Monday, 12 July 2021 11:40

When they were "left with no leverage"

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I've been called a cat with nine - or ten -or 11 - loves - I mean, lives , hehe - on mor ethan one occasion. 

HArry Houdini indeed in many ways, with good reason! 

Perhaps my skills at untying knots are terrible, but I've always, till date, found my way out of dicey situations - or seemingly those where I had no pull, or leverage, where the deck was stacked against me etc etc. 

Its happened so often in my life that I will never term it  as coincidence - not that I believe in coincidence anyway. 

It's also living proof of what Emerson said about the whole world by its very nature being made up of checks and balances. What you lose in one area, you inevitably gain with compound interest in another - and vice versa. 

Do right, and it'll come back to you in spades. 

Do wrong, and the same thing. 

(And if ever there was a time to say the latter, it is now!). 

His Laws of Compensation are a MUST READ. No, I get nothing from telling you that, but I am anyway!

anyway, something'd been oddly buzzing around in my brain for a while. 

"But we have no leverage left", I remember an old boss "Uncle J" bitching when I left the company (an hour or so after I got home, hehe). 

Good ole first job in China that neve really worked out. 

The HR lady took a dislike to yours truly from the start since I didnt suck up to her. Hehe. (oddly enough, in the next job? I was best pals with the HR Manager - and still am on good terms with the boss despite (and I was at fault there) how I left that company and definitely the HR manager-  Interesting how it all works out!) - and Uncle J didnt quite like me either. 

He tolerated me as long as he had to ... but it was tough for him, I could tell. 

Hey. 

Even stevens on that one!

But it's funny, when the company canned me for reasons I didnt agree with (one being "I didnt work during my vacation" - apparently I was supposed to send emails during my time off - provided by the compay after a year of service, but it wasn't actually time off, after all!) ... 

... Actually, they just didnt like me. 

Neither did I much like them either. 

But I had no leverage, until ... well, I found a better job! 

AFTER being canned. AFTER not finding one until my visa had like a few days to run out. 

I was shitting bricks, yet, I was still doing the rounds at the sauna with the girls. Hehe. 

It will work out, I remember thinking. 

I had just applied to Freddie's job, two days left on my visa, or maybe a week at most. 

And I hadn't called him as yet ...!

As he said later, I thought you would call me befoe!

He finally did. Hehe. 

Never been one to appear too desperate, or work cheap for that matter - as Freddie knows. Hehe. 

But anyway, that first company just didnt like me. Period. 

And lots of things that others at my level I got - I "inexplicably" didnt. 

Anyway, Uncle gave me a crappy review, and hoped I'd resign myself so they wouldn't have to pay my flight back 

I didnt. 

I asked them for a raise anyway. 

Uncle put another "boss" (poor guy, hehe) in between himself and me (who was canned or left a couple of months after I did - hehe). 

And that poor boss had to deny my request for the raise, lol. 

He pretty much told me he was just a middleman - but he was a nice guy, to be fair. Very nice fellow from Hong Kong!

Anyway, I had to leave my apartment back then - because they canned me. 

They only gave me a month until the visa ran out. So ... 

I had no choice. No leverage. 

So I asked Uncle to cover the costs of my apartment deposit. Per the contract, I'd lose it even if I gave them a month's notice if I left before a year (thats a wierd way contracts are still done in the PRC). 

He said he would. 

On the spur of the moment, I found a new job. 

Uncle wanted to know where. I didnt tell him! 

And right an hour or so after I finally left, for once being allowed to use the company car that day - or was I? No, I used the taxi as usual. Hehe. ... 

He called up, demanding the money the company paid me for the deposit back because that was paid "for my deposit". 

I told him he was more than welcome to come get it, and that I wasn't exactly goin gnowhere, to which the famous comment came. 

"But we have no leverage over you now!" 

The sheer effontery, I remember thinking. 

Brazen, hehe, yet of course no-one called him out for it. 

Lets see, what leverage did I have when they purposely excluded me from company dinners so they wouldnt have to give me the obligatory red packet (money given out on special occasions in China?). 

Lets see, what leverage did I have when they wouldn't even value me enough to pay for business cards for me, or to give me a company phone (everyone at my level had one)? 

Lets see, what leverage did I have when HR wouldn't do my visa on time, I'd tell them to, and immigration at China would yell and holler at me saying "it's your responsiblity!' (they were right) .. and Uncle would do NOTHING (though his visa always got done bang on time) ? 

None at all, right? 

And most of all, and to the point ... 

He gave me the deposit. 

I left the apartment - or maybe I didnt. But what if I did? 

Good ole Uncle failed to consider that!

And I wouldn't leave if they hadn't canned me. 

I swear, the limits companies go to ... and it wasn't even that much dough to be honest. 

HR pestered me for a while after that, and claimed "they wouldn't sign a document" that they had to in order for me to get a new visa (which geez, I' have gotten anyway down the line) if I didnt return the deposit. 

I played it sneaky. 

Much like Charlotte, the "head of finance" at the company told me "we'll withhold your last salary for three months so you can help us out if there's any issue with the systems!

On an unpaid basis, of course!

The sheer brazen effontery of it all - to Uncle J's credit, he called her out instantly on it. 

Although I was forced to actually train my replacement, it didnt do much good. 

But really, after all that, they had the gall to complain about leverage. 

I wonder if they knew I was considering filing a case against them with theHong kOng labor board for unfair termination. 

Probably did, which is why they canned me just short of two years (minimum that was required back then under Hong KOng law in order to file). 

I was of course, roundly dissuaded from speaking out for my rights. 

And par for the course, I never listened!

"You can't keep fighting with everyone!" said my Dad. 

Interesting how company co-workers privately told me the EXACT OPPOSITE. 

Yes, everyone does have an axe to grind! 

Not everyone has the balls to do it, though ... 

Same thing was told me in Delhi Police vs Rahul when they looted me of cash. 

That case has mysteriously made its way up the Google rankings from 2009, on page ONE now of all things... 

Surprise in the offing for certain parties? 

Maybe. LOL. 

But I've always been the combative sort, my friend. 

Never been one to lie down and take it, regardless of the consequences. 

I'd recommend that approach for you too, but whether you take it or not is up to you. 

But its a prime example of why you should always be fair and do the right thing - because believ eme. 

In some way, shape or form it'll come back to bite you in the ass. 

The court "up there" has a funny way of balancing and evening it all out! 

OK enough for now. 

Had to get that off my chest. 

I have now, so ... 

Rememeber - 

- As always, do leave ... You got it. REVIEWS!

They do help!!

- Place your pre-order for Lumberjack "Lodestone" fitness NOW. Price goes up in 2-3 days. 

- And last, but not least, the last couple of copies (mine, NOT dog eared, hehe) of Fast and Furious Fitness - - the Collector' Edition, once gone, they're gone, no more reprints. If there is only ONE book you EVER buy from me, I'd recommend this one - oldie, but goodie, my first - and definitely still one of the very best!

Best, 

Rahul Mookerjee

PS - Interesting how Uncle once told me during the review, that I could appeal it to the CEO if I wanted, then in the next breath he threatened me with "but no-one's ever done it before". 

I should have just done it for shits and grins, hehe. Maybe I would have if I was on the wrong side of 25, hehe. 

Last modified on Monday, 12 July 2021 12:09