"Hello Sir.... how are you doing today? I am Rahul calling from Excel Electronics sir. Hope I have not called you at the wrong time? ...... Aaaah yes sir, we talked earlier about the deal..... yes sir.. oh no sir.... no no.... you were interested in our special corporate offer.... yes sir.. yes yes....what!! Star Electronics is offering you a 25% discount.... sir before you think about it... i would like to tell you only one thing... quality is very important sir!! Its electronics you are buying after all...Who are Star Electronics sir!! They just came 2 years ago... but we are there since more than 10 years.... and lets look for a long term relationship sir.... I agree sir, they might be selling you the same specifications.... but look at our service sir.... we will offer you two years free servicing sir.. sir ...sir.... But sir... no sir... we can't give you 25% discount... but..maybe 15%.. ok sir for you 18%.... sir we will also offer you.....we certainly can..... sir.....sir..hello....hello......"
"Bastard!!! Shit!!" I banged the receiver on the table...the reason you already know..
I had lost a deal, a very important deal. This was not the first one I had lost this month. I looked at the calender on my table. It had a girl posing in a bikni by the sea... i did not notice her... all my eyes were set on that one date I had circled with my red marker.... Monday 30th March 2009. This day would determine my future. My performance for the whole quarter would be reviewed on that day.
I looked at today's date, it was 23rd March 2009. One week. I had exactly one week.
"Hi Macha!! Good Morning da..." It was Swami with his usual smile. "What da.. you are looking worried... What happened ... the Inventures Deal is gone aaa...no problem da... try Orbit Computers.. they are planning to start their new branch .. it might work out.. chill da... cheer up... its still 10 am.. you got the whole day to work..."
Swami was right. I couldn't sit like this all day.
Oh! By the way I forgot to tell you what do I do now. Its been long since I talked with you guys. More than a year.. right??
I am Rahul Sharma, Sales Executive, Excel Electronics. I into Air Conditioners. By the way if you want to get relief from this scorching heat.. all you need to do is call me @ 9999966666 - Excel Electronics.
"Bring home our Air Conditioners and live happily ever after!!"
But you know whats the irony of my job. I work in Bangalore and I don't know which fucking asshole put this thought in the minds of the people in Bangalore that, 'Bangalore is the A/C city of India. You don't need A/Cs here...the weather is so cool!" Haaa.. I am gonna kill that bastard soon.
Yeah.. yeah..I know that fucker was absolutely right! I don't have an A/C myself at my home. So all we do is focus on the corporates and the rich guys. Well but there is again a problem. Companies generally won't install new A/Cs unless they are opening up a new branch or expanding their infrastructure. Well so what we do. We wait and we hope. We hope for the economy to recover and pray that everyday someone starts a company in this city of dreams. When I look around all those companies in electronic city and white filed and elsewhere.. I feel proud about the fact that we are making all those thousands and thousands of employees happy. After all we give them cool air to breathe.
But things have changed. We are no more the only vendors. we have stiff competition. Foreign companies, cheap Chinese brands, god we have to fight with everyone.
"Sir! Sir... Manager sir is calling you sir!!" Ramu, the office boy, shouted.
"Humm... So Mr. Sharma.. How is it going? Are you working on your targets? You are way behind Sharma... This is the fourth week you have fallen behind your targets. I have already warned you. March 30th will be your review. If you fail this time then I am afraid we might have to take some serious actions."
And serious action meant only one thing - you are FIRED!!
Yes, this is a sales office and if you fail you will be killed.
"There is no place for failures in this world" My fathers words echoed in my ears suddenly out of no where.... "I always told you.. read well.. don't watch those stupid movies.. don't roam around with girls..... see now what have you done!!" Huh?? what is my mom doing inside my head!! "Mom Dad stop it!! I am not a kid anymore!" I said to myself..
"Mr Sharma!! Mr Sharma... are you listening to me!!" My boss screamed on my face and that woke me up from my day dream.
"I heard you lost the Inventures deal. You know how much that deal was worth! Its two years now and you still don't know how to deal with clients!!"
'Inventures deal!! Gosh! How did he come to know! Is it Swami? No.. it must be that idiot Rajeev, he is the Boss's chamcha... bloody ass-licker!!' I thought...
"Now get the hell out of here and give me results! You are not working for free damn it!!" And I shut the door and walked out of his cabin.
For the next two hours I called up some 50 people but none of them were even interested to talk with me. It's Monday morning after all. I guess even their bosses screwed their ass and even they have a fucking target to reach. It shouldn't be called Monday! It should be called 'Screw-your-ass day!'
I looked at the watch it was almost one o'clock. I had skipped my breakfast today, I was dying with hunger. I gave a signal to Swami for lunch.
