Would you pass up a chance to earn more?

Part 1

There was no reaction in the morning session. It was work as usual. Only after the afternoon tea was served, he saw the HR manager making his way to his table.

‘Ram, I’m stepping out for a meeting and would return before 6-00. I’ll buzz you once I’m back. We can then meet in my cabin?’

‘Sure, Ravi. Luckily there are no evening telecons today. I’ll be ready.’

‘So that’s settled. I’ll run along.’

Like in US corporations, everyone was on first-name regardless of his rank.

Ram’s manager, Som, was away in London for a client review meeting and was not likely to be back until the following week-end. He didn’t have time on hand to wait for his boss’s return. It was unfortunate, but had to be done – Why, the timing might even work out in his favor. He had sent the email to all concerned late last evening.

He could get back to his work – the upcoming meeting did not weigh heavily on his mind. The pros and cons were carefully evaluated already and strategies worked out.

The month-end was coming up. His team’s timesheets for the month had to be reviewed and approved for raising invoices. It was already quarter past six as he finished up with the last of the time-sheets and Ravi called.

‘Come, Ram, I took the liberty of ordering some tea and biscuits for us. I get a bit hungry at this time. Don’t know how it’s with you. I’m able to cover a lot of ground after 6-00 when it is relatively quieter and there are fewer interruptions.’
Ravi had this knack of easily pushing himself into the same space as the other man’s, talk his language, and appear as vulnerable.

The tea was poured out into cups and milk and sugar added and stirred.

‘Som will of course speak to you after he reaches Los Angeles. So, Ram, why is this sudden decision?’

‘Well, Ravi, you’re right. I wasn’t exactly looking for a change at all. Last week I met someone at my friend’s birthday bash. We got talking shop. One thing led to another. Couple of days later, a meeting in their office was arranged. My interest even at that time was only casual. It took a turn for the serious only when they made an offer. The package was unbelievably good – something I couldn’t say no to. Discussed with my wife and we decided to take it up.’

‘Ram, not surprising at all that someone is making this offer as you’re working on cutting-edge technology. And they have to make it look attractive for you to make the change. That’s the only carrot they can hold out as you already have our brand backing you, a higher-than-industry-average and very tax-friendly compensation package, latest technologies and high-profile clients. Not to speak of the enormous opportunities for future growth.’

‘Ravi, it is a reputed MNC and is catching up on us. I’m not losing out on any of those aspects.’

‘You’ve been with us for only a year, And you got one of the biggest raises in the organization in this appraisal.’

‘Please don’t forget my project got the best rating in the customer satisfaction survey.’

‘You’re marked for larger roles. Som has made the recommendations in your annual performance appraisal. I’m sure he must’ve shared it with you. We’re working on it.’

‘He did. But you’re talking about future. This is now.’

‘I understand your project is in a critical phase – a major release is due in six weeks?’

‘I know, Ravi. What to do? I’m also under pressure to join. Am supposed to visit Amsterdam to kick-off a project for them in four weeks. I assure you I’ll do all I can to ensure a smooth transition. Mohan has shaped up quite well. Martin (client contact) likes him well. So it shouldn’t be a problem.’

For the next fifteen minutes, Ravi used every different ways to impress upon Ram that it was a wrong time to leave the project and it would hurt the business if he did.

‘OK, Ram. You’re one of our bright stars and we don’t want to lose you. We’ve positioned you as our lead in a high profile project that could be a precursor to bigger deals. Tell me what would it take to keep you back? No promises, I’ll try my best. You can freely tell me.’

‘Ravi, as I’ve said, I do not have any complaints working here. It’s just that the package is some 50% more than what I get here even after the ‘biggest raise’ you referred to. Yes, I know you’ve the organizational norms, etc. etc. and you can’t do much. That’s why I didn’t even bring it up. As you know, I’ve recently moved into a new flat that I purchased. The EMI (the monthly repayment on the loan) hangs over my head like a sword. And there are other commitments. Would you pass up a chance to earn more? I mean if you were in my shoes.’

‘Fine, I understand. I’ll speak to Som and do what I can within a couple of days. Though I’m not sure if we can stretch to give you another 50% raise. What would you say if I manage another 20% to 25%?’

‘Make it 30%.’

It was nearly 7-00 when they shook hands on Ravi’s promise to revert with their best offer. Ravi, looking like a cloth coming out of a spin-dryer, stayed back to make more phone calls now; and Ram could have been taken for returning from an evening out as he made for the exit. Only, he wasn’t whistling a tune. The meeting had played out quite predictably and Ram was quite satisfied with the outcome so far.

(To be contd.)


2 Responses to Would you pass up a chance to earn more?

  1. trisha says:

    interesting this far. your story telling skill is splendid.


  2. tskraghu says:

    Thanks very much for the encouragement.


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