Archive for August, 2010

Meeting Etiquettes

August 17, 2010

Have you ever embarrassed your Manager ‘unintentionally’ ? If answer is no, then read on. If yes, still read on for new ideas.

Billi – The Sardar

Ever since we were assigned to our first project in our first job, new joinees have done nothing but entertaining our teammates. This is one such funny story of my fellow colleague and friend whom we call Billi. And he is pakka Sardar.

This scenario is of our first meeting that we attended with our Manager, it was team meeting. We were in total 7 including our Manager.
Kahani mein twist hai …… Aadmi saat aur khursi sirf 6…bahot nainsafee hai …….

The meeting was about training of four new joinees and some other issues. We were 7 people and in our meeting room there were only six chairs, so one guy would have to stand during the meeting. And that guy was Billi…
Our seniors including Manager claimed their place on available chairs, and Billi was standing beside the Manager.

This was the scenario; Billi (B) was standing beside Manager (M). Everyone was silent for a minute. Manager M started by playing ‘good Manager’ and asked can we start and he stood up, I don’t know why.

Being his first meeting, he thought M is going to address us standing, so the minute M got up, Billi sat on his chair.

Now slightly pissed M first looked at Billi chilling in his chair and then to Ms. X sitting on his left. Being senior she knew ‘this is not good and M is pissed’ so she got up and gave her chair to M.
Billi was still chilling on his chair wondering what is happening.

Now, a girl was standing and all other men sitting, so Mr. R ‘being perfect Gentleman’ gave her his chair. Billi was still chilling on and had no idea what was happening.

Now M again asked ‘Are we ready?’ and our first meeting started and Billi was at the ‘Head of the table’.


Four glasses of Fresh Lime & Fifteen minutes

August 7, 2010

This is story of four graduates aka fresher’s who were from different colleges and excited about their first job.

They got into 24×7 Support Project which included working in 3 rotating shifts. First shift starting from 06:30 a.m. to 04:00 p.m. in which workload wasn’t much, so they keep only one person in this shift mostly senior and experienced one who could handle the shift alone. Second one starting from 01:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and last one from 09:30 p.m. in the night to 07:00 a.m. of next day.

For almost 3 weeks company took time for ID creation and all the accesses that a new joinee would need. It was honeymoon period for them, coming to office on 8:30 in the morning surfing the net, wandering, exploring company surroundings, Lunch at nearby hotels taking their own time without worrying and restaurants ignoring office’ filthy canteen and finally leaving for home at 6:00 o’clock in the evening. Also the Boss was so good to them. They loved their first job.

But after 3 weeks their Team leader segregated them and put two of them in second shift and other two in night shift to train them about the Process. The two in Second Shift, first thing they did was to go out to have lunch for the first time in company canteen and took their own time as usual and returned back after lovely 2 hrs and that’s it they had their first experience of what Boss means.

Boss: “Where were you?”

Guys: “We went out to have pastries after lunch.” They told him just like that.

(During 3 weeks of wonderful period eating pastries after lunch had became routine for them)

Boss: “Do you think this is joke, company’s paying you so that you can have pastries during office hours.  I won’t tolerate this. It is your first and last mistake. I want you here within an hour after lunch. Is that clear?”

Guys:”Yes. We are Sorry!”

Next minute two team members were assigned to show them the process, what and how they would be doing the job. It was horrible. The work they would be doing was terrible. It was worst time they had. They realized why people hate their jobs and mostly the Boss.

For rest of the shift timing they sat behind the team members without uttering a single word and not even thinking of going out for brunch or even to washroom.

At the stroke of 09:30 p.m. other two guys came for their night shift. Looking at those guys afternoon guys wanted to cry on their shoulders. But they behaved as if nothing has happened and they had great time learning about work after 3 weeks of idling, wandering.

