Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The empathetic Boss.

 I had joined a public sector company as an officer.I was young & naive- so much so, that I would sign on the dotted line without anticipating the result /s.The seniors  were unhappy as they realised that with my posting ,their promotions would lead them to transfers.One senior would regularly ask me to file papers in claim files.I would comply, as I felt, that it would make me  feel useful .I was to learn slowly & surely, that all officers in Public sectors were glorified peons .So filing papers was a natural trait ! I was being simply told to hone up inherent skills.

This happened after  one year,  after I had joined the said moffusil branch office as the only officer other than the Branch manager.A senior officer from the head office came in along with a team, to check some claim files.As he sat scrutinizing the same,he came across various irregularities, both significant as also insignificant ones.One claim in particular, had been a problematic one as no officer had signed on the relevant documents.As I was the only officer around at that time, the senior officer called me & started cross- examining me.He opined that I had erred by not signing. This ,he concluded, was the root cause of the aforesaid claim.So he started persuading me to put in my signature. I was in a dilemma- I did not know the ways of the public sector & I felt I had to obey the senior officer in the order of hierarchy but I still could not understand the mistake on my part.I had not idea about the claim.I had only been there for a little more than a year. Still, I refused to sign but found no reasons to back up my stand.I was under tremendous pressure & ultimately,sensing, that there was no escape ,I signed.

Very soon, a new manager came to head our department. He was considerate as also kind.He seemed to share an empathy with the staff & the officers.The said claim file landed on his table for finalisation.He went through the contents. He called me up & made inquiries.When he realised that I had signed under duress,he promised that he would rectify it in such a manner that I would not face any problem whatsoever.He also cautioned me against behaving similarly in the future.He stated that one should ask for time in such cases & then act accordingly after a lot of thought.He also assured me that I could call him up whenever I encountered such situations.I was overwhelmed by his concern.Later,he called me up, to inform me that he had taken due care about the said file.He told me  to stop worrying about it.

Then ,he helped me further, as he asked me if I was not commuting a long distance from home to office.I had been commuting for nearly 40 kilometres to office on a daily basis  & this had continued for 2-3 years.I agreed but replied that I saw no way out.He said ,he would see that I got transferred to an office nearer my home.He was as good as his word.His efforts paid off & I was transferred to an office  very near to my home.He took care to see that I was shifted without any written request from me .A written request from my side would have complicated matters.

Very soon , I was promoted.This was all due to his efforts at  giving me an outstanding confidential report .He was like that only -full of care & concern for others .He often commented that he sympathised with all ladies who commuted from home to offices in a metro as they had to slog on both the domestic as also the office fronts.

The sympathetic manager was later transferred to another office.All the staff & officers bid him a heartfelt goodbye,as he had become one of us.He taught us that being kind at office to subordinates works wonders ! I did imbibe these qualities from him.Ever since,I have tried to be understanding of my subordinates concerns & problems.This in turn, has made my office relationships stronger.This has later transformed into respect for me.It remains so, to this day, even though I am only a home maker now.I have tried to be concerned about my maids ,the doodhwala ,the dhobi,& others.I try not to test their patience.I have been enriched by being considerate.Moreover,this has become mutual now, as they all, also return it  in kind.

 I recently heard, that the said manager  has shifted to the private sector.I am sure,he is spreading his kindness there around as well.May his tribe increase & spread far & wide.

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