I get asked this a lot. Well maybe I don’t, how would you know. "Just what the hell is a Gilosan ?"
As well as being a village in Gujarat India, it’s been my moniker for a very long time. Where’d it come from? What the hell does it mean?
Prepare yourself for an anecdotal explanation.
Picture this: boisterous young lad and design flunky, gets hired by a startup real estate company looking to list all properties in manhattan on this revolutionary new database. Images are needed thus, the job is to photograph and catalogue all the major business offices in manhattan. Kinda fun, kinda goddamn monotonous.
Anyway, during my tenure as in house designer/media archivist the company had piqued the interest of a large Japanese conglomerate looking to purchase hot new technologies. This news had been floating around the office and most of my colleagues were wary of the company's future. Hence, the air in the environment was charged with a palpable sense of dread and worry. I kept my usual outward air of aloof disinterest. Whilst on the inside I was a seething cauldron of job insecurities.
Enter the assessment crew. They monitor and observe the inner workings of the office environment before the final agreement to purchase the company outright.
So, they had this cat sit in my office to observe my working behavior for a week. All week this dude sits in the corner and scribbles furiously into a notepad as I go about my routine. Doesn’t say a fucking thing. By Wednesday I had come to the conclusion that he was probably a deaf mute or something.
Shrugging off the presence of this revenant (eh, the jig is up) and continued about my daily work routine. This involved trolling the internet for anime porn, entering online sweepstakes with my bosses email and the rare and occasional sporadic flurry of scanning and cataloguing.
On Friday my boss calls me into his office. Homes’ is sitting there as I stroll in with his notepad and pen resting neatly in his lap.
Me: What’s up Brian?
Boss: Ron, Mr. Takagi here has been evaluating your performance. You are aware that there is a Japanese company looking to purchase us, right?
Thinking about it now it, seemed very odd that they gave no one a heads up about the evaluators. Maybe it was to get us to work our best in front? Old school tactic, effective I suppose. Apparently, didn't work so well for me.
Me: That’s the scuttlebutt.
Boss: Well I have been talking with Mr. Takagi and he's got some interesting things to say about your performance.
Me: Oh yeah. (I could actually feel myself sweating from my EYES! Which is almost like crying but without the hiccupy gasping and lip tremblings.)
Boss: (Pointing at me and looking at the dude sitting next to me.) This is Gill.
Mr.T: (Looking only at my boss.) Ahhh. Yes, Gilosan. (Nodding as he pronounced it Ghee-ru-san) I watching him. All day... I watching him. He do NOTHING!
Surprised by his enthusiasm. I begin racking my brain here trying to figure out what I did to piss this guy off? He never talked! I guessed, he was pretty eager to impress. That, or he heard me refer to him as the “Evaluator 2000” in the room.
Mr.T: Yes, Gilosan (Points at me. Slowly shaking his head, then looks at me like it's ok, it happens.) He do Nothing! He sitting at desk. I no see working. (Calmly and resigned.) He do Nothing. (Then looks at the big guy and smiles)
So, I’m pretty fucked here. This cat’s dimed me out and I resort to; complete and utter resignation followed by a smattering of truths and a healthy dose of corporate jargon. (This tactic will prove to remain solid well into my other titles.)
Me: Look Brian, I realize that what may seem like nothing is just from the standpoint of the observer. It’s a slow week, lots on backlog, waiting for proofs and stuff to come in. You know, that kind of stuff.
Boss: You bullshitting me?
Me: Naw, just really...slow week. Also, this guys’ no designer. What’s he know about what I do?
Boss: He says you were playing some video games?
Mr.T: (Perking up at the term video games and pointing towards me using the end of his pen.) YES! He plays games!
Me: Now hold up, I will play some solitaire when there's downtime for uploads and such. Who doesn’t?
Mr.T: (Laughing making shooty hand gestures...>dammit<) Pow pow boom, ha ha. (Shaking his head with the shots...>this guy<)
Me: Minesweeper? I dunno whats this guy on about? Is he cracked?
Boss: He doesn't speak english too well. But I think he's right, I really don’t know what you do in your office.
Boss: Ha...ha, not that funny Ron.
Me: This guy think it is. (Using my thumb to motion towards Mr. Takagi is still smiling but now solemnly nodding his head.)
Boss: Ok Ron, I’m going to have to talk with the team some more on this. You should think about how you are being perceived in this office.
Me: Um, ok Brian. Then I look to see if he’s serious...I get nothing, the man had the best pokerface I have ever seen. Guess I’ll go.(Not fully knowing what he meant by that and leaving me with this new found sense of pending unemployment, great.) Oh and thank you Mr. Tagaki.
Mr.T: (smiling and nodding) Gheeru-san.
Later I find that bossman was just trying to rile me up and make me sweat. There was no intention to sell and he could not care less about my style of work (I found out later he referred to my work style as aggressive non-plussed-ness a.k.a Ron's kinda dicky - Ya, he was a funny dude.). So for the next week it was "Hey Gilosan! You do Nothing!" After that, kinda stuck...Gilosan (Ghee-low-saan).
So there Gilosan, aren’t you glad you asked?