Monday, September 16, 2013

My Attempt to Get an Agency for The Hindu at Tirupur

       Before further writing about the circulation manager’s attitude, I want to write one post about the circumstances that led me to write to the Circulation Manager complaining about the Regional Manager.  That decision was not taken in haste without considering the meaning and the consequences it would lead to.  It cannot be considered as wrong by the company as the management structure itself was to encourage that type of attitude among employees to avoid any mismanagement, and in an era of whistleblower protection being discussed very seriously in political circles and supported by this newspaper, if the company thought that what I was doing was wrong, then it only exposes the company as acting in a hypocritical manner

       It was written after I had worked in the dispatch section for more than eight years without getting an agency, which was promised to me by the branch manager when I first accepted the work of Dispatch.  It amounted to breach of contract on the part of the branch manager and against the principle of sanctity of contract, which is one of the principles of ethical business conduct, which I expected from the branch manager of such a highly respected company as The Hindu to be considered as sacred, but he acted in such a manner that he was the manager of a third rate company and he got support from the top management of the company.  What I am writing in this post is one of the reasons for my conduct three to four years hence about my complaint against the branch manager.

       After working for some five years in the dispatch section, there seemed to be no chance of Ramnathapuram area being bifurcated from the Coimbatore agency, and I realized also that the branch manager was thinking of giving that agency, when and if it was bifurcated, to some agent around the Coimbatore area at that time.  In such circumstances, there came an opportunity for me to get an agency outside Coimbatore.  Tirupur agent at that time decided to hand over his agency, and he gave a letter requesting the office to relieve him from the agency.  Tirupur is a city some 50 Kilometer from Coimbatore.   At that time, the indent for the Tirupur agent was around 1500 copies.

     When I learned about this, I went to see the branch manager and I asked the branch manager that I wanted to apply for the news agency at Tirupur as there seemed to be no chance for the Ramnanathapuram agency being bifurcated in the foreseeable future.  He was noncommittal about Ramnathapuram agency, but he told me that he had to look for someone to run the dispatch work if I am offered the news agency at Tirupur.  This made me think that I had a chance to get the Tirupur agency if I applied for it. Since already five years had passed since I took over the dispatch work, and there being no chance of me getting any agency in Coimbatore city, I decided to apply for the Tirupur agency, and I thought that I would be awarded the agency for running the dispatch work successfully for nearly five years, and I knew that process of appoint a new agent would take some time.

     After a few weeks, I learned that the branch manager had decided to bifurcate the Tirupur agency into two, Tirupur North with 1200 copies and Tirupur South with 600 copies.  I was a little disappointed with this as I thought I would be given the Tirupur agency without bifurcating and my work in the dispatch section. But, much more disappointment was in store for me in this regard, which I did not expect, either from the branch manager or the company.  When I asked the branch manager that I want to apply for the Tirupur agency as whole for 1800 copies, he informed me that the head office had already decided that the Tirupur agency be bifurcated into two agencies and that he could not do anything about that.

       As usual, Mr. T.R. Ravichandran, the right hand man for the branch manager, the bootlicker, was asked to oversee the arrangements for the appointments of two agents for the Tirupur agencies. I decided to apply for Tirupur South agency with 1200 copies as indent. I was asked by the Mr. T. R. Ravichandran to come to Tirupur to handover the application for the agency to him and he told me that he would accept the application only at Tirupur and not in Coimbatore, and I went to Tirupur one day to submit my application for Tirupur South news agency.

       In the meantime, Mr. T.R. Ravichanran and the branch manager informed the transport contractor (two brothers were looking after the transport contract work at that time) for The Hindu at Coimbatore and asked him to apply for the agency at Tirupur South.  At first, they did not show any interest in the agency, but the branch manager and Mr. T.R.Ravichandran made them to apply for the agency in the name of one of their relatives at Tirupur.  On hearing this news, I realized that I had no chance of getting the agency, as the branch manager would argue that the transport contractors were working for The Hindu long before I became the dispatch contractor and that The Hindu must offer them the agency as they had never asked for any agency before for their long association with The Hindu.

        As expected, the transport contractor’s relative was offered the Tirupur South agency, and some other man was offered the Tirupur North.  When I asked the branch manger why I was not given the Tirupur South agency, he told me he could not offer me the agency as the head office would ask him what he would do for the dispatch work if I am offered the news agency, but he also consoled me saying that maybe I would get an agency near at Coimbatore, for which I did not say anything to him.

         Now, both agencies at Tirupur are run by the relatives of my friend, through whom the branch manager offered me the dispatch work, as a reward for giving him a man whom he could treat like a bonded labor to run the dispatch work, because he knew that I would not able get any other job after being a dispatch contractor for more than five years and that I would not leave the work.