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“ Never ever underestimate a woman”, says Varalotti !

Discussion in 'Varalotti Rengasamy's Short & Serial Stories' started by Chitvish, Jul 4, 2006.

  1. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    This is the gist of the story “Sexual Descrimination” written by Varalotti Rengasamy and published in the magazine “ Alive” dated July 1<SUP>st. </SUP>I happened to read the story when I lay my hands on the magazine at a friend’s place !

    Sridar, are you on a “ glorifying a woman” trip ?
    Your story in Anandavikatan did just that and now comes your “ sexual discrimination” in Alive ! It shows exactly what a woman is good at. She is
    “ humane” as well as “human”. Bhavani has the fire in her to score over Raghu knowing that she deserves the promotion purely on merit. You have portrayed in an excellent way, how she goes about it, very quietly, using her intuition. That she fell down and had to be medically treated, proves that God helps those who want to help themselves ! A woman can take a tough decision in a soft way, without offending anybody hurtfully, but by honestly presenting the bare facts.

    The phrase “ferocity of the animals in the corporate jungle” speaks volumes of what goes on in today’s corporate world behind a false exterior of suave, impeccable behaviour.

    A woman has the fire in her which can make or mar a problem ! She can get the better of a man if she makes up her mind to march ahead successfully in her profession, but she can also do it rightfully, without offending her opponent in the process.

    You have given in a nutshell that anyday if a woman applies herself with a determination when facing a tough proposition, she can equal a man in the challenge of solving it amicably, as is in your story.

    Sridhar, I request you to post this story in I L for the benefit of I L ites. We say in tamil “ Yaan petra inbam peruga ivvaiyagam” !

    Love & regards,
    Chithra.
     
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  2. Vidya24

    Vidya24 Gold IL'ite

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    and never underestimate Varalotti?

    Hello Mrs Chithra & Varalotti,

    Mrs Chithra- That was a nice post and thanks for bringing this to our notice.

    And Varalotti, thanks for championing the cause of women. I hope u will post the story for readers who cannot access 'Alive'.

    cheers
    VR
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2006
  3. varalotti

    varalotti Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks A Million, Chitra!

    Dear Chitra,
    There could not be a more succint summing up of a 2000 word story than your single statement, "Never Underestimate....."
    This story is based on a real life incident narrated by my brother when we were waiting in a queue during last Deepavali to buy tickets for Chandramuki.
    I am in Chennai now and as soon as I reach Madurai I shall post the story for the benefit of ILites.
    regards,
    sridhar
     
  4. varalotti

    varalotti Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Vidya

    Dear Vidya,
    For those kind words of praise that appeared in the title of your post,
    "Never underestimate Varalotti?"
    I shall post the story in a day or two. I only hope wish and pray that you will like the story (because it is difficult not to like something when a beautiful packaging is provided by Chitra) in its unpacked version. And when you do will that question mark in the title go?
    ha ha ha

    regards,
    sridhar
     
  5. meenu

    meenu Bronze IL'ite

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    hi

    Dear varlotti,
    Looking forwardto the story in IL
    Thank you CHItra for motivating us.
    Regads,
    Meenu
     
  6. nuggehallipankaja

    nuggehallipankaja New IL'ite

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    most interesting!

    Chitra,
    Your review is most interesting and absorbing! Varalotti is very lucky to have you as an ardent fan. Yes, I too like his stories , and
    look forward to them; Now you have fanned the desire more. And Chitra, you do have a very expressive language!
    Thank you for remembering me, though I am not a regular owing
    to other pressures.
     
  7. Kamla

    Kamla Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Addicted!

    Dear Chitra,

    You sure are one live wire! You are making us addicted by invading our senses..the sense of taste and pleasure:) Just as we are satiated with your yummy recipes, you are provoking us with thought inspiring threads and the reading habits by waving the Varalotti 'card':)
    And ofcourse our Varalotti is not helping the matters. He is offering one interesting read after another and making the poor NRIs like me wish they were residing in India.
    Nice to know about the latest in his repertoire and I am sure there are many more such gems where this came from.
    Great going Sridhar, we are just as proud of you as of Chitra.

    L, Kamla
     
  8. meenaprakash

    meenaprakash Silver IL'ite

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    thanks again, Chitra for keeping us informed.....

    Dear Chitra,

    Your review sounds sooooooo good that Yesterday, I tried to get the magazine but couldn't find one near my place. might procure it today from the city.

    Sridhar, pls do post the story for all those who can't get this magazine.
    Don't you think this place is a perfect fit for this story????
     
  9. varalotti

    varalotti Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Here's the Story!

