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Expect-no birthday cake from HR, and other life problems

Comedian Vikram Poddar pens a humorous letter from a parent to their Potterhead child, explaining non-magical corporate conundrums

Vikram Poddar | Published 02.08.23, 03:16 PM

Dear Son/Daughter/Insert preferred noun,

As I write this letter to you days after Harry Potter’s 43rd birthday, the Harry Potter series is no longer available for free on any OTT platform and you have to pay Rs 119 just to rent one — which is what I truly call capitalist black magic. I wish I could tell you life gets better, but most of your Friday evenings after office will be spent getting hammered at the Leaky Cauldron.


There will be a Defence Against the Dark Arts Teacher, aka the management consultant, who will come up with a new management concept to defeat himself every year. And you’ll wish college had given you a Defence Against the Defence Against the Dark Arts Teacher course.

If you don’t have an MBA from a premier B-school, I’m afraid your trolley will smash straight into the wall of unemployment at King’s Cross Station. Unless your daddy knows the owner of Hogwarts Express and meets him every Saturday at the Saturday club over Platform 9 ¾.

You’ll see many a Hermoine Granger end up with a Ron Weasley in the office romance sweepstakes and wonder why you didn’t take up HR as a specialisation. Bosses will alternate between Dementors and Aurors depending on the economy, and there will always be a ‘He Who (he he he) Must Not Be named’... cough… Jerome… cough… Powell… ahem, Expecto Inflation.

You will attend meetings that will make you envious of the inmates at Azkaban and pray for a Death Eater to put you out of your misery. You will be put in cubicles that will make Harry’s cupboard feel like an apartment in Ballygunge. There will be a Bellatrix Lestrange from the Diversity and Inclusion team whose mission, ironically, will be to eliminate all pure bloods.

You will also find a lot of fan fiction, mainly in the company’s mission and vision statement. There will also be an HR personnel who will disappear behind the invisibility cloak of ‘we’ll get back to you’. Getting anything approved from legal will be a lot harder than breaking into Gringotts. Also, watch out for that long-dead project being suddenly revived by the Resurrection Stone of the CEO’s selective amnesia. Now, enter the Chamber of Secrets of the accounts department strictly at your own risk. Many a naive Dobby has entered the profession only to emerge as a Kreacher.

The company’s 20th anniversary celebrations will mostly be a disappointment as you see your increment disappearing in the enchanted forest that is the ‘Learning & Development’ and ‘Employee Engagement’ budget. These teams often have many frustrated Dolores Umbridges who feel they need to lay down the law. A few brave Weasley twins will leave to pursue their dreams of entrepreneurship.

Now, things will get hard at times and you will get the urge to scream “Avada Kedavra” at your colleagues from time to time, especially on Fun Friday! Do not have expectations of Expecto Increment as your boss will only laugh and point at the size of your wand.

But all I ask is that you be patient and realise that life eventually does work out even if it leaves you with a permanent scar on your emotional CV. Please do Expecto Like, Share, follow

(RIP Robbie Coltrane aka Hagrid, RIP Alan Rickman who will be Snape… ALWAYS!)

The author, Vikram Poddar, is a Marwari investment banker turned corporate comedian. The views expressed in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website.

Last updated on 02.08.23, 03:47 PM

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