Why you shouldn’t work late

On Friday, I reached office at 10 a.m. and left at 3 a.m. the next day. In a single day, I transitioned from a hardly working, to a hard working employee.

Earlier in the day, my boss had asked me to work late and I remember putting up stiff resistance.

I entered a conference room, and closed the glass door.

Wanted: Somebody to work for Ouchmytoe!
Work: Promote Ouchmytoe. How? Will tell you. 2-3 hours of work daily.
Location: Preferably in Chennai.
Remuneration: Good pocket money. More details in person.
Right candidate: A college student who understands the internet.
Contact: jv [DOT] rajan [@]

I then pushed the conference table against the wall and piled up all the chairs over it. When my boss tried to reach me on the speaker phone, I cut the cable with my mouth and stood staring at her. As a last resort she started displaying cards with messages for me. Here are some of the display cards she showed me through the glass walls of the conference room – “Give up!” “There is no place to hide” “We have surrounded you on all sides”. I didn`t see the other messages because I closed my eyes after a while.

I guess it was the wrong thing to do, for when I wasn`t looking she roped in the security guys in the office who then entered through the only window in the conference room and pinned me down. Eventually, I was forced to accept the task.

If you have never stayed in office beyond the actual hours, you will probably not know that they wear a deserted look after 6.30 p.m. 

In my case, the whole office was empty by seven. I was all alone. I played music to ease my fear. My speakers started blaring –

Little ghost, little ghost
One I’m scared of the most
Can you scare me up a little bit of love?
I’m the only one that sees you,
And I can’t do much to please you
And it’s not yet time to meet the lord above

I looked at the Winamp and the song playing was titled “Little Ghost” from an album called “Get Behind Me Satan”. I muted the speakers immediately.

Even as I was contemplating what to do next, the security guy who had earlier pinned me down started switching off all the lights.

“Can you leave the lights on please?” I pleaded.

“Sorry sir, my instructions. I have been asked to switch off all lights except the one right above you head.”

“Do you accept bribes? I promise, I don`t have a hidden camera,” I said. I didn`t tell him that I am scared of the dark. Neither did I tell him that when I went to watch the Hindi movie “Bhoot” in Satyam theatre in Chennai, I insisted they keep the lights on.

“Lights will have to go. I am sorry, Sir. By the way, if you are staying late you will have to enter your details in this register.”

He handed me a register. The register had columns for Name, Employee ID, Project, Address & Contact number in came of emergency.

“Why do you need a contact number for emergencies?” I was getting nervous.

“I am not to reveal this, Sir, but some weak employees have died while over working. The contact numbers help us get in touch with the relatives.”

“Are you serious?”

“Yes sir. But you needn`t worry. The office doesn`t charge for the cab that delivers the body home.”

After the lights were all switched off the AC was also unplugged. My breathlessness increased. What if all the carbon monoxide I had rejected and exhaled took revenge by poisoning me?

At 3 a.m. on Saturday I finished and sent the β€˜work completed` mail. Since I was too tired, I spread some newspapers in the conference room where I was pinned down and went to sleep.

At seven in the morning, I got up to the sounds of a vacuum cleaner sucking at the carpet. Sometimes, work can be like a vacuum cleaner.

Of Ghosts & Offices

Ghosts can`t be seen in the mirror
Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead
Buffet dinner with ex-colleagues
Conversation: Osama vs Batman

By Jamshed V Rajan

Jammy, as Jamshed V Rajan is affectionately called, is a wannabe stand up comedian. He has a funny take on most things but documents only some of them. If you are interested in chatting up with him, do drop him an email at or message him at +919650080255.

25 replies on “Why you shouldn’t work late”

Nina: Working on holidays are the worst. Thats the time all those self-esteems that died inside the office space come and haunt you. If you ever had some self-esteem…you would understand what I mean. If you never had it…you are probably very sucessful professionally. πŸ˜‰

Kausik: yeah…I guess so. If the bosses are there to find bugs…shouldn’t they be working for the Municipal Corporation’s bug finding division? OK fine…it was a PJ.

Mehak: How can I reveal my promotion plans?
I just need somebody who can make Ouchmytoe a SuperBrand…like the Tatas. Just a small wish…what say?

One good thing about staying late or overnight in office, once in a way, is that you experience things which you would have otherwise missed out during the usual office time. Recently I had to stay all through the night for an assignment. At 5:45 am the next morning, I looked out of my 14th floor highrise window and had the most breathtaking view at the Sydney shore, of the sun rising on the Pacific ocean, painting my office desk and all the things on it to a pink colour. The sight just washed away all my fatigue.

Sagaro: I dont mind sending across the call letter. But you are way too qualified for this job. πŸ˜‰

I run the risk of training you and then losing you to big players in the market.

Ramadas: I agree with you mate…even in my case while returning at 4 o’ clock…i had rolled down the windows and was zipping at 80 km/h (and thats big in Chennai) on a street where I have never gone beyond 30 km/h in day light.

Sagaro: Even as I write this……you are doing well on the stakes. Now, hope for the best. Waiting for relies from the others. Yet to decide.

Uma: How true…well, I didn’t actually work. My team was working and I just had to hang around there to display solidarity.

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