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

:30 pm: Dilip, I need to talk to you. Please ping once free 9:00 pm

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4:30 pm: Dilip, I need to talk to you. Please ping once free
9:00 pm: You’d have reached home by now. Can I call?
For days, there was no reply. Anish was dejected.
This was now an extended weekend with neither a plan for the present nor the seemingly dark future. Dilip avoided him on most days. A few days later, Anish received a reply from him. Sorry Anish, am helpless. I can put in a word for you in case you need a strong reference in your job search. Good luck.
Anish’s immediate instinct was to call him, but the delay had already left a bitter taste in his mouth. The least that Dilip could have done was to have sympathised with him rather than ignoring him. He was lonely on his last day at TBC. Most of his colleagues had been relieved from their duties.
Post his layoff, life was an emotional and physiological struggle. Sleep eluded him for several nights. After battling for around six months as if possessed, he finally landed a job in a smaller company as a makeshift arrangement. He was neither happy with the salary nor the work culture, but had to settle for a lower grade and an average package.
Two years passed. TBC Ltd., on its part, had global expansion plans, and Anish’s ex-boss Dilip had been given the task of recruiting competent candidates for the purpose. Teams had to be raised quickly. The rising attrition, coupled with immense competition for the best had made sourcing difficult across the industry. Every time Dilip asked the line managers for an update on staffing, they had a new list of candidates and excuses.
He fumed one day. I’m sick and tired of raking my grey cells for solutions. What if we had our exemployees with us, they could have managed it better!
This sudden outburst gave him one eureka moment. He could have the recruiters approach the past employees who were suitable for the new roles. Anish, and some others like him, were contacted at his behest.
The day Anish was contacted, he was in a contemplative mood. The first call he had received in the morning was a cold call from a bank executive for a personal loan. He politely said no and smirked mentally, there was a time when I needed it but wasn’t considered eligible. Today when I don’t need it, these guys are following up every second day.
As he sipped coffee leaning against the windowpane, there was another phone call that took him completely by surprise. The recruiter at the other end wanted him to join back TBC Ltd., the same organisation that had left him to fend for himself two years ago.
The offer was attractive, both in terms of designation and compensation. The additional truth was that Anish was considering a switch from the present company for some time. After a lot of deliberation, he decided to take up the offer. He soon started working closely with Dilip again. The first year of the job was full of multiple learning avenues and opportunities for growth. As time passed, he was given more responsibilities and thereafter, earned a promotion as well.
Just when Anish thought he had re-settled well at TBC, he got a call from a head hunter one evening. She had come across his profile via an executive search site and wanted to discuss a job opportunity suitable for him. He was offered the position of Vice President and a hefty joining bonus within ten days of joining.
By the time the conversation was over, he was in deep thought.
Anish had been working together with Dilip on a project. He thought of professional ethics and his own commitment to the project. Could he leave midway? There was no denying that he had been given a second chance in a company in which he had loved working. Then and now. Should he ignore that?
It was a restless night. He closed his eyes for a while and woke up with a start an hour later. The conference room, Vikram’s speech, Dilip’s enigmatic behaviour, his shame and frustrations, the social stigma- all the nightmares flooded back to haunt him at once. He was in a dilemma now.
He had presumed that he had recovered from that bad phase, but clearly had not! After many years, the haunting memories sucker punched him that night.
At 3 AM, he finally got up from his bed and started typing his resignation letter. His mind advised him against it while the heart saidgo ahead. There was no right or wrong for him at that moment.
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