Saturday, 11 July 2009

An Headache

He couldn't sleep through the night. He turned several times, counted hundred from backward, sat up and tried to meditate, yet had no effect on his insomnia. He was not an insomniac; rather, far from it he could sleep instantly, like babies. Since two days, that is, since His boss Mr.Pramod called to announce his visit; he right away lost his peace. The tiredness of sleeplessness didn't have much effect on the first day, conversely on the second day it started showing its signs. He irritably got up to silence the ringing alarm, frowning at it, his most angry face yet. It fell from the computer table next to his bed and broke into several pieces. He got up and sat on his bed, moved his hands over his head and sat with his face covered, in total despair. He soon started to get a headache.

Mr.Pramod and he were like eternal adversaries, albeit, it was Mr.Pramod who had brought him to work for this company. He had an interview with him and Mr.Pramod fairly liked the way he answered several of the corporate quandaries put forward to him, fairly with ease. But after the very first week, Mr.Pramod said to him, "I feel sorry about my decision. Don't make me regret the decision to hire you and bring you all the way from India." He had looked shamefully down, baffled at his condition.

The last time Mr.Pramod visited, he had had a dreadfully harsh day. Since he met him at the airport, which was at ten in the morning, he was shouted at in the most malicious of all languages. Mr.Pramod found faults with almost everything he found at the office. From reports to office chairs and from cleanliness to office boy, everything was riotous according to him. By the time Mr.Pramod left, he had a massive headache, had to have four tablets of Panadol to come to terms with it.

He drove towards the airport, having had no breakfast, wearing his best dress and the best perfume. He reached fifteen minutes to ten and waited for ten; that's when his ordeal would start. The announcement was made of the landing of the Gulf air flight from Dubai, and within ten minutes he saw the first glance of his trouble walking on two legs, approaching in the most stylish yet supercilious manner.

He shook hands with Mr.Pramod, his hands almost frozen and wet. His ride started for the day, without his knowledge that it would be the toughest torment he faced in his life.

As expected, Mr.Pramod had a first look at the office and his until then pleasant face grimaced. He had his first shout followed by similar screams throughout the day, or until they decided to have lunch. Lunch time was pleasant; they walked to the nearby mall and had sandwiches at the Subway.

The ordeal continued till four, by this time he had started getting a strong headache. He yearned for a strong cup of coffee and hoped the man too would have similar craving for the caffeinated brew. He had started to feel indifferent to all the screams and lecture he was subjected to, but Mr.Pramod decided to continue and continued till four thirty, just half hour to go until his time to check-in for his six thirty return flight.

Then comes the departing lecture and Mr.Pramod spoke:

"When did you join this company, Three years now? What progress have you made yet. Is there a single day when you don't make me scream at you? What future do you see, why is that you have to be told everything? Am I speaking to some wild animal? Why is that you don't understand my language?See your colleagues, some of them who have joined with you have moved ahead of you. Why are you the least motivated guy I have seen yet? I checked your customer loyalty program file, why is that you have not updated it since last two weeks? Do you know the importance of keeping one? Why are you not following the system we have put in place, after years of trial and experience? You are thirty now, isn't it? And married. Is this what you want in life? I am sorry to say that hiring you was the biggest blunder I have done so far in my twenty five years of career. Am I making myself clear or am I speaking to dead ears? I think I am. I am the friendliest of all General Managers, have I ever not supported you for all the good things you have done? Have I ever bellowed at you for anything, be it personal or professional? It's give back time, I want results and I give you some more time. I too have a threshold and don't test my limits. "

Mr. Pramod looked as if he would weep now; he had a highly distraught expression on his face.

He looked at Mr.Pramod, stared deep into that blood shot eyes and froze.

It was partly a rush of adrenaline and partly yearlong, profound frustrations that he exploded.

"Mr.Pramod, I don't care if I lose my job, but I am sorry to say that you are the biggest mistake I too have done in my life. I wouldn't have listened to your saccharine words and joined this company, to listen to all the garbage I have been taking all this while. You are a pain in my butt, I tell you, you are a big time loser. You are a real big a$$h0?e I have come across and I say it plain on your face. You tell me you are the friendliest GM there ever is on this planet, but I tell you, you are anything but friendly, you are the broodiest man I have known. What have you done in this company; take away all the credit what people like me and junior manager’s toil all the while? If I were to have my way, I would have got you sacked a very long time back. Do you think all this nonsense you have been saying to all the twenty or odd junior managers, that they take it from you? They care a damn about you, Mr.Pramod, a damn."

He stopped: his face read and heart thumping loud. He took out his kerchief and wiped his face, he felt he would faint but stood still. He couldn't focus on anything; he just stared plainly at Mr.Pramod.

