I Stood up

July 25, 2012 10 Comments

This post is written for "I stood up" women's web blogathon

The free bird leaps

on the back of the win

and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wings
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky.

But a bird that stalks

down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings

with fearful trill
of the things unknown
but longed for still
and is tune is heard
on the distant hillfor the caged bird
sings of freedom

The free bird thinks of another breeze

an the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams

his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing

The caged bird sings

with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom. 
...poem by Maya Angelou

I am woman and I am like that caged bird who has wings but chipped. Who can sing but is fearful. Whose feet are tied, whose tunes are lonely. I am a woman, often battling injustice, prejudice and social inequality. 

I am a caged woman but my education set me free. I have learn to face the hardship but still stand up, stand up on my own feet and sing. I am often considered as secondary to a male but that's ok, I am not here to succumb to it. I am here to fight the prejudice. But the question is how long? Well as long as my feet supports me, i will stand up and stand for me....

It was mid September and high time for promotions list to come. Some blamed it to the recession and some chose to keep quiet. I was positive, never been so sure. After all, it was the much-awaited promotion of my career, my first official promotion. Every year I got accolades for my work and promised a promotion but at end hour due to some XYZ reason it uses to get postponed. This time no reason in the world could stop as the results were not just very visible but agreed by all in sundry including top mgt.

This time, the boss called each candidate personally to hand over the letters. I sat with baited breath at seat, which was just outside the boss’s cabin. This promotion meant a lot, in terms of career, years of sincerity, blind faith in company, good work, merit to my education, my hard work, family, financial independence and personal motivation.

With every second name called, my breaths grew faster. With every second passed, the anticipation went high. I folded my hands beneath table first in anticipation, then in anxiety and later in an attempt to self control. The words started ringing in my head- “Brilliant analysis. Great job done. You have exceeded all the expectations. This is your year. You have outshine this year and how. If you do not get promoted this year than who is worthy. Do not worry, keep the excellent work high and you never know what you might get.”

My teammate who just joined our project at last minute, was called to collect his letter and he came back 
with couple of letters in his hand but none of them bore my name. “May be boss wants to make it special, may be he hands my letter later” I thought. Hours passed and wait never ended.

I have been a victim of favoritism and office politics earlier. People find different measure to bring you down. “Oh you are a girl, what would you understand of business. It’s a tough job madam. One has to struggle in sun to get a place”. “Oh you are a girl and handicap. Marketing job requires a lot of movement, lots of action, how would you do it”? “You must look at simple work like govt jobs or HR or finance wmye you can sit on the desk and work”. “Girls look nice at home, fending for family, cooking and nurturing children. You should settle down and let your husband take this responsibility” Time and again I proved my detractors wrong. I worked more than normal individuals and many women combined together. People who pointed fingers were now eating from hands with different non related issues coming to me for resolution. I have been appreciated for all. This time it was different, I thought.

I never discriminated myself for anything nor did I ask or took special favors which could have been my right but rightfully denied. I stayed late trying tro wind up everything and not that I was ineffective. If I were one, I wouldn't be involved in key projects nor would I have delivered.

My role was taken and given to a male colleague. No explanations given. My boss's secretary simple explanation was- he needs a "senior" "guy" to be his analyst who can travel with him, who can be part of his meetings where he can freely abuse others in ,most colorful language.Business is so much "a guy's thing". Yes. I didn't say much but in few months time, the guy was out and this girl was in. why? purely on performance basis.

Companies can hire new candidates at higher positions and remuneration to do the job which a current person is doing but fail to acknowledge the latter. My growth became unbudgeted and all those things. Whether its analytical, lead or getting things done on time with zero error. 

People were discussing their growth while I sat as a mute outcast. I tried hard to conceal disappointment, bitterness behind an assignment. This time no consolation seemed justified. I looked back at past and regretted choosing tenacity over actual results.

To make matter worse, a business-head who worked with me accidentally congratulated along with my other two colleagues who were promoted. "Yours was a clear inevitable promotion, lady". Life is a series of relentless horrors with one following the other. I tried hard to smile, but failed miserably. I failed again when my superior tried to crack a silly joke. I plainly refused to reciprocate this time.

It was 8pm in the evening. I sat with my boss and lead HR in the former’s cabin, listening to their lame story of excuses. Life is definitely a series of horrors. I 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 struggle in recession. When in recession you hire an employee 3 levels higher than current employee and make him do the work that latter is doing and still do not like his performance, only to chuck him out of team and call back the girl and still not giving her any dues in terms of growth and market correction? The reality was they took my faith as my helplessness and lack of opportunities. Little did they realize that I have received multiple offers in meantime with 100% inc in salary in position but i wanted to grow in the same company that I was so passionate about.

I sat there for few more minutes, seeing two of my most favorite people  esp when one was a female, descending away to clichés. They asked me another 6 months to get the correction done. They won the appraisal argument that year with all the crap they gave me but lost the loyal, trusting employee in me. I couldn't take it longer. I stood up and asked- Is my performance not up to mark? They said No. I asked you think am not able to deliver higher goals? they said No, you can. I said- thank you gentlemen. I got my answer.

That was one day and I never looked back. I opened my desk and took out the crumpled piece of paper that had earlier offered my a lucrative option outside. In last four years, many such papers have accumulated. 
I called the day off. In couple of months, I moved myself to a better paid, designated job and never stopped since. On my way exit, my boss tried different people to lure me. One even came and remarked- You know the world outside is bad. They are animals and not good for lady? I said- "I know, I have seen too and thank you for alerting me".

The autor is half Human, half machine. Go Figure or just revel in what I write


  1. I have to hand it to you. Very well explained the corporate politics. I have been at both the receiving and giving end.

    Big Picture, Exposure, Think out of the box, Paradigm shift, Blue sky thinking.

    If they give an important position to a less qualified person, there is an easy explanation. Different skill set.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. I am with you. You did the right thing. Should have done it much earlier. It is a dog eat dog world.

    1. Thanks..U r right...should have done earlier...one clue is enough and there' no time for selfish people.

  4. Anonymous27 July

    Tooo good.... Certainly you are good employee as well as a very good human being...

    1. Thanks Anonymous.

      I dunno how good I am but I always try to be.

  5. Anonymous28 July

    very informative blog...

  6. gautam10 August

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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