The big picture
“What? Letters have come ? Wow! Finally”. It was mid-September and promotions were still unannounced. Some blamed it to the recession and some chose to keep quiet. She was positive. After all, it was the much-awaited promotion of her career, her first official promotion.
This time the company CEO called each candidate personally to hand over the letters. She sat with baited breath at her seat, which was just outside the chief’s cabin. This promotion meant a lot to her, to her career, her years of sincerity, her education, hard work, family, financial independence and her own personal motivation.
With every second name called, her breaths grew faster. With every second passed, she died a million deaths. She folded her hands beneath her table first in anticipation, then in anxiety and later in an attempt to control herself. Her teammate was called to collect his letter and he came back with couple of other letters in his hand. It was not hers. “May be boss is playing a prank on me and hand my letter later” she thought. Hours passed and she still waited with baited breath, fickle hopes, holding that little tear still inside her eyes. They blocked her sight but cleared her vision. She tried hard with each passing moment to hold them back but in vain. They fell down her cheeks to her desk. Some cluttered her key board; and some blocked her hands.
She sobbed silently for several hours and when she could not hold them back, she took steps to the terrace, sat in the lonely corner, and cried. Her judgment passed but her hopes failed her. Despite the assurance given, she was doubtful and her worst fears came true. She has been a victim of favoritism and politics earlier, but she thought this time it was different.
There was lot of hullabaloo in the office; smiling faces. People were congratulating each other. She was back on her desk, trying hard to conceal her disappointment, her bitterness behind her work. This time no consolation seemed justified to her. She looked back at her past years and regretted choosing tenacity over actual results. She opened her desk and took out the crumpled piece of paper that had earlier offered her a lucrative option outside. In last four years, many such papers have accumulated. She regretted choosing her faith over her experience.
T’was five in the evening and the promotion enthusiasm was still afloat in the office. "Congratulations", "well done", "treat" etc. were the most used keywords for the day. The place where she sits was the delivery spot of good news, the hub of celebration. People were discussing their growth while she was sitting as a mute outcast.
Many eyes were pinned on her. She was still struggling to hold that betrayal back in her eyes. She wanted to storm her superior’s cabin and thank him as well. After all, he promised her to give that much-awaited growth in her otherwise stale career with the company that appreciates her work, but still fails to recognize it. She was fearless now; as she was stabbed in each possible manner, leaving not much stabbing opportunity on her otherwise stronger frame.
Not all murders are planned, there are some accidental killings too. She could not hide the pain in her voice when a business-head accidentally congratulated her along with her other two colleagues who were promoted. Life is a series of relentless horrors with one following the other. She tried hard to smile, but failed miserably. She failed again when her superior tried to crack a silly joke with her. She plainly refused to reciprocate this time.
It was 7pm in the evening. She was sitting with her superior and HR in the former’s cabin, listening to their lame story of big pictures and big promises. Life is definitely a series of horrors. She was made to hear pessimistic stories of various high profile people who too had undergone the similar phase in their careers a [It sounded more like how certain organizations have failed to appreciate its resources], trauma of the Indian population who does not have 3 meals a day and organization’s focus on “big pictures”.
Big picture? Is individual injustice is called “seeing the big picture”? Is suppressing a potential under convenient masks of policies “the big picture”? Is talking big and doing petty what “big picture” is all about? On the other hand, is it just calling organizational politics and inefficiency by other name? Or big picture is just another jargon that some managements have mugged but not yet learned. She has heard them talk many a times and she hence she was not surprised on their empty talks even this time. She suddenly felt that she was speaking to deaf people and not just that, they are lame and blind too. They were nice human beings. She liked them but she cannot burden them with her responsibilities nor burden herself with their empty promises. She sat there for few more minutes, seeing two of her most favorite people descending away to clichés.
She came to her desk, finished her work and called the day off. On her way back to home, she pulled one of those crumpled letters and buzzed the direct no. given there. “Hi, I would like to re consider your job offer… Yeah, sure, I will be there. Thanks”.
It took her many years, multiple efforts to arrive at that decision but she was not regretful. She was instead happy that she has not failed her self. She had not given up in terms of time, effort and dedication before calling it quits finally. She happily accepted her anger, pain and disappointment, took them in her stride to move on. Non-wishful compromises are the shields of people who do not trust themselves or their dreams. One should never compromise on their dreams, dreams that are close to their hearts.
She neatly drafted her resignation letter, folded and placed in an envelope to take to her office next day. She tucked herself in to the bed and had a wonderful sleep after a long , long, time. Her 'big picture' was very clear now and she did not want to waste a single moment not chasing it.
“The fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself, and no heart has ever suffered when it has gone out to search for his dreams”.
Disclaimer: the above story is truly a piece of fiction and intends no reference to any living soul.