Corporate Life


It was a lazy lazy X’Mas.

HD was supposed to come home on 25th from Bangalore… the only catch was- he had not booked tickets… so I was not sure if he planned to fly, take a bus/train or walk to Mumbai. As expected, there were no tickets available on date of journey. He decided to travel to Belgaum from B’glore… and then to Mumbai from there. Instead of arriving at 1 pm on 25th… he reached at 10 pm. Not kidding.. he travelled for 25.5 hrs. I spent the entire day waiting… thinking “Now he will come…now he will come”… I didn’t cook or take a bath (I only bathe when I have to go out… otherwise it seems like such a waste of time) or cook or move from the bean bag. So… that was X’Mas… not that I had any plans.

The next day HD woke up bright and early (6 am) for his road trip with friends to attend another friend’s wedding in Kolhapur… (YES… He passed through Kolhapur while coming to Mumbai). I left for work around 10 am panicking that I would be the last one to reach it. Surprise!!! Surprise!!! My boss had come 15 mins before me. I was diligently working till lunch when he asked me; “What time are you leaving office?”

Me: I don’t know… need to finish this work.. then interview some candidates on the phone

Him: Ok… I was not going to come to office today but since the sales co-ordinators are here… I turned up… will check my mails and leave soon. Your other colleagues are also on leave.

I lost all motivation to work… everyone is on leave… the corporate office is empty… sales targets are done… it is a slow life. I left office and was home by 3 pm. I don’t even know why I bother working on Saturdays. I am sure my boss will soon stop coming to office on Sat.

No plans for New Years… waiting for HD to return so we can make plans.

There is a mosque somewhere around the flat… the loudspeakers blare some prayers early morning at 6 amand evening too. Like HD said; “Close the windows… else we will turn Muslims hearing this every morning”. Not to be outdone some school students recite their Hindu prayers on loudspeakers at 8 am… it seems like a Hindu Muslim war on loudspeakers. Poor Moi is the sufferer. On 25th the car wash opposite the building had a celebration… again, the loudspeakers spewed some Bollywood music. Opening the windows during the day is a torture. Isn’t it bad enough that I have to tolerate traffic sounds without loudspeakers adding to the nuisance? Don’t people need permissions to use them? Whatever happened to noise pollution? Sigh!!!

Hiya… I have been gone but life has been hectic. Isn’t it always?

Yesterday I caught one of my subordinate on the net at 1 pm which totally pissed me off. I don’t call and check up on him and he has taken advantage of my trust. On questioning, he told me; “You asked me not do so-and-so work right away and so I was not on the field”. I made him send me an apology mail and gave a stern reply. I want to either shift this guy to another channel or kick him out…. but… it is always better to try and train the existing people than recruit someone new. I informed my Boss. Tomorrow he is going to work with this guy in the market… one reason is that he wants to be sure he is as bad as I tell him he is… second is that he wants to collect info against me. Lets see how it goes. My subordinate knows what an asshole my boss is… I doubt he will do/say something wrong.

Onto more pleasant things… I have exceeded my sales targets for this month… Since they are beyond my control I could not reduce them. I met up with B who is a school friend. I have blogged about her earlier. She was meeting her school friend R who was also my friend in 9th std but we drifted apart in 10th std. We are both Geminis and my friendship with Gemini does not survive too long… (HD- being an exception). The plan was to meet R at Globus ‘coz she wanted to have Pau Bhaji (she is on a 2 week holiday from California). Anyway… while B and we were waiting for R we entered Globus to pee… and ended up shopping and then ended up not buying anything (she wanted to shop… I didn’t even try on anything)…

Some background on R- She is a Bong born and brought up in Mumbai. Her Mom passed away when she was young… and she told everyone in school that her stepmom is her Masi (which is not true… she didn’t want people to know she has a stepmom). She married her best friend 3 years back… who is a Punjabi from Delhi. After staying in Delhi for a year she moved to California. Meeting all kinds of relatives in Delhi and her hubby’s snobbish Punjabi friends has driven her mad in the short vacation. Her in-laws are not mean or bad but they are different … she is an independent, outspoken Bong girl of Mumbai while her in-laws are more family oriented with typical Punjabi traits. She does not want to move back to India ‘coz that will mean staying in Delhi with in-laws. Mumbai is her preferred destination in the whole world.

