Monday, December 04, 2006

~Suresh - The Florist~

It was one of those days in the middle of the no holds barred monsoon, and I had two primary tasks to carry out

  • Repair my World Space Radio ( And I have no qualms about mentioning the name of the Radio co. on my blog)
  • Send flowers to... ( And I do have qualms about mentioning the name of the person who I was to send flowers to on my blog)


Obviously, I thought repairing my World Space Radio would be the easier of the two. All, I would have to do is call the ’24 Hr call center’ place a request and voila someone would be there at my doorstep with a raincoat, an umbrella or both.

The flowers bit, I was dreading as visions of me confused on what to give, all while holding a leaky umbrella, with the overriding fear of my car being towed away for being parked in a no-parking zone, suddenly started running through my head.

STEP 1 - CONFIRM YOUR IDENTITY

So, I called World Space, and was greeted by the A.R Rehman tune. After a more than generous listening in to his latest composition, someone addressed me…


“Thank you for calling Worldspace, this is Joy, how may I assist you ?”


So I heard myself say, “Hey Joy,I have a slight problem with my ...”

And Joy went, “Before, I take down the receiver details. I need to verify your identity” And he subsequently started an inquisition, which Spanish Kings would have been proud of. Name? Date of Birth? Mother’s maiden name? Neighbor’s dog’s name…the works.


Then he went, you are Sudhir Syal staying in so and so, father of so and so, working in so and so, like he was the Indian avatar of Sherlock Holmes or something, and then finally, how may I help you?

Why someone would impersonate me to repair my Worldspace is a difficult question to answer anyway, I had passed the identity check.

On a parallel line, I managed to unearth a flowery visiting card of the flowery florist in question, and decided to give him a call .I was then greeted, with a thoroughly entertaining song, followed by a spontaneous, " Saar … Sudhir Saar Yepidi Saar, sollengu Saar – ow can I elp you ?" Identity confirmed.

STEP 2 - PROCESS CLIENT REQUEST


After the painful identity check, I proceeded to tell Joy, that because of the rains, my system was down and I would hence need one his boys to get it up and running again. A painful address confirmation followed, which didn’t match, leading to another round of identity confirmation and finally after all that, “Someone, will be coming over to your residence 2 days from now.”,was the confirmation I managed to squeeze out.

Par contraire, It wasnt rocket science for Suresh Saar, to figure out that I was calling him to get flowers delivered somewhere. On the choice, I told him my budget, told him to give me a good deal, and choose the flowers with as much care, as if he were sending it to Khushboo herself. A rough address, a landmark, the name of the recipient to be and there he went..



You dont believe me?


Ok. There he went...




EXECUTION

One of his dudes, did land up a few days later, right in the middle of the afternoon, “ Saar, World Space damaged, Vonamay panna mudiyadey ( Click)”. (World Space damaged- Cannot do anything). Hang on, isn’t that why I called him? My efforts to get back in touch with him were in vain, which means I was back to square one. So, I decided to call Joy again – Joy was on leave, he gets Saturdays and Sundays off and works 7 hours a day, I like that job. I asked to speak to the manager, updated him of what was going on, and was re-assured, that someone would call me in 2 days.

No one did, so I spoke to him again and again till I lost hope in the Pune based call center and decided to call the Chennai office directly. At about 10 AM in the morning, an enthusiastic security guard picked up the phone informing me that no one had made it to the office, full of conviction he then told me, “ No worries, Saar- for all service related issues, kindly call-- Call Center “

I had given up.

On the flowery end, the exact execution of how the flowers reached the specified destination without the door no., exact street name,etc, I will never completely know. However, I did receive a call from the florist, confirming that the flowers were in fact, collected by a lady. He also conveyed, how much he approved of the how the lady looked, and how the flowers exactly matched what she was wearing.More importantly, the next morning, I got a call thanking me for the beautiful flowers. ‘Customer delight’, isn’t that what they are calling it these days..

VALUE ADDED SERVICE

Unlike Worldspace, which didn’t provide any service to speak of. Suresh – the florist offered at least 2 very user friendly Value Added services.

  • Flowers on Credit – Order - send flowers - Credit- payable when able

Obviously this is available only to 'Frequent Flower' customers, and not to all junta. And then the complete clincher ,

  • Romantic note - Instant replication

While speaking to Suresh, I expressed the desire of attaching a small note with the flowers. Instantaneously, he said, “ Saar, no problem saar….Yenaka Ippo SMS panenga saar.” ( Not a problem at all, SMS it to me) And there I was, sms’ing to the florist, the message I wanted to write on the note to be sent along with the flowers.So thereI went," Dear xxxx, …..” , which I might admit, made me feel quite strange. Beware, I dont recommend this to all and sundry. They are other florists, who could do all sorts of things with the sms you send them. But then Suresh,no Suresh..... is not your regular florist.

