Thursday, 31 December 2015

The Three Employees - 13

Files
Boss walked in and found a set of papers lying on the floor.
Boss (angry): You are all so irresponsible. Didn’t any of you see these papers lying on the floor right in front of the office? Or were you all so busy with your work that you couldn’t stop for a second to pick them up?
Employee Two: Sorry Sir.
Boss: Sorry, that’s the one word solution for everything with you, isn’t it? Do something wrong and then say sorry. Aren’t you ashamed? What are these papers?
Employee One: Those are property documents of Mr. S, Sir.
Boss: And they are lying around like a piece of garbage. Do you know how important these documents are? What if they got lost?
Employee Three: Mr. S has the original Sir.
Boss: That’s not an excuse for irresponsibility. And I know Mr. S better that any of you guys. He is worse than you all. I won’t be surprised if he says that he has lost the originals.
He asks us to keep his papers with belief that we would keep them safe; so that he could refer them tomorrow. But what do we do? We throw them around like a piece of garbage. Irresponsible idiots…
Why weren’t these papers filed? Up till last night they were on top of the front desk. Now they are lying on the floor. What if I hadn’t seen them? They would have been left there till the cleaning lady swept them away. Why aren’t they in their file?
Employee One: We keep three files for Mr. S, Sir, and there was a slight confusion as to which file they belong. So we thought we’d ask you before filing them.
Boss: So were you waiting for an auspicious moment to ask me? Tell me now, what’s the confusion?
Employee One: The three files we keep for Mr. S are ‘Documents and Deeds’, ‘Income Tax Matters’ and ‘Sales Tax Matters’.
Boss: So what’s the confusion? These should go to ‘Documents and Deeds’.
Employee One: I told them Sir but they didn’t agree.
Employee Two: The client has sold the property Sir. So now it is more relevant in ‘Income Tax Matters’, for calculating Capital Gains, etc.
Boss: So file them in ‘Income Tax Matters’.
Employee One: But the client hasn’t received the full sales consideration yet Sir. He might want to refer them again. So isn’t it better to file them in ‘Documents and Deeds’?
Employee Two: That makes Capital Gains computation even more difficult. So they should certainly go into Income Tax Matters.
Employee Three: Don’t leave Sales Tax out of this! When sales consideration is received against fixed assets point five percent VAT is payable on it! What if that point gets missed while VAT computation and audit? So they should go to ‘Sales Tax Matters’.
Boss: Point five percent? I don’t think it’s relevant.
Employee Three: Point five percent of Ten Crores Sir. It is relevant enough for the department to issue a notice.
Employee One: Which file Sir?
Boss was lost in thought.
Employee Three: Most relevant fact as of now is that we almost lost them. So may be the best solution would be to file them in ‘Miscellaneous’ or ‘Lost and Found’!!
Boss: Shut up you idiot.
And after some more thinking he gave the final verdict.
Boss: Take two more copies of the set and put one in each file!

