Thursday, March 5, 2009


It was sometime in 1971. Divisional manager was B.C.Rai. It was my fist posting at Davanagere as Sales Officer (UT). Vinay kumar, who joined a couple of months after our batch, was at Bangalore for training. Saturdays were half working days. I was summoned to Bangalore for a review, which those days meant dressing down sessions. No opinions were sought, no solutions given, it was just a municipal school class room ( I studied in a municipal school) with a teacher who never smiled and used his cane liberally. Only thing missing was cane. But the verbal onslaughts made up for the cane. No one came forward with suggestions, not even the assitant District managers.
Vinay was married and his wife had come from Hyderabad to spend a weekend with her husband. At 1230 Vinay saught his leave from office from an ADM, who disapproved. When Vinay wanted to see the DM he was told that he would be torn apart. Nonethe less Vinay entered DM’s cabin and saught permission. DM came down heavily on him. Vinay told him his wife was waiting for him and that it was necessary for him to go. DM told him he too had a wife. Vinay just said may be your wife does not wait for you but my wife does and left.

B C Rai was a sick person, I mean mentally. On one occasion, in a meeting, he pulled out a photograph from his pocket, showing it to us asked, do you know this handsome man? At times he would ring up Branch sales Manager and tell his PA, “your future BSM is speaking”. I thought he needed psychiatric treatment. But the fact remains that many officers had to suffer him.
He managed my transfer to Warangal. Before my relieving letter was given to me, I had to attend a review meet. B C Rai had worked for about ten years in Burmah Shell before joining IOC. I was on tranfer and had nothing to lose, so I decided to ‘give’ him. I very politely asked him in the presence of all officers, “Sir, how long did you work for Shell and what was your position”. He very proudly said,” For ten years as DSR (District Sales Representative)” I again very politely asked him,” Sir, you must have done great work.” He nodded. My last question was, “ how come you did not get a single promotion in ten years?” There was stunned silence.

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