The Pay Packet


Myself By T.V. Antony Raj


A year ago, Rajan started working as an associate in the newly incorporated XYZ Softwares situated on North Coast Road in Chennai, India.

His friends who had attended the interview in that firm before him had advised him not to join that firm since they were asked to sign on the dotted line above which were dubious ‘Terms of Employment’ printed in tiny letters that required a magnifying class to read them. One of the clauses read “… employee would be paid only after completing one year of service and no request for advance payment would be tolerated even for emergencies.

Since he hailed from an affluent family, Rajan accepted the offer of ₹10,80,000 per annum. He did the arithmetic: ₹90,000 per month – almost ₹3,000 per day, which as per Indian standards was very substantial for a fresher. He was very much pleased when he was given a promissory note for payment of his salary at the end of a year’s service.

The payment day dawned. Mr. Ajit Singh, the Personnel Manager called Rajan to his room and gave him an envelope, which Rajan assumed to be the pay packet, saying, “Rajan, we like you very much. Everyone in this firm like you. You have been a good associate and a friend to all of us.. Here take this and do the needful.”.

Rajan anxiously opened the envelope expecting a thumping amount of ₹10,80,000 . He was shocked. Instead of a cheque he was confronted with a note that said “You owe the XYZ Softwares ₹84,000 for being employed by us for the past one year.”

Rajan was stunned. He looked inquiringly at him.

Mr. Singh smiled and without batting an eye lid asked, “When can you pay the amount you owe the company?”

Rajan just stood there fuming with rage. Then he remembered the warning given by  his friends.

Understanding Rajan’s predicament, Mr. Singh said, “Let me explain.” Clearing his throat he asked “Rajan, how many days are there in a year?”

Rajan: “365 days in a normal year and 366 days in a leap year.”

Mr. Singh: “So, 2012 is a leap year. Isn’t it?”

Rajan: “Yes, Sir.”

Mr. Singh: “You work 8 hours per day. That is one-third of a day. So, one-third of 366 days is 122 days. Is it correct?”

Rajan: “Yes.”

Mr. Singh: “Do you come to work on weekends?”

Rajan: “No, Sir.”

Mr. Singh: “So, 52 Saturdays and 52 Sundays equal 104 days.”

Rajan: “Yes.”

Mr. Singh opened the file placed in front of him

Mr. Singh: “According to this file you had a motor cycle accident two months after joining this company.”

Rajan: “Yes, Sir.”

Mr. Singh: “The company gave you 15 days sick leave.”

Rajan: “Yes.”

Mr. Singh opened another file and took out a paper and said, “See this list of  17 government declared holidays .”

Rajan looked at the list of holidays.

Holiday List
India – 2011
Date Week Day Name
January – 26 Wednesday Republic Day
February – 16 Wednesday Id-E-Milad (Birthday of Prophet Mohammad)
March – 02 Wednesday Maha Shivratri (the great night of Lord Shiva)
March – 19 Saturday Holi (Festival of Colours)
April – 16 Saturday Mahavir Jayanthi (Birthday of Mahavir, the 24th, and last Tirthankara of Jainism)
April – 22 Friday Good Friday
May – 01 Sunday May Day
May – 17 Tuesday Buddha Purnima – Day of birth, enlightenment (nirvāna), and passing away (Parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha.
August – 15 Monday Independence Day
August – 22 Monday Krishna Janmastami (the birth of Krishna, an avatar of the god Vishnu).
August – 31 Wednesday Id-Ul-Fitr – End of Ramadan.
September – 01 Thursday Ganesh Chaturthi (Festival of the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune)
October – 02 Sunday Mahatma Gandhi Jayanthi (Birthday of Mohandas Gandhi)
October – 06 Thursday Vijaya Dashami ( Victory of Goddess Durga over evil).
October – 26 Wednesday Deepavali (Festival of Lights)
November – 10 Thursday Guru Nanak Jayanthi (Birth anniversary of the first Sikh Guru)
December – 25 Sunday Christmas

Mr. Singh: “That list shows the 17 government declared holidays for the year. Doesn’t it?”

Rajan: “Yes. Sir.”

Mr. Singh: “Now, add all the holidays you have taken: 104 weekend days, plus 15 days sick leave, plus 14 days casual leave, plus 17 government declared holidays. Well, that adds up to 150 days. Is my addition correct?”

Rajan: “Yes, Sir.”

Mr. Singh: “At the outset we calculated the number of days you have come to the company as 122. Didn’t we?”

Rajan: “Yes, Sir.”

Mr. Singh: “Now, subtract that 122 days from the 150 days of leave taken by you. That leaves us 28 days of employment for which you have to pay us ₹84,000.”


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