-Ashok Sri Kirshna

Friday, 14 August 2015

The Three Employees

12.  The Conference

Boss: ...I take the pains to send the three of you all the way to Chennai to attend a conference but did even one of you care to tell me how it went?
Employee one: Sorry sir.
Boss: Don’t say ‘sorry sir’. Tell me how it went.
Employee Two: The train journey was really bad sir.
Employee One: Yes, to spend a whole day on a train is something I feel is equal to being kept in prison. I prefer night travel. Just get on the train and sleep. But in day time trains can be...
Employee Two: What was worse was the food we got on the train.
Employee One: Prison food describes it well.
Employee Two: Why do you compare everything with prison? Planning to go there?
Employee Three: Train food wasn’t so bad. The food at the conference was the worst. I was certainly expecting better food at a national mega conference. All we got was just ...just ...pure vegetarian! And for that we had to stand in a long-long queue.
Employee One: Again just like in prison!
Boss: Stop going on and on about things. When I ask you about the conference tell me of the conference.
Employee Two: The entrance to the conference hall looked like a broken down or under construction building. It reminded me of the sort of place gangsters usually meet rather than executives. But the hall itself was not bad. It was like a big film theatre.
Employee One: The hall was too dimly lit and the power supply kept failing. And even though it was big it wasn’t big enough. Many were left standing.
Employee Three: The place where they served lunch was even worse. It was too tiny to accommodate everyone. I found it terrible; stuffed in a room with two thousand three hundred others from different parts of the country, speaking different languages, all holding plates in front of them and trying to eat pure vegetarian food.
Boss (angry): I am asking about what was said in the conference you idiots. Stop going on and on about trains and food and the venue. It was a motivational conference. Did you feel good and motivated listening to it at all?
Employee One: Somewhat sir.
Boss: What do you mean somewhat?
Employee One: They had lined up too many speakers. They all had a lot to say. But as time was limited they were asked either to speak really fast or were made to stop in the middle of what they were saying.
Employee Two: Some made their presentation in the local language which we didn’t understand.
Employee Three: One of them was narrow minded sir. He didn’t consider what he was saying from all angles.
Boss: What do you mean?
Employee Three: He was a Chartered Accountant trying to motivate people to join the CA course. He showed a picture of an ice berg. He said that as of now the scope of practice available for Chartered Accountants is limited only to the extent of the tip of the ice berg seen above the water which itself is plenty. But by the time we qualify the opportunities available would be even more, almost equal to the size of the whole ice berg.
Boss: So? I think he is right. More and more opportunities and being opened up for Chartered Accountants these days. Sometimes I feel I shouldn’t have stopped practice.
Employee Three: He didn’t consider global worming sir! Do you know how fast the polar ice caps are melting? It takes too long to qualify as a Chartered Accountant. After all that what if there is no ice berg at all?
Boss (angry): It was supposed to be a good motivational Conference. I thought it would do you good. But did it? I don’t think so. I am the one who is the biggest fool here. I should have thought twice before sending you out to attend this conference.
Employee One: Actually sir, we discussed about this conference for an hour everyday for six days before you decided.
Boss: Oh, thank you for reminding me! We discussed so much about it yet you made nothing out of it.
Employee Three: I felt a lot motivated sir.
Boss: Don’t you say a thing. I heard enough from you. Do you even know the meaning of the word motivation?
Employee Three: Of course sir. The conference inspired me to do something and now I’m deeply involved in it.
Boss: Really?
Employee Three: Yes sir. I’ve even joined the online Agatha Christie fan club!
Boss: What are you saying? The conference inspired you to join Agatha Christie fan club? This was an executive conference. I’m sure they didn’t speak about Agatha Christie.
Employee Three: One of the speakers was saying something about how two people might see the same thing from different perspectives. He gave the example of how two people acted after they read the same book ‘The Pale Horse’ by Agatha Christie. I don’t remember what he said but the cover page of the book which was a part of his slide attracted me.
The first thing I did after we got out of the conference was find a book stall and buy ‘The Pale Horse’. Books don’t usually attract me but ‘The Pale Horse’ was so good that I bought two more of Agatha Christie. Those two were even better and I found myself falling in love with the queen of crime. Now I have taken membership in an online fan club and also ordered ten more books. To start with I was never a good reader but now I just can’t stay away from Christie.
If it isn’t motivation that changed me then what did? I can’t imagine what I’d have missed if I hadn’t attended this conference!!