"Enna da... Yenga porein? Lunch aa?? Wait.. naankuda variya.." It was karthik, he wanted to also join us for lunch. He was the only other Tamilian along with Swami.
"Veru Enna vishyam da? How is your girl? I heard you are learning Tamil to impress her?" Swami asked me sheepishly.
"Enna da.. Nijama..." karthik raised his eye-brows.
"What rubbish! Who told you?" I opposed.
"Ayeeee.... don't lie... I saw that 'Learn Tamil in 30 days' book on your table." Swami pointed out.
"Common guys! Just because I learn Tamil.. doesn't mean I am trying to impress her or something. I am just learning a language. You see it always helps." I tried to defend myself but I knew it was a total failure.
"Whatever you do man. I don't think she will fall for you. She is an Iyer girl." Swami stated rather seriously, "I think you should stop wasting your time and concentrate on you work."
"So what if she is an Iyer? I am also a brahmin." I argued.
"Yeah right!!" Swami said sarcastically.
"Ok guys! Stop fighting. Lets order food fast or else boss will scream if we go late. What do you want da.. chicken biryani? Kebabs?" Karthik was focused on his biryani. He had nothing to do with me or "my-girl" talk.
"No chicken for me yaar, I have quit eating non-veg!"
"Yenna!! Quit eating non-vegaaa!! What a fellow da you are!! for her you will also stop eating non-vega? Shut up and eat!" Swami forced me..
"No dude.... I have quit seriously... and it's not for her! Can't I live according to my wish... I am doing all this for myself." I protested.
"Yeah yeah... we know what all you do for yourself... last year you liked the punjabi girl.. so you started eating chicken... and now its a Iyer girl.. so you quit. Great Mr. Sharma... you are really great. Do whatever you want to do. No one can change you!" Swami mocked at me and started eating his food.
I saw her through the corner of my eyes. It looked as if she also looked at me, as if she smiled at me. 'This is all illusion brother, It's not gonna happen. Better do your work' Swami signaled me through his eyes.
She was in the HR department. She looked so beautiful. Those beautiful eyes. The perfect figure. And the nice chiffon Saree made her look like an angel! Yes, she is made for me!
But all I could talk with her was about my appraisal and compensation. I was a failure not only in my sales but also in my love life.
I went back to my work. I tried calling some other prospective clients.
"Heyy look da.. that mallu guy is trying to steal your girl... " Swami whispered.
"What! Where.." I turned around to look and saw that mallu fucker!
I got to tell you about this guy. I just hate this guy!! Oh you can't imagine the amount of hatred I have for him. He was 23, two years younger than me, passed out from some so-called ivy league MBA college. And he earns twice or thrice as much as i do. He has got the highest sales records, the best employee awards, all the incentives and rewards - who would not hate him!!
My blood boiled whenever I saw him - Rajeev Samuel was his name.
'But what are they probably talking? Oh god! She is even laughing. Aaarrgghhh that bastard! How the hell could she like him.
Aaaah I hate my life!!!'
"Sir... Manger sir aapko cabin mein bula rahe hain" Ramu screamed second time today.
'Why has the boss called me now?? I already had my dose for the day. Well lets see.' I prayed to god, 'I hope he is in a good mood'.
"Aaah Rahul, come in come in." My boss welcomed me with a smile. I was confused was it a harmless smile or the silence before the storm!
"Rahul. I have got good news for you. I have reduced your work for the week. You will be glad to know that from now Rajeev will take over the Chopras deal. You can give him the file and other information. And you can concentrate on other clients." He said with a smile.
"What!!!! But Sir.. I have been following up with them sir. I might also close the deal this week. Why do you want to give it to Rajeev now?? I can handle it sir" .
Damn! This was my worst dream come true. The chopras were my ticket to reach my targets. That would be a huge deal which could save me. And I had the feeling I was going to loose my trump card.
"Well you see Rahul, you have already taken enough time on the chopras. And moreover the main reason I am giving this deal to Rajeev is because he knows the chopras personally. He had cracked the earlier deal with them. Ideally even this deal should have gone to him. It was Rajeev who had suggested that it would be better if he takes this up. " My boss said something but nothing went into my head except the fact that Rajeev Samuel had raped me and stole the deal from me!!!
"Sir please sir! I am very close sir. Just give me two days sir, I will close the deal. Sir this is unfair sir!" I pleaded.
"Unfair! How could you say that Mr.Sharma! I have given you enough time on this deal. You have tried and failed. I cannot wait any longer. This is a very important deal. You have already made a loss today. I can't take any risk. Its better you concentrate on other deals. Leave the big ones to others." My boss blabbered again. "Now go and do your work. And give the file to Rajeev."
