The market has become so volatile it has become highly dangerous to go near one’s boss during the market hours. This is because his moods keep fluctuating along with the sensex.
I realized this when I was sitting with Mr.Jain, the Deputy General Manager of a leading nationalized bank.
It was 10 o’clock in the morning and the market opened on a firm note. Naik, a senior clerk approached Jain with an application for 15 days privilege leave.
Jain called the broker and the prices were on an uptrend. Jain browsed through the leave application and said “Good to see that you’re at last going on leave. A short break from the routine can do wonders to your spirit. When you come back from holidays you are fresh as daisy. Where are you planning to go?”
“Rishikesh” said Naik.
“That’s a great place” Jain said. “I had gone to Rishikesh four times and can tell you that it is a real paradise. But fifteen days is too short a time. Why do you want to rush back so soon?”
The phone rang. Jain spoke “What? Unitech has crashed 8%.. But people were bullish…oh I see. You told me that there was a technical break out. What? The break out is now on the downside. Okay..Do whatever you want.”
Jain kept the receiver down. He was agitated. He glanced at the leave application and exploded. “Naik this is too much. There is so much work to do and you want to simply walk away. The country has gone to dogs only because of you people. When the country is hitting inflation of 10% how can you think of dashing off to Himalayas as if it is no body’s business.”
Naik was petrified “Sir, I have not gone on leave for five years. My leave fare concession will lapse if I don’t avail it of now.”
This angered Jain even more “So what if you have not gone on leave for five years. Should I give you an award for that? Arre baba, in Japan people work for ten years without a break and do not complain. You cannot come up in life by rushing off on a holiday once in five years.”
The phone rang and brought some good news. Jain said “Wonderful…Cairn has gone to 299.. sell 2,000 shares I had bought at 284. What L&T has announced bonus and dividend? This is great news. Okay as you say. Keep me informed.”
Jain turned cheerfully to Naik “So where we were? Yes, you wanted to go on leave. Well, I am a firm believer that people should get away from the city life at least once a year. Otherwise you tend to become a moron and the efficiency suffers. I’m told that in France the company award penalty points to employees who don’t take a holiday. It is only in our country people are so money minded that they encash leave instead of enjoying the facility. It is a sick attitude.” Naik was delighted and said “So, will you sanction the leave, Sir?”
“Of course I will” said Jain and the phone rang once again. “Just a minute” said Jain and picked up the receiver “My God! What do you mean the market has crashed? You said it was looking great half an hour back. What do you mean by basket-based selling! What do I do now? Sell everything and get out?
Okay do it and one more thing. Stop pestering me during the office hours.”
Jain banged the receiver. There was murder in his eyes. The sight of Naik standing in front of him infuriated him further. He threw the leave application and shouted “You idiot, don’t try to play this mischief again. You thought since I was busy you could push in the leave application quietly along with the other papers and get it sanctioned. I can see through your game. No body can fool Jain. Remember that. Now get the hell out of here and let me work.”
When I went to the bank the next day I was told that Jain has gone on a long leave.