Tug of War between Branch Manager and Circulation Manager:In my previous post, I started to explain how the circulation manager and the branch manager began to play politics, and how they used me and my work, and the importance of dispatch work to the company, each in order to gain his own benefit from the top management of the company without ever trying to fulfill the promise of offering me a news agency.
Branch Manager’s Complaint about me
After the incident of my complaining to the circulation manager, the branch manager, whenever he visited the head office, began to complain with the top management about me, and in one such visit to the head office, he complained to the Deputy managing director that I was not keeping the workers in the dispatch section under control and that he fears the workers would make problem about wages and other amenities. He told him that he has sensed this by the behavior of the workers before the start of the dispatch work, making noises, and not behaving well and that the press staff had complained to him about that.
Branch Manager SnubbedThe Circulation Manager was present at that meeting and he scolded the branch manager in front of the Deputy Managing Director that that was not the responsibility of the dispatch contractor but the responsibility of the company and that there was no use blaming me for that. The branch manager was very disappointed with that, and when he returned to the branch office, he looked like a man who had taken a heavy loss, and he looked very depressed, about which I learned later from the staff.
Dressing-Down to the Branch Manager
During one of the meeting at the head office to discuss the strategies to raise the circulation of the newspaper, in which all the branch manager of The Hindu participated, which the circulation manager presided, an incident happened in which the branch manager was severely reprimanded by the circulation manager. The circulation in the area which came under the Coimbatore branch office was not satisfactory, and he was not satisfied with the performance of the Coimbatore office. The circulation manager scolded the branch manager in that meeting in front of the Deputy Managing director, and he said something to the effect that he wanted performance from everyone and that he would not allow anyone to rest on their past laurels. The Deputy Managing Director could not come to the rescue of the branch manager at that time as the circulation figures of the branch office were against the branch manager, and he consoled the branch manager after the meeting was over and told him, “Don’t take it to heart.”
Bootlicker at WorkAs this tug of war was going on between the branch manager and the circulation manager, one day the sales representative Mr. T.R. Ravichandran came to me and told me that there was no chance of Ramanathapuram being bifurcated in the near future and that there is a chance of Thudiyalur agency being changed, and he asked me to meet the branch manager and tell him that I would be satisfied if I am offered the newspaper agency at Thudiyalur.
I asked the branch manager about this, and he informed me that he also thought that there was no sign of Ramanathapuram being bifurcated at this time and that if there was any chance of Thudiyalur agency, he would consider offering him the agency, not committing himself about the Thudiyalur agency. As I suspected earlier, the branch manager and the sales representative were thinking of offering the Ramanathapuram agency to the Thudiyalur agent and that was why they wanted to know whether I would be satisfied with the Thudiyalur agency. They wanted to make sure that I would continue to run the dispatch work along with the Thudiyalur agency.
They would know when the Ramanathapuram agency will be bifurcated, and just before that, if I am offered the agency of Thudiyalur, I could not take any chance of waiting for the Ramanathapuram agency because at that time they would say that they were not sure that the Ramanathapuram agency will be bifurcated in the near future, and they will give me a choice whether I would take the Thudiyalur agency or I would wait for the Ramanathapuram agency to be bifurcated. I felt very sick about these happening, and I was thinking that I had to do something to prevent this from happening. Then I wrote a letter to the Circulation Manager exactly what the sales representative told me and my conversation about this with the branch manager and asked for the newspaper agency at Thudiyalur without mentioning anything about Ramanathapuram agency.
Bootlicker licking his own Boot
At the next visit of the branch manager to the head office, in the meeting with the circulation manager and the branch manager in the presence of the Deputy Managing Director, the circulation manager showed my letter asking for the Thudiyalur and asked the branch manager whether Ravichandran told me about the Thudiyalur agency and whether there was a chance of that agency being changed, for which the branch manager informed him that Ravichandran by mistake told me that and there was no chance at present for that agency being chanced. The circulation manger in the presence of the Deputy Managing Director told the branch manager,”why do you try to camouflage Mr. Nandagopal,” for which the branch manager could not say anything. This was another severe reprimand from the circulation manager in the presence of the Deputy Managing Director.