Just as I was leaving the cabin, Rajeev entered. He gave me a evil smile. I could read those eyes saying, 'aah! I screwed you brother. Now even she is mine!! I will have the promotion also! What will you do?'
'Arrrgggh!! I am gonna kill you fucking bastard!!' I could only say that in my mind.
I took the file to keep at his cubicle. I don't want to face him.
"Riiiiiinnnggg Rinnnggggg Rinnnggg"
The phone rang at his desk. I was confused, should I pick it up or....
"Ramu.. Ramu... " I screamed. No response.
Finally I answered, "Hello. Excel Electronics. How may I help you..... No sir.. Rajeev is not present at the moment. You can tell me... sir.. ..what.... ohhh... its about confirming the deal for 30 A/Cs... sir can I have you contact details sir.....you want to pay today itself.... cheque it will be.... but sir I regret to say.. but Mr.Rajeev is no longer with us sir... oh no.. he just resigned today... yeah... you can call me on my number sir.. i will give you my personal number... dont worry sir.. your order will reach you in time.... I am Rahul Sharma Sir.....One important thing sir... please do not call on this number again sir... this number has being alloted to the HR department sir... dont worry sir... i will come personally to collect the cheque sir....have a nice day sir..thanks for calling!"
'Aaah! Some revenge atleast! If you can steal..then so can I' I said to myself.
But this was not enough... I needed more leads. I looked my leads, there were nil. I cannot generate leads all over now. I looked at his computer. It was on and at the desktop was a folder with the name - "Leads for March - April" . I opened the document.
'Damn! This guy has some 500 leads. How can he generate so many. Gosh.'
If I could get this excel sheet. I would survive. Else I would be fired.
'Take it. All you have to do is put your pendrive and copy it. Take it. Take it.' A voice told me in my head. 'You can do it. He has stolen from you. You should also take your revenge.'
'But I already took it. I stole his order!' I replied to the voice.
'You know thats not enough! You know without this you cannot complete your targets. You will be thrown out of this office. You will be jobless. She will also be gone. You will never ever see her if you get thrown out of this company. Rajeev will have her also! Do it, do it for her!' The voice screamed in my head.
I decided to steal the leads from his computer.
'where is my pendrive. shit its in my desk.' I had to go back to my desk.
"Enna da.... wassup?? why did the boss call you? Anything serious? You look tensed.." It was Swami.
'Haa wrong time swami. Should I tell swami what I was upto? No No.. I cannot tell him. This is serious issue.' I decided not to tell anything to Swami. But he was consuming all my time.
'Shit! Rajeev is back in his cabin. Now I will have to wait for him to leave again.' I waited impatiently at my desk. All my eyes at Rajeev's cubicle.
Half an hour passed.
Swami, "Hey what da... you seem lost?? Why don't you work! Work da work... or the big buffalo will screw you again. " he was referring to my boss by the way.
One more hour passed, but Rajeev was still at his cubicle.
I waited and waited.
Suddenly he rose from his cubicle. He went into the Manager's office.
This was my chance. I got the pendrive and went towards the cubicle.
Just as I was about to enter his cubicle, Swami caught my hand.
"Rahul..... did you hear this? Swetha is fired! Just now the boss fired her!" Swami was shocked and so was I!
"What!! But why??" I asked
"Orders from the head office it seems. Today was her final review. She did not perform well this quarter. And anyway you know the main reason. That fat buffalo was always against her. Politics I tell you bloody fuckers!" Swami screamed.
"You are true. But who will be the Asst.Sales Manager now?" I asked
"Who else... that ass-licker Rajeev. " Swami replied.
"What the fuck dude!!" I slammed my fist on the wall of the cubicle. Rajeev's cubicle.
Half an hour later.
"Sir ... Rahul Sir.. Manger sir aapko bula rahe hain!" Ramu screamed, third time today.
And this time I wondered again why.
"Sir... you called me. " I went in. Rajeev was also there in the cabin.
"yes Rahul. I have some news for you. I regret to tell you but due to some unaviodable circumstances Ms. Swetha is no longer with us. It was a surprise to me you know. But since
work has to go on, I have decided to make you the Asst.Sales Manager."
"What! Sir.. me!!"
"yes Rahul. I know this is unexpected, frankly I had Rajeev in mind for this post, but I just received orders from the head office. Rajeev has received a transfer and he is shifting to the delhi branch. So it will be you!"
"Huh?? What!! Oohh.... " I was shocked and speechless!
The above story is purely a work of fiction and the names, places and things in the story are completely fictional. Any resemblance to any place, thing or person is a mere coincidence.
Special thanks to Bharat Venkatesh.