“Hi!….Good morning.” Sahil greeted shyly as he took his seat.
“Good morning. And….how are you liking it here Mr. Ahmed?” Sunil asked the younger man.
“It’s great. The project is interesting, and the managers are great and very helpful.” Sahil replied, a bit apprehensive as to why he was asked to come to the HR’s office.
Sunil was the HR manager at the IT firm, and it fell on his shoulders to look after the new recruits. However, he did not make it a point to call each and every recruit into his office within a week of their hiring. It was only a select few that he would, few who met the profile he was looking for. And Sahil, a bright, smart 25 year old, good looking man with average qualifications and a less than decent financial background, met the profile to a T.
“Good, good! That’s excellent.” Sunil said unmindfully “I am glad you are comfortable here. We like to take care of our employees.”
“Thank you. I really love working here.” Sahil smiled politely, feeling slightly uncomfortable at the older mans piercing glare fixed on him.
“Can I see your hands?”
“Ah….excuse me?” Sahil asked confused.
“Ah! Dont worry, i just want to read your lines, i did a course in astrology and palm reading once.” he said as he took the reluctant mans hand in his hands and preened over his palm, studying it.
“Hmmm…..you have worked hard to get here.” he stated “…..and it says here that you will work harder to stay here.” giving him a pointed look.
“Uhh…..yes….i am ready to work harder, sir.” Sahil stammerred, trying unsuccessfully to slip of the mans grip.
“Good. Because you will have to work hard.” he said, holding the mans hand tightly and playing on the palm with his other hand.
“You know what with the recession and all, we had to make a lot of layoffs. So you have to be on your toes and work really, really hard to keep your job.”
Sahil stood up abruptly, jerking his hand off the mans grip.
“I need to leave, sir. I have work to do.” he said sternly.
“Fine.” Sunil leant back on his chair as he watched the young man storm off. It could have gone better. Maybe he came off too strong. Never mind, he would try again later, get him in a better mood or something, maybe offer him an on site position. That would be hard to resist. He chuckled.
“Hey, wasn’t that Sahil Ahmed? The new guy we recruited last week?” Revathy asked as she entered her colleagues cabin.
“Umm…yeah….he had some….things….to discuss…. ummm….about his….personal life.”
“Well….thats a bit rude.” Revathy sighed, disappointed “I already told him I would help with his personal problems, he didnt have to come to you.”
“Ummm….how exactly were you helping him?” Sunil asked, curious and trying not to appear ignorant.
“Well…I am not sure yet, I was looking into the Company’s policies. I did find some inclusive policies against discrimination based on sexual orientation. Also did you know that, our Company actually has an LGBT ALLIANCE group? It’s international and we dont have an Indian chapter yet, but maybe we could start one? Sahil was keen on it, i am sure more employees will show up. It will even help boost our image as an inclusive, modern enterprise that takes care of its employees. I think we should talk to Kevin and get him to….” she chattered on excitedly, heedless of the other man trying to ease his breathing and calm his violently palpitating heart.
Holy fucking shit! He almost got involved in an office scandal with a open and out faggot. If even a word had gotten out, his career, marriage and social life would have been ruined. Luckily he dodged a bullet, never again was he going to have anything to do with a open and out faggot that had no shame or decency themselves and would have brought him down in the muck too, at least HE had fucking sense enough to be discreet.
Unbeknownst to him, the bullet was just being loaded as Sahil finished drafting his mail to the Sexual Harassment Help forum. His finger hovered over the mouse button for a thoughtful second before he clicked ‘Send’.