“I was chomping puri aloo in the spiffy white canteen when I spotted a private dining area complete with a meticulously laid out table and sturdy wooden chairs at the far end. My friend, Anjali Parmar*, part of the company’s human resources team, followed my gaze and remarked, “That dining area is exclusive to the senior management. The top bosses have a wing to themselves too with their cabins, separate washrooms, meeting spaces and enjoy exclusive club memberships.”

Parmar’s office isn’t an aberration. Many organisations still make a big deal about graduating from the peasant to the pasha level. As you move up the ladder, some reward you in unusual ways. Like allocating you an exclusive washroom. If you have been promoted to a key title in the organisation, you and you alone will also hold the key to a personal loo, probably far, far away from the prying eyes of the ordinary washrooms that the other mortals use.

“I could hardly contain my disbelief when my boss handed me the key to a personal washroom, announcing smugly that now I was officially a part of the management,” laughs Surina Dev*, a former magazine editor. She is truly a woman of substance for having steered clear of ever using the earmarked space. “I don’t even remember where I tossed the key. I probably even forgot to return it,” she says. “Of course, the appreciation indicator, as the ‘perk’ was tagged, would have been more appreciated as a salary hike.”

Shilpi Madan for DNA

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