Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fun starts at Exactechpur

Nathan reaches his new office in the morning by 9 AM. He sees the CEO at the gate, pacing around the lobby. He doesn’t understand what’s going on...thinks he might be expecting someone that’s why he looks so anxious. Then a thought comes to Nathan, why the CEO has to pace around like this and look so terribly out of place. He is the CEO; he can just sit in the comforts of his room, relax and wait.

Nathan just goes and settles himself at his desk. As his place was right at the centre of the office, near the main entrance, he can see everything easily J Its 9.15 AM in the morning and the CEO goes back to his room. Nathan thinks who came that he went inside? Who was he waiting for? Did I miss someone? He even stands up and sees, did he really miss someone J

Besides Nathan, Jack was sitting unperturbed by the happenings around him. He was seemingly at ease with Nathan’s anxiety and there was a slight smile on this face. He understood what was going on in Nathan’s mind. Probably he knew this was expected from any new joinee in the office. Seeing all this, Jack told Nathan; don’t be surprised at what you just saw. This is a usual thing here. Nathan said “What? What does that mean?” Jack replied saying; you remember the company policy on turning up late to office. Nathan replied – “Yes. One has to reach office latest by 9.10 AM or else there would be a salary cut by the minutes, for the time you are late. Then?” Jack said, “Then nothing. The CEO was pacing around to notice who all were late to office and then call them to his room for an explanation, which was more of a reprimand than anything else. This would happen regularly to earmark the term offenders”. Nathan was taken by surprise at the way things were handled in his new office. However, he just smiled and sat down.

For next 2 months, Nathan was still under training. And as days went by, he would make sure he would reach office by 9 AM and leave by 6.15 PM. As there was nothing much for him to do, except the usual trainings and internal presentations, this was easy for him.

This was really easy till one day, he was taken to task for this too. ABC would come to his desk and talk for a while and he suddenly said, “You haven’t shaved today, right?”It was visible, so Nathan couldn’t lie. ABC replied, “You Shit daily? Yes or No?” Nathan replied, “Yes”. ABC continued, “Always remember “3 S” in the morning – Shit, Shampoo & Shave. You just can’t forget them”. Nathan was like – Yes, for sure. ABC continued, “You seem like a 9-6 guy, it won’t work in sales. You have to slog in sales and only then it can happen. It seems you haven’t been able to manage the time lag b/w India and Exactechpur. The jet lag is still not over. You need to come out of this” Nathan replied, “I am into trainings and as my trainers leave, I have nothing much to do, I leave too. Once work comes in, I will put in extra efforts”. But nothing doing, ABC won’t listen to anything. He went away saying, “I don’t like this”. The old adage came running into Nathan’s mind – Boss is always right! And he decided to sit in the office till 7 PM, doing nothing, but surfing and browsing internet J [Given that the Boss is always right, you have the moral and unofficial responsibility to keep him happy too J]

Monday, September 24, 2012

As the Earth swings, Nathan starts a new journey...

So our man Nathan reaches his new sprawling office in the CBD of Exactechpur. The office looks wow, at the penthouse level of a skyscraper. He presses the door bell and gets in and waits at the reception.

The HR comes in, welcomes Nathan and zooms with him into a big board room, without anyone really noticing what was happening around them. All this looked like some covert operation, a new employee to join without anyone’s notice. Then the HR started off, briefing on the structure in the office, Nathan’s reporting manager, team, processes and the likes.

As the discussion between the HR and Nathan happened, there were some aftershocks from the last evening’s earthquake. Sitting in the board room of the pent house level of a 50 storey building, Nathan could experience the movements and could very well see the opposite skyscraper swinging. It was indeed a unique experience and he thought he would never forget this joining ever. They quickly finished the joining formalities and the HR brought Nathan out and showed him his desk and went away.

