On Friday, I received my appraisal papers. And I called to mind the first ever hike I got 5 years back. It was a whopping 200%. Something I sincerely owe, not to my performance and efforts, but to the dot com boom. Happy news and so it was shared with all my friends I had in my peers and seniors.

Two days later I received a call from HR informing me of a substantial slash in my hiked package. It was simply blamed on a technical glitch that led to a calculation error. The very same day, I found myself in the room of my bigger boss. There was lot of gyan. But one thing that stuck on to me like glue was his words, “Somu, at work, no one is a friend, everyone is your colleague and everything is PPNC”

And that explained the HR invented technical glitch.

Even today, I have my friends at work. But there is a thin line between us that keeps popping up everytime I am tempted to disclose what should otherwise not be. When I receive anything enclosed in the official envelope, like a rhyme, the bigger boss’s words keep repeating in my mind.

“At work, no one is a friend, everyone is your colleague, and everything is PPNC (Private Personal ‘n’ Confidential) – My first lesson as a Professional.