Recap: MTV is not one of those regular, boring, filthy rich companies where all it takes for the organisation to succeed in life and make truckloads of money is a few hard working employees, a few hard working bosses and a few hard working coffee machines. NO. Because at MTV, there are no few hard workers… at MTV, *everyone* is… hardly working.
So then it’s empowering to know what is it that makes MTV India the world’s No 343,2459243th ranked brand, and how we have managed to sustain (a mind-boggling) over 14 fans (not including employees’ relatives) in India for all these years. In last month’s issue, I revealed to you the 6 secrets of MTV’s energy… *our* energy – including the Sutta Break, FREE Coke machine (true story), Madira, ex-employees, Jose (and Ramesh) and the mysterious Vault. The rest of the secrets are for your eyes ONLY. DO NOT SHARE THEM WITH ANYONE or the world *will* come to an end in 2012.. because of YOU.
7. The Table Tennis Table
When you find alliteration in a MTV magazine, you know that it is possibly the most important thing ever written. But the table tennis table at MTV is not just an important literary device, it is also the most important reason the employees at MTV exist. It is not a mere form of entertainment for them, no. It is, in fact, a way of living.
Time itself stops at the table tennis table at MTV .Why do you think the attrition rate at MTV is so low? Because the thought of getting to play table tennis during the lunch break, before work, after work, and of course, during work is what drives most employees to come to MTV and STAY there. It inspires them to do their work faster and often, better, so that they can play table tennis without being disturbed. In fact, healthy professional rivalry at MTV stems from this very fact – “if I perform better than my colleague, I’ll get to play MORE table tennis than him and hence, I will rule. Lols.”
Apart from longevity, satisfaction and inspiration, at last count, the table tennis table at MTV has been widely acknowledged as responsible for employee loyalty (both to the company and to their respective spouses), high employee attendance at work (some employees even come on weekends to play table tennis) and of course, the perception of the world that all the points given before are because people at MTV are working hard. HA! The world will never find out (except the 14 of you reading this) that it is the table tennis table that keeps employees happy… and of course, the Digital team.
8. The Digital team
What is the digital team, you may wonder? Is it a team of robots that secretly works at making MTV a better place to live in? Is it the only team that knows how to operate Facebook? And why in the world is it more important to the survival of the human race, than all the other teams at MTV like the hot intern team, the canteen admin team or the team responsible for selecting bikini models for Splitsvilla?
Yes, all these questions are justified… if you live under a rock! No, not under Dwayne Johnson, but under boulders from the time everything was analogue. Ladies and gentlemen, the Digital team at MTV is the solution to all of life’s problems. It is the team that has brought to you, the MTV India facebook page, the MTV India Twitter handle, The MTV Roadies facebook page and MANY more!
It is the reason because of which over 3 million (yes, million) lovelorn and desperate teenagers in India get up in the morning, log on to the internet and comment on a MTV post with lines like, “Hi gals, add me as friend if you are good person” or “Gals, m Haryanvi boi, so add me add me add me add me.” It gives a sense of hope, a sense of community and a sense of virtual sex to the many, many digital fans of MTV (And of course, I work for the Digital team but that’s just a coincidence, obviously). The hope that these pages give to MTV fans is almost similar, if not less than the hope that the songs from the IT department give us employees, that yes, the world may just survive 2012.
9. Songs from the IT department
If there’s one department in every office that actually embodies hope in human form it’s the IT department made of up of computer engineers, bachelors in computer applications, NIIT graduates and all other people in India. Apart from the love for computers, they are united through one hope: That the girl they “proposed to” will say yes someday, even if she… err.. got married 10 years ago.
And that’s why you will sometimes see notes like “Boy loved girl but couldn’t tell girl, she got married and he died” on their notice boards and songs of Kumar Sanu and Sonu Nigam about unrequited love emanating from their hub. Of course, every now and then you’ll hear other hopeful songs like “Taakat watan ki humse hai” or “Ae mere watan ke logon” and feel inspired to be Indian at work. Although I have to admit, if there’s anything that inspires MTV employees more than these songs, it’s the promise of a new office.
10. The promise of a new office
After my job interview for MTV, two things were instrumental in my taking up the job – a) The free coke machine and b) The promise of a new office in Andheri (which is close to where I live and where most of the people in MTV live… but mostly, close to where I live). This was in October 2010. As we enter 2012, we have yet again been promised – for the 45th time – that we are shifting this month.
The new office is inspirational for a number of reasons but only one of them matters the most – It will be closer to Lokhandwala. Which means, the number of hot chicks who are struggling models and reality show aspirants who will come to our office, in short tops and shorter skirts, will increase 10 times! That’s obviously a good thing for the employees and the IT department, but it may just make Cynthia mad.
Cynthia is the second most powerful employee at MTV after Haresh Chawla, the Viacom18 boss. And since Mr Chawla is hardly ever at MTV, she is the most powerful employee at MTV. It’s not the fact that she assists Mr Chawla that makes her powerful, it’s the fact that employees have come and gone, bosses have come and gone, interns have come and gone, but Cynthia has stayed on… to terrify generation after generation of new employees and interns.
On most days, she may be seen doing any of the following bizarre things: a) Threatening to send an intern/new joinee to jail because he drank beer during an office party, b) Threatening to send an intern/new joinee to jail because he work chappals to office, c) Threatening to send an intern/new joinee to jail because his hair is longer than the length that she has specified or d) Cutting the hair of an intern/new joinee because he didn’t listen to her the last time (true story).
But as all stories go, Cynthia may be tough from outside but she’s one of the nicest people to exist in MTV, in Mumbai, in India as well as in the world (and I don’t say this because she may kill me when she reads this). She was, in fact, singularly the coolest thing about MTV for the longest time until…. Noise Factory happened.
12. Noise Factory
Yes, dear fans, the last and most important best kept secret of MTV is this magazine that you hold in your own hands. It is such a secret that there is a Noise Factory branded cabinet at the entrance of the office but it’s always empty. It is such a secret that there are over 3000 people on our Twitter and FB handles but they don’t know Noise Factory is a magazine.
It is such a secret that no one outside of our 14 fans know of its existence. In fact, it is such a secret that no one outside of the 14 people on the credits page in the beginning know of its existence. And YET – Noise Factory is the coolest thing to have happened to MTV, the magazine world, the youth of this nation, and to the world in general. And by not sleeping during the length of this column (and not sending me hate mail yet), you have approved of it. THANK YOU, dear fans. THANK YOU, all 14 of you!
Note: This column first appeared in MTV Noise Factory in January, 2012
Read part I of the post here: https://tanejamainhoon.wordpress.com/2014/02/01/mtvsecrets1
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