I still cant figure what does Human Resources department in an organisation does. They are all so sweet before you join the firm and so slimy later on. It is like saare bachat karne ka khaata company ne unko de rakha hai. Like one hotel chain I worked for gave the last year s increments six to seven months late. The funda was to do appraisals in may june after the financial year is long over and low season for hotels has started. What you did last year would be just figures and you would be questioned about what have you done to increase business in low season. After six months any small increment was welcome and that is what you had to be happy with.The best part was the chain would sit on the money of thousands of employees for six whole months.
Then the increment rules were different for the local office and the corporate office and also city wise. It was supposed to be standardised but when it came it was not so. If you threatened to quit then you were given a higher increment for sure.
These are the companies who employed Mckinsey when they first back came to India years back. Employees were asked to fill forms and forms about their work day and were judged on that. All best practises were decided by them after some major analysis.
Trainings which the company organised in were given to only favourite employees at higher levels. You had to be in boss s good books to go for a training because the training was treated like a paid holiday by the bosses. Then I worked for hotel chains which just did not believe in training for the management. No money was spent on training sales and marketing by all the hotel chains. They did have operational trainings though.
The chains which talked about human resource and branding , well they just talked about it. The people deciding had no clue about how they wanted to position the hotel ten years down the line. Recently a newspaper carried an article about how an international chain was thinking of consolidating their brand and I was laughing.

The increments were decided by the bosses and not by HR departments.
In a hotel that i worked for we had a huge meeting with the owners to plan on allowances for the team. There were the GM, director marketing finance etc. After all was mutually agreed upon we went back home happy. Only to realise that the HR dept had sent a mail at four am on the day of the meeting finalising very low allowances and that was it.
Another hotel chain reduced lunch allowance of the employees once the hotel started doing well. No circular, nothing. Just the boss strolls in one day and says this month onwards is your reduced lunch allowance.
Every time I visit a five star hotel, I am looking at the staff who is so polite and gracious about what has the HR department done to him.Actually why blame HR, it is the entire management nexus . There is abundance only if we share.
Are we being fair to people who work for us???
Talking of abundance ,yesterday I went to see a flat costing 4 cr. In the building, one could smell class and old money for miles. It was quiet , green, bright. Nothing over the top just so warm and welcoming. I bumped into a very distinguished looking tall white bearded gentleman waiting for the elevator. He talked to Pranaya who didnt think of bothering to reply. So I joined in the conversation by telling him that he can always wear ear studs even now. Vijay Mallya wears it I added, as if I moved in those circles!! He said I am victorious , he is Vijay. He said I must plant trees and gave me his card. He was Vithal Kamat, owner of Kamat hotels- Orchid, Fort Jadhav Gadh etc. The man is an actual believer of enviroment protection and a Green world. His business card had seeds enclosed in the card. Now that is what I call a man worth his mettle.We just travelled till the third floor together and he had already told me what he stood for. Me a complete stranger knew of his dream and his vision. I mentioned my fantastic stay at Fort Jadhav Gadh and the iron figure which says A child gives birth to a mother.

There are good people in this world and there are good employers after all.

My fears continued

The second one was about working thru the night as a duty manager in charge where else but in a five star hotel. You had to work the full day today and then be the duty manager so work thru the night and next day till three pm. The bosses then kept a very important meeting at five so you could not leave home after 30 hours of work. This was at the managerial level, the staff had to slog more.You also had to report to work the third day on time. So I had to do rounds of the hotel and full rounds are tiring. The hotel was full so one didn t get a room for a couple of hours of sleep. I have slept in the lobby and also in the bar. Had the hostess wake me up at four am to say a room is now ready for you to use. The next day my poor team had had it. I used to be screaming and ranting due to lack of sleep.I just want to say sorry to each one whom I shouted at for no fault of theirs.
Some people have no sleep issues . I know friends who work round the clock and are fresh as daisies. Not me for sure. I count every hour of lack of sleep and attribute it to my bad behaviour. Thank God my children always slept thru the night. One day while I was the duty manager, I was woken at six am as two hundred people had walked int the hotel and started setting up. The security had no clue what to do. Later we figured it was a film shoot, which the owner had given permission for and forgot to inform the staff.Once a man got locked in the room and it just would not open from inside. He had a woman and her time was up. We had to calm him and get security to open the door for him.I have come to a conclusion that the hotel staff s life is the toughest.

My fears

Whenever I am unwell, my biggest fears start coming up . No it is not like I ll die and then what. The fears come from the ashes where I had thought I had burnt and buried them. These are the fears I encountered at work.
First incident I remember was at my second job. There was a saturday morning meeting which went on endlessly with out a tea break. I used to look foward to going for tea to Caf (ya we called the staff cafetaria that and there were no CCDs and Baristas)at ten thirty. Being in the hostel for years, one craved for food. So I asked for a tea break to my boss and the whole room fell silent. He said I was free to go and the meeting will continue. I ran down to eat and keep down my bouts of nausea. Lo! after lunch all hell broke loose. I was called to the boss s cabin with the second in command. The door was shut. A clear indication of things to come. I was screamed at for my bad perfomance etc. And it was just tea I had asked for. That too in a place where I worked was a super deluxe five star hotel. All those things about customer is the king and we serve our guests and our guests come first became a sham.
Then came the phase when you were asked to invite corporates for a business meal to the hotel. This would give you a chance to know them and get business. Surprisingly, all used to come for these meals as they could choose the restaurant of their choice and that too during work hours. The food smell of the restaurant was nauseating to me. But guests would enjoy the full spread from soups, anti pasti to main course to desserts. Thus started my love for veg biryani. That was a the only thing which was not bland and I could enhance the flavour by adding lime. After some rounds of food poisoning and acidities, I stuck to iced tea, veg biryani. Desserts were had only during the Mango festival and that was mango with vanilla ice cream. Another thing the hostel didnt provide. But the love or craze for five star food went away with the first five star hotel job I had.

Satya

What do you do at home when you are awake in the dead of the night while your family sleeps peacefully that is apart from writing your blog? I dont want to move about as the children will wake up. I can see so many things to clean and sort out in the light of the computer screen. I am trying to be as quiet as I can while typing.I just remembered some one said you must write about love.
Abhi, that is very easy. I love myself. I love my family. Story over for me.
What I do for my family is not enough or rather there is so much more I want to do for them.Oh my God, Love is already in the ‘doing’ domain.If you love then you have to express it . It can’t be only verbal communication.In todays day and age , even verbal communication is missing. So you talk to express love and then that is not enough. If God said I love you my child and didn t provide me with the goodies, I would not believe in love.It is I who work hard to get what I want in life. How come I credit God only for the non working things in my life. Who says things are not working in your life? What makes you say that? It is because I look all around me and then set my so called own standards.Anything amiss from those standards and life is not good for me. What love? I am most angry with my loved ones. So is love there when all things are well and in place the way I want them? Is love there when all my wishes and desires are met? Or is love more heavenly and out worldly? Not for the understanding of mere mortals like us.
I know the child s love is self less but what is wrong with selfish love? Is it that there is no selfishness in love? If I cant love myself, how can I love others? I am not even thinking of love in various relationships. I am saying what is wrong with being selfish? Does being selfish mean you have to trample someone or snatch from someone? Na, there is enough of love and everything for all of us. The matter is of trust and belief. Do I trust myself to love?and I am not taking about making choices here. Do I feel love is the eternal truth? Or will I find love in my eternal quest for truth? Love is being true to your own self. This may be only half the truth… Ardh Satya