Pyramids, Problems & Posts

01 Aug 2012

(2012: This was a post I put on the intranet. Have modified the original to remove the name of the company.

This post came about because I was angry with a mail I’d just got - I felt the company didn’t care for its people. With hindsight, I know I was wrong. I’ve come to realize how difficult it must be for the seniors to manage a company as large as ours. Still, the post is mine and I found it again on the web so I guess it can go here.)


The following is a figment of my imagination…a depiction of how an interview on the likes of ‘walk the talk’ would go if the Interviewer (I) were interviewing the person responsible for some of the policies in __ (Spokesperson: S). I love __ and this post is not meant to mock any person or even the organization..its just my way of expressing the frustration I feel some times at the situations I see.

Vivek

I: Thank you for the lunch, but don’t you think it was a bit too expensive?

S: Oh no! The Food at La Terrace, (that’s French for “the prices off the roof”) is a very reasonable restaurant. They let you sit down and start eating before they tell you how much the food will cost.

I: You mean the employeess can actually afford such places?

S: Oh! They don’t have a choice! But we provide our employees only the best facilities. But if they don’t want to eat here, there are always other options. There are 4 other restaurants in the campus that serve cheaper food err ‘food that costs lesser’ (tee hee).

I: And what is this building?

S: Aah! We are especially proud of this one here! It’s a pyramid!

I: That I noticed…but why have you built one?

S: …umm..its pointy at the top and has glass for walls!!!

I: Yes, but does it serve any specific purpose? And is it true that it drips during rains?

S: ..that is a malicious lie spread by our competitors! It does NOT serve any purpose! It was built solely for its aesthetic beauty!!

I: .and does it leak/drip during rains?

S: We provide buckets next to each computer.

I: Anyway, lets move on.I noticed that you have a lot of people from other cities and states here in the campus. Aren’t they anxious to work nearer their hometowns?

S: Of course! We take pains to ensure that our employees are as comfortable as we want them to be. Every employee is asked for his choice of location during training and promptly put elsewhere.

I: What happens when one asks for a transfer?

S: Oh!.they usually give up after the first dozen mails, requests.

I: What happens if an employee becomes frustrated at the lack of response and hands in his/her resignation?

S: Grin.we give him/her the transfer and a double promotion and a change in job band.

I: But don’t the employees catch on to this trick?

S: hehehe…so far so good!

I: And what is this….thing?

S: This is…will one day be a food court. It was designed by that hotshot architect/designer. See, it is pointy at the top and circular at the bottom.

I: But why?

S: And it cost a lot of money to build. As I said earlier, we give our employees only the Best!

I: What other facilities do you provide your employees?

S: The Best of everything. Swimming pools, pool tables, gymnasiums..

I: That basement we just walked through with a mile long queue outside it?

S: Yes, it is very popular!!

I: Could the queue be for a different reason other than the gym’s popularity? Lack of enough equipment/space perhaps?

S: No, no.I meant the queue is very popular! You’ll find that the employeess love queues. There are queues to buses, queues to food, queues everywhere in __. We love our queues!

I: You mentioned buses…are your employees happy with them?

S: You would think so…but no..all day they just crib crib crib.complain complain complain!!!

I: What according to them is the problem then?

S: Oh! If its not one thing, its another. They wanted buses, we gave them buses, what are we to do if they work late and miss the buses we provide them? huh? huh?

I: But! Why are they working late? Why don’t they leave at 5?

S: Oh! we are a million dollar company, we will be a billion dollar company in a little time, people have to make sacrifices…

<an hour later>

I: I think I understand…but what steps are you taking to stop your employees from complaining?

S: We encourage them. We send them letters.

I: Letters?

S: Letters! But not any letter! A letter from a director of the company!

I: How is that any good?

S: “Any good???” A letter from a director is no laughing matter. It’s not an everyday affair, it does not say ‘forward this to 10 other the employeess or suffer slow death’. It comes only once every year and through this real nifty software we have here, will even have the recipient’s name. For example, it would go:

“Dear Avivek Peddappa,

__ cares (tee hee) for its resources employees. This year we will be revoking CLA, marriage allowances, vehicle loans…..(2 paragraphs of revoking later).and we made loads of money this quarter…while acknowledging your contribution, we urge you to forget any personal life you might have had make sacrifices for the years ahead. We care for the the employeess who die in traffic accidents, we will encourage them not to come by bike. “

I: Do a lot of the employeess die in traffic accidents?

S: No.not enough…only 2 or 3 a year.

I: What did you mean by encouraging people not to come to the office by bikes?

S: We send them letters..

I: That I’ve heard..what else?

S: Aah! Am glad you asked! We are planning to make it mandatory that any employee who comes to the office by bike wear full protective body armor. That’ll even make it seem as if we’re concerned for his welfare.

I: Why not just put up a few parking lots at strategic places like the junction of the outer ring road or at Mysore road, where people could park their vehicles..don’t you agree that it would reduce the traffic on dangerous stretches like Hosur road and encourage people who come from far away places to actually start using the bus service?

S: No…if we did, everyone would ask for a parking lot next to his/her house. Moreover, its not scalable, replicable, reproducible… <a few hours of management mumbo jumbo later>…no…we’ll just stick to encouraging them not to use bikes..you must understand…it takes a lot of money to buy such land. We cannot afford it with the prices in Bangalore as they are these days. That is why we revoked CLA, we want to encourage employees to use the dormitories in campus.

I: And what is this?

S: Aah! Our pride and joy! This is a fancy fountain. It cost crores to build…one day it’ll be beautiful!! It’ll have laser lighting, blue, red..that’s why we don’t have trees in this part of the campus, trees would just spoil the whole show!

I: Is it true you are considering retirement?

S: Yes, I am. I’ve been responsible for all the policies in __..there is not much more left to do here..I’ve been offered a new job..with more prospects.

I: I’m sure the company will miss you..

S: Yes! they are reluctant to let me go…they even offered me an honorary post. ‘Chief mentor’ was taken, so I was to be the ‘Chief Tor-Mentor’. But I refused.

I: Thank you for your time. I hope you enjoy your new job..

S: Oh.I’m sure I will. (picks up pitch fork and with a flick of his pointy tail, walks down into the bowels of the earth)