April 25th, 2008

boy with dog

Corporate Geisha

The term corporate whore is something that most of us would be aware of. Selling your soul to the CEO and forsaking one's rebellious nature and one's principles to tow the line insofar as one's assimilation into corporate life is concerned is the way that most people in the tech industry can live an indigenous version of the American Dream, and this conformist behaviour, albeit not undesirable for it is after all a means to achieve an end, is nevertheless a compromise to the ideals that one might have set.

Why am I spewing all this nonsense? Because I want to, and because I can.

However, a friend of mine and I, in a fun discussion came up with a new term that sort of takes the sting away from the term corporate whore, by ascribing it with a name that adds a new dimension to the entire term altogether.

A Corporate Geisha is, surprisingly, a unisex term used to refer to someone who has been so mired into corporate life that he's willing to forsake his soul to the devil, but is still holding onto his Mizuage, with the fervent hope that someday soon, salvation and redemption will both arrive simultaneously, riding on a golden chariot to save the day.

As a pertinent aside, a Corporate Geisha is different from a Geisha because the latter is a Maiko until after the Mizuage, whereas the former is a Corporate Geisha as soon as he/she lands up into the corporate world.

My friend gave me this example out of some Manga to help illustrate things better:

A businessman walking along on a busy road in Japan was enthralled by the variety of ladies clamouring for his attention in return for his money, and he was having a tough time picking someone who'd be his companion for the evening.

He walked along, to notice how a pretty, well dressed lady was sitting in a small hut of sorts, far away from the madding crowd, not bothered about whether she'd have a client for the evening, and this intrigued the businessman no end.

Finally mustering the courage to walk up to her, he went over and asked her why she was not out there along with the other women, to which she replied -

"It is the bee that comes to the flower, not the flower that goes to the bee."


Maybe, just maybe, this new system of classification will help assuage those that seem to have lost faith and think that they've sold their soul. All is not lost.

I'm kidding. You've crossed the Rubicon a long time ago.