So there, we go, within exactly 2 hours, I had flowers with a ‘note’ delivered, without me moving an inch from my office desk – minimum fuss-minimum supply chain fundas- minimum technology - Flowers - Delivered, and really thats all I wanted.

Sometimes, I wonder outsourcing simple service requests to call centers really serve the purpose. Whether BPO’s are good for the economy, the long term interests of the country, have been issues which have been debated endlessly. But moving away from the schizophrenic lives of most of the employees, the lack of employee enrichment, the core issue is does a BPO finally helps to make a customer’s life easier ? Or are we being guilty of over-complicating operations, and getting carried away with technology.

Tell you what, I’d prefer the florist every time.

P.S Someone did finally call me from an agency which services Worldspace, argued that my Worldspace got damaged before the rains hit, and now wants to strike a deal with me to split the repair costs as Worldspace doesn’t apparently cover him for it. I told him to send me flowers instead.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Corporate Bliss...

Tomorrow, it will be19 months since I began my career in the corporate world. As a kid growing up, I would always look at my dad and wonder, what’s he got to worry about? No homework, no tests, no formulae to mug up, I can't wait till I start working.

Now, after 19 months of experiencing the working world, I want to go back to that little kid , ring his neck and tell him, “Son, stay as long as you can studying!!!”

Welcome to the Corporate World.

That glorified existence which manages to squeeze everything out of you. And if that’s, not bad enough they make you take “Employee engagement” surveys resulting in initiatives such as “ Activity clubs” where in short you end up spending more time in that same place, you want to get away from.

But, in my time here, it has more than anything thought me one important lesson. The 80-20 rule does apply, with a slight deviation though :-

  • 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people
  • The remaining 20% ask 80% of the questions


Its quite simple really – the questions are answered and the answers are questioned. Corporate bliss.

Blissful, as it may be the corporate world has spawned a new lingo without which most upper management corporate pretenders wouldn’t be able to breathe. In the following few paras, I will take you through some of the more illuminating contributions, which would be aptly followed by how you should in your best interest actually interpret them.

I must admit, I’ve been guilty of using quite a bit of it myself.


“ You should try to think out of the box”

Listen mate, your ideas so far haven’t been working. In short, they suck. Try something new, actually try something that would work. I don’t really care if it’s new. Come to think of it, any idea that works becomes by default “ out of the box”. Oh, and that includes any idea, I might come up with as well. :)

“You should put it on mail”

Listen buddy, you might have a point. But I’m a lazy dog. To add to that, I’m over-worked already. But you know what, if I ask you to put it on mail, there is a good chance that you will forget . Even if you are jobless enough, to actually send out the mail , there is a good chance that I just won’t check it. If I do check it, I just wont reply and you guess what, no one will really care. Yup, that suits me just fine.. :-)


"I'm a numbers guy”

I’m a son of a bi@#$. My boss is a numbers guy as well, and I feel the same way about him. However, there is a good chance that in the event you deliver the numbers, I’m looking for this month, you will have to deliver twice that next month. Best of luck.


“ Sorry, I'm not allowed to do this"

Hey Sonny, Im a tight assed ba@#@#$. Why should I help you? What’s in it for me ? Besides, the last time I checked you get paid far more than I do.


“ Tell me – off the record”

Scene : You bump into Mr. All Important, at the cafeteria, the water fountain , or you know one of those places you least want to meet him.

I've been looking for you, I've got you cornered now ha. Now go on, explain yourself, tell me what you must. Oh and ofcourse , if any of this was off the record, I really would'nt have any use for it now, Would I ?


“ Let me get back to you on this”

I actually know the answer, but I cant really get tell you about it cause I don’t think you or the others here will like it. So let me make up something, and get back to you. In all likelihood, however, I wont. :-)

“There seems to be some disconnect somewhere”

Rumour has it that, Enron's last Board meeting started on much the same lines.

Is it just me, or does there seem to be some massive fu@# up somewhere? You better get this sorted out or both me , you and everyone else here might soon be “disconnected” from the organization.


" Let us touch base, first thing tomorrow morning"


(When Mr. Phaneesh Murthy used these lines , it took on a little more literal meaning but then, let's not get dragged into that )

Honestly, if it or you were that important, we would be "touching base" right now, now would'nt we? Oh and btw, I'm off tomorrow.

