The Personnel departments in most states, and the Centre, are a dreadful lot. Much like Finance, a posting there ruffles more features than it soothes. However, the aura of power of these departments draw the sturdy lot to them. The Personnel department controls much of the professional lives of the IAS officers. And most important, in the context of the states, is that they control the postings – or so they say. In reality, it may be that the Personnel just approves what others, including the political higher ups, decide. Be that as it may, the saying goes that what a man proposes, Personnel disposes. Wiser heads say that never tell Personnel what you want – you may get anything, but what you tell them you want! Those wiser heads advice one to ask what one does not desire, and chances are you might get what you want instead. Postings have been coming fast lately. When I was posted out last, I had changed places four times in fourteen months. Much like the red badge of honour, frequent change in postings can be claimed to be the award for courage and fortitude in the face of a declining decorum in public life. It gives me real pleasure to tell all strangers about the frequent postings, with a puffed up chest. Much like the examples in the books, I have never asked for a choice posting. Don’t praise me – I was never asked, and I never thought it fit enough to go on and ask myself. Recently, however, there has been some changes in the stars. Senior officers asked me if I wanted to get a certain department – the post was getting vacant, albeit temporarily, as the incumbent was going on a three month leave. One very influential officer asked me if I wanted another big department or the one above – I did not even bat my eye, and muttered – give me that one. And that one I got, a couple of days later. It’s still early days. But working here has been tremendously satisfying – something that I can seldom say about most other postings I have had.
On 6th January, 2013, just three months onwards, the charge for this post was taken away. Learning of the day: postings, choice or otherwise, are uncertain like the local weather or the girlfriend’s love.