    In deference to the requests of the ILites I am posting the story here. Happy reading - Varalotti

    Sexual Discrimination

    A Short Story By Varalotti Rengasamy

    [FONT=&quot] [/FONT]
    Sir, this is unfair. You see Raghu is junior to me in age and joined this organisation three years after I did. While I am an MBA in HR from XLRI, he is just a MSW – Masters in Social Work . And you are bypassing me and promoting him to be the new Head – HR, it means only one thing. Sexual Discrimination. Gender Bias.”

    The Managing Director of the organisation could understand Bhavani’s feelings. In fact it was he who proposed that Bhavani be promoted to that post. But the Board of Directors rejected his proposal. Bhavani was fuming.

    “Sir, if you promote Raghu I will go to Court to complain about the hostile, sexual discrimination. And you will get bad press as a bonus.”

    “Cool down, Bhavani. The Head – HR has to take many dirty decisions during the coming year. For example he has to axe nearly 65 executives – all his colleagues – out of a total of 250 executives. Our consultants have warned us that unless this many people go out, our profits will be down.

    “The Board thinks and I don’t disagree with them that only a very hard-thinking ruthless male can do this job. A soft lady would never have the heart to do that.”

    “ “
    “We are not a Government company to give promotion by seniority or age. We have to consider the particular circumstances before deciding on the incumbent. Don’t view this as a comment on your abilities, Bhavani. I hate to lose you.”
    “When do you want those 65 people to be ousted?”
    “Yesterday, ideally. But not later than 6 months from now.”
    “What’s the compensation budget we have?”
    “Pretty huge. Considering their remaining years of service and their current salary levels the Board has alloted nearly Rs.10 crores which can be paid as VRS compensation. But the problem is no one is willing to leave. That’s where we require a tough negotiator like Raghu.”
    “I am ready to take the challenge. Make me the Acting Head – HR. I am sure I can retrench these 65 people well within the allotted budget. If I can’t do this you can demote me; if I do that then you should promote me.”
    “There’s a Board Meeting scheduled tomorrow. I’ll place this matter before them and let you know. But are you sure you can do that?”
    “If Raghu can do that, why not I?”
    The Directors were amused with such a strange request coming from an executive known to be very soft amongst her colleagues. By a majority of nine to two they decided to give Bhavani a chance.

    R
    aghu, Bhavani’s rival candidate, had already started building castles in the air about his promotion. He was shocked by this sudden reversal. Outwardly he wished Bhavani best of luck, but in the heart of his hearts he vowed that he would do his best to see this lady defeated in her trial of strength.

    And Bhavani came to know of the ferocity of the animals in the corporate jungle when she started her formidable job.

    As the first logical step she studied the dossiers pertaining to all the 250 executives of whom she had to oust 65. Then she saw the consultants’ report explaining in detail why they were over staffed and unless this retrenchment took place their very survival will be in question.

    She was convinced. She reasoned to herself – Unless these 65 go now the whole company would go belly up two years later which means the entire staff will lose their jobs. But how to identify the 65 to go? How to convince them to opt for VRS? The main problem was most of them were in the wrong side of forties and would not get another job if they quit. So they decided to stick, come what may.

    Bhavani first took the straight road. She decided to come upfront about the facts and call for volunteers. She convened small meetings with 25-30 executives in each meeting. The first meeting was listless. The executives listened to what she said. At the end no one was ready to quit.

    The second meeting was a disaster. The executives started asking nasty questions and within half an hour there was nothing but pandemonium in the meeting hall. She would learn the next day that Raghu had started to compaign against her moves.

    She had reliable information that Raghu had personally met each one of the 250 executives and had told them to stick on to the job, whatever Bhavani offers. And if they stayed

    Bhavani would not be promoted. If Raghu became the Head HR he would fight with the Management and make them stay. That was a blatant lie. But gripped with the feelings of insecurity the executives were ready to believe that sweet lie than the hard facts put forth by Bhavani.

    Bhavani complained to MD about Raghu’s efforts in sabotaging her plan. MD just had an understanding smile in reply.

    “Bhavani, you could never prove what he did. Welcome to the high flier’s club, my dear. This is not a sportsground but a jungle, where to eat each other alive is the name of the game.”

    Bhavani thought of meeting the wives and families of the executives and try to convince them. She organised a meeting in a five-star hotel. She had sent invitations and had called each one of them personally. But none attended. As she was about to abandon the project she saw Raghu walking to her.

    “What Madam, no one turned up? I have come here to invite you to my promotion party. It’s hardly two months away. But please block the date now itself.”

