On promotion I joined Zonal Office & was promptly admitted to the exclusive lunch club of six executives posted there, me included. This good news was broadcast by Sh Singh, in charge of the club saying that there was no need to bring lunch box anymore. This was a great relief as I was staying alone away from my lady-love-cum-chapatti-maker.
At 2 o’clock we assembled at the dining table. Salad, fruits, rice, raita, chapatti & a chicken dish were on the table. I introduced myself to Zonal Manager, & other Chiefs. Sh Singh had the first question.
-Are you veg or non-veg?
-Non-veg if prepared by wife & veg otherwise.
- Haha! So here you will not take non-veg with us! Said ZM & smiled, others also smiled.
-Good sense of humour! Said Sh Singh & smiled but nobody else smiled.
Subsequently I understood the cross connections. Sh Singh had somewhat independent opinions, Sh Gupta had none save & except dittoing those of ZM, other two were floaters, now this side & now that.
Our boss the ZM was upwards of 55, short of height, having a beer belly & practically no hair on his bald top. No wonder he was nick named The Baldy by the staff outside of his cabin. His vocabulary towards juniors was very limited to Wot(What), Wy-Wy( Why) & Howoo-Hawoo(How).
Now here after joining the club, I understood that there is a lunch, there is a working lunch & there is a power lunch. Lunch is lunch. Working lunch is you keep working & eating together due to lack of time & spoil your stomach & your files as well. This is done usually when Auditors come. Power lunch is that powerful people sit together, eat powerful chicken & mutton & decide on powerful issues like transfers, suspensions & charge sheets. You are mistaken in your notion that decisions are taken on merits of the file. Dining table has an important role mister.
Looking towards me The Baldy said:
-Inspection of Jhumri Tallieya branch is due & you can start with that.
-Sir I have visited Tapukara branch yesterday. Working is good & figures are increasing. That Branch Manager is very smart sir, said Sh Gupta.
-Sir he was wearing an expensive Raymond suit.
- And a gold chain sir.
-Wot? Hmmm. Send me his file after lunch.
They say storm in a tea cup, I say there is charge sheet in the tea cup. Next day as I was preparing to go for inspection of Jhumri branch, Sh Gupta dropped in & whispered:
-ZM Saab likes fish. Whenever I went for inspection of Jhumri, I always brought big one. Take care.
After visit to Jhumri branch, I was preparing inspection report of that branch when Sh Gupta dropped in & whispered:
-No. I waited more than an hour along with a fisherman near the Tallieyya but he could not catch any.
-ufff Bhole Bhandari, you could have purchased one from the market & presented it as a prized catch!