Anyways… she was trying to convince me to shift to Bandra or Parel (she stays in Bandra)- somewhere closer to office. I refused… the traffic, congested spaces, dilapidated buildings without security, high rents, water problems do not make up for less commute.

I generally avoid meeting people I am not in touch with… times changes things and people sooo much …. it is difficult to connect at times. But meeting B’s friends (who were known to me) is fun and interesting. A little dent in my usual routine.

The other day I went to Panvel which is a much better place than Ulhasnagar… Ulhasnagar is more backward than Rajkot and so dreary. Panvel has a small town feel to it which is charming.

Chalo… gtg… waiting for the weekend.

The day began well… I reached late to office. I had my excuses ready… but Boss turned up later. The morning was spent following up on stuff. I had been sending mails trying to resolve an issue for 15 days. The morning was spent sitting with the concerned people and I got it all done. Then there was a discussion with Boss with updates and status on work… he made notes. He will need them during discussion with his Boss…. He has to plan for next year. A good manager would sit with his team and make the plan… guide them… and explain how it is to be done. My boss told me to do it. I asked him; “But how??? How can I predict what sales nos to plan for next year?” He said; “Tukka kabhi nahi maara??”

Me: If you send tukke wale nos to your Boss they will come back to me as sales targets

Him: No… No… they won’t

Unbelievable!!! It is at times like this that I miss my old company.We planned for realistic sales nos.

Anyway… a friend invited me for his house warming party at Powai. He just bought a 2 bhk fully furnished flat for 70 lakh there. A background on the “friend”. We met in September 2007 for matrimonial purposes. It didn’t work out but we became sort of friends. He got married last year… and attended my marriage party this year with his wife. We have not met since then even though he stays only 30 mins away.

By house warming party I assumed there would be a party at home with dinner, drinks and friends. I was taken aback to see a full blown family affair… relatives had come down from Gujarat and Ulhasnagar. His mom was shocked to see me… and greeted me with; “You have gained sooooooooo much weight”. I wanted to kill her then. Actually, I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me for gaining weight. I imagined her thought bubble reading; “Thank god my son didn’t marry her. I would have been devastated” while mine read; “Thank god she is not my mother in law… I would be expected to behave like a typical daughter in law”. I left within 30 mins… the house was ok but they are happy with it. Thats all that matters.

It is so weird… parents place importance on things like… is my kid good-looking? Is he/she thin? Is he/she married to a rich spouse? Is he/she earning a lot of money?

There is no consideration for… is my kid happy? Is he/she independent… capable of handling whatever life throws at him/her? Are not these the most important questions and those that may or may not lead to above?

My good friend had a 3rd break up. I was his 2nd break up. I was hoping this one works out. The break up was ‘coz he is of SC/ST which is such a pathetic reason to get rejected for. He is anyway insecure about it and now this. Really!!! I don’t understand how it matters. People place premium on the irrelevant things.

Good night people.

 

Yesterday the sales head invited us to a drinks party at Hard Rock Cafe at 8 pm. The thought of coming home at midnight did not appeal to me. And yet… the party would have all the people who can help me further my career. I was confused… If I attended I would be exhausted… and miserable and wishing I was asleep in my bed. And then I thought… I don’t care… I don’t care who is throwing the party… I just want to go home and thats what I will do. I don’t understand this whole party and drinking concept in the corporate world. Do people think buying someone drinks makes them more loyal or satisfied with their job??? AB and DK buy drinks for their team when they want to get them drunk and get information out of them. My team guys went on and on having tequila shots at the team dinner. I stopped them after the 4th one and made them pay for the drinks the next day. It is not part of my job profile to get them drunk. They can do that at their own time and with their own money. Why this obsession with drinking? I just don’t get it.

Pros of not attending the party last night:

  • I didn’t have to give a lift to my drunk colleagues who returned home at 2 am
  • I didn’t have to interact with my drunk Boss and watch him dance
  • I was home asleep by 10 pm

A 4th ASM has been added to our team. He abused his team member so much on the first day… that guy quit the job. Sigh!!! There was no reason for him to get so nasty so soon. Everyone should be given a chance… and respect for the other person is very important. The first step has to be to gain confidence of your team… then train and guide them… if things don’t improve… give a warning… and then he/she can be fired. A lot of people assume firing a team member or a distributor will instil fear and help them gain respect. I am not sure it works.

