A short piece on a typical sales executive's life that is so engulfed in numbers
I was waiting outside his door with a smug expression on my face akin to a warrior who has just won a battle. Mr. Jain called me in with a beaming smile , (“smile does not suit his face”), offered me a chair and asked for some tea. Man, was I dreaming??? I quickly rattled my number achievement like a proud school boy who had just scored good marks in his test. For the first time, I was greeted with a pleasant smile……whatever happened to the growling menacing look. Mr J suddenly broke my reverie and into a personal chat enquiring about my family and made small conversation. I shifted uncomfortably in my chair and wanted to quickly escape this conversation.
Mr. J was keen on enquiring about my children (aged 5 and 2), and how I spent my time with them. I replied in a cordial manner without much details. (how the hell do you think I can spend anytime with them, given your numerous calls over the weekend and the reports that you want us to work on every evening). I was beginning to feel restless and so prepared to leave. “Where are you going, your tea will be arriving shortly”, a sweet smile followed. Isnt this smile coated with so much sugar, that it resembles our office tea, sweet and insipid. I was forced back into my chair involuntarily. Fortunately the tea boy arrived with 2 cups of tea soon enough relieving me from this drudgery. I was suddenly beginning to feel like a fish out of water.
While I was sipping my tea, Mr.J broached the subject of the next quarter and the targets, I stiffened as the targets were being doubled. The insipid tea had barely reached my throat when I began to choke…wasn’t that smile sinister looking!!! I recalled my school days when my father would raise the expectation bar whenever I performed. When I reached the 7th grade, I worked hard to get the 5th rank in my class, and was happy to show my report card to my father who simple grunted and egged me on to do better. In 8th grade, when I inched to the 3rd rank, he asked me why I was not among the top two, when I struggled and came 1st in my class in my 10th grade, my father expressed his displeasure at me not topping the school.
Am I seeing a repeat performance here? Do I have the opportunity to enjoy my own achievements? Or am I just a cog in the wheel that keeps on rotating. I strode out of Mr.J’s cabin, walked out of the office, switched off my phone and drove home. I was going to spend the rest of the evening with my family who always looked forward to my return, play with my children before they lost their childhood, enjoy a romantic evening with my wife and prioritize my time. No longer am I going to be a victim of machinations of the human mind. With a smile on my lips and music in my ears, I went home happy to be myself…