Monday, May 18, 2009

Recession Hits?

Scene A:
I drive my car in to the parking lot of the office and see that most of it is already occupied, when I was about to take a reverse gear and head to Parking Zone B to park my vehicle there, I find the security guard rushing over to tell me,
“Sir, yours is only an Alto, there’s a 6 and a half feet gap at the end of this aisle, your car will need only 6 feet Sir.. hehe…so you can park it there araamse…plus from today on, the Parking Zone B is only for big cars like BMW, Audi, Sonata, Benz…”.
I was shocked and taken aback at this discrimination and decided to bring my two-wheeler from the next day on…
Is this one of those unexpected outcomes of recession?

Scene B:
I enter the rest room this morning, to my surprise was taken aback with the way the loo was highly down-at-heel and unkempt. I muster my guts and proceed further to open the first tap…. “No Water” …..move on… open the second one…. “No Water”…..move on once again to open the third one.. “No water”…..frustrated…I try the last one… “Swhsssssssssssssssssssssswwkkkkkk” …..A splash of turbid reddish-brown water sprays hard on the basin leaving its remains on my face and on my formal shirt. I curse the idea of washing my face first thing in the morning after entering office and step-out dejectedly.
Is this one of those unexpected outcomes of recession?

Scene C:
I swipe-in and come inside my bay…. It’s entirely dark at 9.30am in the morning. I can hear the ‘tik-tak-tik’ of the keyboard strokes though… I stare hard to see a couple of employees already working in the darkest corners of the bay without even bothering to have the lights on. A little annoyed, I walk-up to the switchboard and flip the lights on, couple of them go – ‘blink-blink-blink’ but fail to rest, one of the employees (without lifting his head from the screen that he was lifelessly staring into) says “It’s better to work without them instead of that non-stop flickering bothering your eyes while you are working, they haven’t mended this for quite sometime now….” Shocked…I turn the lights off and walk back to my desk.
Is this one of those unexpected outcomes of recession?

Scene D:
Later in the day, I get a call from Credit-Card female-rep asking me to apply for a Gold Credit Card. I agree and ask for terms and conditions, she says, “5 months of salary slip, proof of possession of two-wheeler and four wheeler, proof of possession of a own house, copy of an existing Credit Card from the different bank that I hold, Govt. of India recognized TWO photo identity proofs (either driving license & Passport, voter id and Passport, or Pan card and Passport)… if you don’t have a passport then, we may need to check if you are eligible for getting a Credit Card or not.” I was shocked and ask her why so many document proofs are required & she says, “Yes Sir, the rules are changed now as Global Market is down its not very easy to know who’s still working (especially in the IT Sector) and who is not….Please provide all the needful Sir, when my rep meets you tomorrow sharp at 2pm, if you don’t have any documents then please be informed that we would reject your processing.” And I hear a “Beep….Beep…Beep” at the other end of the phone line before I am even done reeling from the shock.
Is this one of those unexpected outcomes of recession?

Scene E:-
As my office is in the 7th floor of the building, elevator becomes mandatory for many people like me. Like all other days, I finished my work and stepped into the elevator and pressed the “0” button. After stuffing the books that I had take from library, into my backpack, which could have taken about 3-4mins time, I looked to see the floor indicator on the elevator still standing at the 7th floor. Shocked, I pressed the “0” button couple more times – Stand-Still! Nothing happens…..Panicked I step out of the elevator only to see a sign-board written in a very small font and hanging at the far-end of the elevator doors, that read :
“Elevators will not be available after 5pm and before 8am, Please use steps, as we are facilitating fitness for associates by going Green during the off hours of work and also ensuring comfort for associates to reach their desk quickly during the working hours!”
Is this one of those unexpected outcomes of recession?

Scene F:-
In the evening, I go to a restaurant, for having my dinner and place my order for a “Masala Dosa”. The Sambar is overburnt and the chutney has a foul smell and the Dosa is undercooked. I call the waiter and ask him to check the stuff he had got me. Without taking a second look at the Dosa he replies “Sir, its 10pm in the night and for 35rs these days what more do you expect? If you don’t like it; you can pay and leave as you have already been billed for this item”. I was speechless, to satiate the growling stomach and lack of cash in the wallet, to try out elsewhere, I bit into the bitter taste that had formed in my mouth and chewed-on the so called “Masala Dosa”.
Is this one of those unexpected outcomes of recession?

Will this madness ever end?????????????? - Are you entitled to ask that question, that too with so many “?” marks?
Oh, I need a break from this!!!! - You sure? Cos, you are gonna be sacked!
Can I venture into other fields like Agriculture, Running a Garage, Real Estate, Mini Restaurant, Chaat Bhandar??? – ohhh, so you are actually filthy RICH…. then what on earth made you to be an IT Professional?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Story of a Farmer and The Old Mule!

Have you heard that parable about a farmer who had an old mule?
Well, it goes something like this…………….

