019 It was pm on a sultry Delhi afternoon. Anish desperately needed to get away from the glare of his monitor. He got up and headed towards the pantry to get himself some coffee



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2019
It was 2 PM on a sultry Delhi afternoon. Anish desperately needed to get away from the glare of his monitor. He got up and headed towards the pantry to get himself some coffee. Standing near the vending machine, he absent-mindedly looked at two interns talking at the water cooler adjacent to the pantry. They were engaged in an animated discussion making plans for the weekend. This provided Anish with a déjà vu moment and he went down memory lane.
2010
Anish had planned to utilise the weekend to the fullest with his wife Shalini and his kids. The hotel booking had been done. It was an extended weekend with Monday being a closed holiday. Skipping breakfast was an automatic choice as he was getting late for office. And by the time he managed to reach office, manoeuvring all the traffic, he was twenty minutes late. His boss, Dilip, was standing near the reception of TBC Ltd. Anish apologised for the delay, but Dilip left in a hurry without saying a word.
Maybe he’s stressed about the project. There was tremendous pressure from the clients to finish it within the coming week, a confused Anish thought. Will talk to him about it to figure something out.
Thinking over and brushing off the odd behaviour from an otherwise jolly Dilip, Anish reached his cubicle. He took off the laptop bag from his shoulder and sat on the chair. Within a minute, Rakesh, his colleague, knocked at the door. He conveyed to him that Vikram, the HR Manager, had asked them to come to the conference room. He had no clue about the agenda for the sudden meeting.
The conference room seemed more crowded than ever. There were about forty people.
Vikram had already begun talking about the economic turndown, the need to contain costs, the necessity to take tough calls and so on. Anish’s heart sank. What was this about? Was Vikram talking about laying off employees?
By the time Vikram concluded his address with, “I am sorry, but we have no other option,” Anish had missed most of what Vikram had said. He was perspiring profusely. And the world suddenly seemed to have turned upside down.
Of the 200 employees who had either been asked to quit or face dismissal, only a few had been called into the conference room. It was also demanded that the employees mention that they have resigned ‘voluntarily’. They were being provided with a two month severance package along with a month’s salary for every year of completed service.
Anish had been a star performer, and Dilip had been vocal about it on multiple occasions in the past. The layoff was therefore unexpected and shocking.
How can I be laid off, has there been a mistake? How will I manage all the expenses? What would I tell my parents and Shalini? The kids?
When he tried to meet Dilip, he was told that the latter was in an urgent meeting and would not be able to meet him. Hence, he sent several messages to Dilip on WhatsApp.
12: 30 pm: Hi. I have been trying to reach you to discuss my case. Vikram addressed some of us and told us that today would be our last day in office. How can this be? Please discuss my performance with him. On what grounds have I been handed over the pink slip? Please tell Vikram to reconsider the facts.

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