Thursday, April 3, 2008

Some mothers do have ‘em! – Part 2

For those who read my last post, I am about the reveal our findings. For those who haven’t the foggiest what I’m on about, following is somewhat of a dramatized (and mostly cynical) version of personalities we (my drunken school buddies and I) believe exists in some Technical Organizations in Sri Lanka. All readers please keep in mind that I have not tried to portray any organization in particular. I’m attempting to paint a picture of a rather fictitious office. Any resemblance if exists is purely coincidental and not intended.

Big Wig

Is the Boss, the Don, the General, the El Supremo. Forget the board of directors - this person has absolute power – no matter what the constitution or company articles say. Anyone with half a brain will quickly wise-up to this fact. “Arse lickers” will waste no time – they will start working on him as if there is no tomorrow. The Big Wig will get the best spot in the car park, the best room in the office, the best laptop, the best furniture… I think you get the picture. But what is less apparent is that the Big Wig almost always listens to the Director’s recommendations.


Although the Big Wig can ultimately overrule any action of a Director, it rarely happens. The relationship between these two is similar to a typical hierarchy in a Sri Lankan household. As the famous saying so eloquently put it, “Pa is boss as everyone knows, but what Ma says always goes”. And in most organizations the Big Wig is wise enough to allow the directors to make recommendations. Unlike the Big Wig, a Director’s absence is not highlighted very much. As a result some directors tend to take time off willy-nilly and can be seen at trendy coffee shops or the local golf course during the day. They also tend to travel a lot… and on business class too. Such liberties are mostly seen as wasting company money while contributing Jack (which sometimes is not very far from the truth).

Senior Manager

Way past his/her best. This person is very unlikely to move higher in the corporate ladder. The company doesn’t have the heart or in some instances, the courage to let him/her go. So instead, gives a corner room and assigns some unimportant piece of assignment and a couple of subordinates to keep him/her occupied. Most of the time it will be administrative work that is impossible to complete.


Supposed to report to the Senior Manager in theory. But is convinced the most effective way to perform is only if he/she bypasses two notches and reports directly to the Big Wig. And in most cases this is exactly what happens. As a result, most things the manager does (including stupid mistakes) get exposed at the highest levels of the organization and outside. By the time the mistakes are identified, it is too late to do anything. The cunning kind will always (and skillfully) put the blame on their subordinates in such cases, but is quick to claim any positive criticisms if any.

Junior Manager

Is the real worker. Most of the time, he/she will be called in to cover the Manager’s arse when the shit hits the fan. They work best when he/she has an un-dying appreciation for the Manager. Mostly a thankless job where he/she is not high enough on the corporate ladder to be able to claim fringe benefits like expense accounts, entertainment claims and worthwhile medicals nor he/she is low enough to be able to qualify for overtime double pay. Ends up working around the clock and develops alcohol addiction, heart conditions, gastritis and broken marriages as a result.


On par with junior Manager on the ol’ ladder. But has superior technical knowledge and the only kind who knows what exactly is inside the box that is being sold. Due to this reason, everybody (including the Big Wig) will tolerate their antics and occasional tantrums. A typical spoilt brat. Doesn’t give a damn about job security and what anyone else in the company thinks of them. Someday will be promoted to the Manager post and then his/her world starts crashing down like dominos.


Has no idea of the company’s goals. Does exactly what the Techie tells them to do. Best describes as a worker ant or a production-line robot. Only goal in life is someday to end up in middle management as a Techie or a Junior Manager.


This person sees the company best for what it really is. Will know exactly who pinched whose bottom at the Christmas party. But they don’t dare spill-the-beans or rock-the-boat during their “trainee” period. Secretly develops an infatuation for the most attractive person of the opposite sex at office. Most of the time this is the office Bimbo or the Chippendale in office admin.

Office Bimbo/Chippendale

Can be found in office admin mostly. Hired for their friendliness and attractiveness than anything else. Adds colour to the office. Also serves as the sole motivation for some employees to turn up at office in the morning. Usually ends up providing a rather entertaining story after the office Christmas party. Usually the Big Wig, a Director or a Senior Manager is also somehow entangled.


The biggest fraud since fried ice-cream. All-fart and no-shit type of person. Manages to convince the Director or the Senior Manager to extend his/her contract for another year by claiming credit for someone else’s work. Or in some cases simply by using fear tactics. Appears to be busy most of the time in order to put off anyone trying to figure out exactly what this person does in the organization. While middle management and beyond falls for his/her charade, the actual worker ants and below will ridicule this personality behind his/her back everytime they get the chance.

Well,.. did I leave anyone out?


Sujeewa Kokawala said...

hey bims, lovely two-piece posting. Like the prior most for style and subtle sarcasm. Well you may have missed out several personalities in second, or perhaps elements of them. I'm finding it hard to combine those missing elements and assemble personalities out of it. Raw elements go as follows.

- sometimes sm ppl work at one company but you feel as if they're working for another.

- wait-till-it's-fivers

- glued-at-office category (not necessarily working)

- blackmailers

- The operrators or rather beggers of the bimbo. They generally stand there for her help 24x7, as if they're paid for helping her out. Sometimes they extend the support to almost all newcomer female breed, until they are chased by them. Usually the support categorizes to charity, since no outcome or fullfillment of objective happens.

- Self byte (mostly the same as prev class)

- True decision makers. If not for them project is gone. But its only them who knows that.

- Accountant

Well the list can go on. I like bimbo for a choice (self boooo), but sadly we lack bimbos in IT very much. Maybe when you big wigs get joined with the other senior staff for a bigmatch booz next time, you can put this matter up in agenda that IT lacks bimbos very much and ways to sort this out.

Bimal said...

You are right on the money son! One question though. I didn't quite get "Self byte" category. Care to elaborate?

The subject does come up often than we think. But let's just be politically correct and call them "beautiful people". :-) I guess the IT field is too geeky for them.

ASSERT(IT != Beautiful_people);

I rest my case.