Disclaimer – Please read this real story at your own discretion. The side-effects could be an intense hatred towards the “Gods of the corporate world,” a deep desire to kick some a**, and, God forbid if you have been in the same (or similar) shoes, an extremely emotional reaction, which may or may not include very dark thoughts towards the unfair management. Am I kidding? Perhaps I am, but then again maybe I am not. You be the judge 🙂
This is a Guest Post by a very dear friend of mine: Ankit, whom I met while studying French in L’alliance Francaise University. Thank you so much, Ankit for trusting me enough to share your personal experience, and, also, for allowing me to publish this masterpiece. I am truly grateful.
At 7:00 AM in the Morning, my alarm started to tinkle loudly and I kept telling myself to sleep for 10 more minutes, as I was so tired of last night outing and boozing with friends. However, as soon as my fingers reached to snooze the Alarm, I heard a loud scream coming from the Kitchen; it was my mom yelling at me,“ Uth ja oye, Aj pehle din office nhi jaana kya.” (Get up, don’t you want to go to the office on your very first day).
Suddenly thousands of butterflies started flying in my stomach. I had completely forgotten that I had to rush to the office. It was my induction and I was about to start my professional career. So after dressing myself to the perfection, I started humming in my mind –an old hindi song ‘Arey, Sala main toh sahab ban gya, yeh suit mera dekho, Jaisa chora koi london ka’. With all the Spirits high, I began reminiscing all the boastful teasing that I gave my friends soon after I was selected for this job,”Salon, tumko toh placement mein koi company ney ghaas tak naa daali, aur mujhe dekho seedha Sales Manager ka profile…ha ha ha.” (No company gave you any placement opportunity, and, look at me, I have got an offer straight to the Manager – Sales profile.) Little knowing the fact of how beautiful my life was going to be.
So while I was still thinking about all this stuff, suddenly autowala (auto driver) woke me up from my daydreaming and informed, “Sirjee, aapka office aa gaya.”(Sir, we have reached your office). As soon as I stepped inside the premises, I saw a beautiful receptionist at the desk, and suddenly I became the Shah Rukh Khan of Main Hoon Na, with all the saxophones, started to playing around, I thought, “Kya badiya jagah par aa gya hu main!” (What an excellent place I have arrived!) I went towards her and asked If she could help me with Mr. Ashish Kapoor Director – Sales of the company. As we were approaching towards his room, my heartbeat started thumping louder and louder; it was so loud that even David Guetta or Hardwell would have gotten envious of it.
Imaging and imagining the persona of Mr. Kapoor, I was contemplating in my head “Itni badi company ka director hai, itne style se baat karunga, ek minute mein impress kar doonga.” (He is the director of such a big company; I would talk with so much charisma that he would be impressed in just a minute.) And then the moment, when I was about to meet my first corporate Reporting Manager, arrived. She knocked on the door and heavy dehati (illiterate) voice came from inside,”Haan, andar bhej do usko.”(Yes, send him in.) She gave me a wry smile, wished me luck, and went back. (P.S. By then, I had gone completely bonkers over her). But It was my first day in the office so I decided that ladki Patane ka kaam baad mein karoonga (I would work on impressing the girl later).
The moment I went inside, I heard someone shouting loudly in the conference room while all the others, who surrounded him, tolerated (at least, what I guessed) his uncontrolled anger. I tried my best to ignore such distasteful outburst, but I failed miserably.
Fortunately — or so I had thought at the time — the peon notified me,”Mr. Kapoor ne aapko bulaya hai,” (Mr. Kapoor has sent for you) and I went back to my previous thoughts of guessing this wonderful and big shot director’s personality. Since old habits die hard, I politely asked the silly “May, I come in, Sir.” permission to enter his offce. He waved his hand indicating me to come inside. So now, here I was, sitting in front of my manager. As I was still on the mission to impress this amazing man, I asked him “how do you do, Sir?” For two minutes he stared at me like we were in an interrogation room and he was deciding whether to play the role of a bad cop or a good cop today, while I was wondering, “Abey, yeh kar kya rha hai?” (What the hell is he doing?) Suddenly he stood up from his ‘throne,” rushed towards the side of the cabin window, and spat out the guthka — oops sorry Rajnigandha — out of his mouth, and responded to my “rocket science level” question of the day, “Main toh badiya hu, par maalik ye batao aap kis liye aaye ho?” (Well, I am fine, but why are you, the royal highness, here?). Trust me, I was (and am) no royal highness, but, for some reason, he thought I deserved the title. I was not going to correct his nonsensical presumptions.