The mule fell into the farmer's well. The farmer heard the mule ‘braying' or whatever mules do when they fall into wells. After assessing the situation, the farmer sympathised with the mule. However, but decided that neither the mule nor the well was worth the trouble of keeping them with him. Instead, he called his neighbours and told them about the mule and the well. Once the neighbours came, he took their help in hauling dirt, sand & debris to bury the old mule in the well and put him out of his misery.
Initially, the old mule was hysterical. But as the farmer and his neighbours continued shovelling and the dirt hit his back...a thought struck him. It suddenly dawned on him that every time a shovel load of dirt landed on his back..."he should shake it off and step up". This he did, blow after blow.
"Shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up...shake it off and step up!"
He repeated to encourage himself. No matter how painful the blows or distressing the situation, the old mule fought ‘panic’ and just kept right on shaking it off and stepping it up.
It wasn't long before the old mule, battered and exhausted, stepped off triumphantly over the wall of that well. What seemed like it would bury him actually had bestowed god’s blessings on him to strive, fight-back and survive!...All because of the manner in which he handled his adversity.
That's life. If we face our problems and respond to them positively, and refuse to give in to panic, bitterness, or self-pity...The adversities that come along to bury us usually have within them the potential to benefit and bless us!
Always remember that duty-faith-prayer-hope, forgiveness and praise ... are excellent ways to shake-it-off and-step out of the wells in which we find ourselves in.

The Art o Saying "NO"

If you are one of those, that have difficulties in expressing a negative reply or a rejection to a group or single person, Welcome Aboard! :=)
I have tried a set of small, but useful experiments in my life and it had turned fruitful, on 98/100 situations. Well, on the other two occasions I didn't even give it a try! :=) (Meaning, I just gave in to it!)

As most people think, Saying ‘No’ is not just an art, but is also an etiquette. And it is also important how you say it. You should be able to deny or reject politely without hurting the person at whom your refusal is aimed. You may wonder why this is important. Well, put yourself in the other person’s shoes (let's forget the sizes here ;-) ) and think, what would you prefer – a rude refusal or a polite and courteous one? Undoubtedly the latter.
As it has been said – “Do unto other what you would have others do unto you.”
Be courteous is the protocol to follow. The reasons for your refusals may vary in a sizeable manner from being a minuscle ripple effect as that of a small stone thrown in a pond to an adverse tsunami effect caused by natural calamity in the Oceans. Ideally, you must adapt to the situation and act accordingly. However, it is essential to keep the basic governing rule the same – be courteous. There is no need to alter your stand if you are justified in refusing. If you are convinced of your justifications, be firm in your refusal but try not to hurt a fellow human being with harsh words.... Absolutely, but for how long before you loose control of your temperament, when the other person turns completely deaf ears to you and to top it all, is tossing out an indifferent stance towards you. This is the most important point, where in all of us tend to tremble being at the threshold of our temper check...end result - slash out with harsh words, throw out things, shout, scream out, yell at the top of your vioce, give up and walk away quietly....How many of us actually have been at the best of our cool to handle these situations with ease?
How many of us actually know, how to deal with people, especially when it comes to a denial being put out to them in a not-so hurtful manner?
How many of us have actually been successful in saying a "No" without hurting the other person?
Take this situation, for example. Sue had applied for a job interview and got her call fixed on a monday. Unfortunately, she meets with an accident over the weekend and is unable to attend this interview call. She calls up the HR of the organization to inform that she wouldnt be able to make it to the call as scheduled.
The HR person of the organization, being an elderly lady, took advantage of Sue's young age and responded back rudely. “Do you not have sense? What kind of accident can have you make you a phone call to us to inform but not come and appear for the same? If you were really not interested in applying for this job, then you shouldn't have, why do younger generation of these days have such a reckless attitude towards everything in life, I don't understand it. Just because you met with an accident is not going to make you invalid I am sure, why don't you let someone accompany you and attend the interview personally as planned?
I know you won't do that, as this was all a silly game that people like you love to play, fix an appointment and keep cancelling it as if we are here to entertain you all your lives.
You are behaving like uncouth villagers and not like the educated people."
Sue was very hurt and didn't have words to say and apologized over and over... All of it in vain as call was disconnected soon.
Problem here is that, Sue's recent bereavement was made out to be a matter of no consequence, which would have hurt her terribly. Moreover, the after-effects of an unpleasant encounter leave bitter feelings in their wake for everyone.

Monitor your thoughts and your words, as words once said cannot be taken back and unpleasant memories last long. We humans are essentially tender and sensitive, regardless of the tough exterior that many of us exhibit. And words are the sharpest weapons that can pierce the toughest exterior and cause an unseen wound that would take a long time to heal. It is thus extremely essential that the words that we utter should not cause harm to the sensitivity of another person. And it is not very difficult to watch your words either. The words we utter are a direct manifestation of the thoughts teeming in our mind. So it is your thoughts that you have to steer on the right course.
When faced with the task of conveying an unpleasant message of refusal, press the pause button, collect your thoughts, let compassion for the other govern your thoughts but not alter your stand. Now when you speak, your words will reflect the compassion you feel even while you are communicating a negative message. ............. Isn't it pretty difficult for a real life scenario? Sure is.....but not when you have practised it!
Refusal when implied in gentle words falls easy on the ears and the other person will be able to see your point of view. Always remember, the person will be disappointed on hearing a refusal as is, do not compound his distress by being rude and impolite, cos what you give is what you get, remember Nicolaus Copernicus who figured ages ago that the Earth has a planetary motion to go around the Sun....! (Doesn't it mean, what goes-around comes-around too? ;-) )