A young executive was nervously biting her nails. Today was the day the final list would be out, Raghav had said to her. Raghav was her colleague and her good friend in office. There were rumors that the company was giving the pink slip to many of its employees due to the global recession.
Meera prayed fervently, hoping that her name was not included in the list of layoffs. She needed the job desperately to support her family and it was tough to find a new job during recession.
“Meera”, called Raghav. “The boss wants to see you in his cabin”.
Meera jumped from her seat and walked to Subodh’s cabin. Subodh, her boss was a demanding and daunting manager. She did not like him much as he was also known to be a womanizer.
When Meera entered Subodh’s cabin her heart almost stopped beating as he had an envelope in hand which looked similar to one’s that employees who had been laid off were receiving. Was she also being fired?
Meera sat nervously in the chair opposite to Subodh.
“Hi Meera”, started Subodh in a voice that was coated with unnecessary saccharine. He was never known to be polite with employees who were below him in grade.
“Hi Subodh”, said Meera with her eyes still on the envelope in Subodh’s hand.
“As you know that our company is reeling under the financial recession that has affected the whole of IT industry, so the management committee has decided to lay off some of its employees. And I am sad to inform you that, you have also been included in the list of employees who have been given the pink slip.” Subodh handed Meera the white envelope.
Meera’s hands were shaking as she accepted the envelope. She had been working for more than 2 years in the same company and they had decided to send her back home with just 2 months of pay.
“But why me Subodh? I have been working really hard during the last release and the clients appreciated my hard work and dedication”, there were tears in Meera’s eyes as she spoke.
“Well, there is no particular reason, it’s just that some employees were critical and had to be retained and some were…” Subodh faltered unable to finish the sentence.
“Disposable, is that the word you were searching for? Can nothing be done now? I have my whole family to support, they are all financially dependent on me”, Meera was blabbering on unable to contain her grief.
Subodh looked at Meera. She was a pretty girl with average looks but she did have a good body. An idea was forming in his lecherous mind.
“Maybe I can help you, but for that you need to do me a favor”, replied Subodh softly.
A ray of hope shined bright in Meera’s eyes. “Please let me know what I can do. I need this job desperately”.
“We had to choose between you and Raghav for the layoff and the decision was mine. But since Raghav is critical to the project he’s working on, I had to let you go. But if you agree to spend some time with me then maybe I can alter my decision. Just for you”, said Subodh looking at Meera’s bosom.
There was a red alert going off in Meera’s mind but she wanted to confirm, “Spend some time with you?”
“Just a night would be enough and I assure you that this job would be yours.” said Subodh walking to Meera’s side and placing a hand on her shoulder.
Meera jumped up with a fright. She never imagined Subodh fall to such despicable measures. She always knew that he was loathsome man with no scruples, but would he really fall so low as to sexually harass her?
“There’s no urgency, let me know your decision by tomorrow and I’ll let the management know about my decision on the layoff”, said Subodh pressing Meera’s shoulders.
Meera bolted out of the room. She collected her things and went home. Raghav tired speaking to her but she was not in a condition to talk.
She really needed the job to support her family, her parents were jobless and she had a younger sister whose education was funded by Meera’s salary. She had to save her job, but did that mean she would consent to Subodh’s indecent proposal.
Meera was in a quandary.
But the next day she looked confident as she strode inside Subodh’s cabin.
“Ah Meera, so have you decided? Will you sleep with me to save your job and your ass?” Subodh laughed at his own pitiful joke.
Meera slapped Subodh hard on his cheeks and shouted, “You bastard, how could you take advantage of me?”
Subodh was stunned but he recovered fast, “You bitch, how dare you? Your career in this company is over.”
Meera took a step towards Subodh and said in a low voice, “Listen you piece of filth, if anyone is leaving this company it’s you. I want you to send your resignation within an hour to the management. I don’t care for your notice period but I want you out of this company in an hour. And you want to know how?”
Meera took out her mobile and showed him a video; a video of Subodh asking Meera for a favor in return for her job.
It was now Subodh’s turn to bite his fingernails. “And if I don’t see your ass out of this building in an hour, this video goes viral in our office. And I hope you provide a convincing argument on why Raghav and I are critical to our projects, else I’ll make sure that you don’t get a job anywhere in the IT field”, Meera walked out his cabin with a smile on her lips.
Raghav was waiting for her at her seat. “How did it go?” he asked her.
“Like a piece of cake. Thank you Raghav for saving my job.” Meera replied with gratitude. Raghav, who worked as a system admin, had been worried when Meera was summoned in Subodh’s cabin. He had checked the office surveillance camera in Subodh’s cabin and was shocked at Subodh’s behavior. He had recorded the whole incident and had meet Meera at her home. Together they formed a plan to save their careers from the hands of the wicked man.
In an hour Subodh’s resignation made news in the whole office and an official email was sent out to all employees that there would be no more layoffs for the next year.