Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Deputy Managing Director Knew and Approved of the Branch Manger Acting as a Jerk

         When I posted my blog article that was published in SIRF News in my FB page (The Hindu took its employee for a ride) there was a comment by a friend which I thought deserved an answer on my part.  His commented that the branch manager might have done what he did to me, literally cheating on me by not keeping his promise of offering me a news agency for accepting to run the dispatch work, without the knowledge of the higher management.

          I think he had not read the seven attachments to that article in which I had clearly written what I had gone through more than 10 years of work there.  Had he read those articles, he would have come to the conclusion that the branch manager was acting with the tacit understanding and full support of the higher management.

         But still, I would like to edit the introductory article of my blog with an answer to this question so as to make the article complete as a standalone piece without the need to read other posts in my blog.  For now, I have decided to publish a new post in my blog, specifically answering this question, with an incident which will make explicit what was implicit in my other posts in my blog, that the top management of the company knew what the branch manager was doing and the branch manager had the sanction from them for his activities as a branch manager.

         After I wrote a letter to the circulation manager complaining about the branch manager (Another Incident of Playing Politics by the Branch Manger published in this blog on August 7, 2012) ,  I came to know from the staff of The Hindu (I was only a contractor of The Hindu but not a regular staff) that the Deputy Managing Director of the company ( who was also one of the owners of the company) was not pleased with what I had done because the branch manager was a favorite of him in the company.  I also learned that the branch manager, while the Deputy Managing Director was just joining the company, was guiding him and helping him learn the intricacies of how a company is run, and how decision are made by the staff in various departments.

         When once the Deputy Managing Director was visiting the Coimbatore office, I went to meet him to explain the circumstances which made me write to the circulation manager complaining about the branch manager.

         When the Deputy Managing Director and the branch manager emerged from the manager’s room, I approach them in order to get an appointment to meet the Deputy Managing Director (DMD).  The branch manager introduced me to the DMD and informed him that I wanted to talk to him. But the DMD turned away from me – as if he was not interested in talking to me – and went with another staff inside the office even without acknowledging my presence.  The branch manager also went with them.  I waited for nearly an hour there in the hope that the branch manager might have again informed him of my request to meet him. But nothing happened, and I left the office without meeting him.

         The mark of a good businessman was to give me a hearing of what I had to say in the matter.  He could have even openly told me that what the branch manger doing was right and that I could leave the company if I did not like what he was doing.  But being a smart guy (not necessarily good one) he probably instructed the branch manager how to deal with this case in an opaque manner without finding out what was the truth in the dispute.

         When finally Ramanathapuram News agency was bifurcated from the Coimbatore Agency, my application was the only one collected, but only half the area of what I was asking was made a separate agency, and I was offered the agency.  When I was submitting my formal application with the branch manager, what he told me baffled me:  He tole me with other sales representatives present in Tamil - கொடுக்கற மாதிரி கொடுத்து பிடிங்கிக்குவாங்க – which translates approximately as “You will be given but they will ultimately snatch it from you.”

         When after just nine months of my running the agency, the circulation manager came to Coimbatore and after hearing from me my longstanding request of the other half of Ramnanathapuram Agency, he went without saying anything, and then both the agency (including the other area I was asking for) and the dispatch work was offered to someone else.

         Then I realized that the DMD had given instructions to the branch manager at that time how to deal with me and how to get rid of me from the company in such a manner as if they were acting on some unstated management principles.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The Hindu took its employee for a ride

My article from this blog published in Sirf News:

Am I working under a good manager? This was the question that tormented my mind quite often in more than 10 years of my association in the late 1980s and early 1990s with a well respected newspaper organisation in India, The Hindu. I felt very excited when I was offered the contract work for packing and despatch work in one of the branch offices of The Hindu in Coimbatore.

Continue to Read in Sirf News.

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Devil Wears Prada (2006).

