Saturday, August 14, 2010

Better Than the Worst


“Good job, Rahul”, his team lead, Chetan congratulated him.”This was an issue which was ongoing for quiet some time and you have done well to resolve it”.
“Thanks Chetan”…Rahul continued his work.

* * * * * * * *

Conference Room – Scene 1

“Rahul, Please come here..”, The Project Manager, Gurudutt called him to the conference room.
Rahul followed Guru.

“Rahul… Please be patient and listen to what I am going to say…”,Guru continued in a soft tone,”You might be aware that it is the time for performance based ratings and there is high pressure on the managers to provide each one of you with the best possible one. As you know of our rating system, A, B, C, D, E from highest to lowest, there is a mandate on managers to follow a strict percentage on each rating.Example, not more than 10 % should get A rating. And something like atleast 10 % should get an E.That means the managers are in trouble.
At the same time you might also be knowing that the current market condition is not that good. There is high risk of job security for the people with average ratings. I am feeling extremely disappointed and sorry to inform you that you while expecting for the best, do be prepared for the worst too. Be ready with your resume, keep in touch with old friends outside this company, and do your best, as always.
Within 1 week your ratings will be out and I ‘ll take utmost care in ensuring that you are provided with the best available. At the same time, as I told earlier, the market is not good, and we are also running short of projects, so be prepared… and for any help do meet me…ok?”
Rahul was quiet shocked with what he just heard.”Do you mean I will be thrown out of this company and I have to search a new job?”
“No, Rahul, I did not mean that…but not sure what would be the higher management decisions..there are various factors which goes as input prior to a decision being made.I was just trying to make you aware of it… can meet me anytime for any issue…I am supposed to join a call now…So we’ll talk meet me…ok…Good luck”
He shook his hand with Rahul and sent him back to his desk.
Rahul was just not sure what had happened.He had been working hard always..and always completed all assigned tasks on time…still……He stared at his monitor thinking about how he had put effort for each of the tasks assigned to him….

“What Rahul??dreaming??”, Chetan patted him on his shoulder.
“Nothing Chetan”
“Hei look dull…come ..we’ll go for a coffee…”

While having the coffee Rahul explained to Chetan about the meeting with Guru.Chetan too was shocked and promised Rahul to take care of it.

* * * * * * *

Conference Room – Scene 2 Guru and Chetan

“I understand what you are saying Chetan…I too know that Rahul is a good performer and extremely talented.But if the company is taking such a decision, we cannot do anything.”Guru stopped for a moment
“I also agree that he now knows in and out of the project, but I am really not sure if we have a choice to make.”
“Here I am extremely shocked with 2 bad news.1 is that Rahul deserves nothing less than a B.2 is I am talking about B and you are talking about pink slip.It’s ridiculous..You need to give him better ratings..that’s the only solution”,Chetan replied
“Point 1 is that ratings are still not out and nothing is clear on who has what…Point 2 is that ratings are also based on various factors as you know.Being a fresher, Rahul has more opportunities to improvise himself and go forward in his career.Let’s hope for the best..”
Chetan interrupted,”being a fresher we should be motivating him to go forward, and you are talking about his job security.As a manager, if you are not able to retain him in this team, that would cause more problems for you in future because we are dependent on him for many things.
“Chetan, I am assuring you that I am trying my best…My aim is to treat all people equally regardless of the ratings they get.That would be in terms of Job security, Financial security and any other thing…As 100% is not in my hands I give you 99% assurance.Regardless of his rating, Rahul will remain with us…”
“But many things are dependant on ratings…like salary hikes..”
“Yes..I know..Again, I am stressing the fact that if..if at all, Rahul is not getting a rating which he deserves, I’ll make sure to take into consideration, his contributions to the team and provide him with the best.okay?”

Chetan was unsure what to say..”Ok, we’ll wait for the ratings.We’ll talk later”
“Sure, Chetan, keep the spirit high…we are all together as a family..we are there for each other…lets just keep this in mind..Good Luck!”

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Conference Room – Scene 3 - Ratings are out : Rahul, Guru, Ranjan(Rahul’s delivery manager, comes under Guru)

“Come in seated”, Guru called him in.
“Your ratings are out ….I am a bit relieved that I got an exception from the manager and do not need to rate any member of our highly talented team with an E.I know that you are highly talented, but this time you have to satisfy yourself with D rating”
”But why???I was expecting B.What is it that I have not performed..I have done all the tasks assigned to me”
“Yes Rahul, I agree..Chetan told me the same thing…but…Another thing which matters is visibility..That’s the key…Visibility in account level…”
“but, all my work would have been visible, had I not done the work assigned to me…And I could also have created issues and resolved them myself just for visibility, which I did not do…”
“Sorry Rahul,I agree, but we don’t have a choice…., am I right Ranjan”
“mm.. yes…”Ranjan replied.

Tringgg…Tringg…Rahul’s mobile rang.Rahul was trying to cut it but Guru insisted to attend the call.rahul stepped out of the room to attend the call.

“Hei, Ranjan, you are a manager for 4 years, what are you doing?don’t agree with what I am saying..oppose me…ok??”Guru told to Ranjan.

Rahul returned back after the call…

“So, what do you say Ranjan”
“Guru,I feel that this rating is not correct.Don’t we have a process to challenge the rating..We can fight until we get justice.We cannot let this go so easily”

“Unfortunately, Ranjan, we don’t have an option for challenging…It’s probably because they suspect that people may not use it judiciously”
Ranjan then asked,“ok, Can’t we change the ratings, I mean give the D to someone else and give Rahul some better rating?”

“Ranjan, at this stage this is also not possible, because this ratings are approved from account level…”

Ranjan shook his head in disappointment.

Guru continued,”So, Rahul, please don’t be disappointed..Ratings are nothing..Just an alphabet..don’t mind about it… We will ensure the best for you in future..Just try to be visible”

Rahul had nothing else to say,”It’s not that I am not visible..the fact is that you are blind…”,he told to himself and left the room quietly.

Ranjan then asked Guru,”Guru, what about the other thing?regarding Job security.Will he be fired for getting this rating?”

“Before that I want to inform you something…There is a rumor that this year, the top management has decided to decrease a % of salary from managers.So you might go back to an old package…”
“What the……” Ranjan got shocked…”how come they decrease the salary?”

“Again, we are helpless.”Guru sighed
“Hei 1 minute…I just got a mail now..let me read it….” Guru read through the mail

“It’s a mail from the Top managements. This year managers have 0% hike.…”

“Thank God… 0% is better…atlease no decrease”,Ranjan was relieved

Guru smiled and replied,”This is Rule No. 1.When you have to convey a bad news, give them the bad news, and a worse news..They will automatically opt for the bad one…So this news about the managers’ salary was not true…but I hope you got answer for your other question..”
“Which one..Rahul getting fired??”

Guru smiled….and left the room.

* * * * * * * *

2 weeks later

Rahul: Hi Guru…you were talking about being prepared for getting released in case of bad ratings..Any info on that..
Guru: Don’t worry..As I promised, I have taken care of everything..Moreover now we are getting some projects..more funding, more work, more profit, more hikes….You can go and continue your work…Good Luck!

End Credits

”If performance is judged based on visibility, God is the worst performer!” - Fino Paul