Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The corporate lingo

I live in a apartment complex, where most of them are working in the IT industry. We have formed a committee to take care of various aspects like resident grievances,moderating accounts, maintaining equipments, planning budgets and organizing events etc. We also appointed a operations manager to execute these activities in a planned manner. The committee has various positions (President, Vice-president, Secretary etc..) which in most of the cases held by folks who are in entry/middle level management positions in IT industry. These folks use 'corporate lingo' in every other opportunity they get. Recently I came across couple of interesting scenes.

Scene 1: Operations manager's resignation

Last Sunday Mr.President of the association called for an 'urgent' meeting to announce the resignation of the operations manager. Here is what he has to say:

"This is to inform you that our operations manager X has resigned from his current position. He got such a lucrative offer that its impossible for us to match it. Looking from his career prospective it is a good decision and he will grow well in his career by taking this decision. I have accepted his resignation and asked Jayakumar (me), Gupta and Krisha to work on the transition. The last working day of X will be July 5th 2008. Let us wish him all the best!"

I was stunned to hear such speech and thought "Am I sitting in company meeting or apartment
association meeting?". I know X (operation manager) personally and he is a 55 year old ex-central government employee. He opted voluntary retirement, took up the current operations job just to keep him occupied and make some decent money. What career aspirations or growth he can have at this age? Who can offer a high-growth career for him for looking after mundane things?

Scene 2: Discussions regarding rain water harvesting

Couple of months back we had another meeting to discuss the possibility of installing rain water harvesting system in the complex. During the same time we were purchasing water from tankers as our borewell levels has gone down significantly. Here is what Mr. Vice president has to say:
"How much we will be spending for installing the system? By installing this how many meters the ground water will come up? How much amount we can save by stopping external tankers? Can you provide me the overall Return-On-Investment (ROI)?"
This was a bumper to me! It was exactly sounding the way my project manager asks questions to engineers by keeping the commonsense in a corner. Doesn't he know that rain water harvesting is a community initiative? Even if he don't know can't he ask for more details? Why should he ask typical "manager" questions and quickly jump into ROI?

According to me 95% of things in life and work is all about applying commonsense. One need to understand 'what-to-apply-where' and 'one-size-doesn't fit-eveyone'.As I mentioned above Mr.President and Mr.Vice presidents are a mid level manager IT managers primarily doing people management. They got used to asking same set of questions in their workplace, which got
carried away to apartment association meetings as well. If at all they would have applied basic commonsense,those questions would not have come. As time progressed, the 'corporate lingo' got into their blood.

Will they ever learn the importance of commonsense?

2 comments:

karram said...

ROFLMAO.
"to pursue a high growth career" :))

Shanmuga said...

Quite a funny post Anna.
Tendency of a typical modern manager is to become powerful somehow, ask for status reports from the juniors and perform hire-and-fire to satisfy his/her ego. Such managers think that they do this smartly by keeping their peers and others puzzled about their behavior. Your post has clearly revealed their behavioral pattern not only in professional activities but also in daily routines. :)