Saturday, 30 March 2013

Training Chief

Our Zonal Manager called our Training Chief for a meeting. There was a batch of 20 new recruits joining the bank who needed to be trained in branch banking.

Sitting across the table the duo exchanged greetings & stared at each other. Good that there was a large table in between them in the chamber else duo could have a duel.

Now our ZM is 55 plus, short & pot bellied with a few hair left on his bald head. That’s why he is affectionately called The Baldy. On the other hand our Training Chief is 45 plus , tall & with lots of hair falling all over his forehead & shoulders. Because of the job of being trainer his nick name is Guru. You may further rename if you like it as Guruji or Gurudevji or Gurughantalji. The Baldy prefers the last one.

The Baldy places great emphasis on training. He makes it a point to address the trainees in the inaugural as well as concluding sessions & enlightens them on the policies, goals & objectives of our bank. So went the instructions to Gurughantalji :

-Don’t allow any trainee to join late or leave early.
-Don’t permit any leave during training.
-Don’t allow them to sleep in post-lunch session.
-Don’t allow them to talk in the class.
-I will come in the concluding session & talk to them. I would like to hand over the posting orders to trainees personally for their next assignments. Please organise properly.

Fully charged, Gurughantalji immediately proceeded to organise the training classes. Lectures, demos, on-site training, off-site training, hands-on, hands-off, inside faculty, outside faculty all proceeded on terrific pace. Prior to conclusion, review & feedback sessions were held. All was going well. Only one or two of the trainees seemed disgruntled. This was normal feature of any batch of new comers.

The Baldy was in class room for conclusion. After usual sermons on policy, goals etc he wanted one or two questions to be answered by the trainees.

-Wot is the difference between Loans & Advances?

-Sir Loans are given to gents & Advances are made towards women folk!

The Baldy & Gurughantalji glared at each other. Face of The Baldy went red. The face of Gurughantalji went white. The Baldy posed another question to the trainees.

-Wot is a Term Loan?

-It is a Term Loan if terms between borrower & manager have been settled while granting the loan.

The Baldy & Gurughantalji glared at each other. Face of The Baldy went red. The face of Gurughantalji went white. The Baldy called for an envelope marked Jhumri Taliyya . He opened it up changed the name of trainee to Training Chief  & declared:

-Pack up your luggage Training Chief. You are going to Jhumri Taliyya.

Managers' Meeting

Our new Zonal Manager or ZM is short, pot bellied but handsome. He has a few strands of hair left on his bald head & that’s the reason of his being nicknamed The Baldy.  He is new to our zone & hence introductory meeting was fixed for all officials on Monday.

As you are also aware most of the meetings are one-way traffic – executive barks about programmes, schemes, marketing strategies, targets etc & you listen to him  without raising questions, doubts about strategy, shortage of staff or infrastructure. You listen faithfully to the speaker, keep your diary page open & write a few key words or keep doodling. When he glances towards you, force a smile & nod as if you have understood the best speaker in the world. As soon as the glance goes away to another chap slowly exhale & come back to normal self. Here Pranayam is of great help to you.

The Baldy was generous with budget of the meeting. So you can have high-tea twice during the day, expensive stationery items & sumptuous  lunch with beer & butter chicken included. Public sector rules don’t permit drinks & hence liquor is treated as off-balance-sheet item. Do enjoy this beer festival even if you are not enjoying the meeting.

In such meetings there is ever smiling Mr Santa Singh, the second man to assist ZM, The Baldy. His duty is to help jack-up the image of every Saab as having done such & such fantastic achievements that everyone present in the meeting must be awestruck & emulate. Mr Singh has the knack of chamchagiri which has prevented his transfers for years.
Some excerpts from the meeting:

(1) -Sir on behalf of all participants I welcome you to Delhi Zone. Sir we have heard lot of success stories from your previous posting at Jhumri Taliyya, Thailand.
-Wot Mr Santa Singh? It is In India.

(2) -When I was posted in Jhumri Talaiyya I increased the business by 45%. Your figures are too low here–shocking to me in fact. You have to go for 45%.
-Sir competition is very hot here.
-Wot? Better pack up your luggage. You may be cooling your heels in  the hills.
(3) -When I was posted at Jhumri Taliyya they said there is no scope to increase the business. I increased by 45%.
-Sir there is lot of scope here. All we need is a few more hands Sir.
-Wot? One needs only two hands, better pack up your luggage.
 (4) -When I was at Jhumri Taliyya I did door to door canvassing. You see business increased by 45%.
-Sir size & number of doors is very large here.
-Wot? Another lame excuse, better pack up your luggage.

(5) -When I was at Jhumri Taliya I ensured punctuality very strictly. I wish to continue the same here.
-Sir what about punctuality in the evening time? Can we leave at 8 pm  sir?
-You don’t want to work – do you? Better pack up your luggage.

 (6) -Now tell me wot is a customer?
-A customer is a king Sir.
-A customer is queen sir just like Maya, Mamta or Sonia.
-Saab customer is our maai baap just like you sir!
–Shaab cushtomer is one who gives us cusht!
-Haa! Mr Ganguly all your ‘cusht’ will be gone. Better pack up your luggage.

(7) –Everyone has to achieve the target at any cost.
-Sir your wish is our command.
-Bilkul Sir!
- Sir your word is word of God.
-I am not God Santa Singhji.
-But now we have become your pukke bhakt sir. Tussi kirpa rakhna. We are so impressed with business growth at Jhumri Taliyya sir!