    [FONT=&quot]Before Bhavani could think of a retort he was gone. She learnt later that Raghu had talked to each one of the executives to ensure that no one attended the meet.[/FONT]
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2006
  10. varalotti

    varalotti Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    The Sexual Discrimination - II

    Bhavani was fed up. She almost thought of giving up. But this was not just her personal career problem. This was a problem for the entire women race. Nothing could bring more disgrace to womanhood than her accepting that women could not take hard decisions and hence unfit for corporate life.

    She was now sure that no conventional, beaten track methods would work.

    She took a week’s leave and stayed home. She did nothing but cooking, eating and reading magazines. On the fourth day as she was taking some utensils from the attic she slipped and fell. Fortunately her husband was there and he took her to the nearby hospital.

    There were a few cuts and sprains but no fracture. As her husband was about to pay the fees the Doctor asked whether their company had any medical reimbursement plan so that he would prepare proper vouchers and bills.

    Bhavani suddenly remembered something and became restless. She remembered the study done by her a few months ago on the medical bills of her company’s executives.

    She was back in office the very next day cancelling her remaining leave. Raghu had a sarcastic smile for her whenever they saw each other.

    Bhavani locked herself up in the room and started poring over the dossiers of the executives. She could not believe her eyes. She entered all the crucial data in her laptop computer and did a lot of analyses.

    Finally she fixed up an appointment with the top brass of a leading private detective agency. She was there with the agency till it was <st1:time minute="0" hour="0">midnight</st1:time>.

    A few days later 79 out of the 250 executives received an office note to attend a confidential meeting in the company’s large conference hall. They first decided to ignore it. But Bhavani called each of them and apart from a persuasive invitation to attend the meeting she dropped a few hints which frightened them all to be present in the meeting at the appointed time.

    The executives were surprised to see the MD of the company and Mr.Raghu also present in the meeting.

    Bhavani’s voice was cold; but her message was clear.

    “Going through your dossiers I was surprised to find that every one of you had some one in your family undergoing a major surgery costing the company anywhere between Rs.75000 to Rs.150000. And all during the last one year. Such a coincidence defies all known laws of probability.”
    There was a deathly silence in the room.

    “I smell something bad here. I am already talking to a private detective agency. Their fees are pretty high. So I had them investigate a sample case. They have proved that it was a fraudulent claim.”
    The silence was now deadlier.

    “Now if those of you who have made false claims come forward and give a written confession, then we can take a lenient view in the matter. But if you don’t I am going to entrust the

    matter to the detective agency and it’s going to be a full blown police case. I will give you precisely thirty minutes to decide.”

    Their faces had gone pale, there were whispered discussions in choked voices. Within an hour 59 of them came out with a written confession that they had fudged their medical bills. The remaining 20 told her that they were ready to face any kind of investigation.

    Bhavani apologised to those 20 and let them go. She calmly collected the confession letters from the 59. She asked them to wait there and went out with the MD to hold discussion.

    She came again after about an hour.

    “I did my best to convince the Management. But they would not let you stay. You have to put down your papers.”
    The fact that her voice was exceedingly soft made it look even harsher.

    “But you said, that you will take a lenient view?”
    Bhavani was unfazed.

    “In fact we have. We are not going to the Police. We are not making any entries in your service records. All of you would get a proper discharge with a good certificate. What more do you want?”

    “And the money?”

    “You will get that too. Whatever that is due to you. PF, gratuity etc. But not even a Rupee extra as VRS or other compensation. Those of you who want to fight that are welcome to do so.”

    They protested weakly for a while and then walked out of the meeting. All the 59 tendered their resignation the very next day.

    “Congratulations, Bhavani. The Board has unanimously approved your appointment as Head – HR. Your emoluments are doubled and you have been given a cash award of Rs. 10 lakhs for the brilliant move.

    “You have proved that women are capable of taking hard decisions, if necessary. More than that you have given us all

    a clear conscience. I spent many sleepless nights worrying over the future of the 65 people we are going to throw out. You identified the real blacksheep and threw them away saving millions for the company.”

    “Thank you very much, Sir. Now as to the balance 6 to be ousted..”
    “No Bhavani, its only five.”
    “Sorry Sir, you got the arithmetic wrong. 65 minus 59 is 6.”
    “But Raghu has put down his papers. So only five remain.”

    “Oh. I would suggest that we keep the remaining five. With the enormous money we saved we can give them their salaries till they retire. And I am sure they will make some positive contribution to the organisation.”

    “Suggestion accepted. Now be a nice girl, take three days off and have a nice time with your family. When you come back we have a lot of work to do.”
     
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