Sunday, October 28, 2007

In(tro)duction 3

The next 2 weeks of my induction:
Mere classroom sessions with Saturday tests.Some losers even studied for it (night-outs, sleeping with their books open...u got my point na?)and some maha-losers even discussed answers after the tests. The tests were of the timepass kind just to scare the kids, which ultimately failed its purpose(although these loser a.k.a studious tribes would have their books perpetually open to revise their 'notes'..baah! gimme a break!).
Yawn!! for your convenience and to avoid the risk of losing my valuable readers I have(wisely) chosen not to elaborate much on gears, shafts,drives,suspension systems,...Yawn!

The 4th week
Without a doubt, the best of them all! 60 of us were taken on an out-bound fitness survival camp. It included trekking,reppling, rafting, kayaking, shooting, setting our own tents and (believe it or not)cooking (rather experimenting with foodstuffs) ourselves. 3 days later we were still panting for breath and thanking the almighty that each of us had returned in one piece albeit with niggles and muscle pains.

The 5th week
Some C2C(college to corporate) thing! Was supposed to build in confidence levels, know yourself as a person and it was meant to ensure that your transition from college to corporate was smooth.I dont remember much except that I played some kiddish games and did lotsa tp(familiarise yourself with short-forms..if you dont what is tp, go hang yourself). Things we did

. Made a house using handicraft paper which actually looked like one (Wow!)
. Built a pyramid using shoes (there were 10 in a group..ours was the tallest pyramid thanks to my ingenuity).
Moral of the story: No matter how much your shoe stinks ,when you work in a group and compete against other groups, it doesnt really matter!
. Formed human chains. Some more tp and games
. Small Ball, Big ball (Naughty naughty! its the name of a game!)
Thne some more fundaas by the proprietors (a couple).Phew.

6th and the last week
.Takes the honours for the most boring week of the program. Except of course, the last day, the DJ nite..Awesome stuff. It just went to show we had some real talent amongst us! Our company Prez addressed us and gave us glimpses of his fundoo-ness.
After eveything was over it was hugs,hanshakes,tears galore. A real emotional moment ( But nothing to beat the feeling when i left college). Everyone was gonna go different places, into various functions. That was it. We bid adieu with heavy hearts.



Saturday, October 27, 2007


Nasik is a weird city..Its a complete contrast to mumbai. The people, their lifestyle, the cool weather and lots of other stuff (except off course the pot- holed roads in some parts which are a trademark feature of mumbai). Everyone there seems to own a car; at least an indica. And I never saw a single signal there, forget traffic jams!
We had 40 odd days on our hands to make the most of our stay in the city. My day began at 6.30 (yes!daily!).A hostleler's nightmare as you may call it! I would be woken up by a sudden knock on the door. The funniest part being that I still havent figured out who used to do it..probably one of the "other" room guys. Fact is I never really gave a damn as long as the person regularly kept waking me up on time. Our induction seesions were scheduled at 8 am each day and the company bus would ferry us half n hour in advance so that we could swipe our I-cards in time before the rush started.
The first week was a bit of a pain although we were given 2 shirts and a bag and the "T-shirt and jeans" dress-code was enforced till we got our uniforms. they called it the senior management week as all the VPs, Sr. VPs,Heads..blah blah from each function( HR, Finance,marketing, product development..see i remember things) addressed us with fundoo powerpoint presentations which failed to make any sense to us. There are times u feel the company wastes its precious moolah giving these intelectual blabbermouths fat pay packets. But then these are the blokes who conceptualise. They work out the way ahead for the company ,which is something very important.
The common mantra in their "feel good" presentations being "You are the young,dynamic minds,brimming with knowledge who have entered the industry when the india story is just unfolding and rising. You are really fortunate. We wish we were 30 yrs younger so that we could be in your place". One just got the feeling that these big dudes had copied each others presentations the previous night ,just like engineering students copied assignments.

