Promotion seasons are always fun to watch. They happen about once a year and everyone on your floor in the office suddenly become analysts, trying to predict the next move and shake. Those who are due for an imminent move are subjected to the most intense scrutiny, their every action pared and analyzed. Excel sheets are made and macros created to understand how the shakeout would affect the organization. Of course, amateurish attempts at such organizational acrobatics are not always successful. For instance, one such excel sheet I created consistently declared that my manager would end up taking up a position with the Ringling Bros.
Those who are due to be bumped up are suddenly treated with increased reverence. Their jokes suddenly become funnier, their emails are promptly replied to and they start receiving more drinks invites on Friday evenings. Funnily enough, those who are due to be bumped out are also treated with more or less the same benevolence. Their jokes are also laughed at, even though the laughter may sound unnaturally high pitched. Their emails are also promptly replied to, maybe because it doesn’t matter what reply they receive. They get drinks invites almost every day, from those who sympathize. And wish to make external contacts. Who knows who’ll be buying the drinks tomorrow?
Promotions are the corporate version of evolution. The better DNA crawls out of the swamps and makes its way to the dry lands, in the hopes that it may, one day, start walking on two legs and leave its bitter memories of Justin Bieber behind. Ironically enough, it is the same survival instinct that makes us secretly celebrate the ouster of corporate rivals.
After all, every DNA, howsoever mediocre it may be, wants to survive. And walk on two legs.