Sometimes, all it takes to get what you want is to know what you truly want. But, why do we doubt ourselves and our wants so much?
One of the top 5 entries for March’s muse of the month writing cue, “To want is to have a weakness.” (from The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood)
“I don’t believe this.” Meera checked the promotion list again. Her throat had gone dry, her hands were sweating. She saw Arun’s name. Her name was missing.
Meera was the operations manager at the main branch of a leading private sector bank in the city. She worked very hard to improve the branch performance.
Arun, her batchmate, was in charge of marketing in the branch. He was smart, did not work too hard, but was always in the branch manager’s cabin sharing jokes. He was now all smiles, distributing chocolates to celebrate his promotion.
Meera could not control her tears. She ran to the washroom and sobbed.
“Meera, are you ok?” she heard her husband Krish’s anxious voice. Meera woke up with a start. She was still sobbing. “It was a dream” she whispered.
“Oh! Just a dream”, Krish was relieved. He patted her head softly and went back to sleep. Meera was shaken by the dream.The promotion list would be out by the end of next month.
The next morning Meera walked into the branch manager Ram Prasad’s cabin. “Sir, you have always appreciated my work. I am due for a promotion this year. Can you please confirm that my name is in the promotion list?”
She was shocked when he smiled and said, “Meera, you are doing very well now, why do you want a promotion? You would need to take too much pressure if you take up a higher role. You have got married last year. This is the time for you to enjoy life.”
“Sir, I have worked hard to improve the performance of the branch. I want to get promoted and take up higher roles. It is my dream to become a branch head like you.”
Ram Prasad was taken aback by the force in her voice. “Meera, promotions for this region are decided by the Regional Head and Zonal Head. It is not in my hands. Please, your customers are waiting.”
Meera got busy serving customers throughout the day and reached home exhausted at 8 pm. Just then Krish called to let her know that he would be late and she poured out her anxieties to him. Her mother-in-law was listening quietly.
She walked into the kitchen while Meera was preparing dinner and started speaking softly.
“Meera, you are working too hard and coming home late. To want is to have a weakness. If you want a promotion, your office will exploit your weakness and make you work harder. How will you have time for Krish then?”
Meera was confused. Was she wrong in wanting career growth?
“Relax Meera, be happy.” Krish did not want her to get hurt. She was too soft.
Krish took Meera for a drive to a seaside resort that weekend. They had a wonderful time together and Meera relaxed completely. “Let me be happy at home,” she decided.
However, on Monday, when she saw Arun joking and laughing in the branch manager’s cabin, she felt angry. “This is not fair.”
Just then her team member Priya walked up to her desk. Priya was very organised and efficient in serving customers.
“Meera, I am getting engaged next week.”
“Congratulations, Priya.” Meera hugged her warmly.
Meera noticed that Priya’s eyes were red.
“They have asked me to quit my job. My parents have also agreed.”
Meera held Priya’s hand warmly. “What do YOU want Priya?”
“I want to work Meera. I love this bank job.”
“Then don’t quit Priya. Meet your fiancé and explain. I am sure he will agree.”
“You are our inspiration, Meera. We all hope you get promoted as our branch manager.” Priya’s eyes were sparkling.
Meera felt a current pass through her body. “What do I want?” she reflected.
“Krish, I love my job and I know I am good at it. I will meet the Regional Head this week.” Meera’s voice was confident. Her eyes were blazing.
Krish could sense how important it was for her.
“Then go for it Meera. Prepare your sales pitch. Showcase your work.” Krish was supportive.
Meera met the Regional Head two days later.
She presented her performance supported by data, charts and customer appreciation letters. She was enthusiastic about her vision for business growth in her branch.
The Regional Head had not been aware of her potential. He had already finalised his list.
“Good work, Meera. I am sure we can do something next year.”
“Thank you for your support, Sir. I want the promotion and the role of branch manager this year. I promise to deliver business results. I want to work with a leader like you.”
Meera was convincing, her enthusiasm contagious. She did not move.
The Regional Head smiled.
“Yes. I got what I wanted.” Meera messaged Krish.
Pic credit: Lauren (Used under a CC license)
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