I need your help. Not for myself but for a friend. No, he does not need money. But he is desperate.
Let me jump to the email he sent me recently.
Email from the edge
You know that I took up working for this NGO because I thought the opportunity was too good. I deeply cared for their cause and I had had enough of the corporate rat race. Within a week of joining, I became as passionate about the cause as the dynamic boss of the NGO, if not more.
I was happy to write about the good work the NGO was doing. I filled page after page online and offline.
I don’t know when things changed. Now, it is about doing only the work that would fill the pages and snag the bytes.
You must be seeing enough of my boss in the news. He is well past his corporate sunset. And he enjoys being benevolent, dictatorially speaking. He manipulates every communication to project that all is well, because he is in charge.
When a poor beneficiary’s personal life and miserable existence make for great copy and gives the boss a good photo op, who cares for right to privacy? Funders are happy because they get to share the limelight and save tax. Nobody wants to ask uncomfortable questions.
Meetings are occasions to let others know what the boss wants, how he wants it and when. You are intelligent and have an opinion or two? Ha!
You are a member of the team if you toe the line. Deviate and your photos get yanked off publications and even the archives. History gets rewritten minus your contribution.
Good guys join in passion and leave in frustration. Those who remain have regressed into monkeys, craving for punishment and peanuts. You cannot imagine the pressure. I feel like a helpless accomplice, a partner in crime. I am on the edge.
What should I do? Walk away and abandon the cause? Or stay, resist and hope for dawn? At my age and after all these years, I can’t think of starting all over again.
I keep thinking of Charu.
What would you do?
My first instinct was to ignore the email. Let him stop cribbing and figure things out for himself. Maybe he knew that. Is that why, after all these years, he dragged Charu into this? So that I would take him seriously?
Now you know why I need your help. They say the corporate world has changed a lot from the time I was an employee decades ago. So, I want to ask all of you readers who know better.
You can’t think of a life outside the company or the cause you are serving. And you are dying every moment that you are inside. What would you do?