 7 already!

cheerio! i'm off to drive off in the AC confines of my car... crap! how much did you say that barrel of oil was for?

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