As I have mentioned in my last post “The Career Consultant”, the most comfortable place for me in the Kochi city is “The Marine Drive”. On a sunny week day evening an year before, one of my very good lady friends (let me call her “Endearing Engineer”, and she call herself “Fatty Girl”- even she was not that much fatty), – who accompanied me in some of my evenings in marine drive – asked me “Mahi, your previous company was a very good one and you were in a good position too. Then why do you hop the job?”
“Oh… that’s not a much interesting story…” I started with a not-interested-to-tell tone.
“Don’t tell me some diplomatic answers like ‘Career Growth’ – as there you had a much better chance of growth than here, ‘Learn better technology’ – you were worked in latest .Net technology, or ‘it’s a big luck working with such a professional organization …’ etc. You can tell all such craps in the HR round of an interview, not to me…” She had no intention to leave me alone. You know guys, the gals are too nosy. If they are up to something about somebody so close, no diplomatic answers will make them satisfied. The dig up will continue until they get what really wanted. (Sorry gals, no bad intentions behind this line, in fact we guys enjoy such CARE from you “up to certain limits”…)
“OK, I don’t want to say some diplomatic answers – at least to you, as you are my very good friend…”
“Just very good friend? … not the best?” She asked (another common-silly demand from any Girl – they always want to be placed as the best, better ignore such things to avoid a quarrel).
I had tried to summarize what happened, but she really wanted to hear in details. So, I told the story…
“The Team- Never Failed”
For the ease of explanation, I’d prefer to call my previous company as ‘G’ – a very good and professionally managed organization with an ISO 9001:2008 certification. As the Sr. System Analyst there, I liked the work environment very much. My favorite person there was my immediate boss- the Vice President (software) of the Company. Which ever be the projects executed in ‘G’ at that time, he put me as the part of them all – not to crucify me, but he really wanted me to be with him for all works. Even it was highly pressurizing, I did not complained as I personally liked him very much and I was too eager to widen my knowledge base. Late night works were a usual thing for us those days. At the time of some highly confidential, urgent and immediate project delivery (like airline projects), we five top warriors of ‘G’(The VP, a Team Leader, a Module Leader, a Sr. Software Engineer and me) worked shoulder to shoulder from 9 am to next day 4 am with just taking any long break (just taking two 15 minutes breaks for lunch and supper). But, none of us had any complaint, as we enjoyed the delight of successful project delivery. My cubicle was the nearest of VP’s cabin. When ever we got a challenge we all gathered at VP’s cabin for discussion. If the issue was really tough, the VP called us all…
“C’mon guys, let’s go to conference hall and break the issue”.
We five men had spent hours arguing one another for the solutions. We had drawn different plans on the white board. Most of the time, nobody sat on the chairs, but standing near the white board, drawn and explained their ideas. Some time the pitch of the argument rose abnormally (fortunately the conference hall was sound proof). Seeing our muted actions through the semi-transparent door glass, our lady HR Manager some times asked us were we going to kill one another. The VP was the moderator, but he allowed us to go to any extend for the right solution. It was like a logic making and breaking exercise. We teased each other, shouted, and criticized other idea. But at the end of the meeting, we always had a perfect solution for our problems, which would be feasible and agreed by all. The hours we spend was not an issue to any of us as it was nothing personal, but for our projects. It was not his solution or my solution, but our solution – the remedy for our blocker issues. So we called our team “the team- never failed”.
“Then why did you come out from ‘G’?” She asked while eating the popcorn.
I replied playfully, “Uff, no use to say you are a so called celebrated engineer… you need some observation power… Hey no wonder, usually gals don’t have that quality- you people see only surface level stuffs… no keen observation, no in depth searching, no analysis and …”
“Oh… then let me know your analysis, Mr. Einstein…” She interrupted me. I ignored the playful sarcasm in her tone. I was sure she could give a hundred examples of my recent blunders.
“Okay… here’s the theory from your Mr. Einstein – See, only four types of peoples stay for a long time in a single company. First – those who are very loyal to the company and happy to be there for ever – may be some relative of management people, or some body who are not too ambitious -just being happy with current conditions, and believe they get paid enough for the work they do.
Next – those who are comfortable with current company, no matter whether they perform well or not. They are afraid of how to survive or how to manage the same level in another company. They know, since they are senior in current company, they can survive in current position. They may be less confident, less skilled or less qualified peoples – the in security complex attach them with the company.
The third group is those who had enough jumping and want to settle somewhere and live peacefully– mostly family men, with wife and kids.” I paused. She was looking at me with an open mouth and an expression of ‘man, it’s too much for my little brain‘… I suppressed a laugh and continued in an easy tone…
“The fourth and last group is the rare species, some very brilliant guys, who the company does not want to let them go. So the company offers them immense career growth, salary and whatever they want to… So they should also be happy to being with the company. I belongs to none of the above four classes my dear. I am very confident, able prove my skills where ever I go, qualified and obviously very young too and most importantly no plan to marry now and get settled somewhere… ha… ha…”
She did not laugh with me and gave a sharp look. My laugh vanished but pretended I had not seen her bitter expression and continued with a softer and stylish tone “So, you must expect me jumping from company to company, at least till I get married and settle somewhere, Okay?” She kept silence, but now closed her mouth and continued chewing the popcorn. I paused and continued “Don’t you know the new trend? nobody stay in a single company… even the companies are not expecting it. It’s not my observation dear, the famous management guru Tom Peters call this syndrome as ‘end of corporate responsibility’…” I tried to skip from the subject.
