“That’s your desk,” the portly man announced with some authority. He fished in his black trouser pockets and pulled a blue and white handkerchief from it, blew his nose in a slow, deliberate manner, and shoved it back into his pocket after a perfunctory peek into it to check whether he had gotten anything interesting.
“Thank you,” I cleared my throat. He blinked at me. Once, twice.
“Well, you better start. We at G&G Enterprise, believe in quality along with quantity.” The fluorescent light made the bald patch on his head gleam. Sleek. He would have looked like a seal, had his face not been pinched into a perpetual scowl. He seemed deeply rueful of the general incompetence of his staff and humanity in general.
He didn’t return my half smile.
He took out a stack of paper from under an exceptionally dusty desk and slammed it on my would-be work space which was equally, cringeworthily dusty. An alarmingly stuffy room in a basement stacked with garbage. Piles of paper staggering ominously on crumbling, wooden desks and tables. One locked steel almirah. A lopsided calendar from two years back on a damp wall. A chair that was to be my seat of honour. And a remarkably stupid painting of flowers in a vase right in front of my desk. It was so ironic that I had to stifle a chuckle. A wastepaper basket filled to the brim with crumpled paper. A pen stand, a diary, a paper weight, a blotter. A telephone that I soon discovered was dead. These were to be my companions for Idon’tknowhowlong.
“Of course we don’t allow smoking under any circumstances. It is against our ethics. We believe in having a strong moral foundation.”
“Of course,” I quietly felt the pack of cigarettes in my pocket.
Officious, bald bastard. I threw my fakest smile at him.
“G&G Enterprise has 15 stellar employees. We are a small family with a solid core,” he said in a proud, scholarly voice. “Dedicated to Deadlines. That is our motto,” he paused. Probably for some response from my end.
What shit was he on? What’s with the speech?
“That is rather inspiring Mr K.”
“Very well. I understand you are aware of your work scope and been assigned your daily tasks? I do not tolerate lackadaisical loafers, mind you. I take daily updates and conduct surprise checks. Your generation is all about fast food, fast talking and foolery. Remember, nobody gets a free lunch,” he snickered maliciously at his own little wisecrack.”Anyhow, haven’t got all day to waste. We are very busy people. Any questions?”
“No,” I quietly shook my head.
“Well then! I shall be off now,” he waddled towards the door.
“Uh, Mr K?”
“Who do I ask for a cup of tea?”
“Tea? Why, there’s a tea stall ride downstairs, across the road. Wonderful stuff for Rs 5/-”
Great. I sat down on my chair and sifted through the pile of yellow papers that I was expected to edit/salvage/study/puke over/burn. How wonderful.