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Workaholic: The Social Retard Tag

Updated on May 1, 2012


As is with all matters when it comes to merging into the social fabric, one can remain a mute mule only for a limited time period before 'the' gossip starts. For people thick-skinned enough to flaunt their confidence with pride, what other people think is not a matter of concern. Why bother being a social butterfly when one finds solace within the confines of one's official and personal commitments? Alas, donning the apathetic cloak can only help you so far.

In an age when social networks have mushroomed to a web connecting everyone from the next door neighbour to one's long lost third cousin in Timbaktu, indifference takes a backseat. Whether it be the workplace, classroom or even a silent library, the societal necessity of mingling with those around can never be ignored. For long. Introverts of the fresh century are better known as the shy extroverts. Right from sneaking a cup of coffee from the office break room to transferring funds to one's bank account, the bug of socializing is relentless in its pursuit.

I remember attending a wedding not long back. The crowd comprised of mostly middleaged women and men talking amongst themselves. As I was alien to the proper use of my own mothertongue for a while, the party was a tad intimidating. In scenarios such as these, when we are faced with a dead end of boredom, the only reprieve is to maintain an air of interested calm with the proceedings. That is exactly what the majority do. However, even during such awkward situations, there would be a certain someone overly enthusiastic to drag us into conversation.

A similar situation is prevalent in almost all job fields. If one is diligent in the workplace, it doesn't necessarily prelude to a sterling performance report; rather it has been increasingly clear that no one cares for the 'one' immersed in work and work alone. As time passes, the branding begins and before long, one is named appropriately, though tastelessly. Does being dedicated truly constitute a crime to validate such discrimination? What of those raised in a closeted atmosphere, where talking one's mind openly and maintaing eyecontact is next to impossible? Well, the sad fact is that one is forced to mould his/her character as per the needs of the surrounding crowd.

An interesting self-help manual for those just stepping into the commercial world clearly stated the downfalls of 'hardwork' or overworkas it's sarcastically dubbed. When filling one's resume`, hardwork may not be the most optimal of traits to include. Why? Because the need of the hour is sharpwork rather than hardwork, and sharpwork includes teamwork as a prerequisite. It amazed me a bit to learn that an eagerness to work for ten to twelve hours a day needn't exactly translate to mean a smart employee. Over the last few years, employers and bosses the world over have shown a trend of not being interested in an underling willing to do their bidding 24/7, but someone crafty enough to manage personal and professional life smoothly. Standing out as a vegetarian wolf in a world of carnivores is not the ticket to career lifts in the long run. Sadly, by the time most of us realize this, we'd have already indulged in a fair share of ethical brown-nosing.

However, those who prefer to work alone have reaped their fair share of accolades. They now constitute an emerging group of unique individuals who've managed to leave an imprint in any field they've worked. Those with enough substance to command and turn the situation in their favour, best operate on their own. Then again, such rare gems are hardly examples for closet workaholics.

In a world where stereotyping knows no bounds, one is compelled to accept that it is impossible to please everyone. The best we can hope for is to get around without too much disapproval whilst maintaining the essence of our true selves.


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