*Ping* went my mail chat box.
I didn't need to open the tab to see who it was.
That's why, I continued typing on the keyboard.
"Gawd! I'm almost done!" I screamed to myself as I continued typing.
Only faster this time.
I finally opened the chat. And was immediately greeted with some very familiar acronyms.
"Where's the story? I need it ASAP".
"The story! Need it URGENTLY!"
"Story! Now. ASAP!"
And yes, it was my editor. As I'd expected.
It's been almost 2 years since I've been working in a corporate office. And I've come to realise that there are 4 things that the corporate sector just cannot do without.
No matter what department you work in, no matter what post you hold, no matter how experienced you are, nobody's beyond the ambit of 'urgent' and 'ASAP'.
Whether it's a two para report or an annual data list, our supervisors want them ASAP.
Whether it's breaking news or a long read, our supervisors want it ASAP.
Whether it's a complicated code or a 50 slides PPT, our supervisors want it ASAP.
Whether it's a cup of coffee or a medium pizza, our supervisors want it ASAP.
With urgent and ASAP becoming as crucial to office mails as Johnny Lever was to Bollywood movies in the 90s, these words have now become victims to their own sense of urgency and over use.
For we don't know now what is truly urgent.
Is that article really urgent?
Do you really need that report ASAP?
I know the story is important, but is it urgent?
In my fair estimation, urgent and ASAP are the biggest threats to creativity. Even if I overlook the fact that they demean my hardwork to a mere factory line production, there are some assignments that do take time.
Hence, dear colleagues, boss, co-workers, friends; kindly stop using 'urgent' and 'ASAP' so frequently. You might think that it'll work as a catalyst and speed things up but all it does is take away attention from things that are genuinely urgent.
And it's because of this overuse of these words that instead of treating everything as top priority (like you think we would) we treat everything as equally unimportant. It's the corporate version of 'the boy who cried wolf'.
Remember that story?
Yeah, nobody believed him either.
Now I also know that our supervisors too are under a lot of pressure. I asked my editor, Monali (name changed on request) why she adds 'ASAP' and 'urgent' after everything and she said, and I quote:
Let me give you a team of 10 assholes and then let's see how you manage them.
Having said that, I'm sure we can find a common ground. In the meanwhile, I just want to say this to my office colleagues:
"Pata hai, urgent aur ASAP se door, ek maidaan hai. Main wahan miloonga tujhe."