Friday, December 5, 2014
When I reached Vizag, I saw a number of young officers, who joined Indian Oil in 1984.They all were technically qualified from pretigeous institutions like IIT, Osmania University Engineering college etc.and inspite of their qualifications they were mortally scared of Terminal Manager. There was a manager terminal, who was moving out on trasfer, told me TM was like a god to him. He warned me not to go against him. Then there were two very interesting characters. Both were Dyputy Managers. One was almost a devotee of TM. He would do anything to please him. Another Dy. Mgr was a comic figure.He was very fond of travelling in jeep and talking over telephone. If some officers wanted to talk to him, they had to just wait at his desk and not get a chance to talk. Not that he talked something important on phone; important to him was he was on his favourite job, the job of talking on telephone. So much for introduction. TM held the officers to ransom. He refused to sanction allowances for extended hours duty, holiday duty even though such allowances were official. The threat was Annual Appraisal Reports. Officers were scared of him because they thought he might give them an average report, which would not get them promotion Within a few weeks of my joining there were elections of Officers Association. Officers of terminal, Divisional office and AFS elected me as secretary for all the three establishments in Vizag. A Dy.Mgr made a blunder of his life by giving me duty on 15th August 1986. I performed my duty and next day submitted my claim for holiday working allowance. Both the Dy. Mgrs warned me that I would incur TM’s wrath. I insisted on my allowance and threatened them that I would take up at the highest level. TM had no choice but to approve my claim. I told all officers to claim all their allowances, which they were denied. For TM there was no choice but to approve. The TM knew very little about operations. He had the blessings of union leader. Blessings come at a price. Unionised staff was happy as they always got what they wanted. It was the union leader who decided the postings of officers in various sections. The lure of promotions had the officers turn a blind eye to the shady happenings. They thought it was enough if they remained upright. All shady people observe all religious rituals, so did this TM. He built a huge temple on Port land very close to the terminal. Surprisingly even the port authorities did not object. How could they? After all some thing religious was being done. Any important official visiting the terminal had to first visit the temple, have a silk shawl and of course blessings before inspecting the terminal. Internal audit team, too, had to undergo the blessed ceremony in addition to a trip to Simhachalam, which has a famous temple. The biggest beneficiary of TM’s largess was DGM (operations).