Thursday, March 4, 2010

Eavesdropping ? !

I was looking after grievances of customers at the city office.We had some medical practitioners who would scrutinize the health related complaints & advise us on further action.One of the doctors whom we consulted on a weekly basis was already on the panel with our registered office.He used to come  to the Head Office on a daily basis one hour before closing time.He would also look up staff who were sick or do a routine check up if the staff went up to him.Generally,the files were carried by our peons & delivered to this doctor with a note requesting him to advise us on the grievances of the complainants.Sometimes, in rare instances,I would carry the files to meet the doctor face to face to explain the problems we were having in those  cases.This was so, as our peons opined that they had the right nah the license to carry  papers,files,folders etal & thereby earn taxi fare as conveyance.This was quite amusing as the staff knew that all went by walk but claimed taxi fare to augment their meagre  incomes.This is  understandable for the people at the bottom but even Managers & above also take this conveyance issue seriously - albeit  for pocket money !

Once,my boss asked me to meet this doctor to sort out some two to three long pending complaints.In Public sector,unless the matters assumes extreme urgency (that is  top executives or any Government agency,etc  starts pounding the office about any files ),files are forgotten or better still misplaced ! Thankfully,we had some order still in the department & we located the files .Relevant notes were prepared for the doctor to peruse & reply.I carried the files to the doctor at the end of the day, that is, almost towards the closing time.By the time ,I reached the Head Office,I saw a very senior Executive entering the doctor's consulting room.

I waited on the bench outside his room.I could hear  the doctor advising the executive.I was thinking, that, I was lucky, as nobody else was waiting.Just then,I saw another  senior Manager  of our Company walking towards me.I smiled at him & wished him.He asked me," Hello ! How are you ?" He meant, that despite the management's attitude towards people like you ,how come you can smile .I replied that I was fine .He remembered my reply & hence in a few days,I was transferred to another State !

He just knocked on the door & went in .I was shocked that he had no qualms about just going in when I was waiting sorry when someone is waiting.But then to expect any such  decency from the upper crust is a fallacy & that too for a person much below their ranks in the corporate ladder is a crime !

I could hear loud exchanges of hellos from the cabin.Then there was a discussion about how Mediclaim was not being handled properly at Divisional & branch offices.This was so as one of the  relatives of the executives was denied a claim & the doctor was being ordered to settle the claim in review.Otherwise,the executives had been indifferent to all queries,suggestions on improvising claim settlement in all departments.Just goes to show how nepotism can turn you against your own employer.I was able to hear almost  everything .I had no intention to overhear   but as I was sitting so close by,there were no options left.I could not get up & go as somebody else could gain entry next.I wished, our executives could refrain from talking so openly when they knew that a junior was just outside.Or the least, they could have done was to be magnanimous & allowed me to go in first.After my work was over,they could have all discussions openly provided no one else like me was around. But since this possibility was a big improbability,they had to pursue this actuality. My wait was increasing by minutes now & I  was getting irritated as I had to rush back home to my daughter.

Then,there were  check ups done.The doctor told them that they were both in good health.This perhaps prompted the executives to tell," Lets have a drinking session one of these days ." I  was flabbergasted - I knew that many claims,& delicate issues are debated only during such sessions but this was just like the official seal  ! But thankfully,the banter ended in a few minutes after that & both the executives walked out of the cabin.I knocked on the door & let myself in.I told the doctor about the files in brief & he promised to give his replies in the forthcoming week.My work over-I walked to the bus stop to catch my bus home.

The next day,I narrated to my boss the  whole episode & requested him that he never depute me for such work.This was because I did not want to lose whatever little respect ( if any ) I had for the top management.He just smiled & left it at that.

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