"Is this the way you put up files to a GM of the company? Are you are not aware that this is being put up to the board of directors? The pages are not numbered and the references are not flagged. Do you expect me to fish through the file? Such inept work I cannot tolerate" shouted Uma at the young man who came to her room and literally threw the file on the table to the corner he was standing.
The handsome young man who was in early thirties did not react but quietly took the file and left the room.Uma who was 28 had joined the company recently as GM (finance).The Managing Director had asked her a week earlier to prepare the important note for the board meeting the next day in the absence of a director for finance. A rank holder with good experience she wanted to impress the board at the first opportunity she got
The young man returned in a short while with the file in a new folder with all pages numbered and some earlier references flagged. She also found to her surprise some corrections in the note in pencil both of figures and grammar. She wondered to her obvious embarrassment how she overlooked these flaws.
Recovering herself she said “Thank you for the good job but you should have taken care in the first instance. What is your good name?"
“Kumar" he replied
"Thanks again. You can go and let me finalize this now"
It was 6.30 in the evening .She tried to start her car in the parking lot at the basement. It did not come alive despite her several attempts. Worried she came out of the car and locked it wanting to take a cab. It was then she saw Kumar coming towards her.
"Any problem, miss? Can I help you?"
"I don't think you can do much. Some electrical problem, I think"
“Let me just have a look, if you do not mind" he said as he opened the door. After starting a couple of times, he opened the bonnet and peered into it. He did something and asked her to start the car.With disbelief she got in and started it to find the car come alive instantly. She said with a big smile
"You seem an expert with cars unlike with files" she giggled and added “Where is your vehicle?"
"I came by a cab as my car has gone for service. I was looking for a friend here"
"I can drop you. Get in" she said as she opened the front door. She asked "Where do you live? Married?"
"South Extension. No, I am single"
"Good, I am in Lajpatnagar"
"Why good?" he looked at her questioningly. She was beautiful..
She was silent for a while."Nothing, your place is on my way" she said with a sheepish smile.
The next day she was waiting anxiously for the call from the board room when her file came up for discussion. It was already 12 noon. She was fully prepared on the subject and wished to impress the board. In a short while she was called.
When she went in there were about nine directors seated on the oval mahogany table with other officials seated on chairs lined across the wall.
"Welcome, Miss Uma.We have discussed your report. Our new Director (finance) needs some clarifications. He will be here presently" said the MD.
It was then she saw Kumar emerging from the toilet in the corner and coming towards her." How do you do, Miss Uma?" he asked as he sat by the side of MD.
It was then Uma realized her blunder the day before and started perspiring in her seat on the side.
"Please come forward to the table and take your seat. I am greatly impressed with the way the issue has been analyzed and the final suggestion made." He added with a grin on his face "It was easy to flip through the file as the pages were numbered and flagged". He then sought some clarification and when given, he said that he looked forward to work with her.
Around 5.30 in the evening she entered Kumar’s cabin when she knew he was alone and said “My profound apologies for my rude behavior yesterday. I mistook you for a junior executive in the department. I am never like that. Kindly forgive me.”
“Don’t worry. It is all forgotten. I knew that you mistook me for someone and I just played along. Yesterday I was in fact narrating the incident to my mom. She was greatly amused and said “I wish to see that daring girl who is going to work with you. Can you bring her along with you today?” He added ‘If it is ok by you, my driver can bring your car and we can go together to my home for a few minutes” He added “Would you mind accompanying me as I had assured my mom”
Uma felt that there was something more than what met the eye behind this request but could not ignore the butterflies fluttering in her stomach.