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!