Last year, amid the corona crazy, I got a call to discuss anchor role in an ed-tech company in New Delhi. There was an online video discussion with the brand head, I was sent letter of intent and I accepted.
Days later, I got no follow-up or intimation so I decided to speak with the owner (unknown to me, appreciate for being reachable) directly and stated that I was called, sent letter but no action taken thereafter but I’d be seriously interested. I, of course, followed up because we all need work and money, especially in these most toughest times.
After making an effort to meet the owner at their far-off office in a deserted locality in Noida (it was my choice, not blaming) and giving impromptu audition, I was called for another round of audition at their Delhi office. Now remember all this is happening after I have already received the letter of intent by the company and in the middle of the pandemic.
I gave another audition (arrived on time but waited much for my turn) and it went quite well (you know when you kill it and know when you don’t). Another month passed by, I didn’t get any call. I followed up with the owner and messaged personally about having given auditions etc. By this time, the first person, who discussed online, had quit so I was aligned with the new product head.
This person called & talked for almost an hour, asked about me but mostly made it about how much he’s in awe of his company, owner & vision. Honestly, it wasn’t needed because it was just a phone call, not a public praise-all forum. Theek hai jhel liya, kaam toh karna hi tha (Tolerated him for the sake of work. Yes, if it worked & he behaved good, I may have not used the word “tolerated”).
This guy, again, stops communication there. Now, am wondering what’s next. I, again, follow up with the owner and share the situation. We discuss further and decide I should meet the team in person. Same product guy does a meeting with me in person. He, categorically, told me that I will come on board for a series of events the company is planning to conduct in coming days and I will be given a call for further discussion.
Later, he gives a feedback that am focused on money and I was told that this guy is actually very patriotic-like for his work, thus, cannot stand money discussions.
What the fu*k, whatta loser hypocrite. As if, he was giving services to his “most-favourite” organization for free. Moreover, why does this sound as if he was going to pay from his pocket. When he joined the company, wouldn’t he have negotiated a price for his services? Then why, this sudden change of attitude while dealing with professionals on the other side.
Now, why he did this. He had known me since a long time before he called me, seen my work & was in clear understanding of my reach & network. I had never known or spoken with him before. He was intimidated & didn’t want me to come in the system (not the first time a male employee has done this to me). I want to stress on this point here for women professionals. It is very common for male professionals to feel insecure of women who are good at their work, don’t take sh*t and call the shots for themselves, especially when they’re beautiful – it’s deadly! Some men, who don’t feel enough, just know & get the vibe when a girl is not ‘girly’ enough and won’t ‘adjust’ and be a yes-woman.
Just to make it clear, this isn’t a generalization as I have had more good experiences with male colleagues, bosses and professionals.
Girls… sorry, dear strong-headed, opinionated girls, you’ve had experiences with such male professionals in the past and I’m just writing it down for you so that you know what you feel is not alien & quite common. These are the kinds who don’t want you around at any cost and give excuses such as “we won’t be able to afford you”, “role requirement doesn’t match your talent”, “we are looking for deeper domain experience”, etc.
An owner of the company licking up to the team member who clearly is unjustified is, also, not new to me. I’ve seen many such before. I don’t blame the owner either as, at the end of the day, s/he has to run the organization. But, I, personally, don’t think highly of such people. In my eyes, a good humane leader will rise for the right. I haven’t seen this quality much and don’t expect it now.
The point I want to make here, something I’ve said in the past, whether you follow up for work or they, it doesn’t matter. We often think we’ll look needy but that’s just an old way of thinking – there should never be a time for such self-demeaning thought process & now, after having seen so much in corona times, definitely not.
The right organization/person will value you irrespective of your call to them or theirs to you. And if they don’t want you, they will tell you and there’s nothing in it to make a big deal of. It’s just work – do it and move on unless you come across good people who are worthy of your time and emotions.
This post might make you curious to know names and I could take them too. But, it isn’t a good thing to do and definitely not right unless a direct fall-out has taken place.
We know that such pricks will continue to exist and we will have to keep navigating through them, just the way we have, in the past. We live in the most tumultuous times, if we still don’t learn our lessons to live and let live with zero manipulation then chances of willingness in that direction will always remain bleak.