Sometimes it takes three to realize
A Story Worth Telling
“Who says that it is difficult? Once we set our minds to it, we can solve it all”, said Noopur to her friend Charlie.
“This is corporate, and you have no idea of the level of politics they play. They will suck you into it and get out easily, without you even knowing”, argued Charlie.
Noopur was hell-bent on eliminating politics from the corporate world. Charlie, like a best friend, tried to protect her; however, it was not in her nature to tolerate injustice with anyone, especially when she was around.
“I am going to follow the hierarchy, report it to the HR and then if they are of no use, I will take it higher”. It was like Noopur had given a verdict and she was going to stand by it, you could tell it from her eyes.
“Hey, I told you they are going to make it hell for you. They did not take an action against the Manager, in turn, they looked for your mistakes”. Charlie was trying to protect her again so that she does not take the next course of action, which is taking the matter up to the legal team.
“My motive was not to put the Manager on an action plan, I just wanted them to know that they cannot play their own politics here. I am not going to take it higher now, I will invigilate if they mend their ways, if not, I will take the next course of action then.”
“It’s been a while now and I can see that the higher management has started to mend their ways. There have been no unfair practices, no promotion based on relationships. See, my plan worked”, Noopur said happily and Charlie nodded with a smile. “Congratulations on your accomplishment”, greeted Charlie.
Mid of Feb'19:
“This is nuts. They were supposed to give the role to you and instead they gave it to someone else. You are currently handling the team and it has been 2 years. This is so unfair Noopur”. Charlie was furious when he found out that Noopur’s promotion was given to someone else.
“This was bound to happen and I somehow knew that this was coming. Also, they offered me a role elsewhere and I denied so this isn’t their fault”, said Noopur.
Charlie: “You’ve got to stand up against this. You take a stand when things are unfair for others, this time it is about you. You should confront them”
Noopur: “This is the problem with me. When it is about me, I ask myself three questions, is the fight worth it? Do I really want this so bad? Is there any other alternative? And I need to figure out the answer to these questions first”.
The beginning of March'19:
Noopur: “I am still unable to find proper answers to my questions. I keep thinking about work so much that I feel stressed and I am unable to talk about it with anyone. I think I am going into a bad depression and I need some time off work to figure this out”.
In a span of 5 years, never did Noopur take an extra day off and here she was, struggling with herself when it was about her career.
Noopur: “I keep on asking myself, what did I do wrong? Did I underperform? Was I incapable? I am asking myself the wrong questions and now my thoughts are all cloudy”.
Charlie: “Before you go, and I say ‘go’ is because I strongly feel that you won’t return, please confront the manager why you are leaving. Tell him how you feel so that once you go, you bury it all here”.
Noopur smiled and went back to doing her usual work.
Manager: “I read your email about you wanting to leave for a month. Are you running away?”
Noopur: “I am not the one who runs away. I just want to figure out if this is what I want to do. I don’t want to be a part of small battles, because I know, in order to sort the system in which a corporate works, I need to do something big and influential and that’s what I am going to figure out by taking leave.”
Manager: “It seems like you are running away because you can’t face failure. In the last 3 months, you’ve raised almost 4 escalations out of which 3 were about the management and 1 was about an employee. Let me tell you why you didn’t get the role….”
Noopur interrupted the manager and said “I will stop you right there. Before you say anything, choose your words carefully because I know that you know my weakness and you will use that against me again; however, this time, it may backfire on you.”
Manager: “Is that a threat?”
Noopur: “It is a request, please choose your words carefully.”
Manager: “Okay, answer this. What if the employee, about whom you raised an escalation, is placed in your team? Do you think he will listen to you and if not, how will you handle him?
Noopur: “I know he won’t listen to me and maybe more than half of my team won’t listen to me and I don’t know how I will handle it, but I know I will. I will take the lead.”
Manager: “That’s not an impressive answer. I reckon you think about the answer while you are on leave and then get back to me.”
Noopur: “I don’t believe in impressing others, I believe in honesty. I cleared the promotion assessment so, I don’t think you should even question me about my capabilities. You’ve helped me in various things but you did that so that the work does not get hampered. Now that I know, you are again going for my weakness, I will not fall for it. I already have the answer to two of my questions.
- Is the fight worth it: “Yes”
- Do I really want it so bad: “No”
- Is there an alternative: “There has to be, but I need to figure that out”
The 3rd question is what I need an answer to and I am going to figure that out.
Corporates are not meant to sabotage the sincere and the hardworking, they are supposed to make the insincere and weak better. I will find a way to change this on a global scale so that in future, people like me who are more than capable, don’t get shot down due to the right things they do and so that people like you, don’t get promoted for the wrong things either.
Thank you for your time, it was a pleasure doing business with you”. Noopur said this while the manager still stared at her in horror, and she left the room.
Charlie: “So you really are leaving?”
Noopur: “I am not leaving, I am just going on leave for a month.”
Charlie: “I know you are leaving, but I also know that you are leaving for good. For the betterment of yourself, for the betterment of your family and for the betterment of the corporate world. May you succeed and find your true worth. Congratulations on your achievements again and all the best for the ones that you are going to achieve in future”
Noopur knew she wouldn’t see Charlie for a while, she had a greater vision to look up to.