Suddenly, I started hearing the sad version of a famous track from the movie, K3G, in the melodious voice of Lata didi (an Indian Singer). Keeping my senses in check, I told him, “ Sir aap hi ne mera interview liya tha during placement, remember?” (Sir, you were the one who had interviewed me. Remember? ) He replied by saying, “ Haa har saal itne log to aate rehte hai, tum aa gaye to kaunsi badi baat hai. Acha yeh batao sale ka koi idea hai kaise karte hai?” (Yes, every year so many people come. There is no big deal that you are here. Okay, tell me one thing. Do you have any idea about the sale and how to do it?)
With the intention of lightening up the moment, I promptly replied,” Sir, The Wolf of Wall Street se dekha tha ke kaise selling hoti hai, I am completely confident that I can do it.” (Sir, I have learned all about the techniques of selling from The Wolf of Wall Street.)
To which, an unimpressed Mr. Kapoor replied,”Acha chalo dekhte hain. Do one thing yeh kuch email draft karo and show me how could you write a Sales pitch.” (Okay, we’ll see about that. Do one thing. Draft these emails and show me how would you write a sales pitch.) With a very little knowledge of what sale was all about and what did I have to sell, I asked my GF (errr….Friendzoned Friend☺), who has exceptional writing skills, to draft a mail for me that I forwarded to my manager.
After passing time for a bit, suddenly, I saw a mail from Mr. Kapoor latched in my mailbox, with a person CCed into it. I went straight into “Did I commit a blunder” zone. But, to my relief and delight, he had written heaps of praises for me, mentioning, Ankit, you seem to be a great hire for us; Welcome to the team….blah Blah blah. Instantly, I was lifted and placed on cloud nine, and I went back to feeling like the Stallion, the conquerer, and what not. I discarded my initial perceptions about him and began considering him a goodhearted man. Perhaps, I had a wrong notion regarding him.
Next day, my Dad advised me to seek the attention of my boss by asking him questions about my duties, the process of Sales, etc. According to him, this would show him my zeal towards the work and he would be impressed. When I followed dad’s advice, this was the response that I got from him, “Dekho kuch nhi karna, kabhi credit card walon se baat kiye ho? Bas wahi karna hai, aur tum itni badi company mein ho log naam se hi sale de denge. (See, there is nothing to do. Have you ever talked to the credit card company people? You have to do exactly that. Since you work for such a big company, people will offer you sales just after hearing the name of it.) Now go and start finding the clients.”
Few months of my honeymoon period went by, I started to hit my numbers with a little shy of achieving the 100% of my quarterly target. So it was my turn now after everyone’s review. My review sheets was opened and my numbers adorned the Giant Screen. Knowing that I was almost at par with my target, I presumed it would be nothing more than a simple conversation. Then, almost with the intention to prove me wrong, Kapoor saab (Mr. Kapoor) started, “Kya bhai, yeh kya hai?” (What’s this, bro?) I did not expect this question. I had done well. I was flabbergasted, which gave him the pleasure of repeating his question once again,” Maine pucha kya hai ye, target kyu nhi pura hai tumhara?” (I asked what is this. Why haven’t you met your target?) Gathering my wits and getting back to the reality, I replied, “But Sir, I am almost sitting at the 90% of my target achieved. Will try to achieve more in the coming months.”
Don’t know uske baad mere boss ko kaunsi maata aa gyi☺ (I have no clue what possessed him after that). He started screaming loudly, “Meri team mein jo 150% achieve karta hai main uska target achieve manta hu and you are still 50-60% short of your target, and do you know what Mr. Dadlani was saying ke Ankit need to accelerate his work speed, he is not up to the mark, which is a matter of serious concern, kal pura 45 mins baat ki.” (In my team, if someone achieves 150%, then & only then I consider that they have achieved their target. By that math, you are short of achieving your target by 50-60%. Do you know what Mr. Dadlani was saying? He was saying that Ankit needs to accelerate his work speed as he is not up to the mark, which is a matter of a serious concern. Yesterday, we talked for a full 45 minutes.) I politely asked,”Sir, may I ask what was he saying?” To which he fumed,”Tumhe kyu batao? Yeh hamara official management ka talk tha who you are to talk?” (Why should I tell you? It was our official management related discussion. Who are you to know about it?) This “super helpful” response proved to me that he was lying ;-).
