Thursday, February 08, 2007

Derelictness..

No, my English isn't THAT strong, to have come up with this word. :P A quick search on dictionary.com gave me the word I was looking for.

It's the 8th of February today. My ex-colleagues got their salary last Thursday (1st Feb). I checked my account, but didn't see it. I called Sapna (HR of Clearwater), and she said they usually deposit the check (of employees who have left) on the 1st. So, she said, I should have my salary the day after.

I gave them til Saturday. Nothing in my account.

Monday. Cauvery River verdict. Bangalore was being cautious; will there be problems? Protests? Vandalism? No one could say, and everyone stayed home, schools closed early, Dahlia was sent back home early (and she was told there would be no work on Tuesday).

But the verdict was given in the afternoon. Not in the morning. Checked my account. Nothing. Called Clearwater. Accounts guy Shivaram said that Huvappa (the office boy) had been in his hometown and thus, "no one to bring the check to the bank". "Would be done tomorrow".

Is Huvappa the new Assistant Director of Finance? :D

Tuesday. Didn't bother checking, as there was an unofficial strike in Bangalore. Our area was alright, but you could sense that things weren't completely normal.

Wednesday. Found that a "bandh" was scheduled for Monday. Was busy with packing and moving to a new place. Didn't check my account.

Thursday (today). Unpacked a few bags and showered. Checked my account. Nothing. I called Clearwater.

A lady answered. I asked to speak to Shivaram. Shivaram came on the line and started off with his "How aar yuuuu?". This time, I wasn't interested in "chatting". Told him I just checked my account, and didn't see the salary.

He said it was because of the "bandh".

I said, there was NO bandh; the bandh is on Monday.

He then said the banks weren't processing on Monday or Tuesday.

I asked him " What about Wednesday?".

He said "We'll deposit it today".

I asked him "You mean to tell me that my check is still in the office?".

"Yes, it's in the office".

"Why didn't you deposit my check?".

"Why should I go to deposit your check? [with a laugh]".

That did it for me. He went on to say if I wanted my check, I should come and get it. I hung up on him (while he was talking), and called Shashi (Manager).

I told Shashi my ex-colleagues got their salary last Thursday. He told me they have a procedure of issuing checks for ex-employees. I said that's fine, but Sapna told me that would be deposited last Friday. He asked me if anyone from the office called me to collect it. I said no, and that if someone had, I would have gone. He said, give me 2 minutes, and hung up.

3 minutes later, he called me. He said he was extremely sorry, and that the Accounts Department had messed up. Oh, and that this was embarrassing for him. I told him it wasn't really a problem, but if things had been clearer, I would have acted accordingly [like go get the check myself]. He apologized again, and said it should be in my account by tomorrow night.

What made me want to write about this? Shivaram's response and tone of voice when he did. And that laugh.

This just reminded me of the "I have the power, you don't. So you better do things my way" attitude which you see in government officials here. You see it in cops, traffic police and the FRO. You see it in people who are at an advantage, and more often in people who have something which others want/need.

I need my check. Shivaram has my check. If they had told me on Thursday to collect it, I would have. They didn't. No one did. Not even Shivaram. Instead, he played 'God' with my check i.e. choosing not to inform me, update me, or give me my options. He knew he could delay it as long as he wanted. And above all, he knew I wouldn't be able to do a thing about it. I could only "request" him until he felt satisfied or sorry for me.

I don't know if Shashi scolded him. I don't know if Shashi sweet-talked him. I don't care. I know Shashi isn't really that sorry, because it took him 5 months (yes, FIVE) to give us our overtime, after promising to give it 10 days after the end of the month. Our pushing and prodding didn't help speed the process up at all.

That's how my ex-company was.

I'm not sorry to say that's how most of India is.

Pity, really.

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