I am Neha, 25 year old woman working in an MNC. Aswin is my Manager. I have been working in this MNC after I completed my college.
I went into manager’s cabin. It’s my last day. I lost my job because the company decided to lay off people as it is facing severe financial crisis. I haven’t received my salary in two months. I have received only half of last year bonus.
It was a big shock to me. I was speechless. I didn’t know what to do. I shouted at manager and got out of cabin. Everybody was staring at me. I felt embarrassed. I tried very hard to control my tears. I quickly got out of the building. I reached bus stop. Waited for the bus. Finally, after 20 minutes, I boarded a bus and reached my apartment.
I unlocked the door. Apartment was empty. I went to my room to take some rest. I lay on bed and drifted into thoughts
“I am working so hard but my career has headed nowhere. I have lot of bills to pay. EMIs to pay. I also borrowed money from my friends. Now, how can I pay without a job? It will take at least couple of months time to find another job”
I should have quit this job two years back but I waited for raise, promotion and big bonuses. Today, I am unemployed. I am not sure when will I get my two months salary and my remaining bonus. I am not sure when will I find another job”
I drifted into sleep.
I opened my eyes and its 2PM. My phone is ringing loud.
“Neha! what are you doing?” screamed my friend from the other side.
“Raasi, I lost my job today, I am not feeling very well right now, I will call you later Ok?”
“Oh! I am so sorry yaar. Are you okay? I am very sorry Neha. I feel bad for you. Where are you now?”
“You already know, I am in Hyderabad in my shared apartment”
“You seem not to be in mood, I will call you tomorrow and I will message you before calling. Very sorry yaar. Bye! I have to go. Call me in case you feel like talking”
Tears rolled down my cheek. I started crying. I am too tired. I felt helpless alone. Its 3PM already. I haven’t ate lunch. I went to a nearby restaurant to have my lunch. I returned and decided to search for a job. I have no choice but to find a job.
I started searching for jobs in newspapers, on the internet and made a list of people who can recommend me for a job.
I spent next two days hunting for a job. Despite my sincere effort, I couldn’t find a proper job. If I join a lower position job than what I had, that would damage my career. Even if take those jobs, I can’t make a proper living.
Its been 3 days since I lost my job. Today also, no result. Its 2AM now. I went to sleep.
I woke up to the blaring sound of my phone. I opened my eyes and reached for my phone. Its my manager. I got confused. I wondered why he is calling me.
“Sir, its you! Why are you calling me now?”
“How are you Neha?”
“Neha! I know that you are feeling terrible. I feel very sorry for you. You know that your job was not in my hands. Its a decision made by upper management”
“Sir, please stop lying! They lay off people only if you don’t object. You didn’t object their decision when they decided to remove me from job. So stop lying”
“Neha! you are new here. Its only been 3 years since you joined in this job. You are single. You are only 25 years old. You don’t have family of your own. Others are much older than you. They are married, they have kids. If they lose jobs, their kids would also suffer. They have been working in this office even before you joined. All the people who lost jobs are either single like you or they have spouses who hold a decent job”
“Sir, I have no words to say if you speak like that. You could have warned me earlier. I would have searched for another job and would have resigned peacefully. You have left me in the middle of nowhere now. That’s so cruel of you. I feel betrayed”
“Neha! You can easily find another job. Don’t worry”
“Sir, its easy for you to say. But I want a recommendation letter from you”
“ok Neha! I will write a recommendation letter for you. That’s not an issue”
“Sir, why did you call me? I know you didn’t call me for saying this. So, please tell me…”
“Neha! I don’t want to talk about this subject over the phone. I want to meet you somewhere private. Today evening would be perfect. Are you free?”
“Sir, I have free time 24/7 now. Thanks to you!”
“Neha! please stop it. I feel guilty. I am sorry for not warning you earlier. Anyway are you free?”
“Sir, May i know the purpose of this meeting?”
“Neha! Its little confidential kind of thing. I can’t speak over the phone. I will tell you everything when we meet”
“Sir, bring that recommendation letter while coming”
“Sure Neha! I will. Don’t be late ah? 6PM. I will be waiting for you at reception of Hotel Stay Inn”
“Hotel Reception? What kind of a meeting is this?”
“Neha! its a public place! You need not worry! I will tell you everything once we meet”
He hung up.
To be continued……………………
I felt very confused. I thought “What would I lose if I attend this meeting? I am jobless anyway. May be its something important. Its a public place anyway. I can only judge once I attend the meeting”.
I got a text from Manager (Aswin). It read “Hello Neha! I forgot. While coming, Don’t dress in office attire. Dress in a normal way. Its not a formal meeting. Don’t bring any files with you. Just come to the meeting normally. I will email you the recommendation letter in couple of hours”
I started thinking what this meeting could be. I wonder If the manager wants to sleep with me. Again, I felt its very odd because he is not that kind of person. He is a decent man. I shouldn’t think about him in wrong way.
I kept thinking about everything which happened since last week. I got more confused.
I went to restroom. I got ready. I picked T-shirt and jeans. I have medium size boobs. The dress looked great on me. Its been a month since I used this dress. I applied makeup to my face. I made a ponytail of my hair at the back. I got my handbag ready for today’s meeting.
My room mates have left some breakfast for me. I sat on table to have my breakfast. I opened newspaper. I opened business column. I was surprised to see that the company where I worked got a big Rs. 200 Crore loan and are planning to expand into surrounding states. I felt so betrayed. I immediately wanted to call the manager but I felt that I should confront him face to face in today’s meeting. I got very angry.