Saturday, November 24, 2007

Thought: Building Castles in Thin Air!

This morning when I happened to check my yahoo account for new emails after about a week’s break, this one with a subject “A NOTE FROM Dr. XYZ – PLS READ CAREFULLY” caught my attention. Although I heard six warning bells inside my head blaring-out, all at once; vociferous enough to deafen my ears, each of them coming from each one of the six senses that I supposedly possess, all I had to do was to temporarily tap it to a silent mode to get on to a fast-forward mode. With the six folks now glaring at me sordidly huddled in one dusty corner….I went about clicking on the subject line to get to the details of this most creepiest of mails sitting innocently in my inbox posted as on Nov 10th 2007.
With the crazy globe on the top right corner of my browser revolving at the speed of a tortoise’s gait and the message on the status bar below showing as:

Opening page ShowLetterId? MsgID=45676545X&hgklsrydddggg……..

I waited for 30 raring-to-go seconds tapping my fingers restlessly on the key board tray….
And then suddenly, just when I stopped tapping, the status bar lit up with a set of green colored square boxes progressing slowly to demonstrate a flourish of activity happening at the background leaving me at the edge of my seat… all the more inquisitive and a bit jittery about what could really be awaiting inside that most curious looking email (or so I thought it looked).

Quarter past another minute, cursing the ISP under my breath, there lands the response page I was looking for…..with a throbbing heart and trembling fingers, constricted eyes strained to its maximum elasticity to read the smallest size of the font that was used to draft the below mail; I was reading out loud……..

Dear Friend,Though this approach appears desperate,difficulties encountered in efforts to establish abusiness abroad necessitate this search forsomeone to assist me in securing and investingthe sum of USD18,000,000 (eighteen million dollars)deposited in my name abroad.By way of summarized profile of myself, I amDr. XYZ a 64years old lady and thewife of Mr. ABC (former head ofstate and President of East Timor).
From past experiences, many people I had regarded as close friendsand relatives has capitalize on my family'stravail to run away with my money. In order to avert thisnegative development, I in conjunction with myson now seek your permission to allow us do aCHANGE OF OWNERSHIP/REASSIGNMENT OFCREDIT of stated funds from the deposit company toyour name, so that the funds (US$18million)would be released to you as the BENEFICIARY (onbehalf of me and my family).Our family trusteehave secretly protected the deposit, you are toassist us to lay claims of the funds with the aidof all legal documents that will be forwarded toyou as time goes on. If you agree to help,we shall discuss the disbursement ratio in ournext correspondence after we have beenacquainted.
I have decided to offer 20% of the above sumto anyone who assists us to secure this fundsoverseas or 20% share for possible help oninvesting in any reliable venture.No doubt this proposal will make youapprehensive, please I employ you to observeutmost confidentiality and rest assured that thistransaction would be most profitable for both ofus.PLEASE INDICATE YOUR INTEREST BY RESPONDING TOMY ALTERNATIVE EMAILADDRESS
WITH THE FOLLOWING INFO:Your full name and addressYour telephone/fax numbers.Once I receive this information, my son willprepare the necessary documents that will putyou in place as the new owner of the funds. Themoney will then be released to your custody bythe Deposit Company.Awaiting your swift response.Sincerely yours,Dr. Mrs XYZ.Email:
Awwwwwhhhh!!! 20% of $18 Million is how much?????
Quickly & swiftly my hands reach up to the windows à run à calc + Enter, & I type in the figures to see the magical numbers of my astounding future, It stood gleefully at $3,600,000 (Three Million Six Hundred Thousand Dollars)!!!

Approximately about 14,40,00,000 – Indian Rupeees!!!! :-O:-O:-O

Fourteen odd CRORES?!?!?! ………


My pinched myself hard to see if this wasn’t a dream!!! Or if I was at the threshold of some treasure hunt game or in any case at a place where I should be After-Death!
Nope. None of the above.

Very much alive and kicking and sitting in front of my age old computer and off-putting internet connection that blinks forever to scare the hell out of me as if to mean “I-might-die-anytime-now”!.

Hmmmm…such an unbelievable twist-in-the-story for a below average, less than mundane, morbid low level life on a bright Wednesday morning…

I wasn’t sure which one of the following emotions were racing past the other to hit the red band first,

Taken Aback?

