His "After" Story
Source : Google Images
Many years ago, I had to deal with a colleague of mine, who was reporting into me. Honestly, I had a tough time dealing with him . He was brash, had no respect for organizational culture and an abject abhorrence taking responsibility for his own actions. Did I make him sound like the Devil? Not quite...
He was erudite, very well read, extremely articulate among other things. But all the other non conformist pieces bothered me and the organization too. And then of course, there was the fact there was practically no adherence to KRAs or any other form of organizational moulding. Now, I don't go about boxing people into an origamy of judgement, but at some point we realized we had to let him go. And that decision was difficult for me as much as it was for him.
The PIP (performance improvement plan) sessions with him were stressful for me , to say the least, but I tried to do it with as much objectivity as I could. No defence.
As much as he tried to fathom why this was happening to him... I mean couldn't he see how much of a rope he was given ? Maybe 2 years or so. Didn't he see it coming in every appraisal that brought out areas of improvement? Was he so blind or was he pretending? No offence.
But that wasn't what I wanted to talk about at all.
So he left, and I was saddled with his business data, some work related, some unrelated stuff. What caught my eye though, was a folder named After hours.Expecting it to be some kind of visual trash, I was about to delete it when I saw it contained a few word documents titled short stories.
Oh the beauty of his prose! The depth of his emotions. The rawness of his deepest desire like hot molten lava seeping the keyboard, singeing the cool unemotional laptop.
The deep crevices that allowed his soul to pervade his mind. The chasms in his heart that were sealed with richest feelings of love!
The stories were all about love , loss , and loneliness. And I almost choked when I read these stories.
How could I have missed sensing that depth of feeling? Why could he not share that part so it would make him less brash, less arrogant, less cynical ?
That was perhaps the first time I realized....Everyone has an After story.
Sometimes we choose to share them. Sometimes they remain unsaid. Mostly they are unheard.
I havent heard from him since. Maybe he chooses to avoid me. But if I meet him I will tell him that he had a great story after all!