“ Fair enough”

This would have to be my personal favourite, It can actually be used as a reply for practically anything that might be said.

Usage #1

“ Congratulations ! You have done a fabulous job, we are giving you a raise !”

Yeah! Thank you. Fair enough, Yes! Fair enough, Yes! I guess, I deserve it.

Usage #2

“ Your performance, has well, been just about mediocre.."

Eh, well. Fair enough. Room for improvement. Fair enough.

Usage #3

“ You Suck. Your fired !”

Huh? What ? Fair enough, well I guess I have to start looking for a new job now.

Corporate communication abridged for you, use it to your advantage, and hopefully you won't be having too much use for fair enough - Usage #3. Just remember however, that it's always best to make someone else do something, then to do it yourself. Else, who will you blame if something goes wrong ???

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

~Sex and this City~

From time immemorial, man has always sought out the best way to impress what he considered the “fairer sex”, in most cases ‘fairer’ implying female. Very often he would go out of his way, in his time trying everything from flowers to chocolates to poodles to Islands to dancing around trees to climbing them. ( Just ask Mr. Krrish)


But of course in his time like in most pursuits, man has degenerated. The pre-historic man was by far the most charming and committed. From Adam and his apple to Paris of Troy ( the one who while being a guest in Sparta assumed that his hosts wife was all part of the hospitality package being offered). who to impress and show his love for his new love, fought or atleast got people to fight one of the largest wars in the history of the world.

Circa 2006 then, how would today’s present day ‘metrosexual’ man compare with the Adam's, the Paris's and the Shah Jahan's of old.

Well, I’m afraid, quite miserably.

Firsty and most importantly, a prime constituent of effective courtship would have to be the ability of today’s youth to be refined, charismatic and articulate. Clark Gable in “Gone with the wind” for instance. That breed today however, is well and truly extinct.

Infact coursthip today, to begin with is not even referred to as courtship, for a person who succeeds in it is hailed as a “Player” or a “Playa” or however you want to pronounce it. So, quite obviously courtship in today’s era is akin toPlaying” a game.

Which game then are today's 'metro' men playing then?

This is when, it gets really interesting. Cause, another often heard term to quantify the degree of voyeuristic “conquest” the metro sexual man might have succeeded in is the “ Base system”. Their apparently are according to most base systems essentially 4 bases, while in some cases a 5th one exists, that being of a “Home Run”. All this ofcourse, after the metro man has succeeded in courting his lady- the process of "Hitting".

Analysis of this new age vocabulary, obvious means that the frame or game of reference here is “Baseball”. Considering, we live in a land where the common man might know as many Baseball “players” as he knows members of the Rajya Sabha, the choice of the frame of reference is a little perplexing. Anyway, for whatever reason our “Metrosexual” man is playing Baseball and not any other sport.

Another commonly used phrase which follows, “Which base did you reach?” is the frequently used “ Did you score?”. Hang on a minute, what exactly is Mr. Metro sexual scoring. Anyway, this is often followed by, “ Oh you mean, duuuude! You got lucky!”. Hang on again, assuming that he is playing Baseball , he doesnt have to necessarily get “lucky” to score now does he?

Ok, anyway the man scored because he got lucky or the other way around, basically enabling him to move into the next stage. That being the potentially dizzying stage of “Going around”. Wait, before that we have the “ Proposal” stage.

“I propose you”. or better still "1 -4-3". Ok, he is done. We now move onto the “Going around” stage.

“The Going around” stage is particularly confusing, mainly because neither party here knows what they are going around. Yes, it has often bewildered me. the Pond, the tree, the zoo, each other? “The Going around” stage in yesteryear, would involve a dashing charismatic youth taking away the love of his life on horseback to a distant island, followed by him, his love and the horse all swimming in the clear blue sea. Compare that, with today’s techno savvy metro-sexual man, whose idea of romance would be sure to involve one of the following:

  • Burn CD with all romantic songs and gift to girl he is “hitting” on.
  • Engage in “Long Distance relationship” using new age innovations such as “Skype”.

Seriously, where did this term “Long Distance relationship” come from? Now, the metrosexual man can’t be put to blame for everything. The ultra chic, overtly pretentious new age , “hep” and most definitely “in” teen girl must also take some of the blame.

I recently heard a 18 and a few days college girl say with all seriousness, Man, I really can’t handle a long distance relationship.” Hang on a minute here, what “relationship” is she talking about? And has this term, "Long distance relationship" evolved from the term " Long distance phone call" ?