I replied,”But sir meri toh bahut acha Sales closure aaya hai, and Mr. Dadlani bhi dropped an appreciation email.” (But, Sir, My Sales closure has come out to be very good. In fact, even Mr. Dadlani dropped an appreciation mail for me.) To which he responded,”Woh toh tu lucky tha, nhi to tujhe thoda naa pta tha ki koi opportunity dene baitha hai us company mein.” (That’s only because you were lucky. Otherwise, how would you have known that that company was ready to offer an opportunity?) He further added,”Mujhe 12 saal ka experience (I have an experience of 12 years) and no one can befool me with the numbers.” I couldn’t control his nonsense anymore and retaliated,”But Sir aapke toh RFP last 2 years kabhi hit nhi hue.”(But sir, even your RFP were not hit in last two years.) This comment immediately changed his stance,”Acha toh mera review lega, aisa kar Kaam karna hai toh kar otherwise feel free to go out.” (So now you would review me? Listen to me, work, if you want to, otherwise feel free to go.) This statement was enough to kill any more of my desire to indulge in any sort of discussion with him.
Next Day, Mr. Kapoor was in a jolly mood and was chatting happily with everyone. He asked for our DSR(Daily status report) to start the plan for the day. As usual, I went last in the team to discuss the work summary. I noticed Sirjee was playing with a thumbtack and trying to prick himself with the needle on his hand, We were discussing the summary and suddenly he hit himself a bit hard and in a concerned voice, I asked, “ Sir, are you okay?” He nodded his head signaling that he was fine, but out of the blue he asked, “Don’t you know how to work and talk with the client?” I stopped my urge to hit him so hard ke agle kuch din Bed se bhi naa uthe (that would make him bedridden for few days), but considering his Hippo size of 150KG, I decided not to get to violent 🙂 My four punches would not do as much as damage to him as those would do to me. Toh maine khayal chod diya or yu kahe toh usko maaf kiya. (So I decided to drop that idea. In fact, let me put it this way, I forgave him.)
After a few days of cold war, An incident happened that proved to be the final nail in the coffin of my “love affair with the manager.” My manager left early, and my entire team was celebrating, relaxing. As it was Friday, we were all planning for our two days weekend. Suddenly my phone rang. Again Mr. Kapoor started asking about some work reports which was supposed to be shared with him. After he blabbered on for a while, we reached the conclusion that I had missed sharing one Analytics report, which gave him a right to argue with me. When I defended myself, he suddenly started abusing. He even threatened me to meet outside his office or he would come to my home. Thanks to my smartphone voice recording feature I got that call recorded and shared with My super boss, Mr. Dadlani, thinking now I will get all my revenge from Kapoor this time at least. A mail latched on to box for a group call, and our Super Boss to addressed the team about the incident. He started justifying Mr. Kapoor’s behavior by convincing us that a manager shouting at you is a very normal and simple thing in our corporate world, and hurling abuse is completely fine too. As it is a part of our regular talks, there is nothing to get hyper about. Also if he was saying he could come to meet you outside the office or at your home, it should not be assumed that he was threatening you. There could be a possibility that he wanted to collect some information….:-) which kept the entire team scratching their head ki aisa kha hota hai bhai☺☺ (on which planet does this happen!)
Chalo still after finishing all the discussion and enjoying our weekend, we came back to the office. Also, I was excited to announce that I was getting engaged with the love of my life (That email girl who friend zoned me). So to complete the formality, I carried a Mithai ka dabba from famous Hira Sweets and went to my manager: Mr. Kapoor. As I reluctantly offered him sweets, he immediately asked,”kyu bhai, yeh mithai ka dabba kyu, tumhare jaane ki khushi mein?” (Are you offering these sweets in celebration of you leaving?) I replied,“Sorry sir, I didn’t get your point.” He (happily) informed me that the action that I had taken against him has made Mr. Dadlani show you the exit door. And Thank you so much for working with us.
After all these experiences, he made me realize one thing: do as much you can do, work as much you want to do, but don’t be brave enough to raise your voice in the Corporate Affair where sincere efforts never prevail but your flattering skills do.