Mr.Pramod too looked plain, expressionless. He sat on the nearby chair and looked at the ceiling, as if in some deep thought. He stood up and walked towards the toilet. He came back after what looked like a long time and walked towards his handbag, lifted it and walked towards the entrance door. He waved at the secretary and left.

All this while, he was standing where he was. He felt a darkness shroud him and finally he sat. It was several minutes later that he recovered his lost balance. He came out of his cabin, waved at the puzzled secretary and left for his home.

He felt very tired and sleep deprived. He removed his cloths, had a cold water shower and slept the whole night, without a clear thinking or thoughts.

It was the next day at eight that he woke by the sound of his mobile phone ringing. His secretary was on line, "Sir, Mr.Kunal was trying your line and he said he tried several times. He wants you to call him urgently. That's all Sir, Sorry for disturbing."

He sat on the bed and looked at the clock. It was eight, and he had not heard his mobile ringing .he wondered as to why Mr.Kunal, His DGM wanted to hear from him so early in the morning. Has he been sacked?

He was sure that he would be sacked. No one had ever dared to say a word back to Mr.Pramod, let alone swear at him. He had called him an As@#$%e, a feat no one in this company can boast about. He was sure no one had heard him or Mr.Pramod speak, and all would be surprised by his sacking. He would fly within few days, once his papers are cleared.

"To hell with this company, who wants to work like a slave? I was so happy there with ITC when at Bangalore, and they had begged me not to resign."He thought pensively. "He would try calling Suparna Madam-regional HR head; she would like him to be back in the company." He made plans. He opened his Wardrobe, looked at his suitcases and wondered, "I would need few more of them, and I would have to clear everything. What about fridge, AC, new LCD TV? Humm, I would have to call an auction house."

He went to kitchen and got a bottle of water from the fridge. He had several gulps.

He decided to call Mr.Kunal to hear the news. Two rings and then three before he picked his call.

"Hello, hi Samir? I had called, sorry, you were sleeping? Congrats man, your presentation has been viewed by MD and Mr.Pramod has recommended your name for the next week's meeting at Basel, Hey, congrats and prepare for your Switzerland trip." He was giggling non-stop. "It seems, Mr.Pramod liked it very much and is quite pleased with your efforts. Congrats man, what magic did you do on him, aah?"

He kept quiet, yet to recover from his shock. He was relieved, he hadn't been sacked. He could work more and moreover he had been recommended by Mr.Pramod. He felt sorry for him. He instantly regretted his behavior the previous day. He would apologize to Mr.Pramod and say that he went out of his control. He would come out with something, say that he was mentally disturbed by the news of his mother's health and hence lost his cool.

He brushed his teeth and made a coffee. With the coffee he went to his laptop and switched it on.

It took few seconds before the laptop came to life and he opened his MS outlook express. Several unread mails- he stopped at the mail of Mr.Pramod and opened it. He froze in shock as he read. It read:

Dear Colleagues,

Tomorrow will be my last working day with CFM Group after more than 19 years.

I am sure you will find this a shocking news, so early in the morning, but I have had certain personal obligation which has resulted in this abrupt decision.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for your invaluable support and contribution to myself, my team and CFM Group.

Please bear with me for not being able to meet each one of you personally and convey the above in person.

I wish and hope that you will ensure to stay focused, motivated and last but not the least happy (& healthy) in your personal and professional lives.

If you wish to keep in touch with me, I can be contacted on

Thanking you once again and wishing you continued success.

Best Regards,

Pramod Menon

General Manager, CFM Group.

He wasn’t sure if he should be happy or sad. He dialed a number and spoke, “hi, Babu, Hey, send me one bottle of Smirnoff and one bottle of black label. Deliver by six, at my office.”He stared at the laptop. He wondered if he should celebrate, he was quite ambivalent.

Disclaimer: Above Mentioned is a true incident and is autobiographical, though the names are changed and made into a short story. Any resemblance to persons living or dead is purely intentional.


anamika said...

Interesting the guy really had guts man.Can't believe this actually occurred.

The abstract scientist said...

hahaha, cool one man.

But whose fault was it really? What prompted the GM to resign? Mother's health?
BTW enjoy Basel!


ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Anamika: Thanks. It actually happened and it has happened to me.:)))))))

@ AS: Thanks man. He prompted the GM to resign. GM's can be hyper egoistic. A small pebble is all that needed to crack a fragile ego.Thanks :))))

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@AS: Thanks, i had been to Basel. This happened quite a while. :)))

Gymnast said...