Most so- called “relationships”, I have witnessed taking shape in front of me generally end with:

  • A bitching spree within a month
  • The chivalrous male ditching his current date for either :

    1. His Rakhi sister
    2. His girl friend’s best friend
    3. Both

And then, the worst is when they finally stop “seeing each” other, cause “ No, we were too much like friends, we couldn’t be boy friend – girl friend”. Hang on a minute, aren’t “boyfriend-girlfriend” friends first, than anything else.

I really think its high time the teenage male and female realized, that the so called, or atleast most of the so called “relationships” they get into are nothing but immature outpourings of their own built up hormone levels. Its amazing, how the depth of their relationship is directly quantified by the proportion to which their hormones have been expended.

Sometimes however, the hormones, the male one in particular does come up against obstacles like, “ lets call all our friends”, “ Not tonight” and of course the Kollywood favourite, “ Lets just be friends”.

How should it gain refuge then? quite simple really, buy a PS2 and put on the game “The Playboy Mansion”. Your choice of playmates, a luxorious mansion, and most importantly, ever increasing charm all enabling you to make the transition from simple conversation to an intimate caress to completing depleting all your reserves of testosterone in the shower , in the swimming pool or on the pinball machine. Some famous geek once famously said, “The virtual world does have the potential to simplify every day life beyond belief.” . I completely agree.


The Playing field



The Final Draft





Half way home


Home- Run


Life couldnt be simpler. Could it.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Vote for! Vote for!

They are 2 events, in the calendar year I have always looked forward to with great anticipation. The first would be release of the Kingfisher Calendar with the photos of all the top Indian models in unbelievably unbelievable swimsuits, the second would have to be the country’s second favourite pastime, the Elections.


They are certain concepts, I however have found rather intriguing about the elections and I have hence decided to throw light upon them here in numerical order :

Concept 1 : The Election Yaatra

We often hear of Mr. L.K Advani's U.P yaatra, during which he visited each and every village on route. We have also heard of Mr. Laloo Prasad's yatra's where, it is common belief that he stole fodder from each and ever Cow shed in his path. There was also the story, most recently of certain members of the BJP running up a large (never paid for) bill at a Dhaba during one of their yaatra's. ( A bill which they eventually paid for thanks to the ever helpful NDTV).

The activities during the yaatra are most often even more baffling. All that seems to happen, is the politician masquerading through the street waiving his hand, with some blokes by the side of him screaming "Vote for! Vote for!". Honestly, is that all that is required to convince our intellectual villagers who they should be voting for? And how on earth does vote for! Vote for! give the villager any idea how effective that masquerader will be when elected.

Concept 2 : Announcement of Freebies

It is during the elections, that the generosity and magnamanity of our politicians truly comes to light.

With nothing short of Color TV sets , Gold, Computers all being put up for grabs. The most stomach rumbling announcement has been the pricing of Rice at Rs. 2 per Kg by Dr. Kalaignar, not to be outdone Periamma has agreed to add Pressure Cooker's to her list of freebies. " It is to Cook the rice , given by Kalaignar", she says.

Most families hence have one member voting for Kalaignar with the other voting for Periamma, hence assuring that they get to in effect, " Cook the rice and eat it".

I have a fundamental problem with this, once the voter goes into the polling booth, isnt who he votes for supposed to be a secret? How on earth can the pressure cooker donators or the Color TV Donators, then be sure that they voted for them. It is a touch bewildering...

Concept 3 : Declaration of Assets

This is generally quite a simple short procedure, unless ofcourse your name is Dr. J.J. (I'm not going to risk mentioning her whole name, come to think of it, how on earth did she become a Dr.??). You declare your assets which evolves to how much the politician believes he is ( legally) worth.

This exercise however can never be taken lightly, as it could lead to "life or death" consequences. For instance, our recently shot former Defence Minister Mr. Pramod Mahajan. His loving brother, apparently shot him dead cause Pramod apparently was a "2000 Crore" man. My only question here, is how on earth did Pramod Mahajan become a "2000 crore"man?? On a Cabinet minister's salary? Did he own an island off the baltic or something...

So, this exercise is done and the claimants generally fill up their assets in terms of how much they believe they are worth monetarily. Only monetary figures, which in turn means Dr. JJ's photographs of herself or Dr. Kalaignar's antique spectacles are not quite included in the calculation.

Concept 4 : Naming of Thalaivars

Actually this happens well before the elections, but then who really cares. Here, the party president figures out who he wants standing from which constituency. This allows the party to make use of party ministers, who might be popular in certain constituencies, akin to how Napoleon always stood from Corsica or how Stalin always did so from Moscow.

Sometimes parties get a little carried away and re-name their party members after victorious electoral leaders from their history books. How else, would you explain the existence of a Stalin and a Napoleon contesting in the constituencies of Chrompet and Pupudet respectively.

Concept 5 : Exit Polls

Further to the polling is the ingenious concept of the Exit poll. Here during the polling from the various polling booths, certain designated news channel journalists kidnap unsuspecting voters, and make them reveal their vote, all at gunpoint.

To be honest, I never quite understood the logistics of an exit poll. How do they do it ? Moreso, have you ever, I mean ever , heard of anybody ( Your father, mother, friend, friend's friend..you get the drift) who has ever, I mean ever, been approached during an exit poll exercise.

Quite often, exit polls do come up with some ingenious verdicts. This election for instance, it claimed that an overwhelming 10% wanted


as their next CM.

What has the world come to ?

Luckily, the only seat Captain won was one; that for himself.



Concept 6 : Meeting the father's of our Nation








Here we have it folks, the Winners! Bringing up the left we have the man from the Kremlin,our former Mayor, the aformentioned Russian , only followed by Mr. Alphonso who I definitely remember watching in a villainous role in one of those late night cable movies. Next we have a gentleman, who many believe is our forest brigand Veerapan's Uncle. He definitely shares his moustache.

Finally we have Mr. Nanmaran from Madurai East, who I must say has the most profound set of teeth I have seen in a long time.

Yes, these are our leaders. How many of them would you want to go out to Dinner with ? How many of them would you want to lend money to ? How many of them would you want to look like ? ( Exit poll - Most popular option - Mr.Nanmaran) Most importantly, How many of them would you want in control of a nation, and hence influencing the futures of all the citizens residing in it?

Let's just say that, some questions are best left unanswered.....

FOOT NOTE : CAAPTAIN IN "ACTION" !



Goooooooo Caaaptain!

Forgive me. I could'nt help myself . :-)


Tuesday, April 04, 2006

-- A Tribute to Laloo ---

For those 200 ardent fans ( I had 500 hits in March, but I factor in that about 300 of them were from my computer :0) , who logged onto my blog during the Month of March, all I can do for the lack of activity is apologize. I guess like Caesar before me, the “Ides of March” might just have set in.

Most of us do read the Newspaper, or atleast sneak a peak into it. I certainly do, for exactly about 145 seconds every day. What I do consume in those 145 seconds (Apart from the scantily clad buxom ladies on the Chronicle Party page) are the headlines.

Zaheera Sheik turns hostile in Best Bakery Case”

All Cakes with Pineapple topping go missing


Sonia Gandhi steps down from the Lok Sabha, as she holds an office of profit.”


So what, if it struck her only after about 2 yrs of holding it!


India Shining : Sensex Crosses another peak, and zooms to 11,600”


That doesn’t mean you will get water, roads or a reduction in taxes. That beggar on your way to work, will still harass you


“Sania Mirza, slips down WTA rankings to 37”


Her latest T- shirt now wears the slogan, “Now, it’s not only my skirt which is slipping”

“ Ganguly keen on making a comeback”

One wonders, if it’s a comeback to the Indian cricket team, or a comeback to all of Uncle Greg’s comments

There are the occasional well thought out imaginitive headlines like,


“Verghese hangs up his Pail”



When Mr. Verghese Kurien, founder director of Amul retired, or as we believe was forced to.

Yes most of these headlines on a mundane day, remind me of that Times of India ad not so long ago, “ Arrey, par yeh to kal ka news hain !“ ( We seem to hear about Zaheera Sheikh and her favourite bakery every day don't we , someone please tell me , how the hell is a bakery getting so much mileage ?!?!?!)


However through all that, one headline which made my day, for more reasons than one was

Fodder for thought – Don’t pull the Chain –Laloo nails it with the Rail Budget“



Laloo Prasad Yadav, for me , arguably the most loved politician ever in India’s recent political history and unarguablyIndia's most good looking politician recently brought out one of the best rail budgets ever. For those of you who care, during his time , the revenue from the Rail has grown from 250 crore to Rs,11,000 crore, which even equating in say 200-500 crore which he might have pocketed, is a hell of a lot of money.