-Ashok Sri Krishna

Monday, 18 May 2015

The Three Employees

11. PERT
The phone rang. They thought that it was the angry Boss and argued whose turn it was to answer and finally decided to answer on speaker mode.
Employee One: Hello...?
Caller: Hello, is this...
Employee One: No, he’s not in office right now. What is it you want to discuss with him? Do you want an appointment?
Caller: Nothing never mind, actually when he was in practice as a Chartered Accountant I used to be an article under him. I just called to tell him that I am going to attempt the final for the first time tomorrow.
Employee One: Oh, Best of Luck! We’ll tell him you called when he’s back.
Caller: We?
Employee One: You are on speaker phone. Sorry, we thought you were someone else.
Employee Two: So are you full prepared and confident about tomorrow?
Caller: Can’t say I am. Tomorrow’s paper isn’t an easy one. It’s AMA. I haven’t understood all the concepts in it. And it is just my first attempt. I considered the worst case scenario and I believe the worst that can happen is that I see the question paper not recognise any of the questions in it, sit blankly for one and a half hours and leave after that. Of course that’s the worst case I’m sure I would be able to answer at least one question.
Employee One: No-no it will never do to be depressed and under confident. You should never think of such a worst case scenario. Life is what you make it to be. In your case the exam is what you make it to be. Think positive. Think of the best things that can happen. It’s all in your mind. Imagine you get an easy paper. Think of how happy you’d be if you manage to answer it all very well in the first one and a half hours. You know the psychology, if you aim for the stars you reach at least the sky. If you think the exam is going to be really easy at least seventy percent of it will be easy.
Employee Two: Now don’t be silly. If he thinks of such a best case scenario he will get overconfident. Overconfidence gets you nowhere. He’s not writing a BA Economics exam of a private university like you did. It would never do for him to be thinking of the best or the worst case. The proper level of confidence should be somewhere in the middle. Let me tell you whether the exam is of a private university or of ICAI for a person who has studied sufficiently forty percent of it will be easy. This is a proven statistic. You can check for yourself in any question paper. What you should do when you get the question paper is find questions you are sure about and use the first one and a half hours to answer them. After that there would be time for other questions just make sure you attempt everything. Best of Luck.
Caller: Thank you...
Employee Three: Wait! As you guys are discussing different scenarios let me tell you there is also an extreme case scenario.
Caller: Extreme Case? What’s that?
Employee Three: Everything about it is extreme. Imagine you are too tensed to sleep tonight. So you sit up and study all night. Suddenly you look at the watch and realise that it is no longer night but there are just a few minutes for the exam to start. So you run as fast as you can to the centre and arrive huffing and puffing.
Employee Two: And he is unable to answer the exam properly. What are you trying to do, destroy any little confidence he may have?
Employee Three: No, the Extreme Case doesn’t have such a sad ending!
Caller: Thank goodness!
Employee Three: It gets worse! You get the question paper and you find that it’s really-really easy! Yes, Easy! You read the questions and are unable to believe it. You think of all the tension you took unnecessarily. You read the questions again and again and you just love the question paper. But then you realise that you have just been looking at the question paper and even after one and a half hours you haven’t answered a single question!
Caller: So I don’t complete the paper?
Employee Three: Of course you do! It’s an easy paper and you have studied well and revised all night. You complete it in one and a half hours. When you come out of the hall you are so excited at having completed such an easy paper but you are also tired after sitting up all night. In your excitement to get home and celebrate you don’t see where you’re going and get hit by a bus!
Employee Two: What?! Get hit by a bus! That has got nothing to do with...
Employee Three: This is the extreme Case scenario anything can happen!
Caller: So I die in the extreme case? That is too silly.
Employee Three: No you don’t! Death is not extreme enough!
Caller: What can be worse than death?
Employee Three: Life! You survive the accident but wake up only four days later in a hospital bed. To make things even worse all your friends are there. They tell you that you missed the other papers and even show you the question papers. You find that these too were easy and you would have passed and perhaps even been on the rank list if you had attended. But all you can do is cry!
Employee One: I feel like crying now! Your theory is so bad I feel I should either cry or hit you on the head!
Employee Three: What do you get to learn from the extreme case scenario?
Employee Two: Nothing! Absolutely nothing, other than that you are a fool which we already know!
Employee Three: What you should have learnt was that you should neither stay up all night before an exam nor be too excited by an easy question paper. You may laugh at me but let me tell you I speak from experience!

