Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to negotiate a holiday with your boss. And no, you don’t need to lie about a relative’s sickness, you just need to plan ahead.
Approach the boss with a solution
Find a replacement
Approach the boss with a solution
What can you do to ensure that your work does not get impacted during your absence? If you approach your seniors with a solution, half the battle is already won.
Find a replacement
It can be a colleague or someone hired temporarily. Work should’t suffer in your absence.
Don’t decided to go on a leave last minute as it would burden your colleagues. Plan it ahead so your manager also has time to figure out what to do in your absence.
Build your leave request around others who might be planning to take time off. Your thoughtfulness will be appreciated and reciprocated.
What you need to do is plan in advance and approach your boss honestly. “Clear communication helps your seniors plan the team capacity in advance, shows them that you have the company’s interest in mind and ensures that there is trust between you and your seniors,” says Rakhee Malik, head and director of human resources, AT Kearney India, a management consulting company.
Though I called Ashwa a friend, I had never seen his face, never needed to. We had met at Bedardi Bar and usually hung out on slow nights, drinking in silence. Our relationship had always been more about silence than conversation.
He asked, looking at the gyrating crowd around us. ‘It’s a nectar, a blessing, to die. To give up life, its memories, the baggage. To start afresh. You wouldn’t understand, Anantya. You with your moment’s breath, so full of life, wouldn’t understand. Death begets life. The fear of death clutches at your heart’ – he made a claw of his hand – ‘so that blood flows faster, pumping through your veins, making you run, feel the wind in your hair … without it, there’s nothing, nothing. There’s nothing but a long, long lonely stretch of road. There’s nothing but emptiness—’
The kravyad couple above us screeched, burst uncontrollable fireballs
at each other.
‘Dude, don’t talk in freakish metaphors,’ I answered.
‘What the hell happened to Guru B? How did you know—’
Ssss. Maaki had picked up a fire extinguisher and sprayed the kravyads.
‘It doesn’t matter!’ said Ashwa, lifting his head to glare at me. ‘We should all go! Die!’
‘Who?’ I asked.
‘All of us. All. Our souls they’re so threadbare, so torn, so tired. How can freedom from life be wrong for us? I don’t want to wait anymore for death to choose me. is my dharma, what’s my duty? Can I never choose right? How can something that feels so right, so natural, so much like breathing again, like freedom, cause this pain?’
Three professionals tell us how they beat the burnout and went back to managing their work life through personal time and professional help.
Symptoms of a burnout
About four years ago, in late 2014, Nida Sahar, a computer engineer based in Bengaluru, started to feel a lack of interest in her work. Every morning, she felt fatigued, didn’t want to get out of bed and go to work. At work, she would become anxious faced with the tasks she had to do and would head to the bathroom to cry.
“I felt like I was wasting my life on things that didn’t matter. I wanted to win awards, to excel at my work, but I felt too tired and felt like I wasn’t going to achieve much in life,” says the 32-year-old. Much as she tried, she couldn’t pinpoint what was wrong.
When the feeling didn’t go away for a month, Sahar consulted a psychologist and found that she was experiencing the classic symptoms of a burnout. “I was too emotionally attached to my work environment and was a workaholic. All my happiness was attached to achievements in my job,” she says, “so much so, that I had forgotten how to live.”
Burnout happens from chronic stress
Burnout is a syndrome that results from chronic stress at work and can happen to anyone. Sessions with her psychologist made Sahar realize that she couldn’t go on like this—she needed a break. She broached the subject with her senior manager and was surprised at the support. “He had gone through the same thing early in his career. Taking time off would help, he assured me,” she says.
The man tumbled, wheeled around and straightened, still
shivering like a leaf in a storm, his eyes double the size of his
shrunken balls as he ogled her knees.
‘You stupid man!’ Jaanu rasped. ‘Leave, you’re in danger here!’
‘Please don’t eat me,’ he yowled, crossing his arms to protect
‘I’m vegan,’ she said, matter-of-fact.
He didn’t seem to hear her as he fished desperately in his
bag, his eyes glued on her. He pulled out a crumpled piece of
paper, opening it and squinting to read from it. ‘Manshun jabaar
‘That wouldn’t work on any chudail,’ Jaanu sighed.
‘…baa araa…’ He stopped, frowning, looking rapidly from
the paper to her and back. ‘But…but I paid fifty thousand
rupees for this junglee chudail totka!’
‘Heard of internet scams before?’ she said, toenadering
towards him. ‘And now you need to leave!’
‘P-p-lease don’t hurt me! I’m innocent. All I wanted to
do is…to see your feet. I’ve never seen real chudail feet.
When Sandeep Mulay Kumar and his wife were investing in a property in Bengaluru, his mother found out that he was paying less than his spouse Pramitha Ramaprakash because he was earning less than her.
“My mother took me into a corner and told me quietly that the fact that I’m earning less than my wife shouldn’t go out of the family,” laughs the 38-year-old, while explaining how truly entrenched the patriarchal concept of men being the primary breadwinners is when it comes to Indian families.
Her salary is higher
The first time in 2011, when Ramaprakash got a higher salary, Kumar admits that it did bruise his ego a bit. “Pramitha had quit her job after our marriage and moved to the UK because of my career. Six months later, she finds a job, two hours away from my office, and she has been offered more money than I earn,” says Kumar.
Being from a family, where his father had been the decision-maker, for a few honest minutes, he did wonder what his family and friends would say. However, later he accepted that it was money they were collectively earning. The couple moved to be closer to Ramaprakash’s office. “It was easier for me to do this as we were living independently, in the UK, away from parental pressure,” says Kumar. “In India it would have been more difficult to move cities for my wife’s job.”
Marriage, and after that childcare, according to a survey by National Sample Survey of India for 2011-2012, is one of the most common reasons for women to drop out of jobs in India. In 2011, around 50% of unmarried women in the 15-60 age bracket were in the labour force, while the proportion for married women was a mere 20%. The trend is more prominent in rural than urban women, as couples with white-collar jobs can outsource housework, childcare and eldercare—mostly seen as a woman’s job after marriage.
Sharing household and childcare work is the only way that 34-year-old Tripti Abhijata could continue to work as a full-time manager in a company in Switzerland. As she joined office back after her son was born, Rajan Thambehalli, her 34-year-old husband, took care of the house and of their three-year-old, starting his own company for quizzing.
Before having a child, both Abhijata and Thambehalli, were pursuing their own careers—Thambehalli as a consultant travelling around in Europe and Abhijata in Switzerland. After a child, moving frequently wasn’t possible. “We decided that we would move to the location of the spouse who gets a stable job first. It happened to be me,” explains Abhijata. In 2013, Thambehalli quit his job as a consultant, started his career afresh, ending up in “mom meetings”, she says.
The Non-Tantrik Department was crawling with all kinds of
pashus and mayans, who might have arrived here at night and now waited for
their stamped pieces of paper to get into the city. Rakshasas, yakshas, dasyus,
looked at me with lazy eyes, unseeing and disinterested, waiting for their name
to be called. I stepped over a half-eaten dog lying next to a chandaali, who
slept with her hand cuffed to the wall, and walked on. Madhu followed, gasping
at something every now and then.
‘What are these creatures?’
Madhu asked me, as we walked along the corridor with damp and filthy walls, a layer of grease splattered on them. The corridor stank of piss and shit and was littered with enough cups, broken plastic bottles, pieces of clothes, bones and stale food to almost hide the tiles of the floor.
‘Immigrants from outside the city, waiting for a passport
from the immigration o office,’ I replied.
‘Immigration? Aren’t they Indians?’
‘Hah,” I said. “The Indian government doesn’t recognize them. The tantriks who do, want them to get immigration stamps if they come in highly concentrated human spaces like cities. Which is where the immigration office comes in. Without the papers and a human identity, the supernaturals can be arrested and put into the Tantrik Authority’s rotten prisons.’
The Immigration Department was a sham created for the sole purpose of bringing all sups under the control of tantriks. Before CAT had been created, cities were free spaces where any sup could move to. As long as they didn’t reveal themselves to the humans. But now, with the recent creation of the association, things had been getting organized.
Getting laid off is not the end of the world. Turn it into an opportunity.
