Working for the Gor-mint

Nobody like to work, anyone who says otherwise is lying. But most of us manage to slave through the corporate grind, all the while a seedier, darker and far more amusing world is all but unknown to us. The ‘gor-mint’ offices. Here are 5 of the ‘perks’ you get when working for ‘the man’.


Exhibit 1: The Washroom Lady (TWL)

Going to the bathroom a.k.a washroom, at work is at many offices a legitimate excuse to get away from the desk for a couple of minutes to sneak a cigarette or just stare at your face. It’s basically a fool-proof way of delaying going back to that pile of papers, that bloody excel sheet or making phone calls while being cheery and stupid.

Not in the gor-mint office. Working at said office has made the washroom experience so much more.

The TWL has a 75% chance of being in the washroom at whatever time of day you decide to go. The initial meetings in the washroom will comprise of suspiciously eying the newbie and trying to gauge what said newbie is doing in the building, more specifically, the washroom. A couple of sightings later, the washroom lady will finally ask a string of personal and persistent questions: What’s your name? What department are you in? Who’s your father? (!) He works here too doesn’t he? (Um, no) How much do you get paid? (Enough) Phir bhi? Kitnay? Where do you live? (???) Where did you get that perm from?

“Soooo….. how’s it hangin?”


Exhibit 2: Crazy Lady Across The Hall (CLATH)

This lady is similar to the washroom lady as far as asking personal and inappropriate questions goes, but is infinitely more entertaining. The CLATH actually has a perm and comes by to have me confess to mine. I have considered telling her I wear a wigto get her off my back. Other gems from the CLATH include:

“Chanda, gurya, kya haal hai?” (chanda and gurya being me and my coworker respectively)

“Wah, kya shoes maray hain!” (this took me a while to decipher)

Well technically it was just ‘shoe’ not shoe-S.

“Meray wrinkles kaisay lag rahay hain?” while stroking her hair (this took longer to decipher, her “wrinkles” turned out be the curls in her hair)

And FYI: she is currently using the red Garnier shampoo for Rs 450 from Best Price.


Exhibit 3: Security guard with the giant moustache

This guy hates me. He derives sadistic pleasure from having me get dropped a mile away from my office entrance to walk in the glaring sun. After having gotten a letter from the head of security allowing me to get dropped closer to my office, he seems extremely displeased and rolls his eyes every time I drive by.

I wonder if he hates me because I’m a woman working at the office. Or he hates me because I’ve cut down the time it took for me to walk thereby reducing his ogling at my ass.


Exhibit 4: Writing written applications to procure things (small things, big things, all things)

A normal office experience (usually) includes easy access to printing papers, stationary, a working air-conditioner, getting paid on time, a watercooler, a soap dispenser in the wash-room, you get the drift. Not in a gor-mint office! You need to write a special application for a new pen. It looks something like this:

Head of the Stationary Section
Gor-mint Office

Subject: I need a new pen

Dear Sir,

I require a new pen for official use. Kindly provide at your earliest convenience while I use my eye-liner in the meanwhile.


Crazy Washroom Lady
Head of Washroom Affairs


Exhibit 5: The Air-conditioner

The AC in my office is the bane of my existence. It’s not a new AC, I’ve inherited it from the previous occupant of my room. An occupant who was smart enough to rip the office bare of everything including the carpet but not the AC. I should really nickname the AC considering what a big role it has played in my life.

Anyway, I never noticed the AC as it was covered by blinds until of course it was May and it was hot and I needed a cooling machine. After putting in a special request (written, of course) for an AC for my room, the maintenance folks showed up and unveiled (literally) the AC that sat behind the blinds.

It’s a regular box type air-con only it doesn’t have knobs or buttons or vents for that matter (just a black hole). Also, IT DIDN’T WORK.

Probably why he left it there.

Three men showed up to plug it in, turned on the switch and left. After persistent calls and letters I got them back to my office a few days later to tellthem that it doesn’t work. They told me they were taking it for maintenance which made me very happy. “So how long will this take, a couple of days?” The reply: “No ma’am, just 10 mins or so. We’re just going to wash it in the washroom down the hall.”

Kill me.

Kill me now.


Sana Shahid lives in Islamabad and hob knobs with all the gor’mint types.



Categories: The World I Know


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One Comment on “Working for the Gor-mint”

  1. November 1, 2011 at 2:24 am #

    Amusing read! 🙂

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