You can depend on me….

Of course I will be able to do it sir. You need not worry. I can do it with my eyes closed. With my hands tied.

The only situation that can prevent me from delivering, sir, is :

If the supplier does not provide the raw material in time.

If the material received is not of requisite quality.

If the Labour Unions of our staff decide to initiate Industrial Action before completion of the assignment.

If the power situation takes a turn for the worse and we are strapped for power.

If the machinery breaks down.

If employee attrition spikes up and we are not able to backfill in time.

If the Steering Committee responsible for taking decisions on the Project is either not able to meet or not able to reach timely decisions.

If I fall ill or run into a speeding truck.

If there is any manmade event like civil strife or industrial action that paralyses vast sections of the country.

If there is any unforeseen natural calamity like an earthquake or tsunami.

And, by the way, the above does not purport to be an exhaustive list.

Other than the above, I have the situation well under control. You need not worry. Thank you for showing confidence in me.

The Very Important Person – how to find him in Office

It is normally difficult to tell the very important from the less important people in office, as the very important ones tend to go about their business in a no-fuss, even self-deprecating manner, letting their work “speak” for itself. Should one, however, need to find such a person at the workplace, even if it is for no reason other than the opportunity to observe and learn from him, a few pointers that may be of help in this pursuit are produced here.

You walk into his office just as he sinks the twelve foot putt into the waste paper basket lying on its side. You need to discuss the project that you are working on. He says “not now, I am busy”. You want to know when you could come back. He says “check with Jenny (his secretary)”.

He is a Manager and his team is working with the team of Manager B, a peer working in another department, on a Project. When he needs to communicate a project related message pertaining to the successful completion of a deliverable by his team to Manager B, he will call up Senior Manager B, Manager B’s Boss, and communicate the message with a request for the same to be passed on to Manager B.

If Manager B calls to give him (Manager A) a similar communication, he will ask him to call up Supervisor A, one of his team-members, and communicate the message.

He can be seen talking loudly into the mobile phone when he is outside his office, especially when he is on the move outside his office. On occasion he will be found to be cradling the mobile phone between his head (craned awkwardly to one side) and shoulder and writing something on a piece of paper likely to be a tissue.

In many cases he can be seen talking to himself. Loudly. He is actually talking on an earpiece connected to the mobile.

He is an effective communicator. In face to face discussions he makes productive use of his hands, flailing them wildly while talking. He also ensures people who don’t need to be part of the conversation hear him talk. His speech is slow, deliberate. If he has to communicate “Eastern is a very big company” he will say “Eastern is a company. Eastern is a big company. Eastern really is a big company. Eastern is a really big company. Eastern is a very big company.” And there will be a pause after each sentence so that the message has sunk in.

His conversation with the Security Guard will be peppered with words like “contract”, “transaction”, “price”, “revenue”, “deal”, “turnaround time”,” target”, “competition”, “market”, etc. interspersed with four-letter words.

He can often be seen holding four simultaneous conversations on four different topics with four different people.