Friday, December 12, 2003

Gym Jam

Picture this:

X, a high-flying executive in Behemoth Multinational Ltd. (BML), looks at himself in the mirror one morning. Ouch, it hurts! Too many loose folds of meat. The executive lunches have left their mark on the once modest waistline. And some curves have emerged that would shame even a well-endowed woman. Seems like while X was busy totting up impressive figures for the company, his own has gone to seed.

When the different mirror angles fail to reveal any redeeming features, X decides it’s time to shed the excess baggage. He casts around for solutions, and the first he hits upon is BML’s state-of-the-art gym. A-ha, he tells himself, today is the day.

With firm resolve, X strides into BML’s gleaming, air-conditioned gym. Lithe, well-toned figures glance at him as he passes. X self-consciously sucks his gut in and walks up to the trainer. Rippling muscles seem to strain the fabric of the trainer’s black tee. X feigns confidence that has worked so well in so many boardrooms. He pumps the air, swings his arms and says, ‘Ok, where do I begin?’

The trainer looks at the semi-hidden tummy and the other notorious bulges and with a supercilious air, remarks, “Sorry you can’t work out here. You’re not in shape’.

No, this isn’t a Dilbert joke. It’s really the way things are in a company where a friend works.

Want to know why? There’s an incredible reason.

Apparently, the Big Cheese at BML has an MBO that states ‘No employee should die on the job.’ Now Big Cheese has a lurking suspicion that some overworked, overweight sucker like X will one day attempt to correct the weighing scales. In his enthusiasm, he might overdo it, and end up giving up his ghost on the treadmill. And if that happens, Big Cheese will have to kiss the big fat bonus goodbye. Can’t have that, can we? So Plan B, ban all unfit people from working out in the gym.

Moral of the story: Stay fit or just die at home, fatty.