And Then He Made Something Glorious Out Of It

hqdefaultI am feeling a little shy to admit that I love that the editors at the Open Magazine are fighting each other. This is what Manu Joseph said in an interview with The Hoot:

He was asked to fire Hartosh Singh Bal, and find another political editor for the Magazine, but he resisted the temptation for three years. Then he fired him because he wanted to improve his relationship with his boss. When he fired Hartosh, he did not give any reason because he was against the decision. They wanted this to be a convenient deal for everyone concerned, and the 15-lakh compensation was part of it. Hartosh wanted more. The Open Magazine could not afford more. Therefore, he came open about this.

Juicy bits:

“I had to make a decision. One option I had was to relent and rebuild my relationship with the owner so that I can push through an ambitious online plan for the magazine. Quitting was the easier option, which I had done thrice already in the past three years. I was totally opposed to the move. That is the reason the management had to proceed without an official reason. The facts are, as usual, less glorious. In the modern-day office, the principled stand usually leads to a point when the calculators come out. Money is a form of justice, so Hartosh and the HR had conversations. The HR offered Rs 15 lakhs, Hartosh wanted much more. Things didn’t work out. No journalist who is fired has any reasons to go quietly these days if what he feels is his rightful financial compensation is not granted. Nobody was under any illusion that he will go quietly. Hartosh had several conversations about his post-departure moves with me. He told he will “raise hell”. I told him he should. I do not know about the legal position. It certainly is not moral or ethical.”

I do not know the truth of the matter, but I find this very believable. People do not admit this reality of the offices. I think there is an obvious explanation. I suspect that Manu Joseph admitted this because people with sharp minds see the truth in front of the eyes. They find the truth hard to deny, even when they want to. So, they try to avoid hypocrisy. Even when they do not avoid hypocrisy, they notice it. But, I think he admitted this because this was the only way to not look like a total hypocrite. The other guy tried to make something glorious out of this because normal people do not experience things so intensely. It is hard for them to see that “We are not fooling each other.” Why would people want to say that they sacked me to subvert the election process, or something to that effect?

Correction: Hartosh says that he was given a 50% raise a year back. So, Manu Joseph is probably lying about this, that he resisted this for years. BTW, I do not see anything wrong in accepting the compensation, or bargaining for a better deal.

What I find interesting: When X accuses Y of misbehavior, people react hysterically to it, expressing shock. But, if someone says that everyone does it inside offices, people deny it, pretend not to notice, express discomfort, lose their temper or call you deluded.

Post Script: I think the job market is a lot more complex than economists think it is. I once reported to a deputy editor who could barely spell. You should see this to believe this. Though it is exhausting when you work with people for whom you have nothing but contempt for, I find such people very amusing. They are excellent writing material. I think why such people exist, how they survive, even flourish—-This explains the world, and much of its philosophical conflicts better than anything else. Robin Hanson is the perhaps only economist I can think of—if I am compelled to name one—who knows what I am talking about.

Related Post: The Hilarious Case Of Manu Joseph

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