You bet, I was hit by all of them almost at once and it was quite a feeling, pretty much unexplainable for me in those desperate milliseconds of fighting for words…..

I was 2 feet above the ground looking for my mom to tell her that she needs to start seeing a multi-millionaire Groom for me and not a 7,8,9 or10 LPA earning silly, boring and lifeless software pro!

Ah! These are just froth bubbles out of the soap water aren’t they…?

“Hey GOD!!! Are you listening to me at all???? Why can’t someone knock some sense into this silly girl’s dumb-head????”

I heard my heart screaming on top of its voice at the almighty, just when I was about to tap my mom’s shoulder to tell her about this eventful email this morning!


Thought: Importance of Meetings!

As we all wait for the meeting to begin, the precarious moments of the next hour looms large in front of us, with sweaty palms, shaking legs, tapping ID cards, drumming fingers, paper cones cleaning the ears, chewing of the gums, dancing pens, scribbling on the paper, rolling the paper weight or even doing some eye-exercise to release the stress or fight-out your sleep; are some of the most noticeable actions that we see in the meeting room. These meetings never seem to get anywhere is also an opinion that’s widely heard across many organizations.

Moreover, half the people attending the meeting seem distracted and the other half frustrated. The distracted lot keep checking their watches once in every 10 seconds while the frustrated ones keep thinking about their receding hair lines.

And then we hear our host begin, clearing his throat in the most clichéd rhythm,
Now, we’ve been meeting every week for months and the purpose seems to have gotten lost as I see no progress on the milestones that we must have met long since!

And then suddenly you ask yourself, "Darn, How did we get here and what can be done about it? And most of all, who invented these meetings anyway? Of all the days, why should it be on this very day when I must leave by 3pm to pick up my kid from the school as she returns from her excursion after a long week?"

Your feeling of dread deepens as you momentarily recall that . . . you're supposed to be the driving this meeting and you are the one who must take the MOM (Minutes of the Meeting) and also run this meeting during your host’s absence.

Well, now block all thoughts that belong to the outside world of those glass doors and confine your thought processes to the crux of the very discussion that you are getting into.

• First things first, Being on time for the meetings is like learning “A for Apple” so don’t do any mistakes on that one!

• Try to be a leader and take charge of the situation no matter wherever or however important you are in the meeting.

• Identify exactly what you want to expect in each of these meetings and do keep a check if these are accomplished and is catering to the needs of the participants.

• You have been invited for a meeting, simply means that your presence is deemed to serve some purpose.

• A meeting is where the most critical and significant information is shared across teams and key decisions are made on mutual consensus and unanimous approvals.

• Make it known to everyone in the forum that each person is expected to contribute.

• Set a clear tone as to who’s responsible for what and by when. If not met make the defaulter run the meetings next time onwards until they see that the expectations are met 100%.(just an idea, can be anything instead that’s bound to the practical feasibility of the system, audience and organization)

• Remind yourself that it's your responsibility to make sure everyone is engaged and energized by the discussions and by the purpose of the meeting.

• Meetings that are regular, focused, appropriate and timely are always welcome for the success of a team and organization on the whole.

• Paying attention to the meeting is probably one of most vital things that many should work on as there could be potentially a lot of take-away’s that we may tend to miss out on!

• Creating an experience that makes each participant to think of your meetings as necessary and valuable could probably be one of the best gifts one can ask for!

To be a true leader, Appreciations at the right time, indication of the issues & identification of risks upfront including corrective measures or suggestions for the same at the right time and right place, to top it all with regular motivational pep talks, nurturing the ownership mentality with in the team and plunging-in to resolve issues by rolling-up your sleeves when the times call for it are all the prerequisites!

When someone is all of the above, automatically the Leader in him rises to a pinnacle and then there are no mistakes after that!

When ten people gather under one roof to discuss ideas, that’s where a lot of Newton’s are reborn, to make it sound more relevant in a Software jargon, let’s get together regularly and without fail to bring out the hidden “Bill Gates” in us!

At the same time, Let’s also throw-in our feedback if a meeting is not effective, Be the first to start it!

For someone wisely said, “Treading the beaten path is no fun, when I can lay my own new road!”

So, Junta please attend your meetings!!!! J

Signing off,
On a Meeting Note