Archive for February, 2011

People Under You..

I have come across many ‘oldies’ in my time who take a lot of pride in announcing to the world at large at regular intervals how important they once were in their previous ‘avtar’, (read: before retirement ) and how big their empire was ! ( read: people under them ). Possibly all this is because of a ‘pissing-like ’ urge to dazzle their fellow-beings, especially when they are no more the force that once they were. The urge is more intense in folks who now live in surroundings far removed from their previous habitat and where they are scarcely known.

It is a fact of life that unless one’s attributes are acquired through sheer talent and ability and not through the positions that one had held once, these attributes melt away like the dew in the morning sun , once you step out of office . In fact , once  out , you start showing a marked resemblance to a naked chicken with plucked feathers !

So much for the ‘retired’…

I also know of active ( read : working ) folks who project a bigger image of themselves than is good for them , to achieve some immediate ends when the situation demands it. One of my erstwhile colleagues is one such specimen that immediately comes to my mind!

Our offices were situated on the first floor of a building in the factory where I used to work. Despite being a well qualified guy, this man had no qualms about groveling before ‘Authority’ to get his things done . He also used to boast of the ‘large organisational set-up’ he was heading and people around him swooned,  saying “Ooooh! … aaaah …”

Once he had to meet the principal of an school while attempting to wangle a seat for his son. Unfortunately for him, the principal , a ‘Father Somebody’ , was a known opportunist. After hearing my friend’s official position and power, albeit fabricated,( though he didn’t know
it, ) the venerable Father was apparently impressed. Apart from that,  the Father had also realised that here was a golden opportunity for a bit of ‘quid pro quo’ bargaining. Our opportunist had badly wanted a job for his nephew at that point in time . So he didn’t forget to make  a passing mention of it while discussing the various contractual terms for the ‘special admission’ with my colleague

After coming back to the office the latter  asked me to attend any calls which might come from the ‘Father’ since he himself had no phone on his desk! He further wanted me to project myself as his secretary and refer to him as ‘ My Boss ‘ while taking that call.

Sure enough, the phone rang that afternoon…

It was our ‘Father’   alright, and he wanted to speak to my friend. I added dutifully that I will transfer the call to ‘My BOSS’.
The “My Boss” came running up to my desk and grabbed the phone , resembling a Doberman enticed with a bone . A normally taciturn man, he sounded very sweet and charming while talking to the caller. I smelt a rat, a very dead  one at that !

It all came out later after he ended the call.

Apparently while trying to impress the ‘Father’  he had let it be known that he was the Head of the our Organisation and reigned over a large work force . He even specified the number of people working under him…an impressive 298 people! My jaw dropped a good six inches and made a god-awful thud  on hearing that.

I blurted:

“Dammit, man, you are the smallest cog in this machinery! How the hell can you claim a thing like that!”

“ Well, well, well…you see , we are on the 2nd floor now …. and there are 298 people working on the 1st floor, don’t you see ?”

I did a double take on that and asked:

“ And did you get an admission for your son?”

‘Not yet, but I will…”

(click on the image  for a larger picture)

Sometime during the course of the next week our offices were shifted to the 4th floor – me , him and all- for reasons   known only to my GM. ( The  rumour has it that the  one of the company’s   luscious looking secretaries worked on the that floor 😉 )

After a couple of days the guy had again disappeared on an ‘undisclosed’ mission . When he returned that afternoon, however, he was grinning like a Cheshire Cat who had just got an school admission for his eldest kitten…

Having got curious,  I asked him how the hell did he manage to swing it . Without batting an eye  he quipped:

“I told the Father some half -truths…I told him that I had been ‘elevated’ …and vested with some wide ranging powers for recruitment of staff! I also added for good measure , that now I have 400 people working under me!”

I did some quick mental assessment of the staff strength in our building and sure enough , there were 102 people stationed on the 3rd floor, including four of our senior General Managers and this luscious Young  Thing ! Our man hadn’t erred on his arithmetic  !

I couldn’t help but ask him in horror   how he was planning to meet his commitment to the Father Dear about that job for his nephew. Pat came the reply:

“ Tell you what ! The next time that Father guy calls say I am on long leave !

And the next day the ‘strategist’ indeed applied for and took a long leave and vamoosed ! The poor Father never stood a chance !


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