When it comes to a women being harassed (sexually or otherwise), the women empowerment in India and elsewhere make such a big hue and cry. But when a women herself does a lot of harassment and create hostile situation at workplace she goes unchecked at the workplace administration and at statutory levels. Following is the experience of the writer.
*Names of organization,individuals have been changed for privacy reasons besides masking of PII (Personally Identifiable Information)
The reports have been faxed to
- The State/Central Labor Related Departments,
- The State Government of Tamil Nadu
- Federal Government of India.
We are facing very piquant labor issue at our workplace (Extreme Agility Software Solutions (P) Ltd). There is a person called ‘Radhika Sivasundaram’ who joined the company in April/May 2015. Her original role was to act as a scrum master but some of her perceived attitude problem, temerity and her excessive flatulence towards her ego seems to be a huge impediment and taking a toll on team’s integrity. We have tried our enough to escalate to the management but with her position and prowess of twisting tales and talks she is putting us in distressing situations in multiple instances.
Most of the times she touches the body parts of even other sex people and talks. We have escalated this to our management.
Meeting on July 17 2015 with Ganapathy Raj, COO: Now she has desisted from such a deplorable gesture at least this week. But she is forcing people to stay alone late night. On Wednesday (22nd July 2015) she made one of us to sit beside her on the pretext of tuning down the efforts for an agile PBI task. Only one other developer was there in another corner of the development hall. He got totally afraid because as an act of retaliation she might scream molestation. Our work area does not have sufficient CCTV in that directions as a footage proof of what is going on.
Again the next day (23rd July 2015) on the pretext of demo preparation she is asking the guy to stay for extended hours. But he started off with a team member around 10.40 PM. We are really concerned about a potential and foisted sexual harassment from her because of raising voice against her last Friday (07/17/2015) . We have also reported to National Commission for Women and Children (vide docket number 2014110108250)
Even work-wise she is harassing the team making them to stretch odd hours and visit weekends besides wasting everyone’s time in unneeded bureocratic meetings. She also does not seem to be having a good work-related knowledge. Agile projects attribute secondary or tertiary importance for documentation. But she is creating fictitious document formats for anything and everything forcing everyone to create them wasting our valuable hours on the project. This causes an unneeded stretching and schedule slippages. Stretching late hours without need because of misappropriating project estimations has caused a steep deterioration of team productivity. Also because of this, the offshore budget has suffered steeply and on (14th August 2015) our offshore group received an email from Human Resources that the cab budget has exceeded 200%. Not alone this , when a lot of team members have to visit weekends, the company has a policy to reimburse for the day’s expenses for everyone. This is an unnecessary overhead on the project budget.
She also repeatedly involves in very many statutory violations making the organization vulnerable before the law. For example, as per Negotiable Instruments act, the day of Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam’s funeral was a state-observed holiday. But she attempted a brainwash on the offshore heads and forced a lot of teams to attend work. Though the company bore the reimbursement of expenses of the lunch for all employees on that day as part of holiday working the following were distinct observations:
- She did not attend work.
- The organization was made vulnerable and wilful violator of NI act.
- Unnecessary bloated expenses on offshore budget.
And very many times she is asking unnecessary personal questions forcing us to answer. For one example, we do not know her the reason for her being why she always behind one of us holding two mobile phones. Yesterday when we were in a client call which was a very important progress update call she was preempting it in the middle and was nagging him with the same questions. I muted the phone and was commenting sarcastically at my friend that ‘Even if he has two phones and three wives it is his problem. Why do people who are not related to it are bothering’., This seems to have hurt her ego. Along with me, my colleague (Deva Kumar) also reprimanded her very much. She immediately quit the conference room and running into COO cabin to cry foul and keep building fabricated stories.
She also has a bad habit of calling people at odd hours when she does not have an authority to check status or progress. For example, she was pestering Deva Kumar around three weeks back on his Aircel number +91 98410 12345 from her Airtel number +91 98407 12345 at weird hours like 11.45 PM. If she has remained a spinster it is her problem. Calling other married people like us at odd hours is an intrusion into our privacy. Furthermore a call from an ‘unknown’ woman to the family at odd hours is also seeding doubts of ‘infidelity’ in our spouses’ minds.
Another bad gesture she has is involving in filthy talks with our onshore coordinates wasting their valuable and precious hours at odd hours (like 2 AM IST) and foul-mouthing the team. She also creates an intra-team conflicts by talking bad about one to the other without knowledge of either.
On a survey through peers, she has earned the wrath of everyone but her prowess and potential is the one which is daunting for anyone.
In a couple of sessions she also told that she is invincible because I once commented that I would go to law enforcement. Now she is telling that she knows a lot of powerful people and local law enforcement is just play toy for her. She also adds that she never has wore a helmet and she knows the cop near her place very much and hence she does not have any fear. She is presenting a deep sense of fear seeding a sense of job insecurity and career dis-satisfaction to everyone. We have not been successfully able to sensitize the offshore management regarding her excesses. Either because of long rope being extended to her on account of diplomacy or she is able to create counter-stories in successful fashion to justify her excesses.
One of the peers commented that he also suspects that she joined with fake credentials and experience. But none of us could raise voice against her because of her mafia hood at workplace and outside. How can we deal with such people and save the organization?