Laloo – The Visionary


  • Cutting down the fares of the 1st class AC owing to competition from low cost Aeroplanes
  • Full – A/c Garibh Rath service for the common man
  • Stations to be equipped with ATM’s / Cyber Caf├ęs

Laloo- The Charismatic



It would be difficult, even with our cabinet for any politician to match Laloo in terms of charisma or persona. Tales to justify this are endless, for instance it is said that when a minister from Japan, came to Bihar and mentioned to Laloo that he could change Bihar to Japan in 1 year (Optimistic, even for the japs!), pat came Laloo’s reply, “ Arrey, kya baat kar rahein year aap, I can change Jaapaan to Bihaar in one week!”

But, Laloo really does come in to his zone during the election period. The lines of his famous speech, explaining the electronic voting machines to the aam Bihari went on the lines of this, “ Whan you prass the bathaan (button) for RJD, see it will go t-e-e. Thaat time, whan you press, Vajpayeeji will go t-u-i , t-u-i

A little later, when he was caught giving out money on camera to the public in the aptly titled, “Notes for votes” scandal, he replied “ Aaarey, phasst you say, I am stealing money and arrest me, now when I am giving out money, agaaain you want to arrest me?”

Or, when a reporter from one of the TV channels asked him “ Laloo, Will you ever become the Prime minister”. He thought for exactly about 2 seconds and replied,

“ Naat thooday, Bhat one dayyyy!”

India still waits for that day, A day when naming your children after sweets is not considered insane, a day when if a citizen’s car disappears from the road, he would know exactly where to find it. There are many who believe Laloo is an insult and a disgrace to politics in the country, I disagree completely. Yes he is corrupt, so is everyone else, atleast he makes you laugh. You can't help but think that there is something about the style of the man, a disposition by which he always manages to get away and come out triumphant.

“Long Live, Sir Laloo Prasad – For me, You will always be a legend!”

Thursday, February 23, 2006

~ The Notice Period ~

(More illuminating insights continued...)

Now, assuming the offer letter you have in your hand is not the one from Onyx, you make the obvious decision of accepting the offer and very quickly, you find yourself with a new job a bigger pay and a bigger smile.

Well, not so quickly.

You still have to serve out something, called the notice period.

The beginning of your notice period starts off with something known as an exit interview.*

This is how, one usually answers his online exit interview.

Did you like your reporting manager ?

No

Is there anything, you would like to share with us about him ?


Yes, He’s a cross dresser

Did you find your experience at our company a rewarding and challenging one ?

Far from it

What is your opinion on the work ethic and working environment at our company ?

Please try and recruit prettier members of the opposite sex, and less cross dressers


Would you recommend, any of your friends to work with us ?

Never

* - All answers given above will be forwarded to your reporting manager and H.R Dept

Like most of those Reliance Ads, most people end up missing the *.


What follows is the Notice Period. The Notice period, is a Roman concept which evolved from the brothels of Venice. In the brothels, when one of the employees would want to quit, (for whatever reason) they would first have to wait for the brothel owner, to find a replacement. This was obviously done, to make sure that all the customers went home with a smile on their faces and most importantly so that the brother owner found a new employee who would satisfy him for a long time to come. ( Satisfy from a commercial point of view obviously).

It’s more or less, the same concept here as well. The only thing is from an employee’s point of view, why would he want to put in any effort at the current company, when he knows that he is going to quit in a week or 2 anyway. For instance, wouldn’t the employee at the brothel, want to save her resources for her next employer. (no pun intended).

Alright, maybe it calls for a more relevant example, if a person X was selling lets say wigs at company Y. And suddenly, a bevy of bald men came to the store. If he was in his right mind, wouldn’t he convince his customers (in this case the bald men) and make sure that they bought the wigs from him at his new store.

So in effect, the notice period is the most confusing time for an employee. Firstly, he has to cope with his colleagues numerous murmurs whenever he enters their line of sight. The murmurs are invariably followed by them, staring at him quizzically.

The really brave ones, come up to him and say, “Congratulations”.

The worst are those, who come up to you and say, “I just heard the news. Come, Please sit down; I want to have a chat with you.”

I fail to understand, why those people try to convince a person to stick on to his present company when he has chosen to move on. God forbid, a person gets convinced not to shift, and the following month slips up on his performance. The next review meeting would certainly include such pleasantaries like, " You should have quit!".

Finally, through the cold stares, the innumerable intellectual persuasions , not to mention the guile and deceit of the exit interview, you decided to move.

The espionage recruiter though, your old friend, she is still in touch, now only worried about when you would be joining your new disposition. This would in effect imply, when her recruiting company would receive the payment from your future employer.

You are hence invited to meet her boss, who full of conviction and effulgence tells you,Heartious Congratulations! You have got a fantastic job, tremendous exposure, exponential growth. A year down the line, you can leverage the brand name with ease.”

You are overjoyed. You made the right decision; there is nobody else out there, with a job as plum as yours.

A week or so later, you are still gloating over your new job, when your phone rings.

Its an unknown number. A soft whispering voice asks for you. surprise surprise, it’s your friendly espionage recruiter again , “ Are you in the Bank, is there anybody next to you?

You reply, “ No, Why?”

She continues, espionage like overtones of course, “ The other company called, they asked for you. They want to pay you double...”

Its a vicious cycle, isnt it...

Thursday, February 02, 2006

~Changing Lanes~

I don’t know, how many of you have experienced the process of shifting jobs. I use the word process here, cause for those who haven’t it is a process, quite an exhausting one I might add.

Well firstly, you have to realize whether you really want to shift. What could the reasons be :

  1. Better Pay
  2. Better Pay
  3. Better work atmosphere ( Better Chicks)


But, that’s not what you can say at your interview now, can you ?


So, you come up with illuminating reasons. Some of them being:

  1. Looking for higher exponential learning across various verticals.
  2. Looking to increase exposure, for personal enrichment.
  3. Both together, with a straight face, making eye contact.

This could be difficult, if the interviewer is really ugly.

In most cases, the interviewer buys your reasoning. Or even, if he doesn’t forces himself to. (Come on, now if everyone stayed in their same jobs, for their lifetimes, the H.R guys wouldn’t have much of a job, now would they)


The actual process for job switching actually though, starts with you meeting up with a placement consultant. Now, a placement consultant is one, who is supposed to give you career advice, and is to help you with your next career move. So what, if all the career moves, they advice you to make are intrinsically related to the clients they are recruiting for.

To understand the psyche, of a placement consultant, is akin to understanding the psyche of the Gestapo , the German secret service.

Their normal, modus operandi of operation would be on the lines of this :

Recruiter : (In a deep whispering voice) Hello, May I speak to Mr.Suresh

Dedicated Employee : Mr.Suresh, stopped working here almost 3 months ago

Recruiter : May, I know who I’m speaking to ?

Dedicated Employee : This is Senior Manager, Ganesh.

(Two minutes later...Ring Ring)

Recruiter : Hello, May I speak to Senior Manager, Ganesh.

Confused Employee : Yeah, I just spoke to you.

Recruiter : Yes, Do you know that your former colleague Suresh is earning twice as much as you are , with perks including free Thai massages?

Astonished Employee : What, That son of a b^*$

Succesful Recruiter : Yes, this is my number. I will get you placed there, what’s more will make sure you get more intimate perks.

And that’s it, Ganesh no longer works with the same firm. The recruiter has just caused disarray at the firm, and in one smooth step has gotten further towards that promised Mauritian holiday for achieving her targets.

And the corporate world, still wonders why the rate of attrition is so high.

Though of course, between the sleuth like recruiter phone call and the final shift into your next firm, they are a number of other steps to be completed..

Firstly, and most importantly, there is the interview. How exactly, are you supposed to attend an interview for your future employer on your current employer’s time? The most obvious solution is to come up with some believable excuse, and escape from your office.

You enter your interview, and the first question you get.

How come you managed to get here, you don’t work on Tuesday afternoons?

Corny isn’t it. Then follows, the usual interview crap, where the interviewer tries his best to stretch the interview for atleast half an hour. To get a rough picture, you could click here.

This is finally ended, by them asking you for your current Boss’s reference.

And images of you sitting next to your current boss, and him getting a call, with a voice saying.

“Hello, this is to inform you that your team member plans to quit and leave you high and dry within a week. We would like to know, if he has abused you or anyone else in his stint at your company?”

You deftly dodge the Boss’s reference question, and a few days later, yippee! You have got an offer. Now, you would think that an offer letter, in one paper would tell you how much money will be put into your bank account at the end of the month, which would equate to what brand of whisky you would be drinking that evening.

But, its not that simple now is it. The term used here, is CTC or Cost to company, which basically equates to how much it is costing the company, for you to warm your fat ass in their corridors. The simple formula to calculate your End of month pay, or “Take home”as they call it, would be to divide the CTC by 2, knock of all 0’s at the end and then further divide by 12.

This rule, works well, unless lets say you’re working at Onyx, collecting and depositing garbage from Alaska to Nicargua. In that case factoring in your travel expenses, your CTC could be Rs.374237466436429374874937482, while your “Take home” will in all like likelihood be about Rs.20.

(More illuminating insights to continue...)