Another Severe Rebuff to the Branch Manager
Another incident of the Circulation Manger rebuking the branch manager in the presence of the Deputy Managing Director – who later became Managing Director - occurred sometime later. The branch manager was desperate to make me leave the dispatch section, and it became clear to him that almost it was impossible for him to achieve this; he once suggested to the head office that the dispatch section be taken over by the office itself and I be made a staff of the company. The circulation manager refused the idea flatly and told the branch manager,”You decide whether you want to keep Mr. Nanadagopal or not for the dispatch work, but if you decide not to have him in the dispatch work, then I want another permanent solution for the dispatch work and you have to choose some other man for it, and I world not entertain such ideas as your are proposing now.” The branch manager lost all options of getting rid of me from the dispatch work with this proposal being rejected by the circulation manager as it would entail many problems for the company, and even if he had the support of the Deputy Managing Director, he had to give some strong reasons that it would be advantageous to the company, which he could not give, and thus the Circulation Manager spoiled his idea. This made him a beaten man.
After the branch manager realized that it would be difficult to prevent me from getting the Ramanathapuram agency if and when it is bifurcated, he wanted to make sure that he might have another chance of offering a news agency to his candidate of choice that he had already in mind and get some benefit from them. I realized this when Mr. Subramanian (my friend who was helping in my dispatch and who was responsible for landing in this job almost as a bonded labor) informed me that it seemed that Ramanathapuram would not be bifurcated first from Coimbatore and that Saibaba Colony, which is an area in Coimbatore, but some 5 km away from Ramanathapuram and the branch office, would be first bifurcated, and he asked me to write a letter to the head office asking for Saibaba Colony agency. I thought that I had no choice but to write that letter, and so I wrote that letter to the Head Office asking for the agency at Saibaba Colony if it is bifurcated from the Coimbatore Agency.
After writing that letter I realized that there might have been another angle to this drama. I thought that it was turning murkier, like kind of court intrigue that I had read in the history books. The Coimbatore agent was a relative of one family among the four families who owned the newspaper. The branch manager was the darling of the Deputy Managing Director, who belonged to another family.
I thought that I was being asked to write letters to the head office in order for them to make it look like the Coimbatore agency was being bifurcated for business reasons. Earlier, the Singanallur and Peelamedu areas were bifurcated from the Coimbatore agency before 1985. The branch manager knew that I had helped the Singanallur agent in drafting letters asking for the agency earlier, and knowing this, he had selected me for the dispatch section, and making a false promise, he had made me to write letters asking for the Ramanathapuram agency and later Saibaba Colony agency and decided to slowly take away the Coimbatore agent’s areas one by one and give them to people of his choosing and earn extra income other than he gets salary for his working as the branch manager. This must have been with the full understanding and approval of the top management of the company as he was close to the Deputy Managing Director. He was given this privilege as a reward for his loyalty to the company and for running the branch office with minimum expenses.
The Hindu Family FeudAs I realized this, I thought that I got inadvertently involved myself in their nefarious designs as a tool in The Hindu newspaper family feud, and after writing the letter for the Ramanathapuram agency, they had to get rid of me as if I am given then agency, the other family somehow would know that I was the person who wrote in the first place asking for the agency and that I was hand in glove with the branch manager in this and it would become an issue.
But if they get rid of me, it would look like someone had written for the agency, and the Coimbatore agency was bifurcated for business reasons only, and this would satisfy the family who are the relatives of the Coimbatore agent that there was no other issues other than business reasons for the bifurcation, and even if they object to their relative being relieved of the agency, they could do nothing against this. Thus, the branch manager expected to achieve two things from this: By getting rid of me from the dispatch work, he need not give me the Ramanathapuram agency when and if it is bifurcated and be under the suspicion from one of the family that owned the newspaper, and also he earn some extra money by giving the newspaper agency to a man of his choice. Mr. P. Subramanian, who I had helped in the first place to get the agency at Singanallur, by working hand in glove with the branch manager stabbed me in the back by making a scapegoat and got me take the dispatch work, and now all the following agencies which were bifurcated from the Coimbatore agent are run by his friends: Saibaba Colony, Ram Nagar, R.S.Puram.
In this way, the branch manager wanted to kill two birds in one shot, but the circulation manager was a formidable stumbling block for his nefarious desires. At one time, the branch manager was so frustrated that he one day as a casual remark blurted out to me, ”I wish someone would bomb this building,” which clearly exposes him as a man who would go to any extreme to achieve his goals. If a person is angry with someone – whether that anger is justified or not – that person may express a desire to kill that man, but of course he won’t do it but it would be an expression of frustration toward that man, but what would be the mentality of a man who would wish that that man would die in an accident, or even worse that someone would kill that man, and then think of going to his house and expressing his grief over his death and try to derive some more advantage? The branch manager was such a person, evil to the core.
I have not yet decided the topic of the next post. I will publish a new post soon, however.