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Sunday, December 13, 2009

Good looking employees work less?

Saturday,12 December 2009

New Delhi: There might be one answer, but believe it at your own risk - after all, it's only skin deep. According to a survey by research firm Synovate on beauty, 55 percent people in India and Brazil believe that good looking people can get away with less work. Delhi Times spoke to a few Delhiites to find out if they were part of the 55 percent, and came up with some heartburn, and some stubborn belief in merit. Which of the two do you feel?

The people who said yes, the lookers actually did get home earlier and get to have a life, blamed only themselves for it. "See, it's not about how much work good looking people do or don't do, but what other people do for them. Yes, the levels of acceptability are lowered for people who look pleasing," admits Theatreperson Aamir Raza Hussain. "I mean, if I had a pretty secretary who made a thousand spelling mistakes per page, I'd be more likely to explain things to her gently. If she were short, fat and ugly, however" and he leaves the workday from hell to the imagination.

Ad Executive and Musician Surojit Dev is not quite so introspective. "Obviously they do. Especially in a service industry, you do use your beauty and charm to get out of work. Even if the biologically blessed don't actively use their charm, they know that it's a weapon they have at their disposal. Typically, the office charmer, for instance, would not hang around with colleagues at the office, but would go out with them. 'Oh, let's discuss this over lunch', or 'Oh! Let's go out for a drink.' It'll be five minutes of work-related conversation and 30 minutes of chatting," he says. There are those, however, who provide unusual insights into the issue. Ranjita Chaney, a 28-year-old art curator, says there might be a slight advantage, not because of looks, but gender.

"I would say it's easier for a woman to get work done," Ranjita says. "Even if I'm pulled over by the police on the road, say, I'd get away with much more lenient treatment than a guy. In general, the fact that women are considered the weaker sex works in their favor. It tends to happen that way, not that you intend to use your gender to get away easily. And of course, if you dress decently, that matters. If I dress like a punk, I won't be perceived as a serious curator. But beauty is not an issue. In fact, women are more competitive," she adds.

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