I don’t know whether this is what is called a mid-life crisis but there comes a time when your own past becomes an Albatross. This is especially true with people many of whom I know personally, who either because of their ego or their short-term requirements or a combination of both take a sabbatical from an active life.
But they have not anticipated the problems they are about to face when they try to enter an active life once again. By that time most of their contemporaries have taken a permanent retirement and settled in what is known as the cocoon of a settled life with their near and dear ones or have given up on life. And most importantly with their demise they have taken away the value system one has grown up with.
The new upstarts who are ensconced in their seats of authority have their own set of values and their own favourites. In a profession like Journalism about which I can talk with a little authority if sycophancy becomes the guiding principle in judging the worth of an employee God Bless the King.
This arrangement works out wonderfully till someone who has a glorious past behind him tries to disturb the equilibrium. Once this person arrives the first reaction of the boss in charge is of nervousness. The person is sent from one department to another and finally ends up with either the HR or Marketing department who has been trained to be ruthless and brutal. The ruder they are the better their ranking and chance of promotion.
And what better way to prove their efficiency than pulling the person before them from his imagined pedestal. Their dialogues are almost similar with cutting edge of sarcasm to polish it off. It begins with something like, “Wow sir you have such a wonderful career graph, we can never hope to reach those heights but (this is the unkindest cut) we are very small group and we don’t think we can afford you.”
But if you mention a figure which you feel may not force him to close shop and sell of his personal belongings the person on the other side comes out with a typical response, “We know what you were sir but that is not important. We need to see what you can do here. We will try you according to our requirements and what you are demanding is astronomical.”
This is a common enough con-trick most of those who have tried to have a second go at living an independent life have faced. It is here that you get that sinking feeling that your own past has become your biggest enemy. It’s an Albatross that hangs around your neck to pull you down. You can’t disown it because it’s part of your CV and you can talk about it because it creates a sense of insecurity among the upstarts who have occupied the top slot and will not be dislodged from there unless a creepier and craftier individual challenges him/her on his home turf and on his own terms.
By: Amitabh Srivastava
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