Bikram Vohra
Bikram Vohra
Features

Pet peeves and other things that bug me...

By Bikram Vohra

Dubai, February 2, 2013

Do you have hang-ups, like blind spots that make you see red? I do. 

Nothing gets me more riled up than someone not looking up from behind a counter when I speak to them. They’ll keep doing their work or talking among themselves and you are saying, excuse me, with that horrible ingratiating whiney tone and he or she isn’t even recognizing your existence. Like, that makes me mad. 
About as mad as those cretins who park their cars over two spaces, the tyres eight inches into the second square and you want to throttle them because it is so inconsiderate and what were they thinking when they parked their cars, couldn’t they see that big white swathe of paint, what did they think it was, art? And what vehicle is it, a 1.4 litre toy car not even the excuse of an SUV.
Then you have the world’s most annoying air passengers who entertain you from waiting lounge to doors closing with their mobile phone conversations, giving some poor sod at the other end a blow by blow account of the progress of his flight. 
Flight is announced. We are getting on. I am in my seat, it’s a window. Hurrah. I’ll be back Saturday (couldn’t you have told them that before leaving for the airport?). How are the kids (you left them one hour ago they haven’t run away)? Don’t forget to pay the electricity bill. 
And then the whole song is repeated when the plane lands. Frantic dialing even before the wheels have stopped smoking. I have landed. We are taxiing to the bay. We are getting off. I am getting up. Any news? What do you want from Duty Free? I’ll take a cab. See you in the hour.
Then you have the verbal tyrants. They come into a meeting and well into it they say, can I be honest? Say what? You’ve been lying all this time, taking us to the cleaners.
Otherwise, they’ll say, in my personal opinion…as opposed to what, your impersonal opinion? The pompous one who says, I am the sort of guy who calls a spade a spade. Yeah, really, what do you think we do, look at the spade and say, uhmmmmm, this is a trowel or a shearer.
Then you have that inevitable fellow who goes up your nose with his, I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings (yes, you do) but I have to be blunt (so all this time you were the sharpest tool in the shed) and there is nothing personal about it, totally subjective (hahahahaha).
Up there on the irritation factor is the guy who says we should all think out of the box. My point is why are we in the box in the first place. And what box are we talking about. The little attaché case, a wooden chest or simply a cardboard square?
My four favourite "can I scream" corporate verbal scams:
Are we on the same page? (I don’t know, what book are you reading?)
You have to hit the ground running (really, and what if I fall and break a leg, huh, ever seen someone hit the ground running when he jumps off a bus?
We need to get our ducks in a row. (What ducks, this is office, not a funfair, why should we get our ducks in a row, might as well get coconuts.)
We have to be seen to be going forward (like we have been going backwards all these months, who thinks these up?
Here is one I read from a business house addressed to all staff; 
"Thank you for your inputs. As we restructure and climb the strategic staircase, seeking granuality in the procedures to be adopted, we are assessing and mitigating immediate impacts and developing a high-level overview to help frame the corporate ethos with our customers and key stakeholders. In the meantime, please continue to raise specific concerns or questions about projects ensuring that as we reallocate our resources we have to tighten our belts and ensure that we achieve maximum potential. Until such time all initiatives are on hold."
I think he means no.
Bikram Vohra has been editor of Gulf News, Khaleej Times, Bahrain Tribune, Emirates Evening Post and helped in setting up Gulf Today.
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