Thursday, May 7, 2015

CALL A SPADE A SPADE

CALL A SPADE A SPADE
Gobbledygook from an Unemployed Old Fogey
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Sometime ago – I attended a social function where there were lots of family and friends.

Since it was end-December – there were a number of “NRI” and “PIO” relatives and friends from America – who had come over to India during their Christmas vacations.

“Hi,” I said to a young man, the son of one of my classmates.

“Hello,” he said.

“So – still working for XXX …?” I asked him, mentioning the name of the famous Investment Bank where he worked.

“No…” he said.

“Oh – so you changed your job…?” I asked.

“No. I did not want to change my job. I lost my job. I was fired…” he said nonchalantly.

I was surprised by his forthrightness.

He did not feel ashamed to tell everyone that he had been fired from his job.

For our generation – being sacked and fired from your job amounted to “loss of face”.

I remember a classmate who was “fired” from his job – but he did not tell anyone till he got a new job – and even after that – he used to tell everyone that he had “resigned” from his earlier job – though the truth was that he had been sacked and fired from his job (which we came to know later from other sources).

Nowadays – youngsters feel no such “loss of face” at being sacked from a job – they feel that being fired is a part of work life and you must move on without feeling bad.

The young “fired’ investment banker told me he was looking for a new job and giving interviews – and soon I learnt that he had got a good job in another bank and had relocated to another country.

At the same function – I met a young woman in her 30’s – she had her two children in tow – and her mother (who was around my age) was there too.

“Where is your husband?” I asked the young woman.

“He stayed back in America,” her mother interjected.

“Oh – so he hasn’t come with you for the holidays – I met him the last time you came two years ago – in fact, we had gone out for a drink – your husband is quite a jovial fellow – you must bring him to my place the next time…” I said to the young woman.

The young woman looked at me and said in a most unruffled ‘matter-of-fact’ manner: “Actually he won’t be coming here again – we got divorced – so I have come back permanently and taken up a job here.”

“Oh – I am sorry,” I commiserated – and then I blurted out, “What happened…? Why did you get divorced…?”

I instantly regretted my words and felt contrite – but the young woman answered with blunt frankness: “My husband – he had an affair – he moved in with another woman – his office colleague…”

I was amazed at her forthrightness – but her mother seemed displeased at the candid unemotional openness with which her daughter was speaking about her divorce.

For her mother’s generation – there was a stigma attached to divorce – and you did not speak so openly about your own divorce.

But the daughter felt no such shame to talk about her divorce.

I feel older generations have a lot must learn from the younger generation “to call a spade a spade”.

I am a “military veteran” which is euphemism, a polite term, for “unemployed ex-soldier/sailor/airman”.

So – whenever someone asks me: “What do you do?” – I frankly say that I am “unemployed”.

That is the honest truth – at present I am ‘unemployed’.

I do not understand why most of my fellow retired military veterans are reluctant to bluntly state the truth that they are “unemployed”.

Some pull out visiting cards which proclaim that they are “consultants”.

(Now – we all know what “consultant” means – Ha Ha – do I have to spell it out?).

Others keep harping on their past military rank and appointments.

Very few – like me – say that they are ‘unemployed’ and are ‘doing nothing’.

My wife feels embarrassed when I go around telling everyone that I am ‘unemployed’.

“Why do you go around telling everyone that you are ‘unemployed’…? It is very embarrassing…” my wife admonishes me.

“Then what should I say?” I ask her.

“Tell them that you were a Naval Officer,” she says.

“That is all in the past. It does not matter who I once was – what matters now is who I am right now in the present – and at this moment I am unemployed…” I say.

My wife gets angry and she commands me: “I don’t want to argue with you – but you don’t say that you are ‘unemployed’ – please use some better word.”

So – now – if you ask me what I do – I will say that I am a “homemaker”.

That is the truth – I am a “househusband” who manages the house – while my “breadwinner” wife goes out to work.

VIKRAM KARVE
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Disclaimer:
1. This story is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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