Nathan sat idle and waited for the other formalities to happen – introductions, employee id, email id, system, etc. Nathan was so eager to meet ABC that he waited for a while and asked the HR, if he can go and see ABC. The HR was a bit taken by surprise by the ease with which Nathan asked to meet ABC. And this was easily visible to Nathan. Nathan still went ahead and kind of pushed the HR to bring him to ABC. They stood outside ABC’s room and knocked.

They both went in and ABC happily said, “Ah! So you are Nathan...good to see you here...Welcome aboard! I hope all the formalities are done...”As soon as the HR and Nathan nodded, ABC replied, okay good, let me see you later today. And Nathan’s all excitement to meet ABC and talk to him got killed.

He came out and sat at his desk, having nothing much to do, other than open web email on the system kept at his desk and may be explore the same system a bit. A gentleman called Shanty gets up from the desk behind Nathan and says “New joinee...welcome!” For a moment Nathan was completely shut, as after his graduation ragging days, he hadn’t heard this word. Not for the past 8-9 years. He thought has he joined a school? Or a professional organisation?

A lot was going in Nathan’s mind, when a guy sitting beside him, stood up and asked – have you just joined? With Nathan’s response in the affirmative, he asked Nathan to join him for lunch. Nathan just realised that the first half was already gone and it was time for lunch. They both came out and the new guy introduced himself as Jack.

Jack quickly rounded up on the ways of the office and the people there. It seemed Jack has learnt a lot for his 2 months in the organization. They both got together well and discussed a lot and learnt that they both shared passion for food J Though both are not big eaters, but they enjoy good food alike.

It was almost 1 hour since Nathan and Jack left office for lunch and Jack reminded to rush, else they might be reprimanded for being late from lunch. Nathan thought, what is this? Are we supposed to behave and work like this daily? He thought, let’s see how it goes and rushed to office.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Nathan reaches Exactechpur

The ordeal just doesn’t end here. Nathan was supposed to get a formal offer letter from the HR after the email acceptance of the email offer letter from ABC. He got the formal offer letter from the HR and sent the soft copies of the relevant documents and thought it was easy now, that his job is done. The HR has to get back to him with Visa formalities and get it going further.

Nathan waited for another week to seek HR’s confirmation on the Visa and eventually learnt that the HR has gone for a vacation and hence, the process is stuck. Nathan thought, is this so person dependent that if he is out on leave, things can’t move further. The frustration in him compounded, when he thought, if the HR knew he was going on leave, he could have initiated the process before leaving and things like that.

He tried contacting ABC and ABC promptly replied that he will check and revert. After 2 days, ABC replied saying that the HR will get back to you ASAP. Nathan thought, again ASAP? What can we do about it? Probably nothing and given that he needed this job all the more, he shouldn’t be doing anything untoward either too.

After another week, the HR did reply with the Visa formalities and got it sorted out, much to Nathan’s relief. Well after another week, with much anxiety and non-clarity on the process from the HR, he finally got the Visa. It was as if, Nathan had gotten wings to fly. He quickly imagined, how it would all be in a foreign land and how things would change for him for good (hopefully!).

The day came; he flew to Exactechpur and reached the company Guest House in the morning. A gentleman called Rocky opens the door and shows him the available room. Nathan gets into the room, relaxes a bit and falls asleep, after a tiring overnight journey.

Even though, a thousand thoughts went through his mind, as he lay in that guest house room, a sense of relaxation and accomplishment was there to be seen.  Little aware of the life that was ahead of him. A life he would hate to love and love to hate. The new job though decently paying was going to be taxing, more emotionally than physically.

In the evening Nathan went out and roamed a bit and met a couple of old friends. All the time, he just prayed that the decision he has taken proves to be good. He had decided to leave his family, his homeland and come to an alien land, on a completely new role. And then the friends talked about the role and gave him a bit of sense on the same. There were many questions which rose in Nathan’s mind; however, he had no choice but to wait and experience them to get the answers, which seemed elusive for now.

