December 22, 2005

The Games People Play ….

I was offered a job a few days ago by a good friend. I had used to work for the same company but in a different department and I’d quit due to certain differences that I had with one of the people in my department. She (my friend) asked me if I’d like a job in her department and I said "yes" since I liked the company and I was getting a bit stressed out at my current job. She, being the nice person she is, didn’t think it was going to be any issue with my former boss but I wasn’t so sure. Turns out that my fears were well grounded :p

My friend had asked the head of her department (who we’ll call C) to ask the head of my former department (who we’ll call L) whether L had any objection’s to C’s department hiring me. My friend didn’t think this would be a problem since I had not been fired and I’d quit. But the thing was, I knew I would have been fired if I’d stayed there much longer :p Not because I was incompetent mind you – in fact, I was certain I was about to be fired one week when I was saved by the Director of Operations of the company handing me a case where I resolved the issue and turned the customer around. They liked how I helped them so much that they went to WebHostingTalk forums and raved about me and how I’d helped them. I believe the Director of Operations pointed this particular forum thread to L and she was all praises and smiles for a while. Of course, I knew it was too good to last and so looked around for another job, found it and quit. Yeah, call me paranoid but just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t out to get you :p

So what has all of this to do with this current job offer? Well, the fact is that the reason that L didn’t like me was because her department was being run like a Nazi concentration camp :p You were supposed to do what you were told, no questions asked. I don’t believe any organization should be run that way. Sure, I’m always loyal to the company I work for but I should also have the opportunity to question something if I feel it is wrong. If they tell me, hey, these are the reasons that we do things this way, I’d be happy. After all, at least they gave me the option to voice my doubts. I had tried that with L and had been shot down and told curtly that the forum I used (internal department e-mail) wasn’t the place for such discussion. After a couple of questions like that, I knew my days were numbered and that’s why I left in the first place.

Now, when C asked L about hiring me, L had said that I had told a customer that I didn’t agree with company policy and so I wasn’t a good choice. Now, I complain a lot internally if I don’t think something is right, but I don’t go tell customers that. As far as I can recall, what L said is a blatant lie. What gets me is that she is able to make an accusation like that with impunity knowing that I can never refute her – what are they going to do? Hold a court inquiry to prove my innocence :p I don’t think I personally could do that – tell such an obvious lie about somebody without any compunction. I’d be like, "Hey, they’d know I was lying … what if they questioned me?" But in L’s case, thinking back about it, I guess it’s sheer brilliance – who is going to question her word over that of somebody who no longer worked in the company and who would have no way to defend themselves?

I was slightly irritated when I started this post but now I’m simply amused :p It was a nice stroke of corporate gamesmanship and while I can be magnanimous and try to believe that L honestly made a mistake and confused my internal complaints with something else, I am more than 80% certain that this wasn’t the case. Ah well, rest assured that this will make it’s way into a book someday :p

Tags: ,
Posted by Fahim at 6:36 am  |  No Comments