Friday, 8 August 2008

Soren's Poor Jokes

This post by a fellow-blogger suddenly made me recollect an incident that happened several years ago.

Pankaj had recently joined the company. He was a very sincere, hard-working young man with a ready smile and a cheerful demeanour. Being new, Pankaj was in that phase of constantly trying to ingratiate himself with all his colleagues and charm them with his social graces.

Soren was an expatriate who worked for our company at that time. A tall, heavily-built man with deep-set blue eyes and a blond, scraggly beard, Soren always reminded me of the Giant from Jack and the Beanstalk. He smiled often, but the smile, rarely if ever, seemed to reach his eyes. Soren could be blunt, irascible, and was prone to such severe mood-swings that his colleagues normally tried to avoid him as much as possible.

Not Pankaj. Every day morning, Pankaj would go across to Soren’s seat and the following conversation would ensue with minor variations:

Pankaj: How are you Soren?

Soren: I’m fine thanks. How’re you Pankaj?

Pankaj: I am also fine, Soren. How’s the family?

Soren: Fine, thanks.

Pankaj: Have a good day, Soren.

Soren: Thanks, you too, Pankaj.

The whole office would listen to this exchange with good-natured tolerance, suppress a smile or two, and go on with their work.

One day Soren is late. Pankaj faithfully wishes everyone else a cheery Good Morning and starts preparing to go out on a sales visit. He is busy cramming his briefcase with price lists and brochures when Soren walks in. Instead of going to his seat, Soren makes a beeline for where Pankaj is sitting and plonks himself on Pankaj’s table. A startled Pankaj looks up from what he is doing and offers a helpful smile.

“How are you, Pankaj?” Soren asks loudly, making sure everyone is listening.

“I am fine, Soren,” says Pankaj, ‘how are you?”

Soren, delighted that Pankaj has fallen neatly into the trap set for him, replies in clear, ringing tones: “I am fine, Pankaj. In fact, I couldn’t be better. You see, I woke up at 5 O’clock, went for a jog, had a shower, f*- ed the wife who had just got up, had breakfast and here I am! I tell you man, I’m feeling good!”

Soren looks around expectantly. The whole office is frozen in silence. Nobody laughs. No one even looks at him.

From that day onwards, Pankaj stopped wishing Soren in the mornings.


Shal said...

you kill me! this had me rolling in the hallway:-) Rock on!

Lekhni said...

So this Soren had one person in the whole office who spoke to him politely, and he pours out all his sarcasm on him too? Wow.

Vijay said...

heee haaaw.. this is hilarious..

Cynic in Wonderland said...

aiyo poor pankaj

padmaja said...

Haha! good one! A friend once told me her colleague was chatting up with a client. Just to make polite conversation, he asked him how he spent his evenings. The client replied, " I go home, have a bath, fix a drink, enjoy upon my wife, have dinner and go to sleep!" Till this day my friend does not know if he meant what we think it is or just that he spent quality time with his wife!!! ;)

Sapna Anu B.George said...

Good reading ,though i never understood your equation of 'young people'....where will we 'kilavi's run to ???

Rada said...

@Lekhini: Such is life!
@Vijay: Frankly, I did not expect the post to amuse, but to shock!:-(
@Cynic: Yes, you can say that again!
@Padmaja:"...enjoy upon my wife"! That's a good one!
@Sapna: Oooh! Sapna! What exactly does that comment mean? :-)

Ravi said...

I have as yet to meet someone who would be so rude-especially a foreigner in India.

Trust me, if anyone said something like that to anyone in the US, he/she would be fired on the spot-no questions asked-especially if there were witnesses to the comment.

Sud said...

Its a fine art to haze in the over-friendly newbies, not easily mastered

Velayudhan said...

I am reminded of a similar situation in my office years back, with myself at the receiving end.

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Stepping Sideways... by K. Radhakrishnan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.