One out of the three first employees that I recruited, turned out to be a rogue! He forged reimbursement bills, made issues about the work that he was supposed to do, tried to “poison” other team members. The fact that we are start-up, complicated things a bit more for us. I was ready to take his fussy attitude in my stride because these three people were amongst the first few in the entire history of their college to join a private sector job. Understandably, the change in attitude required would take some time. They were freshers.
Well, frankly speaking that reasoning is just a superficial reasoning. The real reason is that these youngsters have an academic qualification which is a basic legal requirement for our work and they were in short supply! The Govt seemed to offer jobs to all of them and let them have a job where pay was guaranteed but without any serious expectation of work!
It had taken us about 6 months to locate people, with the required academic qualification, who could be ready to join a non-Govt job! Once they did join, I was ready to treat them like kings. We had a great business model to operationalise and it was necessary that they co-operate.
However, within no time I found out that this candidate was more than fussy. Much against the “rules” of a startup, I continued to “tolerate” this person for close to about a month. Incidentally, other than the difficulty of finding another replacement, the worry was that if he is chucked out, the academic institution will see my organisation as a perfect example of the big bad private sector where people are chucked out at will and that would have killed the organisation because of the basic requirement of the academic qualification. Moreover, since our work was in the rural areas, students from one state could not be placed into another state due to language issues.
I started hoping that he leaves on his own. But when?
After a month of his being with us, he seemed to have been offered a job at another “private” organisation and at double the salary. It was a ridiculous amount. I somehow remebered those times when he was bothered about even the smallest of components in his salary. I had initially taken them as the widely held apprehensions in India about the “private” sector but later I realised that it is slightly more.
Anyhow, he decided to leave but not before claiming that a senior consultant, who was working with us, knew nothing. Moreover, he had rudely spoke to our HR person. Interestingly the consultant had had operational experience of 25 years including the top job at a semi-govt organisation and the HR person was possibly was one of the friendliest sort that I have ever seen.
The story does not end here because one of my worst fears became a reality 15 days later. More about that in the next post.
Learning: If your gut feel says that somebody is a bad guy, in all possibility he IS a bad guy. Addendum to this learning in the next post.