I'm not sure if anyone reads the articles in The Hindu's four-page
supplement on Wednesdays. Most of the space is taken up by job
advertisements, and my uncharitable suspicion is that the articles are
meant only to provide a veneer of respectability and fill the remaining
space. The articles have such insightful titles as
Path to dream
job not usually smooth and
Identify, groom employees with
high potential early on, and are always written by one of the
same four or five people (with contact address
Sometimes, I'm not fast enough on Wednesday mornings to get my hands on
the main newspaper over breakfast, so I scan the first couple of pieces
in Opportunities while biding my time. One thing I've noticed
over and over again is the tendency of the authors to drop names
indiscriminately (sometimes complete with made-up quotes).
Here's today's example, from
Share your ideas, but be humble in
Anand was almost irritated with this new entrant into his team. This guy
joined just a couple of days ago and actually had the courage to go up
to the team leader to provide some inputs on a new strategy they could
implement. Wasn't there ever a rule as to when a new employee could
actually start involving himself in ‘improving’ team
affairs? Apparently not, because this person had pushed himself to do
just that and now, he was recognised not just as ‘Mr.
Congeniality’, but also as someone who could envisage new concepts
Anand, alas, is never again mentioned in the article, and nothing more
is said about his almost-irritation with his enterprising colleague. But
he's not the only one with problems:
I am often called the ‘enthu cutlet’ for being
overtly enthusiastic and coming up with new ideas. I do feel this sends
across the wrong message to my colleagues that I am attention-seeking
and nothing else, rues Kamala.
Kamala, too, receives no further mention, but the article offers the
following as part of a strategy to avoid provoking resentment in your
If you are a newbie, it is best to ask your team if you could contribute
a fresh perspective on what already exists. This would be welcome, since
they would automatically understand that it is imperative to procure
this fresh perspective from a person who until recently was an outsider
to the organisation, since it helps them gain knowledge of what the
world thinks of what they have been doing.
Why do I find it just a touch difficult to believe that the mysterious,
brooding Anand and Kamala's grumpy old (since nobody under fifty would
call someone an "enthu cutlet") colleagues are brimming with automatic
understanding of the greater good?
It becomes quite clear by the end of the article that Anand and Kamala
were named only to satisfy some style guide's belief that mentioning
"real" people makes it easier for readers to relate to situations
described and advice offered. That may be true, but unfortunately for
Opportunities, its fabricated case studies are usually quite
transparent to the (only?) reader, and gratuitously detract from the
point of the article.
I'm sorry, Anand, but you're a loser.