Hi there..
Phew! Some guts! But good for you that it turned out well.
It was too impulsive . But i guess it must have been too hard to take.

AnjuGandhi said...

Hey, I read it till the last line and alphabet ;-)
sorry for the last time.
if it is a realy life incidence hats off to the hero. I hope every one has guts like him
if it is a story written by you then man! you sure have a flair for writing and describing the things to core
what ever it is I hope people had the guts to call a spade a spade without fearing the repucursions. but is it possible? where are such bold persons?

Jaadi said...

Oh was it you..who shouted at the GM..kudos!!! Well, sometimes in life..when all levels of tolerance are crossed, one tends to react in a way that is unbelievable even to one's own self. I am sure, after reading your have so many memories to cherish.

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Gymnast: Thanks. it was impulsive alright, but people have a certain endurance limit. And after that no logic matters. I went through such delicate moments and went out of control. But dont regret. I got rid of a pain in the butt. Its a secret which i still carry in office. Noone knows. :))))

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Anju: oops, thanks. every person is bold when cornered. Sometimes people can get to your nerve and such cases do exist. I have gone through this, and i have responded this way. I got away with it, out of luck.:)))

@Jaadi: Thanks.Yes, there are many memories that are still unwritten. Wait for more.:))))))

Rahul Anand said...

wow, that outburst was really something. BTW, did the GM resign and join another company, or just retire?

Aparna said...

Excellent story-telling abilities.Please share with us more nuch nuggets. I hope the GM learned his lesson and wherever he might have gone now, does not bully his juniors anymore.

Keshi said...

** every person is bold when cornered

I so agree! Our survival instincts kick in then.


sujata said...

awesome! I had a feeling it was autobigraphical because a lot of details matched with whatever little i know of the age, the city,etc..great reading!!

Gayathri said...

wow..was the hero you?? all set to enjoy the swiss trip? ;)
btw,had u by any chance read meenakshy reddy's you are here??there's one incident in the story when the heroine swears at her boss just the way u put it..

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Rahul:thanks, it was. Last i heard of him, he has applied for residency in Canada. he plans to settle there. Bugger has made enough money, if i were to have such money, i would have retired and lived in India with the bank interest and traveled around the world.:))))Some people lack the imagination. :)))

@Aparna: Thanks. yes, you can expect more. He left for good, and the new GM is a gem. I am one of his favorites.Getting leave has become 100 times easier, and i am glad that i did that.:)))

@Keshi: Thanks, you are right. :)))

@Sujata:Yes, this has happened to me, and a short while ago. He made me say that, otherwise i am such a peaceloving and happy guy.:)))

@Gay3:Yes, yours truly is the HERO(hehe) .Thanks.
I havent read the book. i would on my next trip. It aint available here. But i havent heard great things about the book, did you like it?

Gayathri said...

no..the book is utter trash..shitty..
but then,the scene just struck chord here..the heroine says all those heroic words to her boss,like,pain in the ass and all..and says she's gonna quit the job..but unlike how it happened in ur case,the girl quits the job n opts higher studies despite having requested by her boss to stay..
read the book only if u r desperate enough to read about series of fag,booze,and porn..

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Gay 3: Ohh, Thanks for letting me know. I have read reviews and read the same about it. It became popular coz of all the explosive intimate writup and language used, i guess.No i am not desperate, considering there are thousands of books that i waana read but haven't. Like Wuthering hights,One hundred years of solitude,My name is Red and the one 'Gymnast' mentioned in her last post. Thanks:)

Anonymous said...

the man has guts :-)
I am motivated to go and shout the same way at the pricipal at my school. But, I guess I won't be as lucky as the guy in your story. So,I'm dropping the plan ;-)

By the way gentleman, my name is rAmya, not rEmya. :-) You spell it Rum-ya and not Rem-ya. I guess you are clear now. :-)
Don't worry, all the mallus have all the problems with my name's spelling.

Priya said...

hahaha..that was good more because the gutsy guy was you....if this would have been a pure fiction and not fact then i would have said, "that was quite expected"..but now that i know its fact...good one...
keep up the guts and damn the seniors...if they r one like Mr. Pramod.. :D

The Panorama said...

Bullies at work are indeed a headache but it is worse when the bully is the boss. I experienced that once with a boss but chose to leave that job.Maybe I should have tried your method, Zillionbig.
A great post:) Keep them it:)

Pradip Biswas said...

It is a wonderful story. The boss who hired was firing and finally the boss got fired( the top brasses resign in public). Wonderful story.

kavita said...

wonderful post.....i always noticed your love for your boss in your comments at i assumed it was you...some guts ...i admire your guts ...glad things worked out in a better way for you.

