© Copyright 2020 by Ila Das
Photo by Slawek K on Unsplash
~Joel OsteenI told my son to calm down, take a deep breath and never to worry. It’s not the end of the world or a catastrophe that’s going to gobble him up. If the work place gives you such tension at regular intervals, it’s best to leave it than be left out. The only thing in your hand is to look out for another job (which is definitely a daunting task in this employment starved market, I told myself) and to continue doing your best at the present place till your last day. In case you do not get a job, consider it a golden opportunity to pursue higher studies. And above all, as long as your working mother is alive, there is no need for you to think about monetary hassles.
He heeded my advice with a grimace and immediately set into action, updated his resume and put it across various companies. The first call was from a bank which turned into a failure. His friend got through it with a 23% hike in his salary. It’s in human nature to compare and put oneself in the fast track to unhappiness. Struck by rejection, he became frustrated and I felt a two day stay with him may perhaps motivate him. So I braved to get to his place, around 1500 km away from my residence over a weekend.
Beautiful dawn clamouring over their building was overshadowed by the stinky drains that were clogged with plastics like cholesterol in vein. The house was in a more shabby state. Walls were daubed with blotches of paint peeling off at places. Hoo of the bird perched on the tree, the hum of the air-conditioner and the soft swoosh of clothes inside the washing machine, together created a morning melody. Rentals in this city were too high for the kids to have the luxury of devouring a spacious well furnished house, for single occupancy only.
I was surprised to meet an already gaunt boy shrunk thinner. The big smooch planted on my cheeks was sloppy and the forced wavering smile spelt disaster. The long silence did not matter as we had developed a simpatico understanding. I could sense the gloomy vibes that filled the confines of his shared room which was a modest abode that was just enough to accommodate two single beds with an arm distance space between them. He looked like a person in peril.
Cut to the chase - by the time I reached him, he had managed to secure an appointment in an e-commerce company with just a 10% climb in salary. Any efforts to re-negotiate the salary was met by a belligerent attitude of the HR person who was handling his case. I was surprised that salary issues of a new recruit was controlled by a person at such a lower rung of the hierarchy ladder. I was told that this particular company had put this as one of their KRA (Key Responsibility Area) to recruit at as low a salary as possible to score higher marks in their report card sheet. Very smart move.
I was more disappointed by the shabby behaviour extended to my son rather than the salary part, but did not project it to him as I did not wish to discourage him. He decided to accept it as he had no other alternative. I stood by his decision and congratulated him to at least grab a new job that fast. Further preached not to compete with anyone in the world because there always will be a person better than you and at the same time, many more, less privileged than you. If you need to compete, do it with yourself, trying to set higher standards and better yourself at each level. Be appreciative with what you get in life and always say a prayer to thank God.
Having achieved my objective to a certain extent, I returned back to my nest, rendering a silent supplication: May God guide him in his path and bless this boy who is otherwise pulsating with unmapped potential, ready to be tapped. A day after, I get the news that the same bank, which had not selected him earlier, had invited him for an interview session for another role that more fitted his credentials. My boy called me up with a certain kind of cheerful chirpiness for some tips and I advised him to be just adequately confident, neither over nor under, and give his best. During the commercial round, I told him to say that he had some attractive offers in hand and ask the company executive to offer him their best that can dissuade him from joining other companies. If asked about his own choice, he should go for a 50% increment and in case that necessitates to fit him into a higher post, tell them to do so with an assurance that they will not regret giving you a higher salary and higher post.
His first round went excellent and in that very round they asked him his aspirations. This time he did not take my counsel and played conservative by just pitching a figure slightly higher than his friend had got, a 25% hike. Without seeking further discussion, the bank offered him a draft appointment letter indicating his emoluments, the very next day; asking him to give his acceptance so that they may finalise other formalities. He simply could not believe his eyes when he saw the 50% hike fitting him in a senior cadre, exactly what I had told him to say, leaving no room for any negotiation. It was an unthinkable proposition being offered to an Engineer plus MBA wielding only one year experience.
I could perceive a happy voice after a long long time – Ma you are right. Always look for positivity even when the worst is near you. If my office would not have warned us about the layoff, I would have remained in the company for lifetime without caring to check on my value in the external market. Everything happens for good.
I added - Baby, life is a roller coaster ride and nothing is here to stay permanently, be it happiness or sadness. Hence stay calm in all situations; never be too excited during a happy phase nor upset during the troughs of your life. And last but not the least, a prayer is the strongest tool that helps you tread your journey of life. So always be grateful, be humble, be modest.
Simplicity of narration and portraying real life situations with women centric characters in a lucid language is my forte. I love dreamy romantic stories and heart-warming tales that make me believe in wonders of life. My themes generally include women's issues.
My short stories have been featured/forthcoming in ‘Bethlehem Writers Roundtable’, ‘Abstract: Contemporary Expressions’, ‘The Book Smuggler’s Den’ and ‘Trivia Mundi’.
Her book ‘O(h)FFICE’ is available at: