This is a commonly used phrase and I recently stepped into realization of one of the possible and powerful meanings of the same.
In this article, I am gonna share the meaning of the term Hook or Crook, with the help of an example that resulted in my own realization. And as mentioned above, it was a very powerful realization that resulted in a magical outcome in my own situation.
My startup’s operations was falling apart!
Operations is at the heart of any organisation, knitting together all other divisions in such a way that without that the company will cease to exist.
Operations can’t afford (of all other functions) to shut down even for one day, else the customers, business partners, front end employees, back end employees, all are going to suffer.
And that is precisely what happened on that eventful day at our company.
It was a Sunday morning and I badly needed to unwind from all the mayhem of the previous week. That’s when I get a call from my operations manager stating 6 out of 10 on-field operations executives have reported sick and abstained from work at short notice.
Ours is a consumer oriented service business, and weekends are the peak load for customers taking our services. And this “near-mass” bunking was reported at 11.30 PM on the previous day!
Even before I could finish the morning’s first cup of coffee, the phone starts buzzing non-stop. Everyone in customer facing team, partner management team, etc., is going mad, unable to tackle the angry customers and partners alike.
I told myself, “The Sunday is Screwed”.
Without going into all the details of what happened next or how did we come out of the situation, etc., I will rather sum it up as nothing short of Chaos for the next 2 days.
We lost most of the abstaining executives in the subsequent days and we were literally scrambled to deliver our services.
The subsequent Tuesday, I was switching metro lines in going over to a client meeting at Central Delhi. I was far away from all the chaos back at the office, and got a little breather to digest the situation that has been lingering for the last 3 days now.
I felt terribly helpless about the situation, there’s some kinda conspiracy going on among the operations executives, who are leaving their jobs one by one in quick successions. Our brand is taking a solid beating, one that we can’t afford given that we are a startup and being so small means being vulnerable to such service disruptions. And despite all this, I am left with no option at hand.
That’s when I was reminded of the phrase Hook or Crook, we have to come out of this situation and resume our services. Everyday is going to cost us heavily, both financially and brand image wise. We have no option, no looking back, no time to cry over the spoilt milk, nothing, zilch.
I called the HR, spoke for a brief 10 minutes, told her that by Saturday I need 10 executives lined up for interviews. And I cut the call, no elaborating or convincing her about the gravity of the situation, just a 10 minute crisp conversation.
Once off the call, I increased my pace of walking while still crossing the metro station for switching lines, telling myself this:
“Everything has gone out of control, there’s a mess that needs time to repair, there’s going to be mayhem till then, no escape route. So be it. Let me focus on the upcoming meeting, and put my best foot forward in that. I can’t be worrying about what went wrong, I have to look forward and keep moving forward. That’s the only way out.
That’s the only escape route.”
And I continued with my metro journey as well as my startup journey for the next couple of days. As though nothing happened!
Come Saturday, things started falling in place. In a record short period of time, we recruited enough executives to replace the ones that left. We just managed to do it clinically that we repaired a mammoth problem and brought things to normalcy.
As I look back at the whole week that just went by, I wondered if giving a Hook or Crook attitude to the situation was the reason for us to pull ourselves out of the situation.
That’s my meaning of Hook or Crook. There could be many other meanings – “Getting the job done, either ethically or unethically”.
But in my own small world, when I am up against a mighty challenge, I decided to keep moving forward no matter what. And allowed things to fall in place naturally. Had I not done that, I could have screwed up many more unrelated things, as I would have done my work shoddily with a heavily clouded mindset.
What’s your Hook or Crook? Reply with your own definition.