So all four went to canteen to see is there anything to eat but nothing looked edible so bought four fresh limes and sat on a corner table telling each other what they did on weekend and talked about movies, planning their next weekend. Guys in second shift told the other two, how they missed their group lunch and that they had to eat here in canteen coz only two can’t afford to eat out. But not a single word about what happened with the boss today and now they were doing something meaning. But truth was that they were embarrassed to death.

At 10:30 Afternoon guys went home in company cab. And now it was Night guys’ turn to learn about work. But as you can guess it was their first day too with their team. You can’t imagine what these two guys did. Boss instructed other team mates to teach them and tell them the Process.

First thing these guys did was to see if any hotels were open at 12:00 o’clock in the night. They went out strolling from one end to other in search of open restaurant and finally found one. They diligently had their dinner. They came back after an hr or two. Had talk with team mates mostly about the cricket match that India won yesterday.

Then approx. at 2 in the night after half an hour they came back, the two got up from Team area and were at the reception to tell the security guy to switch off the corner lights in the office; before that they found out a good place in the corner of the office for sleeping, yes sleeping.

Team members were clueless about their whereabouts. These two came back with tea cups in their hands at 6:45 in the morning and sat there with team sipping the tea slowly, enjoying first light of the day. One the team member had to report to Boss about what these guys did last night; he did it with pleasure without missing any minute details with time stamps of their every move.

Next day whole scenario changed. I mean it was miracle, and a legend that which was shared with four glasses of fresh lime.

The afternoon guys came on time to office, asked permission to go for a lunch, had their lunch briefly, and came back; learnt what teammates taught them and also worked under team mates’ supervision. In short behaved like good boys. At 9:30 p.m. night guys came, waved at Boss as usual. He gave them hardest possible look. Both were clueless. After two minutes they were summoned to Boss. It was their time to be embarrassed in front of team mates and other teams.

Boss:”What did you do last night?”

The question sounded like he knew the answer, still he’s asking.

Guys silent. Again the same shit.

Boss: “Do Company’s paying you for sleeping in office?” blah … blah … blah

Boss waved at other two to come. All four were standing in a row in front of Boss and now being scolded like school children.

Boss: “You guys are useless, still not out of college days…It is not tolerable at all. You had your time when you didn’t have access. Now you better start taking initiative in learning and working. I want you to update me what did you do during the day. Am I clear?”

No answer.

Boss almost shouting “Am I clear?”

Guys: “YES”

And all four went to canteen for their four glasses of Fresh Lime.

And from that day fifteen minutes of Fresh lime became the grapevine session, two in afternoon told everything about what had happened during the day to the night guys and night guys told them about night experiences, mostly whining experiences.

They talked about team mates mostly bitching about them and abusing Boss.

Slowly started talking about bloody work and within a week started talking about vacancies at other places, about post graduation, about MBA.

But funny thing nobody wanted to leave this job, they realized it was to some extent their mistake. No matter what, they never missed their Fresh Lime in canteen.

It actually became relaxing session for all of them and brought them close.

Have you ever wondered how a small thing in one’s life can make one happy and relax?

Like just four glasses of Fresh Lime and fifteen minutes of small talks about work, about Boss, about weekend plans, about girls, about backstabbing team mates, about cricket, football, about anything.

wedding, I attended…

August 2, 2010

Hey…

Recently I attended wedding of my younger cousin sister at my home town… It was just awesome. Being Indian, you cannot afford to hate colorful functions that happen to happen almost 365 days of the year. But attending one such function and that too wedding which is dream of every girl (Actually in India, it is bride’s Parents’ dream and too some extent man’s only chance to you know what…but its changing people say…I don’t see the change though)

So I was at the wedding in colorful Kurta Pyjama which I had to wear, will go into details later. But for now I was well dressed for a little ceremony before big wedding day and waiting for groom and his family and friends to come; chattering usual talks when you meet relatives after a while.  One more reason I love attending close family functions is that you are someone other than just a guest, you have a role to play and I was elder brother of the bride and being of almost same age, a close friend too.

