The Security Forces while serving in Militant prone areas are always worried about their activities. Operations always keep you on tenterhooks. In the corporate world the word militant is replaced by person called an irritant. You may know many who fit in such description, so read on.
There are a lot of similarities between the two. To cope with both is a big challenge. At least the forces go through their paces of training how to counter militants but in the corporate, all training falls flat in dealing with such characters, as they are even more unpredictable than militants.
They wear the same dress. They mix with the crowd. From their attire one can never make out who is a militant or an irritant. They will be well versed with the language of the area & blend with the population. Once they get their foot hold they start showing their true colours.
Both don’t carry arms openly. Militants cache their arms and ammunition at a secret hiding places. Irritants maintain a black diary where he notes down various things which he will quote later to put you down. Like the militants have their informers these irritants also develop informers and live off them and their information.
Militants gather local support by coercion and intimidation. Irritant gathers support by showing authority and pressurising subordinates of dire consequences in appraisal. Who will want to forego his increment by being in the bad books of this specie?
Militants and the irritants keep popping up at regular intervals & keep everyone on their toes. This is also done to show their relevance. They will do some action at an unexpected place at an unexpected time to overturn the applecart. The militant causes physical casualties and the irritant causes deep mental casualties.
Both these creatures work on a kind of a spy network. They will work an individual against the other in such a subtle manner that they extract out information and pit people against each other. One clue, one lead, one information is enough to start their intimidation process. They hit when one is vulnerable.
The resultant of both the cases is physical and mental fatigue. People get into thinking mode how to tackle both these devils. The forces go on an all out war but in a corporate most of the people go in for all out submission. They hardly have a choice.
In a village if you don’t tow the militant’s line you are in for trouble, same is the case of the irritant. You keep him in good books, well entertained; amused and happy, chances are you won’t face his ire. You do the opposite then heavens fall on earth.
Damage a militant can do is quite a bit. This silent killer called irritant does even more. They both don’t listen to logic as they are already brainwashed and have a fixed agenda. Militants keep brainwashing people to join their ranks for a pair of shoes and some money as compensation. The irritants brainwash you for a “carrot”. You become a “Gulaam” (slave). Irritant loves to hear his slave say “three bags full sir”.
Generally, the irritant is a kind of character who only wants to project his image. Everything is through him. Egos are hurt if he comes to know he has been bypassed even for routine matters. He will remain the power centre & make sure that you never develop. He can make your life miserable.
Irritants pass the buck and the blame immediately. It is called “fixing” people. Militants on the other hand cannot do so as they don’t have any one else to blame. They pass the pressure immediately down below. Irritants live with a sarcastic smile & feed things to their superiors to gain brownie points. They can harass for one day leave. Irritants are nasty chaps seriously.
If there are militants around, life is hell and if there are irritants around life becomes bloody hell. At least the forces know that they will face them for a particular time but one has to really be thick skinned to stay in the organisation to continue bearing the brunt of irritants.
The biggest weapon with the irritant is called “Mail”. Worst is a “memorandum”. He will keep poking you, provoking you, reminding you, noting and highlighting your mistakes without giving you any help and support. He will keep squeezing your manpower and resources to bring you to a breaking point. Moment you retaliate it is curtains down for you. You will be rebuked and humiliated very politely and subtly, even asked to “show cause” or even asked to leave.
In my considered view, it is easy to fight a militant. An encounter with the irritant is way too tough to handle. The corporate has to understand that the white and blue collared irritants are causing a lot of damage on the quiet. We the veterans who generally are in senior positions can help by contributing positively. Is it possible? I wonder!!!!!!!!!
© Noel Ellis