These irksome Headhunter calls

Senior Manager A is in a meeting with his team-members on some contentious issues. The Senior Manager has asked all of them to clear out their diaries for another two hours to ensure they have enough time for this meeting.

During the meeting, Senior manager A’s phone buzzes. He looks at it but it is not a recognised number. He snatches at the phone and barks “Who is this ?”.

A soft voice wafts into the earpiece “Hello. Am I speaking to Senior Manager A ?”

Senior Manager A barks again “Yes it is. Who is this ? Please hurry up ?”

The voice says “I am Jack from the Overtly Crude and Intrusive Placement Consultancy. We are a head-hunting firm and we place people at senior levels, like yours. We are currently working on some interesting assignments which require skills like yours. Is this a good time to talk?”

Senior Manager A looks around furtively and barks again “Thank you for your call. I am not interested. Bye now.”

Turning back to the meeting participants he says “These Headhunters are a nuisance. They think that everyone is for sale. They can call up anyone at any time and people will talk to them just because they are offering a job.

All participants “You are right sir. They are a nuisance.”

Senior manager A : “Well, not me guys ! I told him off. I am not for sale.”

All participants “We heard you do that sir.” 

Five minutes later in the meeting the Senior Manager says : Guys, just remembered something important. Need to stop this meeting here. Let us work on the items agreed so far. I will reschedule asap for the rest. Sorry about this.

The Senior Manager waits for everyone to leave the room.

As soon as the last person leaves, he ensures that the door is shut and dials a number. When the call gets answered he says “Hi Jack, this is Senior Manager A. You called a few minutes back. Sorry I had to be abrupt as I was in a meeting. We can talk now.”

10 thoughts on “These irksome Headhunter calls

  1. Interesting how this scenario illustrates the workplace façade so fittingly. People putting up a fake front for ‘professional reasons’ and use it to justify their ethical transgressions. I like how the ‘participants’ were so suspiciously subservient in their replies to the manager – perhaps they agreed with him for ‘professional reasons’ as well!

    • Quite true. People are enacting double, triple and more agent situations in real work life. The “participants” may have exchanged a knowling glance amongst themselves while replying. The Manager, on receiving the response, may have thought “You b*******, don’t I know what you are up to when my back is turned…”. And seemingly, and funnily, no-one possessing any moral authority for standing in judgment (felt, not spoken) over the other. The “participants” may have further thought “we know you know that we talk to headhunters, but you b******, we don’t do it in the open and so shamelessly…”.

  2. Sounds all too familiar…but I think he did the right thing.

    When time comes for him to be dumped…Friday afternoon to HR, collect cheque, Security escorts him to his office and out the door, while he carried out his years in the company that fits into a cardboard box!

    • Thanks for the perspective. I think it is true that the first and foremost responsibility one has is towards oneself; before anything else. In a business world where the only reality is that of business success or failure, looking out for oneself and keeping options open is only to be expected. It is, perhaps, even natural and restores some balance in the world. The irony comes in when you try to project an image different from reality.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s