Monday, May 4, 2015

Crazy Incidents At Work Place

I was never a king. But I have walked with kings. So I know a few things about how these senior executives (Vice Presidents and above) behave. I am not talking about the new companies like Google or Facebook. I am talking about name brand conservative companies that are more than almost 100 years old. Easily recognized around the world. 

I enjoyed them very much because I was not the affected party. I was only a spectator in their meetings. 

There was one Vice President. In his monthly meetings, there will be present 8 General Managers reporting to him, and the VP’s personal staff. Personal staff included one Staff Director (division level), 2 district managers, and 4 second levels. So his audience will be 15 people. 12 men and 3 women. 

Meeting will start at 8 am. The VP will come and everyone will say “Good Morning”. He will look around the table. Make eye contact with all the 15 individuals. And then say ”Good Morning Ladies”. It is their thalai ezhuthu (fate) to laugh. 

Another Senior VP. In one of his staff meetings, one General Manger would not stop talking about a particular subject. The SVP told him the discussion is over and we should move on to the next subject. The General Manager wanted to continue. The SVP said I will give you one minute to say whatever you want to say. He said “and that one minute starts now”. He then closed his eyes, closed his ears tightly with both hands, and at the end of one minute he said: The discussion is over. We will move to the next subject. 

The following one I liked very much. I think about this incident once in a while and smile. I have told this to my relatives and friends several times. 

There was a young Senior Vice President. At that time he was only 32 years old. His subordinates, several general managers were in their 50s. One day he was explaining why we should undertake a particular project. One General Manager said that was not a convincing reason. The SVP said he will explain in a different way and explained. The GM said I am not convinced. The SVP took a different approach and explained. The GM said I am still not convinced. 

I could see the anger in the young SVP’s face. He said: OK, I will give you another reason and that will convince you. He raised his right hand up above his head and said “in the company’s organization chart, my name is here”. He lowered his left hand around his knee and said “in the company’s organization chart, your name is here”. Are you convinced now? 

The GM replied: Yes boss, I am convinced.

32 comments:

  1. hahahaa!!! crazy indeed! :D
    I never really understood the talks of 'big big' people! :D most of them use jargons :|
    //And then say ”Good Morning Ladies”. It is their thalai ezhuthu (fate) to laugh// hahahhahaha :D too much!!! Paavam subordinates :D This incident reminds me of the movie 'Liar Liar' in which Jim Carrey can't lie for a day and he abuses his bosses like crazy and they all laugh at him :D it is the opposite case of what you have mentioned :D

    Wonderful post, SG! I look forward to meeting some SVP/ VP and have a conversation with them, just to know how crazy it can get :D

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    1. Thanks for your comments Roh. I have a few more interesting anecdotes - some can be put in print and some cannot.

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  2. Age and experience count a lot. However smart and knowledgeable one is if he is not matured enough things will travel through rough roads. Some people think that their chair provides power for ever. Nice topic,nice write-up.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Sarala. You are right. Some people think they are better because of the position they have.

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  3. People in business, esp. in large companies, can get crazier than we think they are capable of! The last incident was too good, but the SVP should have asked why it won't work and tried to reason with the GM instead of silencing him by using his designation. That way, the SVP would have learned a thing or two from the GM's experience.

    Destination Infinity

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    1. Thanks for your comments Rajesh. Large companies are not democratic institutions. If a boss has 20 subordinates, no matter what, what the boss decides will prevail, even if all 20 of them are against it. You think an executive wants to learn from his subordinate? Will never happen.

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  4. interesting indeed! I liked the last one the most too :)

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    1. Thanks for your comments. That young Senior Vice President was very brilliant. Learnt a lot from him.

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  5. Haha, Human food chain in the corporate world. Where are you placed?

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    1. Thanks for your comments Sweety. I was the Chief of Staff (Staff Director).

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  6. LOL, I visualized it. Quite a spectacle. Position matter, is all I can say.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Saru. And, welcome to my blog. Every monthly meeting was a spectacle.

      Saru, please visit here as often as possible. Thanks.

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  7. Last one is too good..some people just need the authority to be convinced:)

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    1. Thanks for your comments Renu. As I said before, Corporation is not a democratic institution.

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  8. I am laughing now...started smiling in the beginning...reading the last one! Putting ones foot down is the sign of a top leader. Good.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Sandhya. I am glad you liked this post.

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  9. Interesting!
    I can understand, these are a few interesting incidents happen in boring meetings :D
    About the last one, I think the SVP was kind with his subordinates. That's why he had to face that situation. I remember your words about your house maid (?) at Chennai, who would do the work only when you scold her :)

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    1. Thanks for your comments Sindhu. I am impressed you still remember my previous posts. Thanks.

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  10. The last was amazing. All I can say the higher the position the more authority you have.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Harini. If the boss does not put the foot down occasionally, the subordinates (most of them) think that the boss is weak.

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  11. Very interesting, even I liked the last one.

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    1. Thanks for your comments Rama. I liked the last one too. Sometimes, the boss has to put his foot down.

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  12. Oh yes .. YES BOSS that made him come to his senses for sure :)


    Bikram's

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    1. Thanks for your comments Bikram. Sure he did.

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  13. Very interesting and last one is the BOSS of complete post...

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    1. Thanks for your comments Vineeta. I am glad you liked this post.

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  14. Wow... I enjoyed...
    Loved the 2nd the most... Shows arrogance...
    And last that shows frustration...

    So, how would you be? :P

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    1. Thanks for your comments Satya. I would put my foot down, ala the third one.

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  15. Good one. It amusing (for the audience) to watch such incidents. Though I sensed some arrogance in the second incident, the last one was too good :-)

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  16. Interesting anecdotes... Bosses and their idiosyncrasies! Loved the last one! :)

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  17. Interesting post

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    ReplyDelete
  18. Interesting post

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    ReplyDelete