What has made me go red in the face? Not many incidents come to mind, thanks to living a boring life. If I was asked this question before 2014, I would have thought hard & probably come up with a couple of incidents from my childhood when I had walked in on somebody in the restroom. In my defence, they should have locked the door. Who relieves themselves without privacy? But I digress. These were certainly things that embarrassed me but they were long back & today I can dismiss them as childhood memories. And also because there are experiences today that make me more red-faced than before.

Not so long back, when I was fresh out of b-school, & eager-faced into my first job, I was thrust into a manufacturing set up. The HR Head (HRH) there was still clinging to the time when HR was all about Personnel & Administration. Years of dealing with trade unions had made this respectable gentleman a great judge of people. The first time I met him, I was introduced as the expert on competency profiling. The only expertise I had in this area was the course that I had taken in b-school. There too, when you are a fresher, a lot of things are incomprehensible. I stared at my manager who had carried out this introduction. He appeared cool as cucumber, but I realised I had turned red. I wondered what would happen if the HRH discovered the truth. I just prayed then that it would not be evident from my face that something was going on.

Now I am in a spot which is perhaps even more embarrassing than the above. My business team needed an associate to handle coordination work. I was given a manpower requisition form which I got filled up, convinced all who needed to be convinced, & then set out to hire the person. An internal job posting was released & soon we had identified a young spark that would fit into the role. I gave her a great motivational speech on how our team needed youngsters like her, that we could not wait for her to join etc. Then, when I approached the resourcing team for her offer letter, I discovered there was still a stakeholder left who needed to approve the manpower requisition. I promptly sent the form to the concerned person & set about praying. Because, by now, the candidate was calling me every day to ascertain her joining status. & I had no answer. & finally, what I feared most, happened. The manpower requisition got rejected. The business team also said they did not need the person anymore. It was left to poor me to communicate the bad news to the candidate. When she called for the last time, I wanted the sky to gobble me up. But eh, too much to ask for!

I now know that I have never been this embarrassed in the past. & I hope I do not have to be in the future. I console myself saying it is a part of resourcing. & perhaps I will get used to it with time. But till then, red-faced!


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