Part 6 – Empty Men Chronicles: The Muthusamy days (Cont’d)

Posted: June 15, 2014 in Humour

Dumb man

Five projects were there in all and all were in various stages of chaos.

Muthusamy got approximately 150 emails per day which he never sorted. He replied to some, others he simply stared and blinked at for a long time and when the content floated over his head, he simply ignored them.  Most of his replies were forwards to somebody else with the instruction “For your information and action”.

Baccha painfully took over one project after the other from Muthusamy. ‘Knowledge transfer’ was a complete misnomer when ‘knowledge’ was supposed to be transferred from Muthusamy. There wasn’t really any knowledge involved. The transition period was even more painful.

Baccha’s blood pressure kept rising every day thanks to the daily sessions with Muthusamy. Here was a man, who could not be reasoned with, who blinked twice before his brain processed a “Hello, how are you?” from anyone and who yet had a misplaced sense of sense importance and who truly believed that he was awesome. And to add to it, Muthusamy would rather die than not have the last word in an argument (which was quite common wherever he went).

A CPMG consultant who came to Empty men one day was heard remarking, “That guy is marvellous! He’s the only in my entire life I have seen arguing even after the person he is arguing with agrees with him”

Every now and then Baccha would go nuts reading some of Muthusamy’s email and walk to the latter’s desk. “Do you know you just asked the Tecnoplant team for a solution on top of an email in which they actually gave the solution?”

Baccha once went to Muthusamy’s desk and pleaded, “Sigh! Man, please stop being the mailman here and cut down on the FYI mails. You need to give some value by at least giving some guidance.”

For that, Muthusamy asked Baccha to come to an empty meeting room visibly angry (he had been holding a grudge against Baccha from the time he was asked to hand over his projects)

“I ‘ave 16 years of experience” he bellowed at Baccha. “I will not tolerate such behaviour”

“Muthusamy, we are both doing the same role here so your years don’t matter. We just have to do the task at hand”, Baccha bellowed back.

Baccha feared these one-on-one sessions. Muthusamy took him to the terrace or empty conference and made threat after threat and yelled at him. He never failed to remind him that he had 16 years of experience (of course, it was a mystery to all how the guy managed to survive so long in the industry). The worst part was that Baccha would lose at least 30 crucial minutes of work time for nothing and he would then have to spend extra time in office to make up for it.

Two months flew by.

Baccha had taken over Muthusamy’s erstwhile projects. The complaints and escalations dropped down exponentially and after cutting down a bit of the chaos, there was some progress in the work. The vendors were glad not to deal with Muthusamy’s tantrums and the management was glad not to deal with complaints against Muthusamy.

PPTwala was the only guy who had a predicament. He had to give some work to Muthusamy. Cheeku wouldn’t let Muthusamy anywhere close to him, so PPTwala talked to another Snr. Manager from a different department in Empty Men who was on the lookout for a new project manager and happily dumped Muthusamy on him.

For a while Muthusamy didn’t too badly. In the project committee meetings, he went and sat at a round table with all the general managers and the Managing Director and explained project progress. His funny demeanour and his habit of staring at the wall and giving updates in a single breath at the top of his voice amused the M.D who found Muthusamy very entertaining. Since the M.D was happy, everybody else was happy, for the time being.

However, that too didn’t last long. Muthusamy, on one fine day, decided to shoot himself in the foot in his over-zealousness and sent a rather long email to the Managing Director of Empty Men (with a liberal amount of nonsense), that completely annoyed the M.D this time. The MD had a go at the General Manager who was the boss of the Snr. Manager under whom Muthusamy was then working. The domino effect resulted in Muthusamy being project free again.

Guddu, who had then just come to Empty Men newly at that time, was one of the first people to heave a sigh of relief. He had had enough of Muthusamy too. A week earlier Muthusamy had come to Guddu’s desk with his laptop and showed his laptop into Guddu’s lap.

“Please find the mail you sent me last week and show it to me”, Muthusamy had demanded.

“But Muthusamy, why do I have to search YOUR outlook inbox for you?”

“Because you sent the mail”

Guddu opened his own mailbox, went to the sent items folder and showed that important email he had sent Muthusamy a few days ago and told him, “I have sent this to you at 4.15 pm last Friday, please check your mails and find it, I am not going to send this again”

“That ees NOT RIGHT. You must find your mail in my inbox for me” was Muthusamy’s reply.

The debate on who was supposed to find the missing mail in Muthusamy’s inbox went for 45 minutes. Guddu finally put his head on his table and wept. He didn’t deserve this.

In his time at Empty Men, Muthusamy left almost every other person who was from Mech Tee or Tenoplant, a Muthusamy story of their own to cherish.

“There was this time when I saw him with his two arms around two of the broads who were loafing in the hotel lobby where he stayed. He was bargaining with both of them at the same time” said Sourav, an analyst, who from Tecnoplant.

“He came with me to the pizza place and ordered a pepperoni pizza (thinking it would have extra pepper). When he realised pepperoni was made from pork after the pizza was served, he and his friend argued with the waiter till they served him a free vegetarian pizza as a substitute” said someone.

“When I convinced him that Naresh Singh was the Bollywood actor Rahul Dev who stopped acting after an accident and having lost weight drastically, he believed it and kept asking Naresh about why he left his acting career and tried pushing him to go back to movies (and maybe get him a few roles too)”, said Chaatu Sharma.

Muthusamy came to Baccha and Bakwasbola’s apartment a couple of days before finally leaving Empty Men. Baccha was reading a book and kept it on the table.

Muthusamy picked up the book and stared at the title for 5 seconds and stuttered the title aloud, “Atlas Shu –ggre- red”.

He put it down and commented “ Veyry Good Book!”

“It’s Atlas Shrugged man, and how do you know it’s a good book. Have you read it?”

“Oh! Es es! I ‘ave read it

“Ok, then tell me who wrote the book”, said Baccha with a raised brow after taking the book from the table.

“Err. OK Actually, I came to see Bakwasbola” said Muthusamy changing the topic

Muthusamy had created quite a ruckus the week before and had finally been given a ticket to return home to India. Backwasbola had helped expedite the process in exchange for a couple of beers.

He had come that night with the beer bottles. He later sat and enjoyed a long conversation with Bakwasbola till the beer got over.

Two days later Muthusamy left Empty Men for good, rather unceremonious and quietly.

He said he wanted to leave an impression, the time he was in Empty Men.

He succeeded so well that long after he left, people couldn’t stop talking about him. After all, one seldom meets more than one Muthusamy in a lifetime.



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