a. Taking the day off for "women's problems"
- College: you can just ditch going to college for the day.
- Work: you need to think of an excuse to tell male boss why you need the rest of the day off, or else you spend the day smiling brightly at dumb CXO who has neither class nor brain and who deserves to be put in the blender except for the fact that it'd be a waste of a good blender.
- College: you can just ditch going to college for the day(see 'a'). Or walk in / out when you please, scheduling your attendance around movie timings.
- Work: You work to buy the DVD player you can watch movies on when you finally have the time to watch them, having missed them at the big halls (that are no longer showing them) by reason of having been too busy with work.
- College: You can sit at the back of the class, put your book on your table or against your knees (as you lean back against the wall with your feet on the desk) and read. As long as you look up once in a while and nod intelligently, most profs won't suspect a thing.
- Work: Lock yourself into the toilet and read the book you're carrying in your purse. And if you have only one toilet for the entire female population of your office, you can't do this for too long either.
- College: From any-time-you-want-to-walk-in to any-time-you-wish-to-leave. Usually, a couple of hours a day (averaged out, clearly, since there are so many days on which you don't attend because of "women's problems" or because there's a good movie on, or a good book to read in bed, or a great sale somewhere... or something).
- Work: bloody concentration camp. In at 9, but never out at 5.
e. Duties / Responsibilities
- College: Socialise with batchmates, beg them to give you their notes, even take your exams for you in exchange for 0.075% of the rest of your life's earnings (which you - and they - are convinced will never add up to much). Drink a couple of cups of cheap tea and bum a smoke off a slightly more affluent friend.
- Work: Sign-in. Smile at assorted CXOs. Pretend to like it. Fiddle with computer. Send up prayers for the Internet. Visit imdb.com, salon.com, and various friends' blogs. Pretend to visit work-related sites. Keep a few of these on your favourite's list for emergency cover-ups. Drink cups and cups of free tea.
- College: Rag them. Make them fetch and carry for you. Raise hell when they make mistakes. Make them treat you to cups of cheap tea to show them who's boss.
- Work: Show them the ropes. Take responsibility for their mistakes. Take them out for expensive lunch to show them that boss can also bond.
g. Personal space
- College: 400 kids on a 40 acre campus. Red brick brings out the effect of space.
- Work: 4000 employees sitting on each other's laps in a 0.1 acre 1-storey building. Red brick closes in on one.
- College: Expensive - 20 bucks for gourmet specials like cutlets (made from chicken parts that would otherwise be thrown away); 15 bucks for chicken soup for the soul on days when the air is pregnant with philosophical discussion.
- Work: They've never heard of cutlets. And you aren't supposed to have a soul.
- College: 10. You do everything together. You go from canteen to canteen together (on those hours of those days that you're actually in college), settling in each one like a swarm of locusts until you exceed your credit limit and have to move. You could be a political movement in your own right, if only you were interested. Instead, you prefer idle discussion about Marx and Engels, Keynes and Smith.
- Work: None. Instead, you have 2 colleagues with whom you have a hurried lunch and discuss work before returning to surf imdb.com and pretending to hunt for critical functional information on the Internet (may it be the mother of a hundred sons).
- College: Intellectual jargon. Your speech abounds with words like fundamentalist structuralism and non-parametrism. And (this is important) you know exactly what they mean. So do the people you say them to.
- Work: Management jargon. Your speech abounds with terms like paradigm, engagement, transformation and integrated hyper-metropic fiscal neutrality. And neither you nor the people you say them to have any idea what you mean. Or what they mean. But you have these conversations anyway, and then you all go back to googling.