Wednesday, 8 April 2015

And I Followed My Dreams...

Your performance rating is 4”, declared the manager. For the second consecutive year, I was rated with a four – inconsistent performer. I desperately fought to hold back my tears. I didn’t want to cry in front of my manager. My peers had been promoted last year and I was still in the same designation. An enviable Chartered Account degree was my professional identity. Family was proud and friends were happy. Some were even jealous. But in office, I was seen as an under performer. I was an under achiever who lacks focus and purpose.

“You lack determination and confidence. Sometimes you get so lost in thoughts that you forget the reality. You don’t try to give your best and you look lost. Don’t take me wrong. These are not my feedback. This is was your colleagues had shared about you. You have to understand that auditing is a dynamic field. Qualification is a pre-requisite to enter the league. But, after that it is your skill and performance. I am not saying that you lack knowledge or skillset. But, you certainly lack focus and consistency. Most of the times, you are in your own world. Tell me, don’t you want to climb up the ladder? Make money? Settle down? I am concerned about you. I recruited you and I don’t want you to be tagged as an underperformer and be thrown out. I want to know what your problem is. Speak up”, my manager insisted.

I continued to stare at him. I always wanted to be a Chartered Accountant. I cleared all the exams on my first attempt. Simultaneously I also obtained the certification on information and systems audit. I have always been appreciated for my depth of knowledge.

“I have given you a two rating in the year you joined. For a fresher to get such a good rating is a rarity and we all had so much faith in you”, my manager continued. He was trying to make me speak. Two rating is given to those who exceeds expecations. I exceeded expectations in the first two years. In the third, I got three – meets expectations and now for the last two years my rating is four.

I was unhappy. I didn’t want to do what I was doing. I felt incomplete. I wanted to tell my manager that I don’t care if a company has supporting voucher for every penny spent… if all the sales is supported by a purchase order… statutory dues are paid on time… direct balance confirmation is obtained from bank or not… I didn’t care. Nothing mattered. I didn’t care. I wanted to tell him that I hated my job.

“Sir, I am quitting”, I said with a strange determination.

“No, you can’t accept failure and quit. You have to face it, take life as a challenge, risks and evolve”, my manager tried to reason.

“Exactly sir. I don’t want to quit my desire to become a writer or accept my failure take risks in life. I want to write sir. I am unhappy here. My unhappiness is so contagious that it is making you, my family and friends equally unhappy”, I said.

“I my old boy after three years. I am sure that you mean what you say. All the best! But, remember that you have to formally send your resignation letter and serve 60 days’ notice period”, my manager said.

I smiled in response. Life looked greener and better. After three years, I finally took that one step which had been due for a long time!


22 comments:

  1. Interesting post. I assume this is not a "real" incident. Just an imaginary one. Two things I observed about this manager. I am a senior level executive with my company. If that manager works for me, I would fire him immediately. I would ask your manager the following: You don't have any opinion (good or bad) about her? Do you have to rely on her colleague's feedback? You never noticed she lacks confidence and she looks lost? What kind of a manager you are to give performance appraisal based only on an employee's colleague's feedback?

    Second, manager should never ask for 60 days' notice period. No manager will keep an employee in the office she informs she is resigning. She should be relieved of her duties the very next minute and escorted out of the building. With everything stored in computer, a disgruntled employee who gives 60 days' notice and comes to the office for 2 months, can play havoc.

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    1. This is certainly not a real incident SG.
      I completely agree with what you said about how a manager must behave. But, when performance manager and the manager under whom you work are not one and the same, rating will be given based on what other mangers and seniors said...

      Further, in India serving notice period is mandatory for experience certificate and getting dues. No employee can walk off by saying "I quit". Sometime, waiver can be given based on accumulated leave balance.

      Anyways, thanks for the thought!

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    2. I did not say the employee should walk off by saying "I quit". In your post you wrote the manager asked for 60 days' notice. I will not "ask" an employee to give 60 days' notice.I will not allow a disgruntled employee to sit in the office for 60 days doing nothing More than that, in these 60 days he/she could do irreparable damage to company records (EG: deleting important company files from the system). I would pay him/her 60 days salary and get rid of him/her the very next minute.

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    3. What you say is true. But not very practical is all I can say.
      You might want to pay that employee and see him off. But life is not about ideal people and situations.

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  2. You could write another short story, a Part II of this one maybe, of the same person being vexed with the career of writing, and wanting to go back to the previous job. Not totally unbelievable, is it? :)

    Destination Infinity

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    1. That is also very much possible...
      But they say that when you love what you do and do only what you love, life would be awesome.. Thats an ideal case scenario though :P

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  3. Well who said there lack of determination?

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  4. Annual confidential rolls without self appraisal and performance review discussion are mostly subjective.They are mostly written in a hurry and lack objectivity.Very few take this appraisal seriously.

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    1. I agree GP. People will not take it seriously as long as it is not affecting your career growth, increments, bonus and personal growth beyond limit!

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  5. I agree with SG about the manager relying upon colleagues to rate an employee.But he might have noticed a skillful auditor in you and that is the reason why he tried to pour courage in you to refresh skillfulness.Hope it is not real. You have the talent of writing.And please read the matter before posting because some words hid in your thoughts since one or two did not loom here. It sometimes happens with me also.

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    1. This is certainly not real...
      Sure Rudra... I shall read and then post :)

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  6. I left my previous job and moved countries and now I am happy and content because I realised that there's a better place for me :) Dreams do find you if you look for them.

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  7. What an amazing description! Your writing is so interesting!
    Glad to have found you..

    Cheers

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  8. I feel passion and career should be different. If passion becomes career, then after a while it becomes monotonous, and one is left searching for something new in life.

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  9. Quite interesting story :) It mirrors the current status of millions of people who are lost in some uninteresting job.

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  10. You are quite a good writer. Often writers use their own experiences to form their stories. I wonder if that is true here? Thank you for sharing Loco mente.

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    1. Thanks a lot sir. This is a fiction :)

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