NOTE: Found this scribble in my unpublished posts folder. So I took liberty to publish it now. It is a real story — life as HR Manager in an oil and gas company in Yangon, Myanmar.¬†

14th May 2010:

That was the threat of boycott that sent shivers down the spinal of the management team.

Today I traveled to Kanbauk, a small village in southern Division of Thanintaryi in southern Myanmar. We have a pipeline operation center here, the hub for our gas export to our customer in Thailand.

The flight time was 1 hour and 20 minutes on Twin Otter 300 series And throughout the journey, some 10000 feet above the fertile delta area of Irrawaddy, I dozed off at once upon take-off with head hanging in the air as the seat had no headrest. Not sure myself why I was so tired, mentally. May be the work pressure. Pressures which made my heart beat faster. Pressures which put me at the corners most of the time. Every now and then the thought about changing job came to my mind, but I paid no heed. Now it was here again!

Waiting for me on the ground were some 40 employees — casual laborers we hired to upkeep our 70km-long pipeline. Days earlier they sent a memo from an anonymous gmail account to the GM demanding some kinda compensation. The whole issue or mess rather started when the top management¬† of this organization started asking the employees, ‘what is our core business?”. That simple question sent line managers scramble for some kind of actions to be taken on their part, in order to re-channel their resources to support Company core business. On my part as HR manager, manpower optimization is the area. Laborers, drivers, gardener, security personnel are non-core. Yes we need their services to support our core business, but we do not want to own them. The management has decided to transfer their employment to other company which in turn will provide us the manpower services we need. The idea is simple. A simple plan which could go either way. Happy staff. Or unhappy staff. But it seemed to me now I am facing the latter.

On positive note, am I in the business of making people happy? I am not running an amusement park, right?