Friday, 8 March 2013

Jagtani's consultancy

Our Zonal Manager or ZM in short or The Baldy in affectionate terms is a religious & God fearing person. This could be seen & construed from a number of photos under the table glass like those of Lakshmi, Vaishno Devi Temple & Shiv-Parvati. As soon as he enters the cabin he would take off his shoes, offer namaskar three times to each of the photos, touch their feet & from there take his fingers to his head. This ritual is performed by him without fail irrespective of any visitor present there.

Call him to an exclusive evening party where his juniors are not present, he would head for the bar. Scotch on the rocks with a little soda opens him up a bit. Here also he begins with a ritual. He would hold his peg of scotch in his left hand &  dip his sun-finger of the right hand in scotch, take out  & spray in the air. He would simultaneously mutter some or the other mantra also. This is  performed thrice. Cheers is declared only thereafter. 

Corporate borrowers are usually present in such parties. They are fully updated as to the amount of loaning power of The Baldy, his hobbies & such like things. They have their own systems of intelligence gathering about such officials as The Baldy. Their diaries have full details of previous postings, likely tenure in this assignment, likely service left etc. Family details such as kids of the Saab, madam of the Saab, driver of the Saab, taste buds of the Saab, style of the Saab are carefully collected as soon as any Saab arrives on new posting. His flexibility in business &  'sewa bhav' are quietly checked from various sources.

Mr. Jagtani happened to be in such a party with The Baldy. Jagtani is a big gun Auditor of big corporates.  He has wide contacts with EDs, MDs, CMDs of banks etc. He is one of those who can make or mar the careers of bank officers. There he got introduced with The Baldy. Discussion inter-alia turned to faith & belief in super power the God. Jagtani extolled the virtues & 'kirpa' of Ma Vaishno Devi. Of late one or two tough jobs were done by the grace of Ma & for which he was grateful. He dropped a hint that he was about  to go on a visit there shortly &  if Saab so wishes a joint yatra could be organised. On return journey they would have a flying visit of Srinagar as well. In both the places his company has good liaison & contacts. Mighty pleased The Baldy nodded his bald head in agreement.

Next day Jagtani saw to it that Johnny Walker walked into the house of The Baldy with adequate stock.

Soon thereafter The Baldy & the madam hopped on to the plane. Jagtani & his wife were  excellent hosts & took all the care in the world to see that  they were comfortable in the flight. Jagtani had booked their stay in a 5 star hotel & also arranged for sight seeing etc.

A few packets of classy handicrafts, shawls, dry fruits & sweets were handed over to madam by Jagtani as these were not available back home & they cost 'peanuts'. They had 'khule' darshan at the temple courtesy Jagtani who managed to jump the q of devotees. 

Next on agenda was sight seeing which also was very well managed. It turned out to be memorable journey.

The Baldy joined back the office on Monday. On his table was a loan proposal with compliments from Jagtani.


Friday, 1 March 2013


It was almost 11 pm & husband put lock on the gate, checked the windows, closed the doors & slipped into the bed. He removed the spects & made himself comfortable in the bed. He was not interested in watching the homely serial which his wife was watching keenly. He closed his eyes & tried to sleep.

The music & noise of tv disturbed him but he resisted the attempt to shout ‘switch off the tv’. Instead he pulled the sheet & tried to cover his ears – one ear with sheet & the other with pillow. But noise continued to irritate him. Slowly the irritation mounted & got diverted to silly tastes of wife. He felt like doing Shirshasan then & there. Thankfully that day’s episode of the serial ended.

-Ei hello serial is over. Put off the light.
-What Hmmm? Switch off the light.
-I am asleep!
-What asleep? You are awake. Please switch off the light.
-I am really asleep yaar.
-What asleep yaar? Just press the switch off. Please.
-You can also do it!
-You do it.
-You do it.
-No you do it. The switch is nearer to you.
-How is this - tv is always nearer to you but switch is always nearer to me?
-Don’t comment on my watching tv just put the light OFF.
-I am not commenting on your views & silly serials but I am requesting you that as you were watching the tv & not me, it is you who should switch off & not me. Simple.
- Not simple I know. I know what simple means. Watch what you are uttering & before I give you a ‘simple’ reply please put off the light. Please.
-Don’t you talk to me like that? How many kilo meters is switch from you tell me? Why can’t you switch off the light?
-I understand you & your ideas. I know. I know. You are few centi meters away from switch & you talk about kilo meters to me. What’s wrong with you? Why can’t you put off the light? Let me understand the reason. Be ready for replies also. Now put off the light PLEASE.
-I am ready for your replies. Here I am trying to sleep & you are watching tv & not allowing me to sleep. On top of that you wake me up & ask me to switch off the light. You should have done yourself earlier without asking me. How can I put off the light now?
-Yes I know. I know your thinking - you for yourself. Always - me & my this & my that. Always about self. What about others? Never a thought for others. If this light is disturbing you then put it off. If not, I am going to sleep with light on. 

- I know your thinking also. Always trying to have upper hand. I can also sleep with lights on. But I can’t sleep with your tv on. What I don’t like is your tone. Don’t boss over me. That’s all. I can switch off 100 lights if you want but you should be proper in your approach. Am I against you? You know in your heart that I am not against you. In fact I have been always with you even if you have not acknowledged. I know you are a good girl inside.

-Yes I am. But you are such a man who will rarely acknowledge about me in public. You devoured the dinner but never uttered a word of praise for my cooking. Never mind all that. In a way you are also not bad generally speaking.

-Ok good night.
-Good night.
-May I then, put off the light.
-Wait I will put off the light.