-Ashok Sri Krishna

Friday, 23 January 2015

The Three Employees



10.  Impressing The Client
One Evening
Boss: Mr. K is arriving by train tomorrow morning. A meeting with him could result in a few client deals. I was to meet him at ten but I won’t be able to make it. I have a seminar to attend. He is a fussy little guy and may walk away if no one turns up. So I want you guys to receive him at the station and keep him entertained till afternoon when I would be able to see him. Make sure he’s impressed. Take him around town buy him lunch at some good place make sure he is happy. I will join you in the afternoon by around two and seal the deal.
Next Afternoon – Boss completed his presentation
Mr. K: I am impressed by your presentation and the type of services you offer. You have such good employees too. But you see my partners made some calls last night. They have found that others are willing to offer the same service at a lower price. It will be hard to convince them but I will try my best and see if I can get back to you.
Later in Office
Boss: The meeting didn’t go so well but today is the first time I heard something good about you guys! Well done! He was very impressed. So how did it go?
Employee One: We incurred a lot of expenses to keep him happy, sir. We were hoping to get a few clients to make up for it.
Boss: Well he didn’t say no. We still have a chance. How much did you spend on him? Give me the bills, I’ll reimburse you.
Boss (angrily; looking at the expense list): What?! So much?! I want an explanation for each item. Why did you spend so much on him? He wasn’t your father in law was he? Taxi charge, what taxi charges so much for driving around town?
Employee One: A Honda Civic sir. We thought we’d make a good first impression by driving him around town in a big car. The rate on big cars is quite high as such but apparently you have to make a booking if you want a big car otherwise they charge you extra!
Boss (shouting): Why did you have to get such a big car? He was an outsourcing agent not the President of America! Thank god you didn’t take a BMW or a Benz. Now what’s this car rent and repairs and maintenance?
Employee Two: The taxi was our second choice sir. First we thought we’d show him a car as our own. We rented a Honda Civic.
Boss: I don’t understand.
Employee Three: I was supposed to drive sir. But the moment I started we crashed into a banyan tree. After that the car looked nothing like a Honda Civic. So we had to pay for repairs.
Boss: Fool, don’t you know how to drive?
Employee Three: I just got a licence a few months back and am not comfortable driving in traffic. I told them but they didn’t listen. They said it was all in my mind, I would be able to do it if I concentrate. But when I started the car they started praying for their lives that was enough to distract me! And bang the Honda Civic is just metal!
Boss: Idiots! Food expenses, two times! Why are there two bills for food expenses?
Employee One: You asked us to take him to a good hotel. We took him to a five star!
Boss: Great! But what about the first bill?
Employee Two: That was for our breakfast sir. We couldn’t eat at home as we had to leave early.
Boss: Leave early? What for? His train was to arrive only at ten. You usually come to office by nine thirty.
Employee Two: We thought we’d go early sir. You see we had no idea about what time the train would come, on what platform it would stop, how long it would stop, what was the coach position etc, etc, we also wanted to hire a coolly well in time so that there was no confusion when the client arrived. And again we had not seen Mr. K before and had to think of how to identify him. So we decided to go early and make enquiries. We also had to stop by the car renting place before that.
Boss: And why is the coolly charge so high? How much luggage did he have?
Employee One: He didn’t have any luggage sir, just a laptop which he refused to hand over to anyone. The coolly was angry when he heard this. He had been standing with us from the past two hours hoping to get a good fare. He started shouting at us. We had to pay him off!
Boss: Medical Expenses? What for? I don’t see any connection.
Employee Two: He fainted sir! It was perhaps the first time he was inside a five star hotel or maybe he hadn’t had food for a long time. He went on stuffing himself. He ate so much that the hotel staff began staring at us. The moment we stepped outside he fell. We rushed him to the hospital. His Sugar level as well as heart pressure had gone up!
Boss: Great, so you almost killed him! I wonder why he was so impressed by you guys! Miscellaneous expenses? What was it for?
Employee One (tensed): Who put that on the list? We weren’t planning to claim that!
Employee Two (tensed): Never mind sir. Forget about it. It’s just a small figure.
Boss: Five thousand! A small figure! Tell me now.
Employee One: I don’t know who put that on the list.
Employee Two: You explain, you are the one responsible for it.
Employee Three: You see sir; I was sitting with him in the hospital ward making small talk while they had gone to get the medicines. He began talking about this and that. Suddenly he brought the topic down to work. He did it so slightly that I didn’t even realise what I was getting into. He made me tell him about how we do the work here and how much expense we actually incur. He also got me into discussing how much others in town charge roughly for the same work. When we suddenly realised what went wrong we were scared that you would get angry at us and fire us. So we bribed him. We begged him not to tell you. In the end he agreed for five thousand!
Boss (face red with anger): What! Fools... Idiots... ***... ***
-Ashok Sri Krishna
The above story (which I hope is the best in the series so far) is dedicated to Lord Panjabjapuresha and is released  on the occasion of his Festival.
-Ashok Sri Krishna

Saturday, 10 January 2015

The Three Employees


9. Awake All Night
Use of Internet is restricted in office. But when the Boss goes out rules go out with him. The Employees are browsing the net.
Employee Three: Hey, look what I found. Observe this photo and tell me what you see.
Employee Two: I see a low quality photo shot by some inexperienced fellow!
Employee Three: Quality is not important. Look carefully.
Employee One: That man, he isn’t good looking and is standing in a weird pose. He reminds me of someone.
Employee Two: Is that you?
Employee Three: No, he is not me. The man is not important either. Look carefully.
Employee Two: A small, broken down, house with an over grown garden. Why is the fool posing in the middle of nowhere?
Employee Three: The background isn’t important either. Look Care...
Employee One: Is anything important about it at all? Stop wasting our time.
Employee Three: Look at the house the window...
Employee One (Sacred): A ghost... It’s a ghost! ....
Employee Two: It can’t be a ghost. I don’t believe in such things. Its possibly just a piece of white cloth hanging from the window.
Employee One (Shivering): Why did you have to show me this photo? I won’t be able to sleep tonight!
Employee Two (in disbelief): It’s just a piece of cloth I tell you. It can’t be real. Ha-Ha, there is ghost right behind him and this ugly fellow is posing with a big smile on his face? It can’t be! It’s a piece of cloth!
Employee Three: Then what about the face? This is an instance of a ghost caught on camera. It’s real; there have been other instances...
Employee One (shivering): No-no, don’t tell me! I won’t be able to sleep at night.
Next Day
Employee One (angry): I was awake all night! It’s all because of you. Don’t you dare show me anything of that sort ever again. I was so scared. That photo of yours kept appearing every time I closed my eyes!
Employee Two: I didn’t get any sleep either. I kept thinking of that photo. I even browsed the net to take another look at it. I wanted to find something to prove that it was a fake! It’s just a piece of cloth I tell you!
Employee Three: I too didn’t sleep! I was up all night trying to think of more ghost stories to scare you guys!!
Boss (suddenly walked in): Same here! I was awake all night too! I saw the internet data usage details and was busy calculating how much to cut from each of your salaries to make up for the cost!
-Ashok Sri Krishna