Sunday, January 01, 2006

D.I.S.T.I.L.L.E.D Completely

Before, I set you off on my Distilled adventure, I would like to wish all of you a very Happy New year, and here’s to it bringing you amongst other things, a better looking partner and a better looking bank account.

Something, I did leave out in the first edition, was that at exactly 12’ midnight on that same night, I was to attend my good buddy’s surprise birthday party. Due to obvious contingencies, I couldn’t attend, however I did succeed in surprising him.

This was how it went...

Birthday buddy: The Surprise is over man, where are you?

Me: SURPPPPRISSEEE !! I’m in the cop station. Oh and by the way, Happy Birthday!

So, it was about 1 AM and me, Dr.Saab, the Aussie wanker and a couple of other droogs were banished again into the jeep, as we headed back to our tavern.

In hindsight, I must compliment the brilliant conceptualization (default or design) of the police jeeps in our city. Once you are a passenger in one of these police jeeps, you have absolutely no idea where you are heading. So, in actual effect when you expect to see a welcoming sight like

You actually end up seeing something like this,

Or to be more precise,

“THE ROYAPETTAH GENERAL HOSPITAL

To be quite honest, I was more than a wee bit surprised, when I saw the ghastly sight. Vivid images of ugly looking nurses poking long needles into various parts of my body started flashing quickly through my mind. Next to me, was Dr.Saab. Re-assuring as ever, calmed me down,

“I’m the night patrol doctor, three nights a week at college. They can quite easily tell a drunk person, from a sober person so just answer the questions honestly and everything should go smoothly”

The Five of us, “The Forlorn five” were made to assemble and sit on a bench. Very soon, “The Forlorn five” were down to “The Forlorn four” as the Australian was whisked away to another room, which was the last we saw or heard from him. Or actually, we can’t really confirm that cause; distant screams that we heard sometime later might well actually have been him.

While waiting for what seemed like an eternity...

While doing so, we got a first person’s insight into the way a Govt. Hospital really operates.

For starters, there is exactly only one doctor.

Secondly, she is far more interested in her paper work than any of those unfortunate souls who happen to walk in.

So, as it happened ,Dr.Saab who was in his capacity as a drunken driving suspect, doubled up as a supporting doctor and started having a look at the various patients who were dropping by.

It was then finally our turn, and we were going to be interviewed for soberness. I have attended many interviews since, but looking back this was probably the most nerve wrenching as the consequences were quite obviously dire. If I did fail the interview, all those vivid images of those ugly nurses, I had had a few moments ago would well and truly take a physical form.

But by now, I was well prepared, as I calmed myself and gave them my vital stats, not to mention showed them my birth mark. Dr.Saab, did so, as well and we were now beckoned back towards that jeep.

The ordeal was over. We had cleared the interview. “The Forlorn four”, were back in their favourite mode of transportation, and were now making their way back towards the station. It was now 2:30 AM, and it had been a long night. While alighting back at the station, I noticed my fellow “villains of the night” standing alongside my familiar automobile, which I had been evicted out of almost 3 hours ago.

For some reason, I and my fellow villains exchanged extended smiles. Even taking into account our propensity for eventful nights, we had outdone ourselves this time.

On meeting the head cop, we went through the whole painful questionnaire procedure again, I was given the explanation that I would be let free (Yippeee!) provided I could provide the original insurance papers of my car.

Amazing! I thought, I could give them the papers, get back home and escape the clutches of my dad, who I suspected had been looking for an excuse to ground me for a while.

But then, most of these stories do have an untimely twist for the protagonist, don’t they? Well, this time it was those papers, that we unearthed were unfortunately not the originals but the photocopy.

What followed was the unpleasant awakening of half my family followed by their further arrival with the original papers. .

From the corner of my eye, which was now half closed, I could see Dr.Saab frantically explaining to the cops something on the lines off, “ My original papers are locked in my office in Bangalore, and the security guard there is fast asleep”

Needless to say, the journey back home was not the most conversation filled.

Donnie, went back home with another story to put on his now infamous website.

Not surprisingly, LL Cool J didn’t exactly perform spectacularly in his examination the following morning. He now finds himself, in the same college I went to.

Dr.Saab, apparently got his car back the following morning. The security guard in his office in Bangalore did finally wake up.

My Car or atleast its insurance papers, were retrieved a few days later, when I was taken to the cop station with our family cop. The stout chap seemingly gets stouter and happier every time I meet him, though he insists the various boxes of sweets and bottles of alcohol he has received from members of my family has little to do with it.

My Dad, awoke me with an ingenious document tiled “Document of Grounding”, which I have managed to preserve. I will let you guys have a look and pass your own judgment.


Disti