Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Mid-Week Reads: Bad Bosses, Bad Employees, and Handbags

What behavior characterizes a bad boss and how do you work around it?

Having bad employees around can be very bad for morale. Also, "Leaders who believe that destructive superstars are "too important" to fire often underestimate the damage they can do."

I loved Laurie Penny's observations on fashion here and here. Especially:
Men's clothes have pockets to carry stuff around in, and that's much more freeing. You're not able to run with a handbag in the same way as you are with a rucksack, which is what I normally have. I remember talking to my sister when I was little and we decided there must be a conspiracy between people who make handbags and people who make clothes for women, whereby the clothes-makers agreed not to put pockets on anything so you'd have to buy a handbag.
But for most people the things that are advertised and drooled over in women's magazines – it's simply an impossible dream to own one. I find it fascinating that some people have to have this thing, even if it costs a month's salary, because that's what they cost for a lot of people, and that's what they spend on it. There is this massive misconception that consumer choice is the same as empowerment. The idea that the goal of a working woman's life and earning money is to be able to earn enough to afford this lovely bag... One of the most fascinating things about consumerism at the moment is you're meant to buy all this stuff that expresses who you are as an individual but individualism, more and more, is homogenous.
This makes me so sad, because it rings so true: an NRI returns to India and realizes it's not home. 

This piece on reading books by Jai Arjun Singh made me want to stand up and applaud.


mad hatter said...

completely with the writer on the befuddling absence pockets in women's clothing part - have come to point of a crazy aversion to wearing kinds of clothing that do not involve (pocketed) pants for the same reason.

as for the second extract, two befitting favourite lines here from Auden's poem 'Leap Before You Look' by Auden -

"...The clothes that are considered right to wear
Will not be either sensible or cheap..."

Unmana said...

mad hatter: I hear you on the aversion to wearing pants without pockets: not crazy at all! And thank you for that poem: I have to explore more of Auden. He's always so perfect and... poetic.

mad hatter said...

yeah and stirring, stirring! 'Stop all the Clocks' kills me. also 'If I Could Tell You'
(found a marvellous recitation here:

while i keep whining about how little ive read of him, it actualy makes it fun to stumble upon something new by accident each time :) like honey dripping slowly, and a lifetime to keep tasting it drop by drop as it chooses to fall ;)

Jabberwock said...

Unmana: glad you liked that piece. Needless to say, the 700-word space in my SG column is nowhere near enough to cover everything that needs to be said on the subject. This one was culled from a much larger collection of notes I have in a messy word-file that I keep adding to - have also written related stuff on the blog at various times.

Unmana said...

Dear Jai (forgive the sappiness: I'm feeling rather happy and full of love today): I usually like everything you write, whether I agree with it or not (and I generally do). I also remember you writing on your blog about that young writer who doesn't read, and feeling very indignant and in sympathy towards you.

Your piece also helped me understand a bit more, the differences in my attitude and the Guy's when it comes to books. (Thankfully, he's nowhere near as insufferable as some of the people you describe here, but he's a late reader too.)

There are many passages in your article that I wanted to quote (so didn't, and just linked to the whole thing). But I really love your mention of "best readers" towards the end: the notion that readers can be "good" by being (I assume) inquisitive and non-judgmental (rather, non-pre-judgmental: not judging a book by it's genre!) and having a voracious appetite makes me smile.

Unmana said...

*Its genre, not "it's".