Thursday, September 10, 2015

CORPORATE HORROR STORIES – THE Femme Fatale

 The shocking Sheena Bora murder case has familiarised us into the world of corporate femme fatales. You, of course, know who I am talking about. These are girls who come from less privileged homes, wanting to make it big in corporations, at whatever costs. I have had a few experiences about such types, meaning not personally, but to observe from close quarters what happens when sex enters plush corporate cabins, when power corrupts inhabitants of the rarefied realm. I won’t mention names here, for obvious reasons. But, believe me every organisation has a history of a string of dalliances, which have sometimes gone horribly wrong.

The protagonist in our case, an attractive young woman, comes to work in an organisation and soon the boss is besotted by her. She can’t do anything wrong, or, so the boss says. She slowly builds the relationship, goes out for lunches and dinners and attends corporate events with him. The boss maybe sexually frustrated in his marriage, which could be the golden opportunity the femme fatale knows and wants. She offers the clichéd shoulder to cry on and soon it’s the lap that is available. She thus blackmails her way up the hierarchical order, rather ruthlessly eliminating other contenders. Then it could be anything, a “girl friend” or a “wife” tag for her, even Chief Executive Officer (CEO). If she is very smart she becomes a wife, and if she is less talented she becomes a “girl friend,” of the top boss. This brings added power to her position. She becomes a femme fatale, ruthless with underlings, ruthless with the customers. Sometimes, in this way she crosses the line of propriety, but may be corrected by the boss at a high cost and loss of talent.

She takes advantage of the fact that her boss can’t reprimand her. She has manipulated him to such an extent. She can make all policies in the organisation, even if they are ill-advised. She can persuade people to do illegal acts which the employee does out of the need to keep the job. They would do anything to please her, even stand on their heads. She becomes a bit reckless seeing all the power that accrues to her with no great effort from her part. That’s when the downfall begins, the cookies start to crumble.

There is no way you can survive in an organisation if you are in her bad books. Sooner than later she will be at your throat and will see that you leave. It’s better to leave before she can hound you out. I myself was at the receiving side from such a femme fatale. She took huge amounts of the company’s money home, ill-treated her staff, fired many talented employees and made the boss (the managing director) into a puppet. Again no names.

When sex enters the boardroom, it’s a bad sign. My novel “Mr. Bandookwala, M.B.A., Harvard” deals with this aspect. The managing director of Pinnacle Constructions is in a relationship with the head of human resource, and, he can see no fault in what she does, which leads to disaster. Anyways can’t reveal much of the plot here, so have a look at the story outline here.



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