Saturday, January 17, 2009

Enemy in the Camp

Was there a saying 'The best time to bury your enemy is when you are treating him/her to a big meal'? Okay, maybe there wasn't one. LOL!

After being away for 2.5 days for a course, I returned to work yesterday morning. Talk about welcoming Fridays. At 9.00am, Popeye, my immediate superior, called me on the phone.

He yelled his head off. He asked if it was true that I was recruiting a subsidiary staff for my department without his knowledge. I told him firmly that I had been looking for staff for almost a year and since this candidate applied, I interviewed her and gave her a writing test, I was just following the usual procedure. He said he heard that I had bypassed him and already recruited Ms A, that she was already seated at my department. I told him in a condescending manner that I could only interview, I didn't have the authority to issue anything in black & white. That is the HR department job. (wonder who that culprit was, very few people knew my plans).

He cooled off a bit and ordered not to hire her, saying that she was no good and could not write a speech. I said I needed people and the application of the senior staff I had shortlisted in August was 'stuck'. No 1 asked Popeye's comment and instead of replying, the idiot did what he normally does - 'peram' the documents at his place and kept quiet about it. That guy was an outstanding candidate. So, Popeye ordered me to re-submit the senior staff application, he is much better than Ms A. Hell, that guy has 8 years over Ms A. What do you expect?

As always, I am open with my 2 senior staffs about my plans. After that I called my senior staff, Ms Prim, who was seated downstairs. My other senior staff was away but I knew it wasn't him who sang. He is burned out and desperately wants Ms A in. Ms Prim denied telling Popeye's secretary - they were closed and like to gossip. I didn't want to tell her initially but she had to replace me for a meeting when I interviewed Ms A. I specifically told her to keep it to herself, in case anybody sabotaged us again. We really need the extra manpower. Also, his choice of words showed that his informant found out about the plan from me.

5 minutes after I put down the phone, Popeye's secretary came over to summon me to his office. Ms A was at my office then. I went in. He started by blasting off why did I go and scold Ms Prim. Bingo! Yeah, my most trusted and seemingly efficient but yet diplomatic staff is a back-stabber.

I've always known that Ms Prim is Popeye's pet, he hired her. But I was stupid enough to believe that she would remain professional and appreciate my management style. I mean come on, I consult her on decision-makings, I am open with my plans. When Popeye made her man outstation exhibitions 3 consecutive weekends before she was departing abroad for a trade mission, I tried to get her out of it. I even denied Popeye's favorite girl the post as her assistance because she didn't want to work with her. I let her hire the candidate she wants instead (a total stranger). And o
bviously, she has problem with Ms A, probably she sees her as a threat.

Well, as I sat in front of Popeye, he called Ms Prim too. She kept her head down during the whole encounter, a sign of embarrassment, no doubt. I won't bore you with the details of this kindergarten-minded level of encounter. Just that, Popeye is switching angle, trying to get me to move over to his camp. He tried to assure me that he is open to feedback and welcome discussion; that I should have consulted him first on Ms A's recruitment as he would have advised me against it, etc. That I report to him, and not the new HR Manager. I told him that the recruitment document requires his signature and would still go to him after all. Blah... blah... blah... Okay, Popeye is starting to show signs of panic and defeat. His position may be made redundant soon, especially with 2 of the 3 department heads under his division ignoring him and starting to bypass him.

Now, the story behind this new development... We got a new HR manager. Popeye's right hand man - the despatch-turned-former-HR head, had been transfered to another department. The new guy has 6 different Degrees and Masters qualifications. He just moved back from Germany where he held a VP post at a 300-employee company. Yes, he is Malay. He may look like a nerd but amazingly, he is damn gutsy. He has been 'challenging' Popeye like hell.

He has been going all out to get rid of Popeye by first removing him from being our immediate superior. This includes swopping senior management officials and changing the organisation chart. Popeye's lack of expertise and legal knowledge & his low level of thinking makes the mission do-able. Not to mention, he is a nasty bastard, who only cares about his own hidden political/glamorous agenda and the 'servants' who support him. I had just learned that all the court cases that the company has been facing - where staffs were unfairly
dismissed - were related to Popeye. Due to the former HR head's lack of qualifications, legal grounds were not properly 'covered'. The company is losing millions over those claims.

Anyway, somehow, new HR head and I sensed that recruiting Ms A would be a problem. So, we decided to bypass Popeye and go straight to No 1, regardless of the fact that both of us report to him. HR man was away yesterday. But he had asked Ms A and I to be strong. Recruitment will take place as planned. We shall fight him. It would take some time but soon, he won't be our boss anymore. Wow, if we succeeded in removing him, that would be our biggest contribution to this organisation, despite our relatively short stint.

And now, it took hours for the effect to sink in... but I have a traitor under me. I won't confront her as she would go straight to Popeye. Instead, I shall should use my most powerful weapon against her ie to gradually increase her suspense & 'burn' her with my Stony Silence. Only much later, when she least expects it, would I strike. She won't forget this, one in a lifetime experience, definitely. Nobody messes with me!


kakyong said...

wish u all the best.. hope to hear more story... :)

Ms B said...

*LOL* I like ur last line. "nobody messes with me".

Sometimes people tend to underestimate others just becos they happen to be at a higher rank.

Nong said...

Wah, office politik ke ni? Don't stress yourself too much...

nbb said...

wah...garangnya. scorpion dah mula mengeluarkan sengatnya. hehehe

Hazia said...

Kak Yong,
Hehe... there will be more...Happy reading:)

Hazia said...

Ms B,
True... a clerk can bring down a GM if he's not careful.

Hazia said...

Kak Nong,
Haha... everywhere I go, mesti serabut macam ni... maybe it's just me? LOL!

Hazia said...

Yeah, she's in for a big shock. Welcome to my world;)