“I am very busy today. I need to wait for the chairman’s call on my intercom, so I can’t really get up from my seat whole day today”
“Hope the chairman does not call me today between 3.00 pm to 4.30 pm when Rahukal will be on”
“I have been told to wait until 9pm this saturday…he will call me for a personal meeting”
“I have asked the telecom guys to divert the incoming calls to my office intercom on to my mobile phone…so in this way I need not always sit in the chamber while waiting for the call of the chairman”
Such dialogues kept sprouting from CEO’s mouth for more than a week. I did sense the frustration and helplessness which most of the times quickly transformed into anger. He was always in an irritable mood, but, at the same time, tried his level best to be in convivial mood. Most of the times, anger got the better of him. He started having very less official interactions with the factory.
The ants had become completely silent these days. VN (the ants’ leader) and his colleagues were very increasingly becoming worried and stressed due to the tug-of-war between VP and CEO. VN has always been obliging both sides with free information. While CEO thought that VN is loyal to him, the recent episodes of leaking of information to the factory have made CEO very alert. So these days the ants have been on the receiving end of CEO’s anger.
There was an overseas customer visit. VP usually accompanies B if the customer meeting happens in the office. This time, I learned, that VP had been told not to come. Only B came. is VP being kept away from sales and marketing? if true, this is a positive development.
Another pleasant surprise was in store!. I was also called to join the meeting with the customer. I did provide security to B by talking minimally in the meeting. Later in the evening, I was told to come to the party on that evening, planned for the visiting customer.
Then finally, the expected call came. CEO was told to meet the Chairman, but not alone, but along with the VP. VP came down from the factory the next day. CEO read the Hanuman Chalisa (a devotional verse on Lord Hanuman) more than once. Before going for the meeting, the VP called me to discuss about some unfinished, ongoing tasks. For the first time (since the day of joining), he started the conversation with “Good afternoon..hope you are getting quick replies from the factory these days….if there is anything pending, please bring into my attention”. Surprises’ Galore! There was a flavour of love and affection in his voice.
why is the change? does he want me on his side? or is it a reaction out of fear that CEO may win the war? Or is it the showing-off of quite confidence that he will emerge stronger from this shake-up ?
There were many rumours around what happened in the mega meeting. I had no way of knowing the facts. Two main players involved – CEO and VP – had differing versions. Obviously, no one can go and ask to other two participants – (tea drinking) Director and the chairman. Let me only present those which I think were facts or near facts (at the time of writing this) :-
(1) The purchasing manager was told to continue reporting on buying decisions to VP. So CEO’s attempts to influence purchasing decisions in a big way have failed.
(2) The proposed tour of CEO to USA and the Latin America was cancelled without any clear reasoning.
(3) I started getting frequent phone calls from the VP and the conversations are becoming more and more cordial
(4) The Ants have less and less interactions these days with me.
(5) The Cartel’s reaction to Chaos is yet unknown.
When I met the CEO on the subsequent day to the meeting with the Chairman, his body language was diffident. He did not reveal any details about the “big” meeting. I did not want to look inquisitive. It was within my functional domain to ask about his cancellation of the proposed trip to US. His answer was very evasive. It went something like this – “tongues will wag if I travel now…already the impression is that I just travel overseas for the heck of it….whatever work started have to be finished…so let me give it a miss this time… “ The sentences he uttered had everything in it – disppointment, agony, anger and revenge feeling – except of course the coherence, which was missing. Licking his wounds?