The Chairman

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Hiya. I live my work life from visit to visit. Don’t know what a visit is? This is how it goes…. some hot shot guy from corporate office or someone from another country will come to visit the market. Everyone goes into a frenzy… the market is “set up”… negotiations happen.. huge money is blown up on deals… careers depend on the perfection of the visit. It is pure torture. In a metro like Mumbai I have to deal with visits every month. We were supposed to have one such visit today… which got cancelled… after all the preparations were done.

Anyway… my sales officer very naively asked me; “Why do we prepare the market for a visit?” Don’t the seniors want to know what the exact status is?
I didn’t have an answer except that… seniors expect the perfection. They assume if the state is so good when they are around… it will be atleast half as good when they are not around. And they are aware things are being set up.
When I had joined my first company ‘ABC’, we were sent into the field to shadow sales officers. I was in Bangalore… then Chennai and then Trichy. After another month of working as a sales officer independently I was ready with a presentation on my experience to the Sales Head. All of us (me and my 9 other colleagues) focussed on the sales numbers, growth, best practices, not-so-great practices, suggestions and then prepared for grilling.
The sales head surprised us. He asked things like… what does a sales officer do, what are his work timings, what does he do after work, what does he feel etc.
I was flabbergasted. Shouldn’t he know? After all, he is the Boss.
But later I realized… he will never know… ‘coz nobody will tell him. He will never know what the reality is like. And most people in his position don’t even want to know.
There is a quote in Dilbert- as you go higher in the hierarchy of the company the lesser you know… until finally you become a chairman who knows nothing and his basic job involves sitting on a chair.

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