Calvin and Hobbes, the boy genius and his favourite tiger are loved by many. His way of looking at things makes us question all aspects of life. When he is at home or school he always finds a way to intrigue the readers with a comment or two that confuse them, or highlight the parts of life that go unseen. One fine day, though, Calvin decided to visit his father at his, ‘high-class’ office, filled with lawyers, clients and all sorts of trouble. His father, as usual, asked him to wait because he was just too busy. What happened after? Let’s see!
A lady walks by Calvin, she is having a discussion with a man carrying a thick file (and a lot of stress along)
Hobbes: Imagine carrying that big a pile of tuna fish sandwiches
Calvin: Better than carrying the burden of the world
Hobbes: Good thing, you don’t have to carry it alone!
Corporate culture is pressurising in many ways. The time taken to understand procedures, clients, deadlines, dealing with people can get to you. At the time when you start to break down, look around at the people, your colleagues, going through the same things. Relying on each other can help you tackle the ‘thick pile’ with ease. It is always a good idea to ask for assistance.
Moving on, Calvin and Hobbes look at a man, sitting in his glass cabinet and screaming at his phone. It’s his father’s friend. As he gets up to step outside, he calms himself with a deep breath and greets Calvin.
Man: Good day, lad! Haven’t seen you in a while
Calvin: And I haven’t seen you like that, ever.
Of course, the man didn’t understand what Calvin meant and dismissed him with a laugh. But many times, facing situations that are beyond our understanding puts us in a tight spot. Frustration is the obvious result and we tend to lose control. Many people can end up bursting and taking out their frustration on their colleagues, bosses even. At this time it’s necessary to take a deep breath, introspect and bring out self that handles the situation rationally. Getting the work done and getting worked-up, is different and comes with different consequences.
Wanderer as he is, Calvin reaches the golden spot of all gossip, the water fountain.
Chatter: “Nobody is getting apprised this year”, “Is about the dead cat again”, “I just heard its open for few people”
Hobbes: Is this like when human kids want to grow up so they have more perks?
Calvin: More like, when they realise there are no perks.
Calvin can indeed be cynical at times but the fact that people tend to ignore their present remains true. What lies ahead will always be a mystery, all one can do is make the best of what they have. In our corporate-centred lives where the future is emphasised, it can be perplexing how to focus on the present. Goals, growth, money everything depends on the future. But you have to put in the work in the present. Your actions now impact your future as it’s all about doing what you can and letting the results show as they might. Sometimes all you can do is ‘carpe diem’ my friend!
Calvin now sees two people coming out of the conference room. They look happy and nervous at the same time.
Chatter: “Your idea saved our necks today” “I swear until last night I could think of nothing!”
Hobbes: These corporate guys always have the same expression on their faces.
Calvin: Remember, I told you, creativity is the result of last-minute panic?
Everyone living the corporate life thrives on ideas. Ideas that build brands and empires, and change lives. An idea cannot be produced at any time on demand but last-minute situations have the power to make our brain mechanisms run faster and produce solutions. It does not mean one shouldn’t be prepared in advance but about trusting yourself that no matter what, you can excel. If not, look back relax and rework. Let your gut lead you to the right idea or trust in your team to come up with one.
Calvin’s dad finally comes out of his cubicle and finds Calvin wandering. He asks him if the office was interesting enough for Calvin.
Calvin: It’s good if I get to hang out with Hobbes, but don’t you feel like getting out of the box sometimes?
Dad: My cubicle? Once you’re in it is difficult to get out.
That could mess up a child, but Calvin’s father is like that. He makes it a point to give him a reality check at each step. He does believe in being positive but mostly comes across as cynical like his son. Corporates are known for getting people into a race they can never finish but the beauty of it is, it teaches you to walk before you run. Taking things one day at a time and thinking for the future at the same time, that’s what being in a corporate is like. You embrace the things happening around you, learn from them and that’s how you grow.