He knew he had taken a decision thinking and believing it to prove good. How it eventually pans out, is his luck and destiny. Deep down is heart he knew, even if he had to struggle, he would eventually come out stronger and a learned individual. He suddenly turned philosophical, thinking, had anyone known that the decision he is going to take will prove to be wrong, then why would one take that decision? And he calmed down and accepted that he will take the things as they come. And thanked God for helping him come thus far.

With this hope and new vigour he slept for the new journey that starts the next day.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Life Turns a corner...

Nathan finally received a call from ABC, with him started off with the customary chit chat. How have you been and the likes? Nathan thought, how would he be? Well, very anxious and hopeful things would turn good for him finally.

With his heart beat stronger and louder, Nathan listened to what ABC had to say. ABC continued telling that this role is a regional sales role, you haven’t done any selling. You don’t have any experience in BD and things like that. However, I consider you have that in you to work hard and prove to be good in this. This is a completely new domain for you and a new business function. We would be teaching you, training you on the products and services of the company that you have to sell. We would be doing a lot of expenditure in training you. Exactechpur is not easy place to work, the competition is high, and it would be tough to sell too. By the time, Nathan heard all this, he was excited and he knew sooner or later, ABC is going to confirm his appointment in Exactechpur for this role. His heart starting pounding all the more.

Meanwhile, all this was going in Nathan’s head, ABC quickly shifted track and raised a question – Are you up for all this? And pat came Nathan’s reply – Yes. ABC said, Nathan, please consider this, think again and then revert. Nathan said, I have already thought of all this and then only I attended the interview and followed up J I am ready to take the challenge and am confident that I will make it happen.

ABC then said; it’s good to hear this. I will now send you an informal offer on the email. Go through it and send me your email approval. Once you do that, I will get the HR to send you the formal offer letter.

Hearing this, Nathan thanked ABC at least 5 times. Thanking ABC not just for considering him for the role, but considering him for the role in Exactechpur and at this juncture of time in his life, when he needed a good paying job. With an education loan and other impending family commitments, he needed this job more than anything else.

Nathan was so excited that he just put down the phone and went straight to his mom and lifted her in joy. Seeing the happiness and excitement, she knew what did this mean and asked, what happened? Did you get that job? And Nathan had just to say – Yes, Yes, Yes. He then thanked God and informed his dad and others in the family.

He waited for the offer on the email. He expected it to come that day. He waited, checked his emails almost every minute expecting the email from ABC. The email didn’t come that day. The whole night went off in anxiety and sleeplessness thinking when the email will come and he can finally see the offer being made to him.  Has ABC changed his mind? Has he forgotten? Was he still deliberating on the offer? Or he simply too busy to write to him today, will do that ASAP? His mind was clogged with thousand thoughts.

The life did turn a corner for Nathan, when the email from ABC finally came by the end of the next day. And Nathan had a sigh of relief. ABC Thanked Nathan for attending the interview and finally offered him a decent salary, going by the market standards during the “great recession” of that year. He was so excited to see the offer that he quickly wrote back to ABC, thanking him for his consideration and the offer.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Looking Around...Another Important Learning

Nathan starts discussing few more opportunities with his friends of network again. And soon, a friend of his, Sam, discusses with him a new business development opportunity with a much bigger company and that too based out of Exactechpur – a foreign land. He got excited with the lure of working in Exactechpur and earning good money.
And then started another bout of anxiety. Sam shared Nathan’s profile and resume with a gentleman called ABC. Mr ABC thanked Sam for sharing the profile and promised to revert ASAP.

This ASAP gives us the flexibility we desire J No fixed schedule & no ETA. Say ASAP and take it easy. If anyone follows up, you can continue taking refuge under ASAP J

Well, this time, ASAP came the reply. After 2 weeks, Mr ABC called up Nathan directly on his hand phone and wanted to speak (read interview) to him. Nathan was taken by surprise, given the fact that it’s been some time and he had mentally agreed that it was not to be. Nevertheless, he requested for a call after 1 hour, reasoning, he is outside somewhere and it would take him sometime to reach home, where they can talk peacefully (Though, in actuality, Nathan wanted some time off to prepare for this interviewJ). Mr ABC, shot back saying, this is the second time he has called in past 30 mins and it would be good to talk now. Nathan accepting this and considering this as his last chance for this opportunity had no choice but to relent and start the discussion.

