American Express India Campus – A Sexual Playground
Good Morning Planet
Susan Fowler is a human resources nightmare.
She’s the former engineer who blew the whistle on sexism and harassment at Uber, and she’s not the only one. Fowler and her colleagues complained to Uber’s leadership about the culture of harassment within the organization, and they were routinely dismissed by everybody — including the HR department.
It was only when Fowler wrote a blog post detailing her complaints, and it went viral, that Uber got serious. The company hired former US Attorney General Eric Holder to launch an investigation and understand why so many women had such bad things to say about their employee experience. The report was damning, and more than 20 people have been fired for inappropriate conduct. Travis Kalanick, the CEO, just resigned under pressure from investors. – Laurie Ruettimann
This does sound like a win for corporate harassed, proud, high-heeled women. And if I was an ignorant women, I would have been celebrating. But unfortunately this is not a win. Making a sexual predator take the fall after years and years of exploitation is no achievement. It’s still as unfortunate, as, he being allowed to grope more pieces of fair flesh.
Travis Kalanick is not the problem. He is just a small rotor in the bigger, depraved, insane, world of corporate anarchy. Lets explore the problem. I can easily google out facts about women being sexually exploited by corporate honchos and prove my point, but I guess we all agree. We are not in disagreement. Hence, let me tell you a story. And this goes deeper than you can imagine –
Before I decided to be an ape and mimic Snowden, I gave 8 years to such corporations. I have a flawless work record wherein I always exceeded my Corporate Psychopath’s expectations. But twice I failed. I failed miserably. I did do what I thought is considered work but they wanted more. I failed when it came to Great Expectations.
I was an 18 year old kid when I joined my first job in Barclays. It was fun. I loved my work. Everyone was in love with me. I brought a fresh vibe to an extremely sullied work culture. My operations manager was a homosexual. I never judge anyone. I was least concerned about his sexual preferences. I enjoyed his company. It seemed nice when he used to call me, especially for smoke breaks. He used to show interest in my family affairs, always trying to know me in a better manner. Little did I know the real reason.
One day he proposed an outing, just for the two of us. He took me to Chandni Chowk, New Delhi and treated me with a nice dinner. I generally avoid alcohol. My brain freezes, mostly, when I am intoxicated. But if your so called ‘Boss’ insists, you, tend to say yes. I am not too sure about you, but that’s what I did. And then after some time, I felt dizzy. I requested him to drop me home as I was in no shape to handle myself. Then happened something terrible which woke me up with a jolt.
Instead of dropping me at my place, he started to drive towards his home. Before I could understand the gravity of the situation, he started touching me at places, which I am absolutely sure, another man shouldn’t. I was a kid but I was no saint. I knew a lot about bullies and my mother had taught me a great life lesson – Bully the Bully.
I hit his head so hard on the steering wheel that he almost ended up crashing in the divider , splitting the roads. I was miles away from my place but little did I cared, I ran, I ran like wind, I ran like river and then came tomorrow. I was hell bent on involving my managers and human resources to get him punished but to my surprise, they laughed at me. They said I was intoxicated and I just got confused. No one was willing to hear my side. As a matter of fact I was advised to take leave of absence to see a psychiatrist. Well that was hurtful but anyways, who cares about a petty job. You might, I never. So I quit my job and joined Dell.
Dell was and still is, an amazing workplace. I never heard or experienced any such incident. Everyone just wanted to work. I must hand it over to Micheal, he certainly does a good job managing his centers.
After Dell I joined American Express India Campus. Amex is a paymaster and an equal opportunity provider. I guess the ratio of female employees exceeds men. I am a practical person and I understand this world is full of misogynist men who prowl for women at every turn. I was extremely glad to see such an excellent empowering workforce. Now it’s more than 5 years since that gladness was slowly poisoned by shame and sorrow.
I worked hard and rose ranks but the higher I went, the petite I became. I was surprised to see a culture wherein women were treated like goods and sexual favors were a required service. Throughout my tenure I witnessed, both actively and passively, sexual exploitation of my colleagues. The worst part is these women were okay with the arrangement.
Amex pays a minimum of $800/pm. There is no other organization which is even closer to this pay grade. Any sane person would not like to quit or be thrown out from such a promising and rewarding job. The corporate psychopaths who are like a weed in American Express are well aware of this fact.
They use team leaders as pimps and send out requests for sexual favors masked under the corporate term ‘Grooming’. Here’s a glimpse :
Boss: Vineet, thinks you are a great talent and would like to invest in you personally. He wants to groom you, so that you realize your true potential and be a part of higher management.
Female employee : That’s so great. Thank you sir. What would I need to do?
Boss: Oh you are a smart female. I am sure you would figure things out. I would only suggest you to make sure you be around him, harvesting and cultivating relationships.
The above mentioned conversation happened in front of me and later on this female had to quit her job. Apparently she wasn’t too good at harvesting and cultivating relationships.
Even the human resources team and other managers would advise you to leave the job if you bring an incident like this in front of them. Their logic is that this would impact badly on the victim’s chances of growing inside the organization as she might me termed – Troublemaker, and nobody likes troublemakers.
Similarly there are multiple incidents but I am not interested in sharing things which I din’t personally experience. I quit my job when I realized how corrupt the system is and doesn’t matter how hard I try, I cannot change it by being a part of it. I quit my job and I am not too sure about the changes I have been able to drive but at least now I am no longer witnessing such degradation of morality and that too just for few extra bucks and a shining title.
I would request all my sisters to openly condemn such acts and not to give up under fear of shame. Shame is within, if you hide exploitation. It doesn’t go anywhere. You cannot face a mirror if ashamed. Bring such sexually depraved people out in the open. Only you can. Your voice matters.
Enough being a victim. Drive change. Don’t wait for change to drive you. You might miss the ride which they call life.
Have a good day ahead.