Monday, March 31, 2014


Do you like sugarcane juice?
They say sugarcane juice is healthy.
Sugarcane juice strengthens your organs like your brain, heart, stomach, kidneys, eyes and sex organs.
Sugarcane juice has plenty of protein and iron, prevents sore throat, cold and flu, and is a panacea for many ills.
Besides, sugarcane juice is a most refreshing drink.
I just love a tall cool restorative glass of sugarcane juice on a hot dry afternoon to quench my thirst and beat the heat.
Have you seen the way in which they extract sugarcane juice?
The sugarcane juice stall owner squeezes stalks of sugarcane through the roller crusher.
First he pushes through the entire sugarcane stalk, at least twice, to squeeze the juice out.
Then he folds the sugarcane stalk into halves and crushes it again and squeezes the juice out.
Then he repeats this crush and squeeze technique again and again till there is no juice left till and the crushed remains, the fibrous waste bagasse, is absolutely dry.
Now the man knows that there is not a drop of juice left in the crushed sugarcane bagasse.
But still he will push the totally crushed sugarcane through the roller crusher once more just to make sure that he has extracted the juice till the very last drop.
I narrated this metaphorical example of “crush and squeeze” style of Human Resource (HR) Management at the farewell party of a Navy Short Service Commission (SSC) Officer.
His permanent commission “hard taskmaster” boss wanted to extract the “last drop” from the hapless SSC Officer by “crushing and squeezing” him and making him slog even on the last day of his service till there was no “juice” left in the poor young man.
As I talked to the SSC Officer, I felt sad for him.
He was being released after 7 years service (those days SSC was for 7 years - and the SSC tenure keeps varying from 5, 7, 10 or 14 years from time to time as per requirements of the service)
The SSC Officer was still in his late 20’s, married with a small child.
He was feeling quite insecure about his future.
The 7 years he had slogged in the navy had passed in a jiffy and suddenly he was thrown out on the “civvy” street and left to fend for himself.
You may say that I am generalizing, but I have observed that Short Service Commission (SSC) Officers get a raw deal.
I have seen many Permanent Commission (PC) Officers who consider themselves prima donnas and have a “superiority complex” vis-à-vis Short Service Commission (SSC) Officers.
Many PC Officers feel that SSC Officers are merely in a “supporting role” and their role is to fill up junior vacancies at the bottom of the pyramid, and then leave, thereby improving the promotion prospects of the PC Officers.
The yeoman’s contribution of SSC Officers is not acknowledged and hence they do not get the recognition and respect they deserve.
In a metaphorical sense, like the “sugarcane”, SSC Officers are “crushed and squeezed” till all the “juice” is extracted from them, and then they are shoved out of the defence services and left to fend for themselves in the civilian world.
Well, I have experienced this “crush and squeeze” applied to me by one boss who was after my blood right till my farewell PLD
Have you seen such “crush and squeeze” types?

No comments: