Friday, January 7, 2011

The Gabbar of Grown ups

Back in the 70s moms in North India put their children to sleep warning about Gabbar. Closer home in Kerala the tried and tested method for two generations have been about Policemen on the prowl to catch the 'bad kids'. Quite contrary to Gabbar the cops have been wanting to catch i guess. Both anyway did the same trick. That of instilling instant fear and obedience.

When these kids from the 70s grew up, got their management degrees and joined corporate jobs, Gabbar & the Khaki policemen were replaced by : Third party Audit/Control & Compliance Teams. This annual jamboree  is kick started in most companies with heavy duty mail roll outs/con-calls/task forces all reiterating the Zero Tolerance policy of the company on audit failures. The preparations start a good one or two months before  D-Day. All questions and requests are answered by a revered reply  " Its audit , you know ".

Policy and process manuals get dusted off the shelf. Your boss starts asking you stuff that he has never even mentioned to you before. ( Its there on Page No:117  Appendix B didn't you know ?). Vendor offices are sanitized , new ID cards are made, registers filled. Hell...some of the managers actually get to meet the vendors in person for once lest the audit guys ask them for a surprise ride to the vendors office. The security guy at the office grudgingly wears his 'Topi' wondering when the whole thing is going to get over.

Request for leaves are denied unless 'genuine'. Even worse, folks at home start asking you on the daily progress of the preparations. It even starts getting rubbed off on customers who start sensing something big is about to happen.

When D-Day arrives, all hands are on deck or rather the PC to check on any information regarding where the auditors have landed. Once the initial location is confirmed as a far off state, there is a temporary sigh of relief. From then on , its like watching the cricket score on your mobile until the game is over and everybody gets back to their normal self.

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