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Boss insults subordinate for petty gain

by VamanAcharya
(Bengaluru, Karnataka, India)

It was hot news for the Bank staff on that day. Vasu was in charge of bank’s extension counter located at the cement plant. An employee of the cement plant informed Vasu about the hot news. Vasu could not visualize the actual position on the basis of his incomplete information. He was ready to move from the main branch of the bank after closing the day’s transactions.

The extension counter was a part of the main branch. The distance between the extension counter and the main branch was just three kilometers. Vasu entered the main branch and was surprised to observe pin drop silence. Normally, in the evening everybody would be in a hurry to leave for home.

He gave the account sheets to the concerned officer. Vasu asked him about the abnormal situation. He told Vasu by showing his finger towards Balaram who was the victim of the incident. Vasu went to him and asked him silently. Both went outside and sat on the platform under the shadow of a big banyan tree. There was a pleasant atmosphere. Balaram narrated everything from beginning to end. Vasu told him justice always wins and left for home . He tried to recollect the unpleasant incident as told by Balaram.

On that day, the Accounts Officer of the cement plant visited the Bank with the specific purpose to distribute the New Year gift to the staff. Normally the accounts clerk visited the bank. This time the gift was different and unique, containing a diary, key chain, pen and beautiful New Year calendar in a booklet size with the name of each staff member neatly written over the wrapper.

The Accounts Officer requested the Branch Manager Mr.Rao to handover the gift packets to all the staff members. He wanted to meet each staff member individually with twin purposes -- wish the staff member a happy new year and present the gift packet as a compliment from the company.

He received a message from the company to attend (an) urgent meeting at the plant. He requested the Manager to do this work. Rao agreed and expressed his thanks.

Balaram, who was an attendant at the Bank, overheard the conversation between the Manager and the Accounts Officer.

After lunch, Rao called all the staff members in his chamber and handed over the gift packets. But he purposely kept away a gift packet with him, which belonged to Balaram.

Why did he keep away Balaram's gift packet, which no one knew. Balaram got upset and felt insulted. Immediately, he met the manager and requested him politely to give him his gift packet. Rao instead of giving his gift packet told him not to insist for it.

Balaram did not stop his effort. He started asking the manager repeatedly. Rao became angry and gave him a rude reply. "Why do you want all these things when you are an illiterate peon and do not know the importance of it?"

It was true as far as Balaram’s knowledge and position was (were) concerned. But Rao’s intention was not fair. It means Rao wanted to keep the gift packet for himself. The Manager was not supposed to disappoint Balaram.

Even after getting negative reply from the manager, Balaram insisted to give him his due. He recalled the conversation between the Accounts Officer and the Manager. He argued that his name was also written on the gift packet. He told the manager that the gift packet would be useful for his eldest son, who was studying in the final year degree. Balarama’s repeated requests to the Manager were in vain. The Manager was adamant in his reply.

Unable to tolerate the insult and disgrace, Balaram lost his cool and rushed towards the Manager. It was not known whether he hit the manager with a register. There were two versions on this. Balaram hit the manager with the register or misbehaved with the manager. No one knew the truth. The general opinion was that Balaram misbehaved with the manager.

The Manager could not bear the insult. Rao got annoyed and called all the staff members in his chamber. He informed about the misbehavior of Balram and revealed his intention to initiate suitable action against him. The staff members were not happy with the manager. They unanimously asked the Manager to handover the gift packet to Balaram.

Here, there were three aspects. One, Balarm’s behavior amounts to indiscipline and liable for disciplinary action. Two, if the gift packet meant for Balaram, was given to him along with all the staff members, the problem would not have arisen. Third, the manager told the truth about Balaram being an illiterate peon. But the intention of the manager was not at all fair.

Humiliation by Balaram was intolerable to Rao. He took a decision to report the matter to the higher authority to initiate disciplinary action against Balaram. The higher authority would certainly take necessary action on the basis of the Manager’s Report. Balaram was placed under suspension for three days till further instructions. This was conveyed over phone to the manager on the following day.

What was the reaction from Balaram? He was firm on his stand. Balaram approached the staff union with a request to get him justice. He gave a detailed letter informing them about the incident.

The Union Secretary approached the management and pleaded in favor of Balaram. The management heard the arguments from both the parties and arrived at the conclusion. Balaram’s suspension for three days was reduced to just one day and they asked him to report for duty after the suspension period with a suitable warning. The Manager was also advised to give the gift packet to Balaram and was issued a caution letter. The higher authority further advised the manager to respect everybody irrespective of the cadre. Rao had called Balaram as an illiterate with bad intention to keep the gift packet for him.

Vasu finished recollecting the incident and expressed himself. “Whatever happens, happens for the best. By insulting a colleague, Rao learnt a good lesson. Disrespect to others would definitely boomerang.”


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Jun 10, 2014
by: vimala

A good story. These social inequalities practitioners should be severely dealt with.

Jun 10, 2014
by: Vaman Acharya

Thank you madam for the comments.

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