Of people and hamsters

In Dubai, you find a variety of people. The good, the bad and the ugly. But there is an unknown variety…one that I have taken the responsibility to name. The Hamster. They move within us, pretending to be one of us, wearing the human costume, talking the human talk but deep down being complete rodents. You know them, you probably work with them. You’ve stared into their beady eyes and questioned their soul or lack thereof.

The hamsters can usually be found running on the hamster wheel. The wheel being the corporate ladder to success. Only in their case, they don’t go up, they just go around. You can find them clawing furiously at this wheel, fantasizing about reaching the top only to find themselves on their way down, all over again. But do they give up? Never. Because that is not what hamsters do. They must prevail even when every sign around them and every cell in their body tells them to give up this repetitive life and join the ranks of monkeys or even rats, their slightly smarter counterpart.

Now you ask why I write about these hamsters. I write because they annoy me. Because their resilience makes me mad. But more than anything their stupidity makes me scream. And of course they make me look…bad. I have such an example where I work. Works days and nights…no questions asked. Does he achieve anything? Not that much. But he sits around, floundering at the sight of any adversity, furiously typing inane mails because they boost his self esteem, and walks around as if he holds the world upon his shoulders. Has someone told him he isn’t Atlas? For one thing Atlas was handsome, for another he actually held THE WORLD on his shoulder. Not a mediocre job that a chimp can do.

The worst is when these hamsters boast. Oh and how they boast. Women? Not a problem. He scores with the best of them. Has anyone ever seem these beautiful nymphs around him? Nope. Yet, he walks around, chest swelled with pride, spouting tales of conquests and phone numbers being thrown his way, one glamour girl after another. And we must listen, because he works in the same vicinity and running through the halls screaming ‘Get me away from this lunatic’ would not look too appealing on a career recommendation.

Why do they survive in corporate environments you ask? Its easy. They are hamsters. Mice make the best spies. They lurk in their holes, translation: cubicles, they watch for any cheese being served, translation: people disobeying rules, and then sneak around and tell the head hamster, translation: the boss. The trade off for annoyance is uncensored, 24/7 info, being streamed into the eager ears of the boss. So they let him run on his wheel, make false assertions and roam the halls with his puffed chest. This is the price they pay for a secret agent in the field.

Do they never feel the need to make friendships or connections with their peers? Let’s be honest. Look at the size of a hamster. Does it have much space in its head for a brain? Exactly. Not too much. Hence, connections take energy and intellect. After all to build a relationship you need to have something to offer. People don’t care about information, they care about depth, emotions, strife etc. Hamsters don’t have that kind of emotional depth. And without the IQ of a normal human, they really don’t miss these connections either. They feel superior to their peers. Delusions of grandeur, maybe?

I feel sorry for them at spurts but then they correct any such misconceptions I may have. They will sell your soul for a peanut. Stupidity trumps any feelings of remorse or humility they may possess. The goal is to get ahead by squishing all under their little claws. Only they don’t squish, they barely scratch and they don’t get ahead, they just go round.

Look around you. You’ll see them. They’ll be the ones sitting in corners talking about their ‘mad crazy weekend’, even though you saw them at the department store trying on a bad pair of nerdy shorts. They’ll be the ones talking about the hot girl who was begging them for a date. The cash register girl casually stating the return policy counts doesn’t it? Stay away. Because you can get dragged to run alongside on this wheel. And you won’t be able to keep up. You don’t have claws. And you do have a brain.

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This article was contributed by Sarah Khan.

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Categories: The World I Know

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