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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Introducing DJs, RJs and also....CMJs

I went to Mysore, India in 2002 to visit the erstwhile riches and ruins of Tipu Sultan and his father, Haider Ali Khan. The massive Maharaja Palace still stands tall as the witness of grandeur and might of the great Tipu. Around his palace, the tourist guide also showed us a secret gate, close to the arms depot, which was made open by one of Tipu’s close aides, who betrayed him and betrayed the nation by letting the English enter through that gate and capture one of the greatest rulers of India. Remember Mir Jafar who made the sun go down quicker in Siraj Uddoula’s Bengal, waking up to a new morning under the British Raj? Remember the Rajakars who assisted their ‘true Muslim brothers’ in 1971 to help eliminate ‘Muslim-named’ Bangla speaking innocent people of the then East Pakistan? Yes…we all remember…we have read it in history books in school and in newspapers. However do you think we have modern day 21st century Mr. Mir Jafar’s amidst us…not only in the political arena…but also in the corporate world?

I don’t blame much the East India Company, they were pure businessmen sent by the Queen, they came to do a lot of FDI in India. Why did the businessmen base their headquarters in Calcutta? I think Calcutta had a port, the Bengalis were intellectual, they were excellent subjects and loyal too. However any historian reading this post please confirm the frequency of betrayers Bengal (West + East) produced over the period of history…who, by virtue of their short-sighted greed and ambition, never hesitated to shake hands with the ‘enemy’ and sell the country to foreign hands and invited misery for fellow countrymen.

I wonder if you have ever noticed such elements at your workplace. These Corporate Mir Jafars (CMJ) are the ones who are in close contact with the decision making unit at your work place. They are ones who are always eager to score brownie points from your non-Bangladeshi managers. They are the ones who expose our vulnerability and ‘not-so-strong’ aspects of our working habits to the ‘bideshi probhus’, so that the Management Lords can squeeze the work out of us with minimum pay, minimum motivation and non-existent employee rights. ‘Dhola Probhus’ who come from the West bearing the Western work culture values in mind are gradually trained to deal with the local workforce, slowly they comprehend the local ‘khaslot’ as intentionally fed back by the CMJs.

The CMJs are also the ones who recommend to the bosses that its more than enough to send local work force for training to ‘cheaper’ locations such as Thailand, Malaysia or Singapore, rather than sending them over to developed nations in the EU, US etc., just incase they get lost like the sportsmen who disappear from the opening ceremony during Olympic/Commonwealth Games etc. They are the ones who work as the ear and eye of the management, they usually leak out the casual work place conversations you have at work regarding other colleagues, the work itself or about your bosses. They can, by virtue of their twisted skills, can turn light-hearted, jokingly made remarks to serious issues while reproducing it to higher management. These Corporate Mir Jafar’s usually do all these to be in the good books of immediate superiors. They employ and endorse such tactics to validate their professional aspirations. Most of the times, they assume the management posts themselves later and unleash their reign with full might.

Very much like in schools where you used to see teachers pets, at work place too, we have management whip-boys, ladies…this is part of life and work. We have to live with them, tackle them and be careful about what to say and try to predict what they are upto.

3 comments:

bengal*foam said...

Sweet Aunt Jemima, R&G. I would be interested in specific examples if you could provide any. So that I can go tell my topiwallah overlords, of course...

BF

R&G said...

If you ask so...

case 1 : Mr. X talks casually discusses about an influential lady of a telecom company while on a field trip. The remarks were not taken easily by the peers who although didn't forget to smile and crack a joke or two at the same time. Mr. X is laid off now, one of the reasons cited for his firing was that he was 'disrespectful' of his colleagues and superiors.

case 2 : Mr. Y shares with his peers while having a puff at the office smoking zone that he was pondering going abroad for studies, but nothing confirmed yet. After two months, during his performance approval, the management refused to raise his pay as they 'feared' that he will be leaving the company for further studies any ways, so no point raising the pay scale.


case 3 : Ms. Z noticed that Sara Apu and the boss behave differently when they are together. Ms. Z tried to make things lighter by taking and seeing 'things' with a smile, somehow Sara Apu felt insecured, produced her version of the story to boss, Ms. Z is having a tough time at work place now.

the cases are many. Its just that we need to be politically correct at our work place, even though too much of being so is not good for health and mind.

bengal*foam said...

Thank you for the examples R&G. You must work in an office full of drama and intrigue. X, Y, Apu et al, beware. While office politics are everywhere and in every industry, I wonder if we are more prone to it than others (much like your question about the East India Company). I suppose with a dearth of large corporates and growing numbers of ambitious qualified employees, dividing and conquering among ourselves might only get worse.