You can read the first part of this story here.
But there’s always a better day, isn’t it?
Let’s not dwell on Conflicts, let’s resolve them.
Anupam woke up next morning with his phone ringing. The phone was far away, at the place he had thrown it away with anger last evening.
Thankfully, the phone didn’t break down, but Anupam was too fatigued to go and pick it up. He had slept only a few hours ago after a long, painful night.
Moreover, he did not want to speak to anybody.
The phone, however, won’t listen. It kept ringing … and ringing … and ringing. Anupam got irritated and had to receive the call.
“Why aren’t you at office yet?” said Sudhir. No! This wasn’t the person who had shouted at him yesterday, but the nice, caring mentor and brother Anupam had.
Anupam looked at the clock and wondered, “Oh! It’s past 10’o’clock?” But, then, what’s the point; yesterday itself, he had decided not to go to office.
He couldn’t directly say that to Sudhir. He only replied with his now-cracked voice that he was not well and couldn’t come to office. He also begged to be forgiven as he could not complete the project he was assigned and for letting Sudhir down.
Instead of talking about the project, Sudhir said that he needed to speak to Anupam and if he could not come to the office then Sudhir, himself, will drop at Anupam’s place in half an hour to have a talk.
Anupam was embarrassed. “As it is, tomorrow is the deadline. How sensible will it be for me to sit at home and drag Sudhir, too, away from the office?” he thought.
Anupam told Sudhir that he will come to the office, but just to have a talk.
Back to Office
Going back to office, Anupam refused to even look around at people and went straight to Sudhir’s cabin.
“Hi Sudhir, I’m here to discuss whatever you wanted to discuss about. But I also came here for another reason. I want to tell you that I don’t want to work at this office anymore. However, I want to say something much more important than that.
I am sorry! You have supported me so much throughout my career and have been like a brother, but the very instant you gave me some responsibilities, I put you down … I put you down so badly. I can’t imagine how you will answer the clients tomorrow.
Frankly, I was very hurt yesterday that you shouted like that at me. I pondered over it … I pondered over it whole night and thought that you were totally right in saying whatever you said.
The bottom-line is that I have let you down. I am sorry again!”
“Yes Anupam, you have let me down … so badly!” replied Sudhir.
“Didn’t you just say I am your supporter … your brother? Then why won’t you give me a chance to support you when you are in need? And why won’t you support me when I am in need?”
“Because I can’t … It’s my inability! I tried my best already, but I failed badly!”
“So, do you want to tag yourself as ‘the failure’ before even submitting the answer sheet? And along with that, you want to make me and the organisation share the same tag? How responsible is that kind of behaviour, Anupam?”
“But I know I can’t finish the work by tomorrow at any cost, Sudhir. There’s nobody who would support me. That is how things had gone on from the beginning of the project, but I somehow kept my calm, even though things kept stressing me throughout.
And didn’t you call me irresponsible yesterday … that I couldn’t handle my success? So I already have those tags [with a sad smile] and I am exactly that. I don’t want to drag other people and the organisation down further, therefore, it’s best for me to leave”
“Why did you say the things that you said yesterday? Are those respectful for a gentleman to say such things at an office that holds some esteem?”
“I was angry Sudhir. Whatever has been happening for the past month in the office, since the project started, has broken me down. People, who I once thought were my friends, suddenly turned against me … they, would look at me and talk to me with such sarcasm, and they would just avoid the work on the project.
Honestly, experiencing this kind of behaviour was too much for me to handle. This kept stressing me so much that I probably couldn’t give in my 100% to the project.
We all knew from the beginning that the project was a lot of work to do in a short period, but only if I got the support from the team, I could have completed it successfully.
But people kept ignoring work from the very beginning, and at this last moment, a half day’s work meant a lot … I told them so. When I came back at the afternoon, then also people weren’t interested to work.
These people don’t consider this to be their project. They think it’s only mine.
This made me feel so angry … so helpless … that I couldn’t find any other way to behave.
I was angry at them, but I was angrier at myself. I felt dumb. I didn’t know if I was the one who went wrong somewhere.”
Resolving the conflict
“Yes, you are wrong Anupam. You are very wrong.
If you had so many issues working with this team … if you were so stressed … why didn’t you let me know about it before? We could have found out some solution together.
I was also angry at you yesterday. I trust in your abilities … you know that … but you showed otherwise to people around.
When I urged you so many times to speak up for yourself, in front of the whole office, you refused to do that.
And, finally, now you want to leave; that, too, when the deadline is so close.”
“You are right, Sudhir, but …”
“Anupam, can you please listen to me and get back to work right now? We can discuss these things later, right?”
“But Sudhir, I don’t want to communicate to those people anymore. And they, too, won’t like to talk to me I am sure. No matter what, I won’t be able to complete the work by tomorrow.”
“Great! So you are again back to I-am-a-failure story!”
“Then what should I do Sudhir?”
“Do you want to do anything Anupam?”
“Definitely! If I can. At least, to save your face, if not anything else.”
“Good to hear that, Anupam.
Taking care of the crisis
Let me inform you that I have already spoken to the client. They, too, agreed that it was a very short deadline. Now, we only have to submit 50% of the work tomorrow. The rest can be postponed till Saturday.”
“But I don’t have people.”
“I spoke to some of your juniors yesterday. They, themselves, told me that they understand the pressure on you. They are ready to work with you. I will also ask Divya and Debolina to join you for this week. And after I finish my work, I will also join you today. Now, is that doable?” :)
“Yes, it is! Thank you Sudhir! You are the best manager one can ever have!” :)
Anupam left Sudhir’s cabin and went straight back to work. He didn’t speak to his colleagues, though.
They could successfully submit the whole project on Saturday. The clients and Sudhir’s senior manager applauded the work. They only wished the work was finished by Thursday, as it was
Sudhir, however, was left with some thoughts to ponder on.
Anupam had some broken friendships to recover from.
His colleagues did not get any lesson from the entire episode; they felt even more jealous at the news of Anupam’s promotion.
That’s it for now, folks …
Everyone in the story and hopefully you, too, ended your day on a good note, but …
The situation in this story did not resolve, it only became stable. What next?
Knowing that such situation occurs so often in our lives, too, I have tried to analyse this situation to have a better understanding of it. You can read it here.