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Ramya: Yes the man had GUTS, he is great. He is very courageous and gutsy. ahem, the great guy is me.

I shall remember the RUM in your name. It makes it so much easy, thanks for RUM, i love RUM.Ya, all mallus pronounce names strangely. They call me my name too in a strange way. Cant help it. Thanks:)))))))))))))))))))))))))

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Priya:Thanks , you are encouraging me. :))

@Panorama:Yes, my boss was PAIN in all the wrong places. He quit becoz he could complain against me, coz i called him swear words, and could continue since it would be a shame for him. So, i feel thats the reason he quit. :))))

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Pradip: Thanks a ton for dropping in. I will visit your blog shortly. I love reading stories. And i dig anything that tells me one. :)))

@ Kavita: Thanks, i had one of incidence of showing guts, but as such humans are capable of displaying wnders when cornered. I was a cornered man and had no choice. He had made my life miserable. i had planned to quit, so went ahead and did what i thought was best. and it worked. Thanks>:))

R. Ramesh said...

hope my commnt has been saved...cheers

Sucharita Sarkar said...

While reading the post I was wondering, is this for real, and now reading your comment, I realised it was true. What guts! I would never ever have dared, but then I am the timid sort.

Enjoyed (and was fooled by) your pomeranian post. And why do you not start with a review of Debonair? Or Femina? Should be interesting!

Suman said...


Smita said...

Without doubt the most gripping real story that i've read in recent times. If you really (which i know you did) give your boss back that way then am so proud of you man. So many of us would have loved to say things on similar lines to our bosses but we never say it. But yes such frankness comes with a rider & unparallel risk nahin?

Babli said...

I liked your beautiful post.Its something different and also interesting.So your GM has resigned or retired?Its very rare to see the people who love their boss and I really appreciate you for it.

Chriz said...

wonderful.. my old company memories came to my mind.. :)

Swatantra said...

Real Guts!! Was it the effect of headache??

Liked the writing!! Keep it UP!!

R. Ramesh said...

shucks why is it my comment did not get saved..forgot what i wrote...anywy..i think i said whereever v go, v find such characters in life.just the name changes..cheers buddy..just now i also noticed your question above yr photo- who's this sexy man..shucks again, competition

rahul s said...

One can make others work for us by screaming at them and getting onto their heads.But it never guarantee to achieve their respect.It only grows hatred and anguish among the juniors.

And by the way is that the real mail id of the GM ? :-p.

Neha said...

that was something...u know when i had read the book the devil wears prada, i was thinking that such a thing can happen in a fiction novel only... but dude u proved me wrong...i also had an encounter with my boss, but i didnt abuse him...jus made him realise that he was nobody but a s**t-hole...wish i would ve abused him cos he truly deserved it...good post...:)

Ida said...

Heh!heh! when you write fiction, people say it reads like a fact and when you state facts they suspect it is fiction....true mark of a writer- keep 'em guessing:) Good that things went your way, nothing should come between you and your self-respect.

Anonymous said...

Nice one. You really want to confuse people with fact an fiction don't you. Well done again!!!

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Ramesh: Thanks buddy. I got your comments.we find such managers. and ya, competition is tough. :)

@Sucharita: Ha, review of Famina or debonair, its noting to review, its visual treat.

@Suman: Thanks

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Babli: Thanks friend. i appreciate your reading. :)

@Smita: Risk is there, but once living gets tough one doesnt see the risk alone. it was redemption time for me.Thanks:)

@chriz: Thanks buddy:)

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Swtantra: Thanks. yes it was the effect of a headache:))

@Rahul: No, i am not so crazy to leave the real ID. thanks:))

@Neha: we all come across such sh**h**ls in life. Thanks :)

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Ida: You are right. i seem to confuse people. but thats fine. you are right about self respect. Thanks:))

@jyothi:Humm, fact and fiction are not very far from each other, only a blur line divides them. its natural that you get confused. It happens. Thanks:))

R. Ramesh said...

hey shukran buddy..continue to motivate all of us in the blogworld..cheers

Keshi said...

But I guess the Boss is always right? Sadly! :)


Bindhu Unny said...

Pramod reminds me of someone I know. But unlike Pramod, she never realised her mistakes and was stripped off her manager post. Shamlessly she continues in the same company. :-)

ZiLliOnBiG said...

@Ramesh: Its always a pleasure buddy. I love your blog. It humorous and with a message.

@keshi: I know wht you mean.
Rule#1-boss is always right
Rule#2: if he is wrong, ref. rule 1.

@Bindu:I am glad that you could connect and relate to the character.Some people would never learn. i guess one day she would lern it tha hard way. :)