Life skills

“What? Are you crazy? I will never allow my wife to work. Women should be best kept at home.”

Everybody was nodding their heads in approval. Except Kalyan.

“You must be out of your mind Rajesh. Do you know the organization you are working in has more of women workforce than men?”

“Ah Kalyan… all these things I know, but you don’t understand,” snapped Rajesh. Phani added, “Aha Kalyan…why are so negative?”

Rajesh is the manager. The boss. So in corporate, you are not supposed to backchat..any crap they say you have to accept, otherwise you are doomed.Everybody was stunned with Kalyan’s comment…this ‘everybody’ was laughing at Kalyan because they had to laugh with VT Rajesh; in this there were Srikanth, Phani, Suresh, Faisal; also Ahalya, Susmitha, Suchitra; they were all looking condescendingly at Kalyan.

But the bad apple Kalyan was unaffected, he goes on… “Rajesh…the other day you were saying you don’t like AR Rehman…can you tell us why…”

Rajesh was furious, but managers do not show their anger, they become all the more polite, most politely they will throw you out, but they will never be rude you know…they cannot violate the culture of their ‘race’ you see.

He smiles and says…”yes Kalyan I can never support him because he changed his religion.”

“How can you say such a thing Rajesh? Changing his religion is his personal choice. In such a learning organization, how can you keep saying these things.”

Kalyan has picked up fights of this nature with many faceless, spineless managers. He also has another glaring fault. He doesn’t speak English like his managers. He had been asking for a laptop for his two-day assignment in Bangalore, a very important client was coming and he had to do a presentation; but his manager said no, he declined to go writing a mail like this:

“I think I have explained this earlier in simple English that it is difficult to make a client presentation without a laptop…”Of course he wrote this because of a mild irritation BUT “explained this earlier in simple English?!”; how dare he such a thing! This was considered a violation of “respect for individuals”… he was summoned by the HR and there was this manager’s manager called Lakshmi who found the tone of the email very offensive and perhaps the rudest of mails she has ever read. It seemed every other person, Kalyan’s managers, his peers were picking up and jotting down issues against Kalyan. However, it was this same organization which gave him a promotion in three months, his skill was considered at P4, the highest anyone could get in his domain; this was a point of discord between him and his once-upon-a-time manager Asif. There were other irking points too, Kalyan’s clients always wanted him and no one else because he has never failed in his SLA (Service level agreement) and because of his vast experience and qualification, which included a degree from abroad,  his salary was too high. This he heard from none other than Lakshmi over coffee breaks, ‘Your salary is very high Kalyan and we need to use you enough’ Kalyan maintained this P4 status following rigorous interviews from native speakers. Whatever said and done organizations are magicians.


Kalyan’s salary was high. His performance was poor. He might be an M.Phil in German, but he cannot form correct sentences with correct syntax. He went through a PIP (Performance Improvement Program) where his lack of language skills is recorded and documented. Everyone in his team was dissatisfied with his behavior, he was considered rude and unkind. He has been charged with sexual harassment by Ahalya and Sushmitha.

His attrition was managed, almost like Socrates, Jesus, Joan of Arc.

Years later, Kalyan meets one of his former employees Faisal.

“Kalyan, you were good, but you don’t have life skills. Now these things are not taught you know.”

© supratik 2023
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