Thursday, April 19, 2007

Blog migrated to WordPress

For many days I have been considering migrating the blogs to WordPress. Finally I've moved CubicleAnimal to WordPress. Please change your subscription of CubicleAnimal feed to point to the url:

As a bonus you will find all the "Being An Underperformer" series posts under the category "BAU" on the new blog. Just click on the categories listed in the sidebar on the right and you will get all the BAU posts.

I've added two more categories; "Mortal Thoughts" and "Nonsense". "Mortal Thoughts" have posts that I write due to an instant flash of motivation to want to write about something I just found amusing.
The "Nonsense" category has the posts that are usual nonsense or absurdity that I see, feel and think about for a while before resigning it as being "absurd", "utter nonsense" or "bullshit".

Happy reading.

Monday, April 02, 2007

BAU:Lesson 4 - Frustrated... How many bosses do you have?

I have seen in some projects during my years through cubicle life that have more than one bosses. At the same level.

Usually a team performs best when there is a hierarchy of some kind with a flexible enough reporting structure. A rigid chain-of-command makes it pretty much stiffling for team members. Especially the ones who are part of an intellectual space such as IT or Media.

A friend of mine has highlighted the pitfalls of a team that has more than one boss very nicely in his blog "Multiple Boss = Exponential Problems"

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sweet slumber..zzzz. No new posts this week

Guys, I will not be posting any new post this week. I am traveling and want to enjoy the sights and scenes that our real world has to offer. So I am taking a week long break from this cubicle world I have created.
Next post will be on Friday, 30 March 2007.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Change in Site Redirection!!! Eeks!!!

Hello folks!
Just to announce a little change in the blog appearance. The domain now redirects to the original version (Blogger), instead of the FeedBurner version.
I had kept the FeedBurner redirection because it allows me to collect nice statistics on my feeds. Although great for bloggers, it unfortunately, shows the feeds in a very dull interface.
Thus to achieve some spanking polished looks, I sacrificed functionality and have now redirected to the original blog site (

BAU:Lesson 3 - Boss facing your back? No - No

You are at a serious disadvantage if your sitting position is such that your back is facing your boss. If you belong to this category, then I suggest you consider changing your seat ASAP.

You see, why I am telling you to do so has some reasons that I have cited during the recent days:

When you are sitting with your back to your boss means that your computer screen is facing, well, your boss. Now anybody who has "adopted" a boss, knows that this is not a good sign. And with the accuracy with which your boss pops his/her head up just when you've fired up your Yahoo! messenger, it becomes all the more dangerous.

This reason is more to do with how I feel. I do not like when my boss has to face my ass every time I get off my chair. Even though, I know how much I love to do that.

In fact, I think, a reverse seating arrangement can work wonders for you. That way, you will be able to sometimes get away when got caught playing Solitaire on PC. Well, you may just be able to remind your boss how many times a day (s)he plays poker on his notebook.

Jokes apart, I think that if your boss is facing your back, and if unfortunately, you have a very pokey-nosed boss, then you may get frustrated by the continuous flow of "expert" commentary on everything that your desktop shows up.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

BAU:Lesson 2 - Never love your job; at least pretend not to

First, I apologize for the delay in this post. I was on a planned Holi festival vacation that got extended. And let me add that when I am on vacation, it means that I am with my family minus my laptop, my blackberry and my cell phone. After all vacations are supposed to be an “escape” and that’s just the reason I take them for.

Coming back to today’s lesson:

I strongly recommend/suggest/encourage you to NOT love your job.

A few days ago I saw a jobsite ad on TV where a person is shown who deserves a better job. But he is so much in love with his current job that he just can’t see the telltale signs that tell him to make the switch. Although humorous, this ad carries a serious message too. “Do not become so obsessed with your job that you tend to lose out on better opportunities.”

Through this lesson, I am NOT trying to communicate the following ideas:
  • Tell you to become a job hopper
  • Tell you to “hate” your job

What I am trying to highlight is that never get “emotionally-attached” with your job or your work. We never know what future holds for us. Thus in a world where “change is the only constant” I think it is always better to keep oneself ready for the next change when it comes staring at you round a bend.

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Monday, February 26, 2007

BAU:Lesson 1 - Never be irreplaceable

Never ever be irreplaceable in your line of work.

If you are irreplaceable, it means no one can do the work that you do. This in turn means that your firm does not see anyone else who can deliver the quality that you can.

Such a perception can be a major setback to your career because your firm will find it difficult to promote you and fill your place with someone else.

Although many a times we strive hard to perform at our best, there are two different ways to look at it.
One: The firm will never fire you because you perform so well in your tasks.
Second: The firm will also NOT promote you, because they can't find your replacement so easily.

How to tackle this? I have a suggestion - a personal one ofcourse, so take it with a pill.

You need to maintain your skills in a such a manner that you offer a better deal than your peers, but at the same time ensure that you are not percieved as "the best" in that field.

It is a difficult task to do. So even after doing it all, if you can't bring your firm to realize that you too have a career, then I personally think it's time to re-evaluate your options.

Again take this harsh advice "with a pill".

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Being An Underperformer - Curtain Raiser

Today, I am starting with a series titled "Being an Underperformer". Since the title is, sort of, long, I'll be using "BAU" to refer to it.

So all my posts titled "BAU" will indicate that the post belongs to the series "Being an Underperformer".

Each post will be in the form of "Lessons". So you will have "Lesson 1", "Lesson 2", and so on. Why "Lesson" you may ask? Well, because each post will have something that I want to tell readers NOT to do at workplace.

I know some lessons can raise a controversy. I also know that many of you may not agree to some of my thoughts too. So understand that these thoughts have originated from something I have experienced first hand or have seen it happening to others. So sometimes the lessons can be totally based on the situation which may never ever happen to you in a lifetime. To which I would say "Good. Consider yourself lucky. Because all my lessons are based on what NOT to do."

Another thing I want to point out is that I will keep the titles of all the lessons "negative". As in beginning with "Do not" or "Never". But once in a while I may come across a topic that I may not be able to put it as a "Do not" or a "Never" topic. So please bear with me on that.

For my new readers who wants to get upto speed on the background of the series, I will link the words "BAU" in each of my lessons to this post.

Other than this, I think we are good to go.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Waking up

It has been a deep slumber since June 2006 to February 2007. But now the meek cubicle animal is awake. What woke it, I do not know. But I feel I got the purpose clear after a long meditation on what I want this blog to represent.

The moment of truth is finally here...

From this day onwards, I am starting a series titled "Being an Underperformer: Things that you should NOT do at your workplace".
This series will be a weekly post, in which I will highlight one lesson on what you should NOT do at your workplace.
All these lessons will be written to guide you be satisfied at your workplace, but with a little dash of humor and fun to drive home the point I am making.
I will try not to make it too serious that you eventually switch off. At the same time, I will try not sound completely stupid also.

The first lesson begins on Monday. I have chosen this day because many people call it "Blue Monday" and find it hard to come to terms that there is a whole week ahead of them before they can enjoy the next holiday.

So keep an eye on this place each Monday. It may lighten up your mood and prepare you to face the oncoming week, head-on.