HD met with a bad accident today… thankfully he was not hurt. The car has been damaged. It is so strange… he has been upset, frustrated and worried about the car all day but didn’t stop and thank his luck. He is fine… and he had people around to help him out. It could have been much worse. I wish he would quit. I have offered him the option of quitting, staying at home and finding another job. I know what it feels like for him. I went through the same in Gurgaon and he had missed his last trip with college friends, borrowed money and stayed with me for 10 days. Wish I could do something similar for him.

Good night then… will catch on the weekend.

 

Hello people… I have been extremely worried about month end. I didn’t meet my target last month but I did inform my Boss about the final sales no mid month. The Sales Head had a meeting to figure out if something is wrong somewhere. I vowed not to let it happen this month. Of course… the target is quite high but I have given a realistic no. Last night I could not sleep… I was that worried. Thankfully, things are looking up. I will achieve the planned no.

I feel bad for my Boss… he must be getting sleepless nights every month end… he has not been able to meet nos since he joined. He requested me to make up for the shortage by the other ASMs and I assured him I would do all I can… but I have no such intention. I will meet my target… so I am in the clear… but if my Boss does not meet his target… he is screwed. Revenge is sweet!!! And… two can play the game.

I spoke to my previous team member today… I have not kept in touch with them… ‘coz I never bonded too much with these guys. I was not too happy in Rajkot and that made me hate my team a little. I never interacted beyond work. They are good guys… very hard working. It is so strange… if a company wants people to perform well… with enthusiasm… all they need to do is meet the employee’s expectations… I mean, if my previous company would have shifted me to Mumbai… I would have worked with more enthusiasm… but then again,why should they care? They got their sales nos… thats all that matters. People come… and people go… there are always people waiting to replace current employees.

I have spent this week interviewing candidates to join my team. This is my first experience as an interviewer and I don’t know how to gauge people. Some things I am particular about:

  • Candidates should turn up for the interview…not kidding. Everyday there is atleast one person who does not turn up
  • Candidates should turn up on time… there is always one candidate who turns up late without informing… late does not mean 15 mins late… but one full hour. I generally take interviews in a CCD near the market I am working… imagine waiting in CCD for 60 mins for some interviewee to turn up. The other ASMs conduct interviews in office… so punctuality is not a criteria. The other day I left after waiting for 15 mins… the candidate calls me an hour later; “I have come for the interview. I said; “Thanks so much… but I have left”. I asked the HR to reject this guy… for some reason she sent him again…I turned him away. I did feel bad…. but c’mon… if this is the state now… I cannot expect any meetings with him to begin on time once he joins.
  • Work experience in the relevant area
  • I decide if I am going to select him within 5 mins of the interview… I prefer honest people… rather than guys who lie or make up stories. There was one guy who told me the culture in his current company is similar to the culture in mine and so he wants to join us. I sent him away without a goodbye. There was another one who didn’t know the market share of his brand and came up with random nos… all his random nos totalled to 150%…Unbelievable!!! There was another who switched companies within 6 months ‘coz “the opportunity came to him”. Hahahaha!!! Job opportunities don’t come to you till you start looking for them.
  • I don’t care which company he is working in currently… it maybe a B class company… it is his role and justification of the work that matters to me. I have come across good guys from bad companies and bad guys from good companies.
  • Proper justification for the reason for leaving… money should not be a reason… even if it is… don’t say it. I don’t decide how much package will be offered to him…no point mentioning it to me.

Everytime one of my team member comes in the car with me… I get into trouble. The 1st time my car got towed away… and I didn’t have the PUC… the 2nd time I was caught breaking the traffic signal in front of my house… I still didn’t have the PUC and insurance has expired… the 3rd time the front wheel got stuck in an open manhole. I am very scared of travelling with him in the car.

Chalo… bye bye… I am off to watch a movie on my new DVD player… Catch you people tomorrow.

