Folks, this Friday, let’s pay a tribute to some of the fancy corporate designations which exist and motivate employees to progress to the “next” level.
CEO: Chief Email Officer. Most people in the organization see this person only via e-mails. This person sends emails and expects everyone to read, remember everything mentioned but the same is not expected from him/her. S/he meets employees once in a blue-moon and people take selfies whenever this happens. Otherwise, to an ordinary employee, this person is an invisible hollow-man who f*cks people without their knowledge. Bas logon key dil mey hai…. aur subordinates key g**nd mey. S/he’s a pain in the ass for direct reports as most of their time is spent in going through his/her communications, planning travel and meetings, preparing presentations. In general, this person doesn’t have the balls to take his/her own decisions. S/he believes in two rules:
#1 Success is due to self, Failure is due to subordinates’ failure
#2 When in doubt, refer rule 1
CFO – Chindi Fakirchand Officer: In their previous birth, these finance folks would have been fakirs. They think a paisa spent is a paisa burnt. They only believe in signing off investment proposals which on an excel sheet gives returns greater than 18%. If life were so simple, then we wouldn’t have Microsoft excel and complex models like IRR, NPV for calculating returns. Most of these finance fakirs will have no idea of customers, sales, brands, operations but will have authority to sign-off or veto proposals in these areas. Most of these guys wanted to be in CID, but since they never made it, they will put their forensic skills to use by randomly checking travel bills, vendor bills. They think employees exist only to make a fool out of the organization. In their quest to save the little pennies, they ignore multi-crore scams.
Next comes the marketing genius – the CMO – Chief Masaledaar Officer : This person’s core job is to put mirch masala in anything given and make it sound out-of-the world. S/he believes every product, every ad created is out of the world and nothing can go wrong (until the product is launched) Like the CEO, this person takes credit for all the success of a product including the awards won. In case the product fails, s/he conveniently passes the blame on other functions like sales, production, quality etc. Mirch-masala leads to bitch-masala . S/he has all the typical qualities of a bahu in the “Saas-Bahu” series. The bitch-masala culture is ingrained into the entire marketing department. The BMs ( Brand Managers Bhand Managers ) visit the market with the sales team in their quest to add value and only end up finding faults. “Process sucks, the sales team is not able to get things executed, initiatives are going down the drain” Obviously, in a country like India, with the kind of salaries we pay to the lowest rung, you cannot expect excellent execution. The bhand managers think they have opened the sales team’s eyes by stating the obvious. After their visit, they write a masaledaar report of how things are badly screwed up. The poor sales guy is taken to task for not able to cover up things. The marketing team lives happily ever after.
Then comes my favorite function – Sales. The leader of this function (the CSO) is a “Continuously Stressed-out officer”. As the hierarchy in the sales function goes down, the stress levels in this function increase disproportionately ( NSM – Nationally Stressed out Manager, ZSM – Zonally Stressed Out, RSM – Regionally Stressed out and then comes the ASM – Always Stressed Out Manager ( they think they are Area Sales Managers). They love their mobiles more than their spouses. The conference call facility has been created only to satisfy the libido of these folks. Whenever the senior most person wants to ejaculate, s/he calls for a con-call with his/her subordinates. Then like a network marketing scheme, each of the listeners adds his own frustration and ejaculates venomously with their direct reports. This chain continues till there is no body left at the bottom of the hierarchy. The folks at the bottom of the hierarchy think that the only way to get rid of this ejaculatory shit is to get promoted so that the shit falls on someone below. What they don’t realize is the shit doesn’t stop at the lowest level, it travels regionally, nationally and even globally sometimes. Chief Shit-Taking Officer in retrospect would be a better name for the leader of this function.
Generally, in life, you feel happy if you meet your targets but if you are in sales, you will feel stressed out that you have achieved it. You and your boss know that you have met your targets with great difficulty but shamelessly, you will get a target which is a minimum 20% higher than your highest ever target. No wonder this function has the highest attrition.
Last but not the least is THE ultimate corporate function – HR. The top boss of this department now-a-days is called CPO (Chief People Officer). To me, s/he’s a Chief Paper-Pushing Officer. This department reminds me of Maun-mohan singh. Without business alignment, they will do nothing on their own, not even push paper. They hate to admit that they are nothing but rubber-stamps in the hands of the business guys. Once-in-a-while, they try to call themselves HRBPs (Business Partners), but in reality, they only increase the employee’s BP ( Blood Pressure). They are trained to say “I Hear You” These three words are the most useless words which the folks of this department use. “Sir, my appraisal was not fair” I hear you. “Ma’am, the canteen meals suck “ I hear you “ Sir, my id card has not yet been given “ I hear you “ Ma’am, my corporate credit card has not yet arrived “ I hear you. The best part is they only HEAR because they have got ears. After that nothing changes. In many organizations , the Fakirchands of finance do not allow separate admin, IT and HR so you will have employees asking all sorts of random questions to these paper pushers “Sir, my laptop is not working” “ Mam, my bathroom tap is not working . I need reimbursement” “Sir, I am not able to find a conference room “The response is the same “I Hear You”. There are a few people in HR who do not wish to be dummys. They challenge business, speak their mind, take concrete action but in most cases these folks are either transferred or asked to find greener pastures. The rest of the folks pride themselves in calling “facilitators” but they are in reality glorified post-men or “Yes Men/Women”. Anyone with or without a degree can get into this function as the only important skill required is to smile and say” I Hear You”
There are other functions worthy of a mention, but before I try to extend this blog further, my wife gives me a piece of her mind for leaving our new-born baby alone and coming to write this blog.
Guess what my simple response to her is.
“I Hear You”