Even as everybody prepared to leave for the day, Anant stayed behind, keeping his files neatly in the cupboard. He also took out some files, looked at the pages, made some notes in the margins, made a ‘to-do-today’ list, and then wrote a couple of letters which he wanted the boss to sign in the first few minutes the next day. Thus, having prepared fully for the next day’s work well in advance, Anant stepped out into the fresh air of the mid-evening and started walking towards the bus stop. However, right at the front gate, he saw the President’s car coming in. As the President saw Anant, he stopped the car, got out, and asked Anant to follow him into his office. Willingly, Anant followed him, and answered all the question the boss had. Then, he requested him to sign the letters he had made ready for the next day. The boss obliged most willingly, and asked Anant to get ready one or two other documents right in the first hour the next day. So, Anant stayed back and completed the task before leaving for home finally around 9 p.m., full three hours after the closing time.
Anant was a young man in hurry, having come to the big city from a small village nearby. His office colleagues often called him to join them for movies or evenings out. Yet, Anant refused. As a result, he became a victim of colleagues’ ridicule. Yet, he did not bother. He had a goal and he wanted no compromise before he achieved that. He was just 24 and was already doing well in the organisation. He wanted to press on to garner greater advantage for his career. He seemed well on course.
Obviously. For, the bosses were happy with him and learned to rely on him for all critical tasks. He also got many opportunities to represent the company on important assignments and travelled a lot.
But as all this went on, his colleagues hated his rise. They seemed to gang up against him, spreading canard about him, launching a whispering campaign against him, and also ensured that some hate mail was posted on his email Id.
Had there been someone else in Anant’s place, he would have caved in. Not Anant, however. Doggedly, he kept doing what he felt was the best for him. He was certainly troubled by the political machinations, but did not waver. On the contrary, his resolve to stay on course got strengthened with every passing day as dirty politics started getting dirtier. His only hope was the defence of his own impeccable conduct.
Of course, bosses were watching. They realised that the guy was really serious about his career. They allowed dirty politics to swirl around Anant, and tested his patience and maturity. Colleagues made fun of his, and others felt sorry for him. But, Anant refused to pity himself. He knew what he wanted, and did not budge.
Then came a really good day. For, one evening, the boss asked Anant to come to office the next day two hours before office time. Anant did and landed in a situation that surprised him no end. For, even at that early hour, all the company directors were already in their respective offices. The moment Anant arrived, they all came together in the conference hall and called the young man in. And there, the MD handed over to Anant an envelope which contained his promotion orders. He was being elevated to be an invitee to all the meetings of the Board, of course, with a very good pay raise, and a position as General Manager in charge of the company Head Office.
More than six months after the promotion, Anant is yet to understand what kind of good fortune swept him off his feet. Dirty internal politics, of course, has stopped and more colleagues are scurrying around him currying favours from him.
Telling this story is easier, of course. But when Anant was passing through those bad days, all he had for company was his personal resolve. In those lonely days, minus that resolve, the story would have been different.