In September 2016, Sangita Mukherjee was called by her manager into his office and told that due to restructuring of the company, certain positions had become redundant and she was told to resign from her job the same day.
“I had been in the company for 10 years in the administration department and had been performing well,” says the 42-year-old, “When I was told that I was being laid off, I was devastated.” Overnight, she was out of a job with financial responsibilities like an EMI for a home loan and her daughter’s education. Mukherjee says it took her a long time to come to terms with it.
Lay-offs are not personal
They can happen to anyone, even people like Mukherjee who have been performing well. One needs to understand this, explains Ajay Shah, vice president and head of recruitment services at TeamLease Services, a staffing firm. Shah has helped both individuals and companies during lay-offs, and has seen a pattern emerge over the years.
“People lose their jobs because of company restructuring or closure of a certain business and not because of their personal performance, abilities or skills,” he says, adding that it’s important to be positive and work to turn a lay-off into an opportunity.
According to a report released by RiseSmart, an outplacement and career transition management firm, earlier this year, in which 1,000 executives were interviewed, it was found that letting go of employees is pretty common both in big and small companies, especially in dynamic markets like the IT sector.
Responsible organizations hire outplacement services to help the laid off employees land another job. “Outplacement services are paid for by the employers to benefit employees impacted by a lay-off or company restructuring to help them land their next job quickly,” says Joel Paul, general manager, RiseSmart India. The job of such teams is to match an individual with a career coach, resume writer, etc.
For San Francisco-based Ritu Favre, the outplacement service turned out to be a boon as she hadn’t actively looked for a job in more than a decade. In the middle of 2016, when Favre was with her previous company in San Francisco, she found out that the organization was going through a restructuring. Lay-offs were part of the plan, including her position as a senior manager which would become redundant.
“Leaving a known company is scary. I had never been unemployed in the 20 plus years of my career; being laid off was overwhelming,” she says.
New job? When it comes to building relationships with Indian colleagues, it’s food that matters the most, according to Mumbai-based operations manager Neha Thadani. Three years ago, when Thadani joined her current company, an MNC based in Mumbai, the newness of the office was overwhelming. “It was a disconcerting experience,” says the 35-year-old, “I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t know how things worked, so I decided to change that with food.”
Sweeten your new colleagues
Every day, she would bring something new to office, sweet or savoury, and made it a point to walk across to a couple of colleagues at mid-morning, introduce herself and offer them snacks. “Most people took a breather, talked about what kind of food they loved, and this camaraderie continued as our personal conversations started,” says Thadani.
The initial hesitation over, within a week, her colleagues were inviting her for coffee breaks in the evening, or for lunch, introducing her to others. Within a month, Thadani knew a lot of people in her office, from top management to her juniors, and could find someone to help her out if she was stuck in her work. “Because of food, I could find the human side to the managers and bosses in my office, and connect to them beyond the work they gave me,” says Thadani, something that she feels has helped her tremendously throughout her jobs.
Build relationships anew
Building relationships at work are as important as the tasks the employees have been hired for, according to Neharika Vohra, professor (organizational behaviour), Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. “Relationships are the glue that binds tasks and teams, so they need to be paid attention to,” she says. In the beginning it is best to observe, understand and recognize the pattern of networks within your workplace. “Take initiative to reach out to people, help someone with something you can offer, show people that you are interested in them,” adds Vohra.
Mattreya’s claw-like left hand rose again and sank deep into the vampire’s neck. There was a collective cry. Those who had been standing too close to the stage were splattered with blood.
There was a second’s silence. Everyone started to clap in unison. A monster had been destroyed. Nobody seemed to care that it was another monster that had done it.
‘This is what iMagic can do for you.
‘Destroy all the evil in your path. Conquer the universe so that nothing can come in your way,’ said Vajrin
I couldn’t quite
see the connection between killing a vampire and owning a device, but it
definitely left the crowd on a high note. The Vama picked up the head of the
vampire by its hair and showed it to the audience. They cheered and clapped.
body lay on the stage, wilting in plain sight as blood gushed from it. Someone
behind me retched. I turned around to find Dakini throwing up over her
‘Why the hell
would someone do this in a civilized party,’ she bellowed when she regained her
voice. She wiped the puke from her face. ‘I think I will leave right—’