Thursday, April 17, 2008

In which Hari Sadu strikes back.

In which Hari Sadu strikes back.

The phenomenal success of the campaign for the job portal with its rather eponymous nomenclature, is part of advertising folklore. "" has zeroed in on the truth behind job shifts- the insufferable boss and therefore a repressive work environment. Press Releases of job movements wax eloquent about challenges and how offers that could not be refused were made, but the truth invariably is a sordid story that prudent souls never make public.

Being passed up for a promotion and consequently having to work under a colleague who was till previously a competitor, is unthinkable and is generally an acceptable reason to shift. Sometimes it’s a shift in power patterns, with a new incumbent flushing out loyalists and blue eyed boys of the previous regime. There are many more, from harassment to being made a scapegoat, from denial of leave, absence of infrastructure, to more harmless, but equally painful, issues of location and health of self and family.

However problems do not end with the shift and a new job, as the commercial promises us. It rarely happens that the Unhappy, Harassed and Persecuted Kumar, will now metamorphose into a Happy Kumar. Our Hari Sadu will hit back and given below are a few case studies.

Naturally, this is a work of fiction and any resemblance to any person living (none are dead, since the cases are of recent origin) felt by anyone concerned, is his/her problem. The writer maintains that he has used his imagination, common sense , powers of observation, intuition and networking skills to put up this work of fiction.

Case study A
There is an agency of pachydermal dimensions. Naturally, as with pachyderms it is not very agile and has a lot of flab. Ever since it grew to large dimensions, a sense of complacency crept in among some branches/limbs. However, there was a change with the passing away of the head of one such branch/limb. A lion from one of the agile powerful limbs was grafted on the hind part.
The lion was bought in by a concerned top management which felt that the agency was going the way of the Roman Empire. As in the case of the Romans, ruin followed a focus on loins and an absence of lions. The chief architect of this "Loin Club" in this Roman outfit was our friend Hari Sadu. Arrival of the Lion caused severe depression to Hari Sadu and his little loins, oops, minions, who felt threatened.

A bit more about this Hari Sadu. Our man is known to have a penchant for cliques and insidious manipulations. A key ritual that this HS followed was to have beer sessions in a restaurant nearby which was attended with religious fervour by his clique.. It was a Jumma affair mostly, though it did spread through the week. Appraisals of employees happened here, naturally closed ones! Those from the management who were invited , but who declined in favour of more healthier and uplifting options, immediately got into the exit register and found themselves saddled with difficult clients, loosing subordinates and in some cases, transferred, or asked to go, due to “lack of fit”. New female recruits, especially the one’s rich in God given graces and poor in terms of apparel and morals to cover them, were ardently wooed into the club. Work followed the Pareto’s principle. 80% of the work was done by 20%!. Club membership meant that you were NOT in the minority (20%)!!

The Lion  who came in however, changed things drastically. Hari Sadu found himself shunted out to the outskirts in the Southern direction. This was after the Lion made a few key recruitments which included an Alsatian who had strategic skills and a no nonsense “TN Seshan” kind of approach to things. This TN Seshan like Alsatian soon became a favourite of Clients given his indefatigable interest in their business and willingness to dig deep and add value. Passion in his work found him friends among the 20% that worked hard for a living. Appreciation letters from Clients happened. Clients who reviewed the account stayed back. Hari Sadu panicked in far away Southern heat as the chances of a comeback seemed impossible and he felt more like Napolean Bonaparte, ere he saw Elba.

However, being a creature of rabid imagination, he found a solution with the help of his chief minion , Pimp Sadu! Pimp Sadu as his nick name suggests, was a person who missed his profession. There was nothing he liked more than having a party. His currency was that any male could tell him their marital/sexual problems and he would fix it. Matchmaking was a highly evolved art in his expert hands. Girls , especially the one's in the club, found him a very useful resource, since he was helpful in terms of hooking them up. Boys too never resented this seemingly altruistic pimp. PS naturally found it easy to get his presentations done and look intelligent and competent in front of the powers that be. PS therefore put his network to use and gained some consumer insights on the Alsatian.

Much like in football and cricket where analysis reveals the Achilles Heel, Alsatian it was discovered, was a workaholic because he was single! The rumour mill went into action mode. Gay, HIV positive, hermaphrodite, all variants were released to find out which one caught the wind. When none did, there was also a honey trap planned with rumours of the Alsatian chasing a skirt in office and of an affair in the making. An elaborate prank was played were the Alsatian and Pomeranian were made to dance together at a party. Naturally this took wind and the Alsatian and the female Pomeranian were teased about the affair in public. It was then turned around, as in a repositioning exercise, with the next phase of communication, which was that the Alsatian was stalking the Pomeranian, and not the other way around!! Pomeranian was told to cool off and being a canine that knew which side of her bone had flesh on it, she fell in line.

The Alsatian went into low profile reserved mode. Hari Sadu immediately struck. The next phase of the campaign happened. “Alsatian is not a team player”. For those who may be flummoxed by this, let me explain. Most creative processes requires more than one person. In fact our own existence requires two people , called “father” and “mother”. Please note that each of these roles is in singular and each has a prescribed role. In spite of repeated discussions on the equality of the sexes this has remained unchanged. Similarly in advertising , marketing etc there are prescribed roles that each person is supposed to do. When one is incompetent to do it , the person resorts to a call for “team work”. Essentially it means someone has to do his/her job for him/her and he/she takes the credit! Quite unlike what Henry Fayol expounded in his "Principles of Management" which was about “espirit de corps” and of a sense of the collective effort and coordination.

Alsatian here had a notorious reputation for not allowing interference in what he perceived as his domain. Strategic Planning was data driven according to him and not by donkeys who breathed beer and knew little of the business. This was a frequent cause for conflict. When told that this should be team effort, his reply was that gang rape was a team effort and that the results were questionable. “Too many cooks spoiled the broth” was a common rejoinder that he came up with.

HS persisted with the team work routine and finally forced the Alsatian into a corner. A pliant client teamed up with HS and got Alsatian off the account. The reasons trumped up were that “Alsatian chose to go to Paris instead of Austria with the team on the way back from the Conference in Europe”!!. Alsatian had also informed the Client that “tandav” as used in the creatives were wrong, since "tandav" was a dance of destruction and not creation as indicated by the business head!! This according to the Business Head who was a lady member of the Loin Club was a key indicator that the Alsatian was not a team player.  Alsatian was removed from the account notwithstanding a dozen glowing appreciation letters from the same clients office!!

Alsatian left and found a job elsewhere, but here again Hari Sadu struck. He called up Alsatian’s employers to warn them that they were "hiring him at their peril" and that he was not a "team player"!!!
Alsatian found himself without a job suddenly for no apparent reason and found this strange occurrence wherever he joined. He finally went to work overseas where life stabilized.

Other Case Studies follow

1 comment:

J R Sudarsana Reddy said...


Reflected to my career of less than 4 years and found numerous instances... Bloody hell! I hate it, I try to avoid it, but I can not ignore it.