Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Looking back, moving forward

It was the second last week of September in 2007, i appeared for a typing test three floors north of Belapur railway station. Later, i entered the manager's cubicle with just a page in my hand. It was called résumé although i referred to it as biodata. After all, there wasn't much in it except my name, DOB, address, phone number, languages known, educational qualifications (if at all college dropouts could claim those) and hobbies. The lady was sweet and asked me several questions back-to-back so as to check on my awareness about transcription. However, only one of them remain etched inside my skull: "Why do you want to join us?" I promptly replied, "I need a job." She chuckled a bit before pointing out that mine was a honest answer as if i didn't know that already. She explained to me that it was going to be graveyard shift as if i cared. I just wanted to get out of my house and the fact that i'd be sleeping during daytime—thus effectively avoiding my family members—while slogging at night seemed like the perfect description of a dream job to me. She didn't even have to tell me how much i'd be getting from my ATM at the end of the month. I was already sold. However, out of corporate courtesies, she informed me that i'd be receiving Rs.4800 per month for my 10-12 hrs per night services. I was royally cheated elated! It was much later that i learnt that the amount was negotiable because some of my equally inexperienced colleagues who were far less accustomed to the stressful nature of the job were being paid more than the double of what i was. 
But it didn't bother me. 
I was simply glad that i could finally apply myself somewhere, even if it meant getting wasted in an industry nobody knew about. I used to go to work an hour before i was expected and leave an hour or so after everybody left. Office became my real home. I made some good friends with whom i'm not in touch with anymore. This was so because money was least of my concern. I was never good with money in the sense that i never saw money much. So i really didn't know how to handle it. 
My amma used to give me three rupees when i was in 10th grade. One rupee for bus to school, one for bus back home and one rupee for "emergency". Nobody cared to explain what was meant by that word. When i moved to Nashik for my diploma after SSC, not much changed. I used to get a fixed amount of cash. In fact, i was the only one in our group who didn't have a bank account. That was my parents' way of getting me acquainted with money. Crash course, if you will. I used to write them letters—yes, the blue-coloured ones—explaining how i spent my monthly stipend.
You see?
Now, when i look back, i understand what really happened in that green-tinted cubicle. Which is also why i can understand how i managed to donate Rs.100 to Wikipedia and Rs.200 to Greenpeace every month (which i miraculously discontinued as my pay raised over the years). During those days, i made sure i didn't miss a single free movie screening in Bombay even at the expense of sleep. Net-net, i didn't have expenses which a 21-year-old might normally ave. Other than cinema, i loved books, for which i regularly visited BARC library. I didn't drink or smoke. Which also makes sense since we often overlook the nexus between addiction and money. People who enjoy alcohol or cigarette or both happen to be the ones who can afford it. I could neither afford it nor wanted to. I was happy downloading movies during working hours and staying back to watch them! 
I was more than happy, to be honest. 

1 comment:

Harry said...

It has made me emotional as my story also goes somewhere like yours. my first job was sales. it was in 2004 when my college management announced that Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) was going to come to our college and the selected students would be placed in Mumbai. trust me, my college always smelt like a hospital. it was considered to be the best among the worst in the area. anyway, I was one of the 3 students who got selected. I was happy. Till now, unlike other students, I did not bother how much salary I was going to get. I was just happy with the point that I got a job. Moving forward, what I came to know that the job was not with M&M, instead, it was with one of the M&M franchisees which was right next to my house. Anyway, I started working and my first salary amount was Rs.3,000. As it was a sales job, I used to be away from my home town most of the times. I used to be in the area I was assigned. I worked there for 2 months and left it. I left my hometown for Delhi to prepare for CAT. I was not sure what exactly I wanted in life. So, I decided to pursue MBA like others.

I could not crack MBA. It is 2015 and I am jobless. In last 8-9 years whichever job I joined, I always found myself unsuitable for that. I don't know where do my strengths lie. No worries. Now I try to live a moment. I could not crack any of the interviews in last 4 months. got rejected everywhere. Whatever the status is, I hear the feedback and move on with some hope.

I try to be happy and not aspirational whether I get job soon or not.