Monthly Archives: August 2005

The CC Handcuff

If you ever need to get work done out of someone at the workplace, try this. I call it the CC handcuff. It happens across all organizations and its about time someone gave it a name. I wonder if it falls under the category of games in transactional analysis. I know it sounds like some sort of martial arts hold, but believe me it is just as effective. It works like this. Suppose, you are a newly joined manager in the system. No one really knows you in the organization and not too many people even take you all that seriously considering that you are just a fresh recruit. A typical problem that you would face is to get the regular employees to take time of their ‘busy’ schedule and spend some time doing something you want them to do. Here is where a carefully used CC handcuff comes into play.

This is how it works. Mr. Smart fires of a mail to the person (Mr.X) from whom he would like some work done. In the cc field he adds his boss, his boss’ boss and everyone else higher than him. While Mr. Smart composes the mail, he makes sure he casually involves his superiors in the ‘conversation’. Eg. “Mr. Smith, as we discussed today, the blah blah needs to be done in this fashion. Im sure Mr. X can assist us with the same”

Now Mr. X has been handcuffed to the task that needs to be done. He cannot put in on the back burner since that would mean he would come across as inefficient to the superior. He cannot not reply to the mail. He cannot not do the task. He has been handcuffed! Suddenly, Mr. Smart’s task climbs up Mr. X’s priority list.

Anti-thesis: A poorly timed CC handcuff could lead to a situation where Mr. Smart gets an instant reply in his inbox that looks like this. “Mr. X is away on leave. He will be accessing his mails only after he is back. In case of emergency call xxxxxx”.

From a transactional analysis perspective, I think the CC handcuff could well be a game. It comes across as an Adult-Adult transaction.
Adult: ‘We need to get this done. Mr.X can do it for us.’
Adult: ‘Yes, I can do it for you. I’m glad to be of help’

However, the ulterior transaction is of Parent-Child
Parent: ‘ You are handcuffed. Do as I say or the boss will kick your *** ’
Child: ‘Sigh! You got me. ’

Any TA experts out there who can can tell me if there exists a previously documented game of this nature.



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HT Mumbai – a refreshingly urbane paper

With the launch of Hindustan Times in Mumbai, it looks like finally there is a newspaper in the market that can beat the Times of India (TOI) overdose that Mumbaikars have been subjected to. These days TOI gives 100 pages everyday for Rs.4. This includes a free copy of the Mumbai Mirror and a thick Bombay Times supplement.

What’s good is that the HT comes across as a much more urbane and sophisticated newspaper than the competition. To add to it there are a couple of decent opinion/editorial pages too. For once, we have a paper that doesn’t assume that its readers belong to the 10-50 age group, the way TOI does. Most news items in TOI are way too dumbed down and the editorial is non-existent. Today, I found an article on the front page of TOI that in the name of research used as its primary reference! Clearly, the journo who wrote it hasn’t been putting the office internet connection to good use! And the article had nothing to do with desitorrents.

Meanwhile, HT seems to have put in a lot of thought on how to capture the Mumbai market. With good quality content in the main sheet and equally mature and non-trashy supplements, one feels that the paper should go places here. The website is a slight disappointment, with most articles requiring a password to get through.

And for those of you wondering how the Zee-Bhaskar group’s ultra-hyped DNA (Daily News and Analysis) newspaper is… well… the less said about it the better.

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