So there I was waiting talking to relatives, here at such parties we meet few relatives, and these are kind of people you only get to meet at the weddings coz both parties (ours and these people) don’t bother to meet at any other places or even invite you to meet at their places. These relatives include Cousin’s in-laws, paternal cousin’s maternal cousins, and some more complicated relations that India is famous about. Personally I sometimes forget my own Aunts’ names (also the count, it’s just slightly close to infinity) and confuse them with altogether different Aunt that I once met somewhere I can’t recollect. One advice, don’t even bother to ask them who you are…then you are just announced dumb in whole your family people. Talk to them like you are highly delighted to meet them.

Typical question at functions is “Where are you now and what do you do now?”

If you have a brother (no matter elder or younger) be sure that you will be confused being the other one. I have a younger brother and everyone forgets our name or just interchanges them, this is the most annoying thing other than the few relatives mostly Aunties you meet at the weddings. And my younger brother looks like my elder brother (how perfect is that!). He’s heighted than me and is more mature than me too.

So they ask me “How’s your Dada?” (My brother doesn’t even call me that) before wedding I joined my first job and had just 8 months experience of working after my graduation. I was 22 at that time and bride and my brother of same age 20. These relatives ask you all sort of questions related to job and simply pesters you, anyways there’s nothing to do for us to do than sitting in front of the stage and look at the rituals done by Bride, groom and the Priest (Guruji, maharaj, bhadaji panditji whatever you call…another character making unending and to an extent impossible demands in the name of god’s offerings for the pooja)

One of my Aunt’s asked me teasingly “You must be very happy that your Dada has got a job, it must be partying time for you…you can buy whatever you want to buy anytime

I smiled uncomfortably and told her “I am that unfortunate Dada being robbed

They ask you “What do you do at office?” “What are office timings?

If you’ve joined software company…questions are familiar and typical “When are you going abroad?”

I being in Support project in a Software company (reputed some people might want to add, but I doubt that), I work in shifts; one of my grandparents brother’s wife (another complicated relation) aged 69 asked me

Do they have a bell or ring notifying that shift is over and now you can go home?

She simply made me a mill worker. I told her no, she was surprised then how you know that shift is over, I told her

We take a look at our watches time to time to see the time

There are endless questions and you have to answer them showing interest and in a way that the question was asked only once and it’s a unique question by only them.

It was one topic to discuss or to pester. Other one is your marriage. Aunts at such functions work as marriage bureau and only they have a perfect girl for you. They don’t talk to you directly. They go round n round talking to you, but with parents they are crystal clear

You’re son is good looking and now has got a good job, it’s time for his marriage” And funny thing there is one eligible girl waiting for us in their vicinity, so they continue “My (another complicated relation here) has a daughter and she has done a fashion designing course and now she’s doing cookery classes”

I mean how perfect, that girl is good cook plus good looks are assumed. These people just can’t give up so easily if said no…another one is ready to be presented.

If said no again then they are in the role of very caring person and tell your parents ‘what has happened to –another complicated relation-‘s son who fell in love with a girl and did inter caste marriage which is gloomy thing happened to that boy’s mother and that girl has made that poor life’s life a hell.

Come on guys, love marriages are not that bad…person marries another one after thinking a lot about that and in India first about our parents. Few makes mistakes, which is human behavior, I guess.

But your mother starts worrying and chooses your clothes for function making you presentable.

Same thing happened to my cousin sister whose wedding I was attending, she dressed for her elder sister’s a year ago in Saari selected by her mother (She wore that Saree for the first time, she told me that afterwards) and now here she is married when she completed her graduation. But now she’s happy.

This used to happen to girls mostly before. But as people say time’s changing this habit also changed.  Other than inter-caste marriages parents have another worry of their son telling them, he like’s men and it’s over.

But at the end you cannot avoid such functions. One thing you can do go prepared and enjoy your time there fullest like I did.