         When I recently heard about the film, “The Devil Wears Prada,” and learned about the theme and plot, it sounded like it resembled my struggle in my business career with many similarities to my struggle in The Hindu including a boss who was a jerk, the treatment meted out to me there, etc.  The title of the film exactly describes the branch manager:  "The Devil Wears Prada."  (Prada is an Italian fashion label specializing in luxury goods for men and women. It is also used as Hindu female name and means light, glow or shine).

        I have decided to watch the film and find out exactly how the subject has been treated in the film. Here is a brief synopsis of the film:

         A smart college grad can't get a job as a journalist for a magazine she respects, so gets one working for a fashion mag, only to find she's miserable, and oh yeah, her boss is mean.

        There was a very good surprise, as the reviews sounded like the theme was "the boss from hell".  The movie is much more about a young professional maturing and gaining a level of respect for both the world of fashion and her boss (who is indeed a complete jerk).

         The main character shows great spirit in refusing to quit, even when treated unfairly.  Little by little, she earns a measure of respect from her boss, even though she finally decide that all the work she's investing in the job is not getting her any closer to her goals.
         I have to find out what that film has to do with Ayn Rand's ideas and their application.


Here is a trailer of the film:

Of course, my job in The Hindu was not the one which a "million men would kill for."  It was a job which was a difficult one, no man who is afraid of facing any kind challenge would dare to accept.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Great Betrayal of Friends

         While surfing the net leisurely, I searched the topic “great betrayals,” and I found a very interesting article on that title in New York Times published on Oct 5, 2013, written by a psychiatrist ANNA FELS.
     That article contained many points that would perfectly apply to the betrayal of three of my friends while working in The Hindu during the late 1980s and early 1990s.  They had made a secret understanding with the branch manager of The Hindu to get newspaper agency for their friends and relatives and duped me to assume the responsibility of the work as a dispatch contractor there on a false promise of offering me a news agency besides putting many hurdles in my work as dispatch contractor there.
     I quote from the article:  “But for the people who have been lied to, something more pervasive and disturbing occurs. They castigate themselves about why they didn’t suspect what was going on. The emotions they feel, while seemingly more benign than those of the perpetrator, may in the long run be more corrosive: humiliation, embarrassment, a sense of having been naïve or blind, alienation from those who knew the truth all along and, worst of all, bitterness.
     Insidiously, the new information disrupts their sense of their own past, undermining the veracity of their personal history. Like a computer file corrupted by a virus, their life narrative has been invaded. Memories are now suspect: what was really going on that day? Why did the spouse suddenly buy a second phone “for work” several years ago? Did a friend know the truth even as they vacationed together? Compulsively going over past events in light of their recently acquired (and unwelcome) knowledge, such patients struggle to integrate the new version of reality. For many people, this discrediting of their experience is hard to accept. It’s as if they are constantly reviewing their past lives on a dual screen: the life they experienced on one side and the new “true” version on the other. But putting a story together about this kind of disjunctive past can be arduous

     Understandably, some feel cynical if not downright paranoid. How can they know what is real going forward? How can they integrate these new “facts” about family, origin, religion, race or fidelity? Do they have to be suspicious if they form a new relationship? As my friend said in despair, “I’m just not a snoop; it’s not in my genes.”

     And the social response to people who have suffered such life-transforming disclosures, well meaning as it is intended to be, is often less than supportive. Our culture may embrace the redeemed sinner, but the person victimized — not so much. Lack of control over their destiny makes people queasy. Friends often unconsciously blame the victim, asking whether the betrayed person really “knew at some level” what was going on and had just been “in denial” about it. But the betrayed are usually as savvy as the rest of us.

     Of course, I did not fall to the level of needing some form of counseling by a psychiatrist to get on with life. Being an objectivist helped me to pursue a different career and get on with life without any scar left of that betrayal. I am grateful to Ayn Rand to have helped me to overcome this crisis in my life as I leaned on "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" for moral support many times during these periods in my life.

     Isak Dinesen has been quoted as saying “all sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story or tell a story about them.”  I am trying to bring this quote of Isak Dinesen to reality in my case as well by some means.