As the Human Resource Manager of an international firm, my office was beautifully furnished and attractive. Also, things were relatively made available and comfortable for me. Apart from my monthly salary and other benefits which were quite attractive, I had several people under me who were my subordinates. Our firm specialised in constructing high-profile infrastructural facilities such as roads, bridges and the likes. Because of our integrity, we were patronised by organizations both in the public and private sectors within and outside the shores of the country.
On a normal day, my chain and span of activities revolved around holding meetings with heads of the various departments in my organisation, determining the procedures for hiring employees, determining payroll schemes and lots more. By arrangement, I was the next to the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer. As a result of this, I had to myself adequate volume of both power and authority.
My subordinates were people of high passion, courage and intelligence. Thus, I trusted them with several company valuables. One of them stood out in particular. He was tall, dark and handsome. This made him stand out like the moon in the middle of the night. His responsibilities were to arrange files and classify them using several parameters – numerical, alphabetical and serial, he was more to be regarded as my Chief Press Secretary. The nature of his duties thus demanded we close from work together. Most times, therefore, we left the office premises late in the day.
As if propelled by a wild storm, he suddenly reduced the tempo of his work. Most times he left office without giving me due notice. On some other days, he was absent from work for no just reason. I privately issued him some letters of query to which he declined response. The last straw that broke the camel’s back was a day the Managing Director demanded I fetch some files which were in the custody of my office, he was nowhere to be found. Worst of it, no one knew the standard he used in arranging the files which made him retrieve it easily. I had no choice than to apologise to the Director who luckily reasoned along my line.
When the whole situation got to its peak, I personally drafted a letter of dismissal, signed and enveloped waiting for the day he was going to surface at work. This was to hand over the letter to him.
On the D-Day, he came early to work and luckily he met me. I without much delay handed over the letter to him. As if he had a foreknowledge of the content, he knelt down imploring me to temper justice with mercy. Like a sinner pleading for mercy, he burst into tears.
Since I didn’t want to make a scene, I requested he followed me into my office. I offered him a seat which he refused. He narrated the most bitter experience of how he recently lost his wife to death during the delivery of his last child. Worst of it, his unreasonable in-laws were demanding to take a legal action for his supposed negligence and ignorance. This they believed led to the death of his wife which was their daughter. As if that was not enough, the landlord of his apartment was also threatening to send him packing due to his inability to pay the house rent which he had accumulated greatly. The monies he had saved to pay this had been used to foot the medical and burial expenses of his last child and his late wife respectively.
I couldn’t allow him to continue the tales of woe he was telling as I suddenly cut him short and brought him to a halt. Immediately, I understood that truly everyone is passing through fire which they wouldn’t want to tell people. I re-structured his work schedule and also sent him to another department where he’d handle-less technical and tedious tasks. He appreciated my efforts and at the end, he became one of the best staff members the company ever had.
Everyone is passing through one challenge or the other. Before you begin to point out the flaws, errors and mistakes, try to notice the tears, the pains and the sadness. It is best we put ourselves in the shoes of others before making assumptions and passing judgements. Different storms are clouding the paths of people around you.
“If You Cannot Help Them, Don’t Try To Blame Them”. Do lend a helping hand.
“Behind Every Smile, There Are Stories That Cannot Be Understood, There Are Words That Cannot Be Spoken, There Are Pictures That Cannot Be Painted “. – Anonymous
This is my story. I hope you learn from it.