The interview started as usual with – Tell me about yourself, easing Nathan into his stride. The discussion, eventually moved towards why us, and why Exactechpur? Wow, this again proved to be an easy draw for Nathan, as he had already thought out answers to these. Moving towards the role being offered and Nathan’s lack of experience in this, he advised of his past challenges and how he overcame everything that new challenges had put across him. Rounding up the discussion with we shall get back to you soon, Mr ABC promised to consider Nathan for this role.

Another 2 weeks has gone past, Nathan had gotten anxious of the response. He even, contacted Sam, checking if he would know anything on his application. Sam didn’t know anything on the status of Nathan’s application, however, he did promise to check and revert ASAP. Again ASAP?? Huh!!

Another 2 days and Nathan received an email from Sam saying that Mr ABC has promised to call Nathan today and respond to his application. Finally, Nathan also received an email from Mr ABC, promising to call him in the evening today. The evening went past and Nathan didn’t venture out, expecting a call from ABC. The whole evening went past and the call didn’t comeL. Everyone in the know started checking on him and he had nothing to say, except that he is yet to receive the call. So much so he is an optimist, Nathan was disheartened at not receiving the call. However, he still knew that till the time it is not No, he still has a chance. His belief in himself was pushing him to remain positive...he was learning to remain calm and patience.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A New Beginning...Foundation is laid..

Nathan is just passed out of a prestigious MBA school, looking all around for a job. Looking for a job amid recession, gloom all around? Sounds outrageous?? Well may be, however, for thousands like him, it was a dream to get a MBA degree, earn good friends (or network, if I am allowed call it) and a handsome salary. With the degree, in fact, he got an icing on the cake – a Gold Medal for his performance during the program, he could also build a good network of friends. However, the most prized possession – a job (leave alone a decently paying one) still eluded him.

He tried hard, so much that he dug into his network of friends, here and there but to no avail. He even discussed with his current gala of friends from MBA, thinking someone might have 2 jobs somewhere and can fit him in too J However, as expected, nothing came out. He even spoke to his previous employers; they agreed to hire him back, albeit at the old role and salary. Though, this gave Nathan the confidence that he has something on the plate and can join them back, he still decided to give it a try for another 6 months and then get back to his previous role, may be, if needed.

So much gloom all around, everyone from the MBA gang struggling to get a job, however, our man, Nathan was still optimistic. He never lost heart and always believed that a good job was lying somewhere near. He just has to struggle a bit to get there.

Then comes an email from a friend – connecting Nathan to someone called Tom. Tom is looking to start his own company and is looking for a Business Development guy for that startup of his. Tom writes to Nathan, looking for his reasons to join a startup and how best he can add value to his niche & small company.
Nathan got all the more confident, happy at his belief in himself being proven right and thinking that he is eventually near his first job after MBA. He wrote to Tom, thanking him for considering him for this position. And of course, giving his reasons to join a startup, etc, etc. (Was there any reason, other than getting a job at that moment?)

After getting a response back from Tom, Nathan decided to meet Tom soon at his place and discuss his employment.

Nathan meets Tom at his place and they finally agree on the marketing-cum-business development role for Nathan. Nathan also agrees considering that he was given the luxury to work from home and foremost, he got a job (albeit a low profile and low paying one), but at least a job in such a bad corporate and job environment, where even the graduates from the top rung b-schools were struggling.

Nathan works hard, tries hard to learn the nuances of business development, noting that this space is completely new to him and he will have to learn a lot and put in extra efforts.

As time goes by, he learns that his current employer is not able to pay him, though; he has been working for him for a few months now. To make matters difficult, he has an impending education loan which would spread its EMI pangs anytime soon.