Wednesday, August 23, 2006

life changes....................
one of my colleagues was writing an essay on ' what would i change in myself''
that got me thinking about myself
given a choice, what would i change?

when i was a kid, i would have answered 'my physical appearence'
i wanted to look like Harrison Ford,
i also wanted to be rich, like Bruce Wayne (my reference were only movie heroes and comic books at that time) so that i can own cars and bikes just like him

when i grew up, i became more pragmatic
i wanted to control a business empire in the mould of Richard Branson, Larry Ellison et al
i wanted to write a novel, something like ' One flew over the Cuckoo's nest', zany and intellectual
i wanted to be an expert in playing a guitar and a saxophone

Today when i think about it
i realise i am happy with what I am
I would not like to change anything at all in my personal life, its moving ahead like a dream
I would not like to change anything major in my professional life, though my job frustrates me sometime I have learnt so much in my job, that the learning balances the frustrations

I am what I am.....
I am not perfect
But I am perfect for myself, and hopefully somebody else....................

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Ghosts of Dreams

WE are all of us dreamers of dreams,
On visions our childhood is fed;
And the heart of a child is unhaunted, it seems,
By ghosts of dreams that are dead.
From childhood to youth's but a span,
And the years of our life are soon sped;
But the youth is no longer a youth, but a man,
When the first of his dreams is dead.
'Tis a cup of wormwood and gall,
When the doom of a great man is said;
And the best of a man is under a pall
When the best of his dreams is dead.
He may live on by compact and plan
When the fine bloom of living is shed,
But God pity the little that's left of a man
When most of his dreams are dead.
Let him show a brave face if he can;
Let him woo fame and fortune instead;
Yet there's not much to do, but to bury a man
When the last of his dreams is dead.

William Herbert Carruth
murder mystery

I always been obsessed with books
specially murder mysteries and thrillers (how conventional, you might say)
i started with the enid blytons; famous five, secret seven, five find outers
then moved to the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew (even our strictly boys only school had these), three investigators
then secretly read James Hadley Chase
finally discovered PD James (Adam Dalgliesh) and Colin Dexter (inspector Morse)
during all this time, i wanted to write a murder mystery myself
i actually sat down with a pen and a paper a couple of time
every time i started,
the opening was the same
it all starts in a train
a guy, ruggedly handsome, very sad inside, just broke up, on the verge of being an alcoholic and a fetish for classical music
he is in a first class compartment
its night and raining outside
suddenly hears a thud
gets up to investigate
finds a guy lying in a pool of blood and a knife through his heart
every body else is sleeping
the doors are locked
the train is speeding
he realises that the murderer must be in the train itself
and then i realise that the story is veering towards 'murder in the orient express'
and also that i have to weave in a romantic angle someow
what about the motive then you might ask
i will have to say 'relax'
i am still thinking
the red queen

Now that we all are professionals, whenever we meet old friends back from the ole b school, the conversations usually moves on to our respective jobs
Starts of with the innocuous ‘hi buddy how’s work’
Then every body starts bragging,
“I just am working in this new product launch”
“Oh, yaar very busy in these campus recruitment drives”
I also pitch in with “nothing much yaar, just a M&A deal’s keeping me busy”

And so on and so forth

The conversation I had this weekend was also identical

But then it got me thinking,
When we were in the B schools, poring over case studies, cramming for exams, everybody was so enthusiastic about their future careers
The marketing guys used to think that they will make some out of the box suggestion for the new product launch, the finance guys used to think that they will use derivatives to hedge the forex risk of some fortune 500 company and save a couple of hundred million for the company………………….

Then we started in our jobs with the same wide eyed curiosity, the desire to do some thing different and be counted.
I had the same desires too

But now 8 months down the line, I get the feeling that I am just keeping time , just counting the seconds before I can jump to another job, just doing enough to keep up with the minimum required of me.

And then I see that I am not alone, my boss is doing the same

And his boss

The freaking company is full of people keeping time

Then we move on to another job, with a honeymoon period of a few degrees of enthusiasm, and then settle into another period of keeping time

Is that what our life has come down to??

There is a phenomena called the red queen phenomena

It means a situation where you have to run as fast as you can just to be at the place where you currently are. We are just doing that, running at a speed enough to keep us where we are.
i work , really i do............................

Groucho Marx once said, ‘the secret of life is honesty and fair dealing. If you can fake that, you have got it made’
I guess the secret of professional success is looking busy, if you can fake the expression of extreme concentration, worry and concern for the organization you are the man.
However intelligent, hard working you are, unless you look busy there is no proof that you have been working. Therefore, why bother working, just look busy.
It also helps to create an ambience, for instance a perennial stack of papers on your desk (even if you have to borrow some from the stack of rejected Xeroxes or printouts), some chintzy looking posters or stickers saying something like ‘work is god’ or better ‘the boss is always right’ and a note of the boss’s birthday (better still the birthdays of his whole family).
Then you are unbeatable.
One more thing that I learnt in my job (that and the above sums up my on the job learning) is that when your boss asks questions like ‘anybody wants to add something to what I just said’ or worse ‘ anybody wants to differ from what I just said’ or the worst ‘ you there, what is your opinion about the corporate strategy I just proposed’ , then buddy just pretend that you are dumb. They don’t ask those questions because they are interested in your invaluable suggestion for ‘the holistic Organisational development’ (everybody is proud of his/her suggestion, right), they are just looking for a prey to vent out their frustration on.
So if your intelligent, hard working and have a suggestion which you think is useful and innovative (I believe you) play dumb and pretend to take copious notes on whatever your boss just blabbered on, and you will be fine.
i work as a..............................

Just came back from a three day trip home, or as my colleague calls it, a soujorn. Met a classmate back from college. She asked about my job, told her i am a consultant in an investment bank. She thought i am a personal investment advisor from some private bank. Since she hadn't heard about the name of the company where i work, she thought that it is some shady small (most probably a cooperative) bank. She treated me to a barely concealed sneer, i subjected her to a forced smile.
Thats not all, few years back, an acquaintance asked me about my future career plans, i told him that i was preparing for CS (company secretary). he gave a loud guffaw, turned towards my dad and said 'hey man your son wants to be a secretary, next thing you know he will ask for a short skirt and high heels'
I was too embarassed to explain to him the actual status of a company secretary in a company
most probably he wouldn't have understood anyways

i guess if one happens to work in a company, not many people know about in the normal world (hey i happen to work in a investment bank with a name which has had a zillion interpretations, right from the name of a indian wrestler to a brand of cooking oil) or in a profession the masses are unaware of or studying in a course which is different from engineering, medicine or chartered accountancy
then boss, get ready to meet some people who will turn their ignorance into your embarrasment.