I was young. I was foolish.

 “It will improve your career prospects significantly” they told me.

“But what good is a promotion without an increase in compensation” I protested.

“When you meet someone, do you talk about your designation or your salary ?” they posed.

“But when I am all by myself, I need money to live” I countered.

“Your near and dear ones will be able to proudly proclaim that you are now a supervisor in this company and no longer a mere employee” they suggested.

“To be proud, they will first need to stay alive, for which money is required” I countered.

“You will have so much more responsibility” they said.

“My personal responsibilities are also growing” I beseeched. “Besides, more responsibility will mean more work”.

“Don’t be so self-centered, thinking only about yourself” they said.

“Who else should I think about?” I asked.

“You don’t see the big picture, do you ?” they sneered.

“I am not in a position where I can admire pictures of any kind, or any kind of artwork for that matter” I confessed.

“You focus seems to be very short-term. You have a life ahead of you. Think of the higher value you will command in the long run by doing a higher level job” they argued.

“Higher value will come from a higher compensation” I persisted, “and anyway, like someone said, in the long run, we are all dead”.

 “You will get a lot of job-satisfaction from the higher responsibilities” they prophesised, while showing the light with “People at your level beg for promotions”.

“I have no complaints about the job I am doing” I insisted.

“You will have people at a lower level reporting to you, who will look up to you and seek your advice on important issues. Your workstation will be three inches longer than the employees and you will have a chair that swivels around. You will have the privilege of buying your own gas with your own money and driving in on your own, as the Transport will be withdrawn. From one amongst many cubicles in a row, we will move you right next to the toilet so that you are accessible to your people.”

Under this final fusillade of clinching arguments I crumbled.

I accepted the promotion.

I was young. I was foolish.

My compensation became half of what I was getting earlier and I started doing the work of three people.

Shortly thereafter, the company was under severe financial stress. In order to save money the company promoted everyone to a supervisory role and halved their salary.

Now, not only is my salary half off what it was earlier and I do the work of three people, I am back on the lowermost rung in the hierarchy with nobody either reporting to me or looking up to me. But I get to keep my three inch longer workstation, the swivel chair, my own gas in my own car, and a place right next to the toilet.

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19 thoughts on “I was young. I was foolish.

  1. I cracked up at ‘a chair that swivels around’. That seems like a utopian ideal to aspire for.

    I await the day of an organisation sans hierarchy. Where everyone would be a CXO. At miniscule salaries.

  2. An assistant to the assistant for the assistant vice president. The career ladder without rungs. One way to beat this is to make yourself indispensable at whatever level . The money will follow.

  3. Patience is a virtue I suppose. I do agree with Carl. Make yourself indispensable … at least you’re close to the toilet when you want to flush down the B.S. they’re giving you.

  4. Ooh, a chair that swivels? Not too bad a trade-off for a lower compensation! At least when my friends take their four wheels for a spin during their lunch breaks, I have my trusty little friend with here with MORE wheels.. wheeee here I go again! 😛

  5. My mind was resonating to the questions and answers. I have to say that I couldn’t agree with you any less.
    I am beginning to develop a liking for your writing, and learning as well all along!

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