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Those were the laze

Ratan Tata’s praise for the Indian work ethic could mean more work for us slackers.

india Updated: Nov 20, 2011 11:28 IST

Trust Ratan Tata to ruin it all for us. By praising the Indian work ethic while speaking to the British press, he has raised the bar to impossibly high standards for the rest of us who are not averse to a bit of slacking now and again. We can’t understand what is so commendable about keeping your nose to the grindstone when you can either put off your work till tomorrow or the next week or be so inefficient that your work will be given to your more Tata-like colleague. Now that summer is upon us, do you honestly prefer sitting scrunched up in the office or bobbing about in the nearest pool? If the answer is the former, clearly you are the stuff that Mr Tata dreams of.

Those of us not imbued with this frenetic work ethic are not averse to telling a few white, oh, okay whopping, lies to get out of working. You will call in to work come Monday and inform your boss that your dog has run away with your neighbour’s cat and that you are part of the search party, so a day off is in order. Or that your great-aunt twice removed has moved to the crochet club above and you are felled by sadness, unable completely to focus on work. Or you will have contracted a mysterious fever common among the great apes in the Congo, which comes on in the morning only to vanish in 24 hours. We are just giving you a few examples, we are sure you can come up with your own excuses.

For those of you who get that wondrous thing called overtime, it makes sense to slack around during working hours and rake it in after hours. But now that Mr Tata has enunciated the gold standard of excellence for Indian workers, we are fearful that a more discerning and critical eye will be cast on our performance. So, even as the mercury touches 50 degrees, we will have to gird our loins and at least pretend we are working.

You should thank Mr Tata for having energised us enough to at least write this edit for you before we head to the nearest club to put our feet up.