The blokes who use offer letters as an instrument for negotiating a better deal (and get it) are more sinned against than sinning.
Wait. Hold your horses. Do not curse me yet. I haven’t switched sides. I am still firmly with the fraternity of failed fools. For life.
You would have heaved a sigh of relief when you heard it first. That the colleague who was your competitor has put in her papers. As the days pass by and no further gossip trickles in, you prepare for the farewell. And your own little party at home to celebrate the occasion. Then the email-bomb hits you.
That the deserter has been made VP this or GM that. The grapevine further adds to your misery. That she also got a substantial hike and a cabin with a coffee-maker.
“Blackmailer”, you spit, resigned to your fate (because you cannot resign your job)
I used to be in that corner for a long time. Now I bow to the ingenuity of the cabin usurpers and cheer their achievements. Hoping one day I could emulate them.
And here is the story that changed my perspective.
After having her back-broken (Please
refer to 7 Ps of power – Enlightenment…, it’s a tad bit long, so read it at your own risk), the poor overworked donkey (POD) took a while to revert to her previous condition. The wise owl (WOW) took pity on it and advised her thus.
WOW: Don’t show your eagerness to multi-task. Don’t rush to finish your job ahead of schedule. Since you do not have a say on the quantum or quality of load that’s put on you, bear it; but take your time. Don’t be a slave to conscience.
POD: As you say, my friend. Will do all I can, to get out of this misery.
Months passed and the donkey did its daily chores, in a leisurely manner. And in the night time, where it earlier ploughed through the forage and thinking of the day ahead; it started taking lessons in prancing like a horse, standing with its forelegs in air like the dog and other such wise tricks. The WOW, having taken the ass under its wings, noted with satisfaction the progress of its protégé.
Meanwhile the master’s work-life balance was getting effected. He was reaching the lake late and getting home much after the sunset. Business was increasing as there was more dirty linen and laundry to be washed, but he was not able to make most of it. He realized this and did few quick calculations, for he was good in numbers if not in employee-employer relationships. He noted that the only way to deliver more door to door and also reach home on time is to get rid of this donkey and get 2 donkeys in its place.
He told the same to his wife, got the broad’s approval to sell this one and get two on board in the upcoming town fair. The day has come and pocketing good number of gold coins (for two healthy donkeys are likely to cost thrice as much as a lazy ass) the master set about to the town fair to offload the current quarry.
He met an ass broker there whose famed motto was “Right Ass on Right Seat” and left the donkey in his able hands and went about to pick up few trinkets for home before the auction of the asses began.
The washer-man’s wife opened the door and let the travel-weary guy in. Taking the bag of goodies from his hand she enquired about the day’s proceedings.
Weary washer-man’s wife (WWW): What happened? Struck a good deal? You seem so smug, my dear!
Smug Washer-man(SW): You bet. The broker is one of the best ass-kicking salesman (AKS) I have ever seen. He paraded our ass and extolling its virtues started the auction with 1 gold coin. 2 immediately called out someone!
WWW: Not bad for an ass that has been slow and past it’s prime
SW: It was just the beginning. Our ass stood on its hind-legs and the auctioneers started whistling. 5 gold coins someone said; 10 another shouted.
WWW: Oh, don’t tell me you got 10 gold coins for that dumbass. My king, my hero!
SW: Wait there’s more! It then started strutting like a stud and the assembly went wild. 15, 20, 25…. Excited and agitated voices rented the place, with people falling over each other to make it their own.
WWW (Swooning): Hold on, I am about to faint. 25 gold coins…OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
A familiar and happy sounding animal cry pierced the WWW’s ears.
WWW (bewildered and apprehensive): What’s that?
SW (doubly smugly): It’s our very own ass! I ran onto the stage and stopped the auction. Paid 35 gold coins to the AKS to buy back the same. You don’t believe to what high heavens everyone praised me and congratulated me on such a steal and being a proud owner of a prized ass….
Hey, you have fainted! I too did nearly, knowing what an ass I was to be, letting go of such a worthy being!
You may still be scratching your head wondering “what’s the point”? Here is the thing.
What matters is not what you do and how well you do it or how eager you are to do more. That’s not how your valuation is done. People have more faith in what price others put on you. Period.
So don’t grudge the blokes who show you the path.
Focus on form than on substance. Learn a few tricks that you are not expected to possess. Put yourself in some good consultant/image-maker/spin-doctor’s hands to work on your profile. Get around, get a few offers. Know what you are worth in the market.
And let your organization realize your true value.
Help them. To help yourself.