Hiya… sorry… I was gone…

Last week was not very good but it was productive. I like my work… the job and profile. I just hate my Boss. Last week he was rude, insulting and raised his voice with me even though I was not at fault. I mean… he misread the sales nos and instructed me to “match nos”. I refused and told him to speak properly. Things went out of hand. He cross checked the nos with other colleagues and realized he was wrong but didn’t have the courtesy to apologize. After thinking over it for 2 days and consulting AB, DK and current colleagues I met the Sales Head (his boss) and complained about him. The Sales Head heard me out and suggested I speak to my Boss directly first. In case things are not sorted out he will intervene. I did that… my Boss denied being rude to me… we had a chat and I realized he had a list of complaints against me documented in his head. He told me I am stubborn… I do the work I like quite well and ignore the rest… which is true. I made it very clear; “I cannot do anything I am not convinced with… no matter what”. I don’t believe in kow towing to someone’s authority… especially someone who is not as smart as me… and I am not being arrogant. My Boss knows nothing… really… he can’t justify or defend even one sales no without the ASMs around. It is quite demeaning having to work with a person of such intellect.

Sigh!!! Elections on Tuesday… so chutti. Planning to go shopping at Lokhandwala… have wanted to do that for months now.

Working between holidays is torture… I am waiting for Tuesday… finished half of the house cleaning today… will complete the other half day after. I want to buy plants for the balcony and some wind chimes as well. I love wind chimes. My best friend had gifted me one years back… it was part of my room in engg hostel and then B school hostel.

I spent 3.5 hours in the parlour today and feel completely relaxed. It is so nice to be pampered once in a month. Maybe next month I will get a massage… love massages… The one HD and I had taken in Munnar was amazing.

I am desperately waiting for Friday night when HD will come home. I am not the best at picking him up… specially in the mornings. Last time when he came I promised to pick him up from Chembur at 6 am…  but could not wake up. Poor guy took a cab… and he never ever fails to pick me up and drop me off no matter how much the distance or what the time. I do the drop offs… pick ups are difficult at odd times.

Grocery shopping is done… don’t know if shops will be open on Tuesday… once HD is here he will take up all my time and attention.

Chalo… good night… will update more often.

I am so sleepy today…. I came home last night or today morning at 2 am. I got a call from my ex-colleague last evening.

Him: Hi… where are you? Today is B’s b’day

Me: Oh!! Is it? I will drop by at the office to wish him

B is an ex-colleague who turned 50. The other ASMs pull his leg with me. He had once likened me to ‘Preity Zinta’ (quite a joke) and narrated an impromptu poem during my Farewell. At the office everyone was busy making presentations. The plan was to go for dinner to ‘Out of the Blue’ which is my fav restaurant. My ex-Boss (BM) also joined us… I ordered a small Cosmopolitan but BM changed it to a large one. All my protests of “I have to drive back” fell on deaf ears. There was live music… conversation was not bad… BSM joined us a little later. We have been trying to get him to invite us to his house for idlis or filter coffee unsuccessfully for a year now. At midnight these guys decided to head to his house. BSM didn’t refuse… but he didn’t agree either. He escaped us by taking an auto home… one car out of 3 followed him there. We reached his building but yet he would not let us in. We were shocked and disgusted… and left.

Disclaimer: I am not obsessed with entering his house… the other guys are.

We headed for coffee at 1 am to CCD at Bandstand. The last time I went to BS was 2 years back with a friend. We left when we saw hordes of couples making out. It looks beautiful at 1 am… now I know why people want to stay near the sea.

Thankfully, BM dropped me home by driving along with me. I was too scared to drive alone at 1.30 am. Not everyone is that courteous… which is one thing I appreciate about my ex-colleagues.

My current colleague had been hitting on me… bugged and tired of giving subtle hints I confronted him and asked him to back off… now he is acting all weird. Some people just don’t know what it is to be professional. How can anyone put their career at stake by flirting with a colleague? That was a “No No” for me even when I was single. He was stupid enough to write such stuff on SMS. My older, wiser, experienced friend in B School always advised me to “Think before putting anything in writing”… I have been careful in the corporate life about it.

Anyways… In the morning I was feeling smug about how I have been handling my Boss these days… there had no conflicts… Unfortunately, we fought today. I hate that man… AB has asked me to lie low till confirmation. After that I can think of complaining against him or something. Kuch toh karna padega.

Chalo… people… I am sooooo damn sleepy. Good night!!!

Next Page »