Ya right! Bright, young minds (I have heard that before, the first day at engg college when someone called us that in his speech)! They wanted to project us as the privileged lot in order to create an "I-am-soo-jealous-of-you" atmosphere. Crap! Utter crap! Why would a Sr.VP wish to be an engineer in the first place? Anyways,each day was packed with 3 breaks (morning tea- sumptuous lunch- snack n tea) and 4 senior management talks. Each of them spoke as if they had a vacancy awaiting us in their departments and we just had to pick n choose. Being a perennial back-bencher by default and design I slept through a few sessions(at times waking up my immediate neighbours by snoring loudly). Such sessions also help bring out the best drawing talents( mostly in the back rows). The funniest(and most eagerly awaited) part of these sessions was the "Audience Queries'" phase which followed the presentations. A thousand hands would go up and the poor guy on stage would be at the recieving end of a barrage of outrageously stupid questions.
Some of them which could be touted as automatic entries into the guiness book of records for the "World's Most stupid query"
Girl to the marketing VP:
"Sir, I think the Tv commercial you are showing is not very nice.It is not telling anythng about the product. It only focuses on the man and woman in the helicopter.(Lady, he knows his job better than you)

" Sir,thank you for the wonderful talk. I just wanted to ask what is the greenfield project you talked about. Is it the name you gave to your new environment-friendly plant." (Give me a break!!)

Even better:
Guy to the HR head
" Sir, do we have any chance of a overseas posting."
"Yes u do, Zambia! Nice country, nice people"

The ultimate:
" Sir,I am really very happy with your talk and I enjoyed it (??). I dont have any question in mind. I want to work with this company for entire life.



Sunday, October 21, 2007


Its been a li'l over 2 months since i last saw the blogger dashboard. It just goes to show that just about anybody in this world can be kept busy and starved for time. (Infact some people politely enquired whether i had forgotten by blogger password or how to blog.)
But an eventful 2 months its been. So much so that even a blog freak like me cant decide where to start frm.
I joined my new company in mid-august in nasik, a place 180 km frm mumbai. This was the place where we were scheduled to have our induction programme. The company was kind enough to e-mail me the details of the place, the contact nos,general info about the location to ensure that i wasnt stuck in the middle of nowhere. Even before the e-mails, the company sent a series of letters (one of them a 'feel-good' letter addressed to my parents on me being one of the lucky ones to join their company ,which moved my father...hehehe)
I got off at the specified address (wasnt much of a pain). It was a spacious bunglow-type house with a plush lawn outside).Light music played on FM, creating an atmosphere of serenity n comfort. Coffee and tea vending machines were there on offer.All of these much needed after a (believe-it-or-not) 5 hr ride frm mumbai to nasik(courtesy a nasty, bumpy road and a toppled tanker).

"Ah ha!!So this is where i m gonna be put up during my stay over here" i thought.
My details were carefully checked ,cross-checked and matched like DNA samples; first by a guy who held a 'fresh trainees' manual in hand and another who had our details on his PC.
"Oh, congrats! U are the first in the list. Do you know you are the first trainee recruited by our company this year!" (Great! As if being the first in the list would entitle me to additional salary benefits.).
I smiled, as if to say " Oh, It was nothing really."
I was asked for a photo of mine and within ninutes i was handed a sheet of paper. To my horror i discovered that this plush bungalow wasnt where i was supposed to stay.It was just the company guest house. The place of stay was in the sheet of paper(an apartment they had said).
Besides me there were 3-4 other trainees. One who's face resembled that of a sacrificial lamb, yet another one who was attempting to look cool in
wacky jeans, most of them with anxiety clearly written all over their faces
After having made sure i was done with the details,i sat on the sofa and helped myself to some tea
A well-dressed man, cell in hand, entered the 'bungalow'and shook hands with me and spoke to all of us in a tone which most people reserve for new tiny-tots who r all crying-crying on their first day at school.

"HR guy!"i thought. Isnt that their job, making u feel at home even in the middle of Sahara desert.
A van waited outside for us to ferry us to our location. We gasped n grunted in pushing(shoving) our suitcases inside it.After a 10 km travel (i presume).. we reached the place. It was a fine 3-storey building with flats.
Me and a guy from rajasthan named dheeraj(whom i had met in the guest house) were put up in a room. The other room in the same flat was shared by a guy from mumbai(venky) and a guy from orissa(suprit). It dint take me long to realise that Dheeraj was the show-off kind who wouldnt waste an opportunity to publicise himself. Venky was the typical home-grown kid who grumbled and cribbed about stuff while suprit was our master story-teller who could make do with anything. He had done his share of india trotting. He was a Bong who had lived in different places and had experienced things which ordinary mortals only dreamt of. And this meant he had lots to talk about. There where 24 other trainees in the building. The ground floor had the common room where we would assemble for breakfast, lunch and dinner and each floor had a TV set.
Our caretaker was a thin, wiry guy called mahadev who wore a dirty orange uniform who would address each of us as "Sirji". We introduced ourselves and got to know each other well.This was our home for the next 40 days and we hoped everything would go on fine.