The hike is not enough!!!
Please read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series in case you have not read already.
Charming any member from the other side of gender divide had never been a problem for James. One look into the eyes and female sorority fell on his feet like, as Ravi Shastri would have described, a pack of cards.As he was on his way to score another goal with opposite gender, he saw a copy of LeT (London Eco Times) in her hands.
“MI6 announces 12-15% salary hike across the board” was the headline which caught his eyes and they widened like the mouth of an anaconda. His mood, which was touching the nadir after his meeting with Lucius Fox at Wayne Enterprises, had suddenly got an uplift. He was filled with hope. He was filled with happiness. He just couldn’t wait to reach MI6 office and thank M.
“Hey M. Thanks a lot. This was a fantastic surprise” said James as soon as he met M. He was sure that word about him looking for a job at Wayne Enterprises had reached MI6 and the declaration of salary hike was a result of that.
“James. How was your meeting with Lucius” said M.
“How the hell you know about that?” said James. While he had expected the news to reach MI6 but he didn’t expect M would be so direct with him.
“Double O. You maybe world’s most famous secret agent but don’t forget, I am the boss of very same most famous secret agent. It is my job to keep my eyes and ears open” said M.
“Well in that case, we don’t need to beat around the bush. Thanks a lot for the hike, M. I would love to continue my service for MI6” said James in a happy and thankful tone.
“You are most welcome James. I hope we continue our association till eternity”
“Sure M. You see, money isn’t everything. What I like most about MI6 is the culture, the values, the mission and the vision.”
“I am delighted to see your spirit James. Worrying about money is for those who are shortsighted. Those who are farsighted, look for better reasons, get down their head and work. They align themselves with the organization DNA and work for a better future. You need to look for a career, James and not just how much extra penny you make every month. Usain Bolts don’t win in the race of life James. Its marathoners, like Stephen Kiprotich, who do it.”
“I totally agree with you M” said James.
“So here is your hike letter Double O. You are getting a hike of 2.89% on your gross salary. Go have a read.”
“What? 2.89%?” James couldn’t believe his ears.
“Yes. That’s good considering the circumstances, isn’t it? And by the way, read it carefully. 80% of that increment goes towards the variable part of your salary. Rest is fixed”
“Bloody hell. For last five years, MI6 hasn’t been paying any variable to me. And what about the 12-15% hike I read in the papers, M?”
“Variable pay is a reflection of your performance James. You are not getting any because you haven’t been performing”
“What? I have not been performing? Do I need to talk about my work?”
“Well that was all expected from you, James. Nothing extraordinary there”
“Okay. In that case, should I talk about the mole I’ve placed as Team India’s cricket coach?”
“Oh James, both of us know that it was easier than getting Navjot Siddhu to talk”
“Look at the results too, M. Ever since He has taken over, team India has been slipping down faster than Sunny Leone’s dresses”
“Well James, let me put it this way. Job well done but that doesn’t warrant a variable”
“Okay. Then tell me this. Media announcement for hike was 12-15%. You are giving me peanuts. Why?”
“Oh James, I hope you didn’t take it as maximum 12% and minimum 15%. I hope you are not that stupid, are you? That was supposed to be an average, weighted average. I hope you know the math”
“I do know my math, M. Weighted average is always a number and never a range. Now if you would please enlighten me?”
“Let’s just say – MI6 always appreciates the top performers and awards them appropriately. At the same time, we also don’t mind rewarding those who also ran”
“So I belong to the category that also ran. May I request you to tell me, who are the elite, the rarest of rare, those for you care, the top performers?”
“Thanks for the kind words, double O. You are looking at one of them”
“You? You M? You, who sit behind the desk, just take and make a few phone calls and sips wines in few meetings? You are a top performer getting 12% hike?”
“It’s actually 25% James. Obviously this information is classified.”
“And I, the one who gets blood on my hand doing the entire dirty job, belong to the category of also ran?”
“That, I am afraid, is true” M’s tone was stone cold when she said it.
“Hey, but you also got dividend recently. On top of that you are getting a hike. May I know why?”
“Well James, you may claim to be getting your hands dirty and doing the entire field work. You are surely a treasure for MI6. But owning a treasure isn’t enough. You need to manage it too and manage it well. Any idiot can get lucky and get to own a treasure. But the one who manages it well is the one who does the real job”
“But unless you have a treasure, you will be sitting in your plush cabin doing nothing” James tried to argue.
“Let me cut it short, double O. It’s all because of people like me you get to do your job or in other words, you have a job. You may be doing all the shooting but it’s yours truly who calls the shots.” M was back in her bossy tone.
“Now you know your hike, James. My offer remains the same as our last discussion – take it or leave it. We have no shortage of agents. In fact, we may soon hire a super hero – the Spiderman. At least we won’t have to spend on expensive clothing with him. Just Rupa Thermocot and Lux Cozy, both imported from India at dirt cheap price and colored by Peter himself, will do the job. And by the way, your friend Agent Vinod is just a phone call away”
“M…” James, the world’s best secret agent was finding difficult to speak.
“I need to go double O. Have a good day” said M and rushed out.
James slowly walked out of M’s cabin and took out his cell phone. He called up Gordon.
“I heard about it. You must be looking to up your price at Wayne Enterprises, I know. But I must tell you, that is going to be bloody difficult” said Gordon.
“I am in no position to do that. These guys aren’t offering me what was claimed in the media. They are offering me half of the hike what Fox offered me”
“Then my dear friend, join them. You are getting almost 100% more at Wayne Enterprises. Do that math. I would help you out in getting an accommodation at Gotham” Gordon was hopeful that he would be able to rent out his 1bhk in Gotham to James Bond.
“No Gordon. I have done my math, physics, chemistry, biology, zoology and love-o-logy. I have had enough of this corporate crap. I will do something of my own now.”
“You will become a mercenary, Bond? Don’t even think about it because if you do so, you will always find me at the other end. After all I am a cop”
“Let me use a bit of corporate crap, Gordon. I will become a freelancer now” said James and disconnected the call.
He had decided. From now on, world’s best secret agent will be the master of his own fate. He wouldn’t surrender to the corporate crap and live to die another day.
To be continued…