The corporate world has always been one of my pet peeves. But on one of those days when pretty much everything you touch turns to misery, it becomes even more “pet”. Today was one such day. I have been down with fever since the last three days. My throat is so sore I can even swallow water, my forehead feels as though it’s carrying the weight of entire South India, my nose is blocked and my hearing has reduced. I have been having a terrible flu-induced body ache. To top it all, I got my period. I haven’t showered in the last 4 days and haven’t come out of my sweatshirt in the last 3 days. My hair is greasy and smells like dandruff. I look, feel and smell like an old person.
So the day the flu attacked me, I messaged by boss to tell I would have to take the day off. I was asked to still login from home without so much as making a fake attempt at being sensitive and saying get well soon you. I was not in the state to go to work yesterday or today. I still had to work from home. You know because corporate time waits for no man. The exact same thing yesterday and ditto today. I was constantly on calls or in front of my laptop.
Now I agree that part of it is my own fault like my husband took time to explain to me today. So what I do is, when I send a message, I keep waiting to hear back from the manager to actually start my sick leave. Plus I almost have a phobia of calling people. I am the kind of person who is super happy when I make a call and no one answers. This is enough to let the other person know that I called but I get away without having to talk. So my first mistake was not calling. My second was to actually keep working. He said when you’re ill, you’re ill. You’re just writing to the manager to inform not to seek permission. But no! I kept mulling over how I was insensitively asked to login despite my illness.
But part of my anger comes from the fact that I am being categorically left out of a training that I was very keen on and which every person doing my kind of job should be getting. I haven’t yet received one convincing answer to this. If it is rating based, I got the best rating out of all the team members. This seems like a petty issue to most but it’s pretty big for someone who is still relatively very new to the corporate field. Plus I will keep feeling restless till I understand the logic behind this: Is it because of my gender? Is it because of my location? Is it because of my inexperience? (but then how was that overlooked at the time of handing over hell lot of responsibility, which I completed btw), is it because of my newly acquired married status?I don’t even want to ask anymore because all answers will belong to what I call the “Corporate Bullshit” category: We have other plans for you, He will come back and train you, we want you to handle production and the likes. What about what’s best for me? I would still understand if this came from a person who worked in some similar capacity before But no, all these statements come from people who have only just begun to see that the job I do is a pretty important function but are yet to fully understand it even though they “manage” it.
Another thing I never understand is “annual feedback/reviews”. What’s the point anyway. You have already decided my rating, you call me in to discuss, ask me if I agree with it. If I say no, I’m going to be read a whole list of expectations I failed to meet. Only all the expectations are going to be so vague that I, the naive idiot that I am, am going to have nothing to say. In fact it’s in my best interest to say nothing given that ratings NEVER change because employees didn’t agree with them. Also it’s pretty much a given that if you score the best ratings one year, you are not going to score that next year…mainly because that’s how corporates keep you on your toes.
The same with approving leaves. I mean what’s the big deal anyway. These are legitimate leaves that come as part of your benefits and pay package. Why make such a big deal about approving them then? I have discussed this with my friends who report to non-Indian managers though. And our collective observation so far has been that as far as these benefits at least are concerned, non-Indian managers are a better deal. Probably because the existence of hierarchy is lesser there than here. I don’t know enough to generalise but it may also be that they have the boss-reportee structure more for the purpose of making work more efficient. My best friend currently works in Germany and the bosses there are actually called in for questioning if anyone reporting to them is seen working overtime more than thrice a month. So the managers there make it a point to not let that happen. On the other hand, not agreeing to work over-time even when it’s not really necessary (when there are no immediate deadlines) is seen as insubordination here. Ditto with saying No to anything. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that saying no to do work that isn’t part of your job description is a terrible idea because most people around you are doing it to be noticed. This in turn sets wrong expectations making normal working hours seem criminal.
Anyway, all I needed was to vent out.This is not going to change. On the bright side, I am still better off than a lot others who work in even more unstructured environments, under bosses who take out all their personal, marital, familial, sexual and what not frustration on the people who report to them.