Wednesday, August 22, 2012



Flexible HR Management

A Naval Yarn

Disclaimer: Please read this only if you have a sense of humour. This is a spoof. So first convince yourself that you have a sense of humour and only then read the yarn and have a laugh.

Sometimes, when I hark back to my glorious days in the navy, I recall such hilarious instances that I burst out laughing.

Here is one such amusing episode – I think the year was 1989.

I was very keen on doing the staff college course so I studied sincerely, prepared well, and qualified my staff college exam with flying colours at the first opportunity in 1986. Though a merit list was not declared, I had written all papers in the exam so well that I was sure that I was somewhere on the top of the merit list.

Thereafter, I completed my “sea time” and in 1989 I thought I would be sent for staff college but to my surprise, and dismay, I found that my name did not figure on the list.

So I wrote a personal letter to the concerned person and received a classic reply whose gist was as follows:

1. Yes, I had qualified the staff college entrance exam in the first attempt which was quite creditable.

2. However, a few years back, I had been selected for an M. Tech. (Master of Technology) course at IIT Delhi and I had successfully completed my M. Tech. in 1983.

3. As per the existing policy, M. Tech. qualified officers were not eligible for staff college. This was in order to give equitable opportunity to all officers in training courses and also because an M. Tech. degree from an IIT was considered a higher qualification than the M. Sc. Degree given after staff college.

4. Hence, I was not being sent to staff college in the current year.

So far, the logic given was perfectly fine, but what followed was a classic non sequitur:

5. However, this policy (of not sending M. Tech. qualified officers to staff college) may be reviewed and it is quite likely, that in the future, M. Tech. officers may be considered eligible for staff college. But even if the policy is changed in the future, I would not be eligible for staff college, as at that point of time I would be out of the “seniority bracket”. 

I showed this letter to my ship’s captain who had a hearty laugh and said: “Looks like they want to send some ‘blue-eyed-boy’ who is junior to you, and who has done M. Tech., to staff college.”

Sure enough, two years later, an M. Tech. qualified officer was sent to staff college (looks like the “policy” was changed).

There was a saying in the bureaucracy: SHOW ME THE FACE AND I WILL SHOW YOU THE RULE

A witty friend of mine who also was once a victim of another such selective interpretation of “flexible” HR Policy had even coined the acronym for this phenomenon. He called it DRDO – Different Rules for Different Officers.

But one thing is sure. Whenever you feel aggrieved by favouritism and some injustice has been done to you, instead of becoming bitter, it is best to look at the funny side, since humour is the best antidote to frustration and a hearty laugh is an excellent safety valve to dissipate hurt, pain and anger.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like this story?
I am sure you will like the 27 fiction short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL 

To order your COCKTAIL please click any of the links below:

If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the links below:

Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll
If your are a Foodie you will like my book of Food Adventures APPETITE FOR A STROLL. Do order a copy from FLIPKART:

Vikram KarveA creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram Karve has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal:
Professional Profile Vikram Karve:
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog:

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


Jannet Loves to Experiment said...

Me and many others in my generation have to learn from your possitive attitude....

Vikram Waman Karve said...

Hi Love to Experiment,
Thanks for your nice words. The fact that you want to experiment indicates that you have a positive attitude.
All the Best
Do read my blog and comment - I will look forward to your feedback