Thursday, January 04, 2007

In my own way....

When something troubles me, and refuses to leave my head even after chewing over it alone, and with friends for almost a month, it is time to put it down here. A simple story, which I cannot remedy, and probably cannot compare to countless tragedies around, but something that made me question the professionalism of a leading company.

A person very close to me is doing management in marketing from a recognized college, though not a great one.
At the beginning of her second year/third semester, companies were invited for campus itnerviews and placements.
It was a lovely day on which I got a missed call from a familiar number, and on calling back, I could hardly hear her voice above everyone cheering and apparently congratulating her. "Hey, know what? I got placed in Hutch!"
"What's your designation? Where will you be posted?"
"I don't know yet. We have been asked to visit their office next week, on thursday, to get our offer letters."
"Gosh, I am so happy. How many of you got through?"
"Only two of us - me and a guy."

Thursday had to be postponed by a couple of weeks because of impending semester exams around the same time, and after getting a medical test done as instructed by a mail from Hutch a couple of days later, she landed up at the Hutch office, in a city separate than where she was studying, at 9 AM one morning along with her classmate. What followed was a long wait.
Her classmate was soon given an offer letter, to work in the field, i.e. a semi travelling job.
When she enquired, she was told that they did not know what to do with her as she was a girl !!!!!! They cannot put her in the field, and they do not know if she can be absorbed elsewhere.
On further probing, they said that she might need to be interviewed once more, this time by the person whom she would be reporting to, and that person was on leave. And...they did not know when that person was to be back from leave...amazing!
So, she barely managed to get the last train home after that, and still managed to retain the cheery and optimistic outlook....optimistic enough to hope that they will contact her college.

Two weeks went by with no news, and it seems they still could not say when her would-be-boss will be back from leave.

Finally, when the college ultimately called up to ask what to do with her, as her fate was left hanging indeterminably, they replied, "Oh we don't have any vacancy for the post that she wants!"

Hello, which post did she want? Wasn't it you Hutch people who decided not to put her in some post and try her for some other post?

Lots of questions come to mind:
1. Didn't the person/persons sent for the campus interviews know what they were supposed to look out for, for e.g. the job is not suited to girls, so do not take girls, etc.?
2. Even if they found out that it had been a mistake, couldn't they call up the next day and inform the college about it?
3. Even after that, when she lands up at their office, couldn't they be honest with her?

It seems this is not the first time, even last year, they had done the same thing to another girl.
The college keeps allowing them to come back, coz they pick up at least one student for employment...heh

I wish I could sue them.
I wish lodging a case could be of less hassle (though with the number of useless cases against celebrities, you would be forgiven if you believe that Indian judicial system is easily accessible and cases got solved in a month).
I wish I could really sue them for
- unprofessional behaviour
- unethical practices
- sexual discrimination
- missed opportunities while waiting for the offer letter
- re-imbursement of all travelling expenditure
- mental harrassment and trauma
- and for destroying the confidence of a person who was born to be in the marketing department, and is always bubbling up with confidence and a cheerful smile.

At least, that would warn them...but would it?
Or would it be regarded as another ridiculous court case in a country where my parents had to attend court for two years to make a realtor pay back their money, even after the cheque that he gave them had bounced and there was clear evidence that he had stolen their money?

Well, I probably will never know till I do it.
But in my own way, I can at least blog about it....

16 Comments:

Blogger Beth said...

That's completely ridiculous. Maybe you could write a letter to the company, or to the head of the unit she was supposed to be placed in? You're completely right that it's unprofessional and discriminatory.

Fri Jan 05, 06:38:00 AM  
Blogger Daddy's Girl said...

That is really unfair and wrong. Beth's idea of writing a letter is a good one... maybe you could like, bombard them with letters? It's great that you want to do something about it, it's so sad when companies get away with this kind of behaviour.

Sat Jan 06, 04:01:00 AM  
Blogger Aparna said...

Thanks a lot Beth and DG for the advice, probably I would do that. I am just a bit scared to take that step because this person is jsut starting out on her career and so, do not want her to get 'branded' ...you know what I mean?

Sat Jan 06, 11:22:00 PM  
Blogger Daddy's Girl said...

Hmmm... that's true... it could cause trouble for her later... but gosh it's so unfair that they can do things like that and get away with it. Wish I had another suggestion!

Mon Jan 08, 04:50:00 AM  
Blogger ankurindia said...

such thing happened to me .. and i posted the entire incidence on blog and company CEO have contacted me to resolve problem .. i think you should search contact of senior officials of company and send them entire incidence it will resolve problem .. because companies dont do anything wrong to save their brand

Tue Jan 09, 12:24:00 AM  
Blogger Aparna said...

@Ankur: Thanks for dropping in, and thanks for the suggestion. With so many people saying the same thing, I have now told the person concerned to think over this suggestion.

Tue Jan 09, 10:34:00 PM  
Blogger Monika said...

Ridiculous is the only thing that comes to my mind i think we should awaken against things like this and raise our voice else these people will keep on repeating them...

may be posting a link to this story in rediff or any other news site is a good idea too or may be just send it to one of the newspapers as letters to editor sort, if u want email ids send me a mail i will send them across

Wed Jan 10, 02:07:00 AM  
Blogger Chilla-Bong said...

I agree to Monika...maybe linking through DP or Blogbharti might carry this story to a bigger audience.

Wed Jan 10, 02:44:00 AM  
Blogger Aparna said...

@CB and Monika and everyuone else: You ahve really got me thinking. When I wrote this, I did not think this deeply, but now it is starting to make me feel I should 'do' something.
The person concerned says that she really does not want to work in a company like this, but then, that's not the point here, I am sure.

Thu Jan 11, 01:08:00 AM  
Anonymous spiralarchitect said...

Screw the job, screw hutch...but do it in public
Recommendation - if you have proof of reasons for discrimination, it would stand a lot of weight. If you dont, it would be difficult to do so, unless you get a group together to do it. All said and done, this might not be a reflection of the company, but reflection of the specific group/individual

Companies do believe in having good HR practices nowadays.

Lodge an issue with the local team as well as with the corporate HR, Marketing, Branding teams. Link to multiple blogs too
Cheers
SA

Fri Jan 19, 01:02:00 AM  
Blogger prince said...

Have you seen the new India search engine www.ByIndia.com they added all the cool features of popular products like MySpace, YouTube, Ebay, Craigslist, etc. all for free to use and specifically for India. Anyone else try this yet?

ByIndia.com First to Blend Search, Social Network, Video Sharing and Auctions Into One Seamless Product for Indian Internet Users.

Mon Jan 29, 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Tanushree said...

Hey missed posting a comment on this before. Find out if she has any kind of formal communication from the company (either directly to her or to the placement cell, via letters, emails, etc.) And definitely work toward exposing them. I'm with you (and her) all the way in this!

Tue Jan 30, 12:36:00 PM  
Blogger Anshuman Ghosh said...

now THAT's what I call - poor HR practices (ironic - they dont seem to practice it anyway ;-D )

Fri Feb 09, 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger Daddy's Girl said...

Hey Aparna, just a note to say hi and to say I've missed your posts!

Fri Feb 16, 08:14:00 AM  
Blogger Vani said...

Hey it happened to me too. it was in 1998 when I passed out of a prestigious REC! and this company was from Gujarat.I had sit thro a harowing grp discussion and then an 1 hr interview all pretty late in the evening. and then finally when they announced the names they took a gal from comp sci while i was in electrical steam..

i dunno why they wasted my time that day.

Mon Sep 03, 03:27:00 PM  
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