02 April 2007

Life's Wisdom

Since I am officially over and above 25 years of age, I guess that automatically qualifies me as 'old,' licensed to dispense so-called advices and call them life's 'wisdoms' - tested accurate and true by my own life experiences (at least) over the years.

Here's one I still cherish to this day -

Some years ago, way back in our good and busy capital city, when I was still naive and dumb enough to believe anything anyone a day older than I was tells me, I got a call from a pretty good job consultancy firm. They wanted me to go to
XYZ for an interview for this cool new post because they 'believed' I qualified. 'You only work for x hours each day, only y days a week, start with a salary of z (Rs 16000/month to be precise - which was highly impressive when you were a new graduate - fresh out of college and practically broke almost all the time)' they told me.

Now
XYZ, they're a biggie. I wasn't keen, because I did NOT believe I possessed the skills required, all of which I knew was 'some basic computer skills.' And that's something I don't have. I have extremely pitiful computer skills, not some basic. :P

However, like all consultancy firms, they were extremely persistent, and kept calling me everyday. One day, they offered to send me a car to take me to Noida for the interview, my personal driver for the day would wait for me and take me back. I had nothing to do that day and I was tempted by the offer of my own
'personal car and driver' even just for a day so I finally relented and said yes.

{Me - donkey, car and driver - carrot! :-)}

True to his word, guy sent a car into which I happily hopped and enjoyed the view of the streets of Delhi all the way to Noida, shaking my head in sympathy at all the unlucky people stashed to suffocating degrees in public buses and autorickshaws.

We reached the big, imposing
XYZ building and still in a good mood, I confidently walked in, stylishly signed papers, adorably mingled with the other wannabes, chatted amiably...

...but the more I chatted, I noted that every one of the other candidate, close to 30 of them, all had extremely advanced computer studies degrees/skills! Starting to feel extremely conscious of my Zoology degree in comparison to their Master of Computer Application
et al degrees, I started sweating a little, desperately started thinking of ways to make whatever knowledge of computers I have to sound as impressive as possible, which was difficult when your skills spanned from chatting on mIRC and Y! messenger and sending and receiving emails to deleting them.

I, however, bravely walked into the room where we were supposed to have our first round - a written test. Here, I will push aside all false modesty and say I breezed through that test while my high-degreed counterparts were all given the boot. Some told me they didn't get through, some I just never saw again. By the time I was told I was through and to walk into the next room for the second round of written test, even though there were many desks and papers, I was the only one who walked into that room.

Feeling pretty smug, I walked into the next torture chamber and picked up my test paper lying face down on the desk. Preened my feathers, sharpened my pencil, licked the granite tip, and turned the bashful paper over....

And imagine what I saw... hieroglyphics, Sanskrit, or Martian, I could make neither head nor tail of. They looked alien. I tried to read, make sense of whatever was on there, I wondered what machine they used to print those characters down on paper.

'It's just like those aptitude tests - B is to P as Apple is to Pear..that kind of crap. It's no big deal' I kept repeating to myself, hoping to dupe myself into believing that I could really tackle, and eventually even vanquish them.

However, no amount of coaxing would let my brain decipher the code lying all jumbled up in front of me. And no amount of coaxing would let the paper give up its secrets. I begged, I goaded, I pleaded.
'Please Paper, if you let me in and I get the job, I will offer Rs 500/- for the glorification of paper every month, break a coconut and pray every week for the preservation of Paper and all its kith and kin.' But silent as a tomb, concealed forever in the abyss of paper universe, my Rs 1,6000/- a month slipping away, the Paper decided to hold on to its treasure. So I gave up. I know not quitting is wise, but knowing when to quit is a tad wiser.

All these took place within a few macroseconds.

It took me another macrosecond to make up my mind as to what to do. Sit and attempt and make complete fool of self OR walk up and make the best of whatever's left of the day. I opted for the latter. I got up, grabbed the paper, walked up to the 'Examiner,' who was evidently stunned, seeing me - the lone survivor from the 1st round, who'd just barely walked in, already trying to walk out.

I brightly gave him a very, very, very genuine smile and handed him my very neat, very blank paper. 'I'm sorry but I've changed my mind, I don't think I'll be taking the test now' I told him.

Now it was time for him to coax and plead. But I'd already learned from the paper. Be firm. Staunch in your decision. Withhold or yield. And I had decided to withhold. No matter how much he tried to make me sit down again, he could not make me hold that evil paper in my hands again. Of course,
XYZ is filled with brilliant people with brilliant degrees. It housed The Bold and The Beautiful. He probably thought I was the biggest airhead to ever step foot inside that sacred building and that my diffident personality was sacrilegious to the the holy and almighty XYZ building.

But I didn't care. I walked out and saw the sun shine and the green grass and heard the birds chirping. And I was happy. I was in a prison of sorts, but I was finally free. Oh the joy! the bliss of walking out of an interview and not giving a damn!

Morals:

1. When going for an interview, make sure it's going to be in a language you speak, write, and understand. Make sure you know what job you're applying for. Make sure they're gonna love you. Make sure you kick ass. Make sure they BEG to hire you.

2. Disregard and trash #1. Only pains-in-the-ass do that. It's okay to mess up once in a while. In fact, I suggest doing the wrong thing once in a while just for the chance to feel that good feeling that can only come from knowing you've finally redeemed yourself. I suggest getting into bad situations once in a while just for the exhilaration of getting yourself out of it.

I'd probably go do something like this again if walking out of a building's ever going to feel as good as the way it felt that day. And laughing so hard my sides hurt - alone, with just my perplexed driver all the way home to our Lajpat Nagar flat.

{No matter how unlikely, most of the time, (MOST of the time, not always, mind you!), things work out in the end. Trusting in God and working hard helps. Now in this building where I work now, not in capital city anymore,
XYZ occupies the floor below, I don't even give them a second glance. I'm just so happy to be sitting here, several floors above them, working here and not there. So in a nut shell, if you give me a difficult test and I don't pass it, or even dare to attempt it, you lose me. }

15 comments:

Macabreday said...

cant beat that feeling of confidence, can you? lol :)

MockingBird said...

Guess I'm qualified enough to vouch for that "bliss of walking out" thingy. Only in my case, it was walking out on a stressful job. The relief that follows is indescribable!

claytonia vices said...

Many companies forget that just the way they are choosing us, we are also assessing them before we can work for them or not...

N said...

awesome awesome awesome post! :)

Anonymous said...

Happy birthday if you turned 25 recently.

F.D

Diary. said...

You're getting wiser and wiser, while some of us are just getting older :) Your pictureless posts are even better than the ones with pictures.
Chuan i hman hunah rawn visit ve rawh, chhiar tur tam vak lo na in :)

Raghav said...

cudnt figure why they sent the car for you though
i know someone who knows exactly what to do with a job that she doesnt like, and i respect her for that

virgochhas said...

poor poor XYZ...

anywayz, i wonder watz on ur second round test paper!!!!!!!

Kima said...

Awesome post...

I chhelo bawk si:)

N said...

where are the posts lady? or are u home or something? anyway, here is a faithful reader checking back everyday (almost)

Almost Unreal said...

if a co doesnt hire u, its their lost, lol

kammommy said...

i love this post cos i've been in this situation before only thing different was the fact that i let them make a fool of myself by bein a fool by not walkin away...

u struck the right chord here. love ur blog...

Sundancer said...

was home and am back! thankin you all for your comments!

Sundancer said...

kammommy, am flattered and I love your blog!

Sundancer said...

oh Diary btw - can't access your page, it says URL not found..