Monday, May 14, 2007

Deloitte Series II : Being a Managerial Bastard

Deloitte is a great organization - promoting selflessness and love . I am neither an apt spokesperson for the cause nor a participant. You can check out the activities here. Instead, I am going to relate an exciting tale about how I wriggled out of the whole thing - manager isshtyle.

Do not be misled by the apathy I exude. Deloitte sports many employees/interns who are just waiting to help the poor and entertain the mother-in-laws. Did I type that incorrectly ? No. not really. For Mothers Day, the office had decided to organize an event called 'bring your family to the office'. The female employees were encouraged to bring along their husband, children, mother-in-laws, and the neighbours too. The tagline was previously going to be 'its all about loving your family' . But that would have prompted Karan Johar to appear in a pink shirt and host the show. Hence, Deloitte decided to switch to the former one.

About a fortnight prior to the event, an enthusiastic intern (lets call her Neha for anonymity) called a small meeting and pitched how we could contribute to the event- handling the logistics, being the master of ceremony, touring the office with the visitors and a few more exciting avenues. Being a slimy creature, I decided not to refuse upfront. The internal instant messenger would do the dirty deed.

The next morning, I composed my thoughts in my head and proceeded to type it out - manager isshtyle.

me: Hey Neha...about the Mothers Day event, I don't think I'll be able to contribute to the full extent. I am planning to make a trip to Chennai over the weekend and considering the timeline of preparations, assigning me to any of the crucial activities like logistics can only be a setback to the event. Hence, I think it would be wise if I restricted my participation to the extent possible where I can effectively contribute without being a liability.

Neha: (undeterred) Hey arvind...that's ok. You'll still be available on the day of the event right ? You can help out then.

me: Yes. that is a good idea. BUT, I think it would be best if you consider me as a fielder (as I am in my real life) who is so far away from the action that his absence/presence makes no difference to the outcome. Otherwise, I am ready to contribute in any way possible.

Neha: oh...

I sensed some disappointment in those two letters. I thought I'll top up my offer with another harmless pitch. I was anyway leaving for the station on the same day. There couldn't be much work that would come my way.

me: Hey...if there is any meeting / brainstorming session where I can contribute, I'll be happy to offer my ideas.

Neha: thats great...we have a meeting in another 15min. You can make it right ?

(stumped)

me: Oh what do you know...I have another meeting at the same time. You go ahead. I'll try my level best to attend the next one and contribute to the best extent possible.....

Somehow, I never got a response to that. I thought I had handled the situation with great tact and diplomacy.

Nowadays, I get a mixture of a frown, silence and indifference from Neha. Nevertheless, I respond with a nice smile..after all, Its all about loving your (deloitte) family.