Liquid Oxygen Syndrome: A Modern Day Illness of a High Paying Job and a Higher EMI

Human motivations are complex to understand, and sometimes funny when experienced.

Yesterday a colleague of mine relentlessly kept on enlightening me on the so many bad things about his job. He started with how things were getting from bad to worse, and how they could get even worse going forward. On how he was never given the position and respect he deserves, the raises he was entitled to, and the applause that he was always ready to stand up for (but which never came). How in the big bad corporate world, everyone was a liar, and how his boss also has no real power. On How he was not offered what was promised, and how everyone was being conned. How he used to have a cabin (sic!) and now can’t find a seat, and how he used to manage people and now has to search for work himself.

I gave him a silent hearing (!) – neither quite sympathizing with him, nor taking a risk in antagonizing him, but almost staying indifferent. Finally, interjecting after a short pause he took during a long ramble, I opportunistically suggested to him – why not leave your job then, specially if it was so bad? His mood suddenly got more aggravated – oscillating between being angry and getting calm. I was not quite able to understand the state of that emotion. Suddenly he confided in me – boss, where else will I get this kind of money? In my previous job, salary was not that good. Who will now pay the EMI for my house and car?

At this point, I wasn’t quite sure whether he was cribbing about the job problems, or boasting about his new increased salary, house, car, et al. Well, hardly an occasion to poke someone I felt – specially when you are not sure whether he is happy or sad. Capitalism does things to people I felt, specially when accompanied by globalization. Not quite the time to say anything, I thought. And hence I quietly walked away as the conversation ended.

ajitFunny what thought strikes you when. But I remembered an old ‘Ajit’ joke then, and now remember it every time I see this colleague after that conversation.  He seemed to me a victim of what is a modern day disease that I have now started calling “Liquid Oxygen Syndrome”. It strikes young people who cannot live in the present because they have borrowed heavily from the future. Generally victims cannot enjoy the ‘oxygen’ of their good life because of the unending ‘liquid’ of their large EMI and other, mostly unending, lifestyle liabilities. It generally occurs in urban educated young men with reasonably decent incomes, who decide to make their life indecent by going for things they want, but don’t necessarily need. This syndrome was invented (or discovered?) by Ajit, the popular comico-villain of yesteryears in Indian cinema, when he said to his sidekick (in a joke, though): “Raabert, Isko Liquid Oxygen Me Daal Do. Liquid Ise Jeene Nahi Dega, Oxygen Ise Marne Nahi Dega”.

2 Responses to Liquid Oxygen Syndrome: A Modern Day Illness of a High Paying Job and a Higher EMI

  1. Dr N S Gangakhedkar says:

    QUITE TRUE. New generation is really facing this problem. You cannot live beyond your means.
    You have to find interest in your job. If not interested in the job, you have to have guts to leave the job.Corporates are going to see their interst. They will use your talent as and when required.They will not care for you when you are not much useful.Generally, corporates will employ more people. It is used as shock absorber for the company. It does not matter for a company if someone resigns. You have to find out what you want.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is very interesting.You have got the knack of engaging the reader with such real life or reel life anecdotes

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