“Hello, Mister, come back to the point, why do you skip the job?” – she caught me in the right position.
Some girls (some times every girl) are too sharp ; they will catch us at right time… Oh, Man… no escape… Huh…!
“There were five reasons behind my skipping…” I continued. “In ‘G’, we did not have any extra benefits other than the salary- No insurance, No PF, or any complementary allowances… Just the salary and the mechanical work every day… We expect some kind of security in life in work place also, right? Or a bit care from our employer? Another very important reason for jumping from one company to another company –for any person- is the ‘Money’ my dear- we are working for that, right?”
“Oho, so money is so important to you than the relations?” She interrupted me… This is what I hate in girls… They always put silly sentimental stuff while men were trying to say something seriously. I stopped and turned my face away. She put some popcorn in my hand and made a gesture saying “Continue… continue…” With a warning expression of ‘don’t repeat it again‘ , I continued…
“Another reason, I was fed up with multiple projects and mixed up schedules. The fourth one was a big story, that I will tell you later, and the last one was the influence of Resmi Chechi – I have already told about her right? ” I paused. She shook her head, putting a handful of pop corn in her mouth.
Mrs. Resmi is my much respected and very good friend (I call her Resmi Chechi – “Chechi” is the word used in Malayalam, denotes “elder sister”). At that time of my joining in my current company she was a staff there. Years before, we worked together in another company as the Project Leaders of an ERP. In personal life, she is the sister in law of my ex-class mate and the aunt of another friend. So we always had a strong personal relationship.
One evening she phoned me and told “Here we have some vacancies. If you are looking for a change, I can give your resume to our HR Manager. He is looking for somebody who has a very responsible character… I guess the recruitment is to a good position…”
“I mean… you said they are looking for a person who has a responsible character, means this job is not for me… ha… ha…” I just made a loose talk as usual…
“Hey, I am serious… You know, it’s a good company. Here we have insurance, PF, some other allowances, Party… and many more. Above all the peoples in the management are very good. A very good place to settle, you know?” She paused. I kept silent on a confusion and she continued. “Man, you stop the flirting and roaming around. Try to get settle some where…” Chechi said in a serious tone.
“Huh… Okay… let me think.” I told in a playful tone.
“What? I told this much and you are not serious … ‘let me think’” She mocked me “Do whatever you want to. I told you what I have to tell, rest is up to you.” She got a bit angry.
“Uff… I … eh… I will send my resume now.” I told her with a bit embarrassment.
Some ladies are just wonderful. We feel the care in there tone even if they shout to us. The best examples are mother, elder sisters … I bet you can find more…
“So, thus you reached in this company… But, it’s just the application sending… what happened later?” the Endearing Engineer had no intention to left me.
“Hah… The interview was the most interesting part…”Suddenly, interrupting our conversation my mobile started to cry… It was the usual evening call from my mother – the lady I adore. I put my right hand’s index finger on my lips and made an “Sshhhh…” sound asking her to keep silent.
“Oh nothing dear, usually you call before 6:30 and it’s a bit late, that’s why I called…” That’s mother’s love… I delayed just 15-20 minutes. “Son, Are you still in the office? Having a tough time?”
“No… Nothing like that Mom, I am at Marine drive, with a friend… I will call back you later…” I replied.
“Why later? Hey… any girl friend with you?” Oh my mom… hats off… How could you guess this?
“Hey… err… nothing like that Mom, I will call you later… Bye.”
The Endearing Engineer was listening me… She laughed aloud and said. “Oh man, what a prediction? So the mother knows her son very well…”
I smiled “Yeah, she knows me very well… perhaps more than I know myself…”
She also smiled, but this time not playfully… She looked at my eyes; I felt a sense of deep affection.
“Hello Madam, the time is 6:45 now- it’s getting late, I have no problem; but you have to reach at hostel before 7:30 pm, right? Through the hectic evening traffic, at least half an hour will take to reach there…” I stood up from the bench at the shore of the Marine Drive.
We started to walk to High-court Junction.
“Ha… it’s always like that, once you started to talk; no stop at all…” I teased her.
“Not always…” her eyes were gleaming… “Only when I am talking to somebody very … very… eh?… dependable…”
‘Dependable’- a very powerful word…
Seeing my silence, she asked me “Hey my dear mother’s baby, what are you thinking about?”
“I was just thinking about the word ‘Dependable’- You know? Before my selection to this position, my MD asked to Resmi Chechi only one question about me. That is about my dependability.” I replied.
“Hey … hey… tell me that too…” She playfully hitted on my shoulder …
“It’s too late to reach the hostel, may be some other time… Oh yeah… here comes your bus, and call me when you reach hostel safely… OK? Or shall I accompany you till the hostel gate?” I asked her, while reaching the High-Court junction.
She laughed at me “Hello Boss, this is Kochi- the fastest growing city in India, and now its just 6:55 pm- the city is very much alive and I’m not a kid. Don’t worry my sweet young man; I will be fine and safe. But, I love your care on me…” she told while walking to the bus. While getting in to the bus she showed a gesture of “I’ll call you”.
I waved my hand to her with a soft smile. While the bus left the High-court junction, I started to walk to my residence at Kochi, sending an SMS to her-
“ Come a bit earlier tomorrow evening – Yours M”.