Nick Second Life

The Story of an MBA grad in Recession times.. as told by Nick!

Parents are Jewels

Posted by Subhendu on November 18, 2009

When you let go of something, it actually affects the adrenalin in your body. Think of the situation when you would have let gone of something because you tried and failed, be it the software error you could not fix, be it the relationship problem you could not solve. It is actually a dangerous feeling, you are letting go something which refuses to be in your control. But I look at it from a different perspective – When you are letting go, you are actually opening doors to the fighter within you. Get him to action. Wake him up. That is where the adrenalin gushes in and you feel you are charged up. Ignited, to take upon the next obstacle, the next hurdle which faces you.

I woke up around 9 30. Ideally this is the time I am in office checking voicemails and mails. But today, I was relaxed.

My drawing room had a big glass sliding door window. Outside, just below the AC, a cute pigeon family had decided to extend their family size and spread their legacy. I never wanted to threaten their growth. I had let the eggs hatch and at times, I put some Indian rice grains near the window pane so that the parent birds could feed on without having to go away for a long time leaving the eggs in the nest. They had an amazing chemistry. The mother bird would sit on the eggs and the father bird would watch her. He was never tired, and the She bird never moved. She just blinked her eyes.. She might have meant that she understood him. The feelings moved me always.

As I stood with a cup of coffee near the window looking at the nest, I remembered the day one of these birds actually had entered into my room when they were kids. It was wounded by the ruthless ceiling fan in my room and when I could do nothing. I just made it drink some water and then had placed it outside the window.  Today was a different day, as i looked, I saw things differently. I could see how parents care for the child, even before the child is born. They sacrifice for the child even when the child is not aware. And then I thought about my father. I lost my father recently. Thinking of all this moistened my eyes. There are somethings which are not in your control and you should just let go.

In office, it was a routine day. But people interacting with me had mixed reactions. Some knew about my resignation and some did not. The ones which did, they were inquiring about my new company, role and my compensation structure. The emails in my outlook spoke a different story. The same emails were now being marked to someone else, the work was getting done as usual.. without me. You actually get converted voluntarily into a NPPM – Non Performing Project Manager. It is a strange feeling, when on one hand you want to get released early so you want there is no dependency on you, while on the other hand, you feel insignificant, as an unwanted weed in the organisation. Look at the power of one email.

On my way back from office, my Pulsar wanted to stop at the Nukkad. I did not disallow. Pani Poori is one of my hot favorites. When I am at the stand holding the plate. And the Pani Poori wallah stuffs the spicy potato mash into the crispy fried cups, dips it in spicy and sour tamarind water and puts it in my plate, I can hardly resist the temptation to gulp it down my throat. I just love it and whenever I am stressed, I tend to be a honest disciple of the Pani Poori wallah, ramping up his business. 20 INR and I am done.

Once I parked my bike, took the lift to the Second Floor of Ambika Apartments and opened my apartment door, I wished the days to fly faster. How I wished to flee from the place. How i wished to pray Kotler soon.

I silently walked to the window. Opened the window, switched on the window light and saw the mother bird and the father bird. They still were there. I did nothing. Put in some rice grains on the floor of the window pane and closed the door. I miss my father a lot.

28 more days to go.

Mumbai.. Cheers to Life! Cheers to Parents!

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The first day of Resignation

Posted by Subhendu on November 17, 2009

It was not meant to be easy.

A job is like a relation. You walk in because you need it, then you leave it when you feel you have better relations at stake. It is not a very great feeling and at heart you feel you could just continue. But there is a well known saying which someone used to say – If you are drinking water from a glass cup and it breaks, there is no use mending the cup. You better throw it away and use a new glass or you get hurt more with time.

I reached office. People around me greeted as usual. I opened my laptop, checked voicemails on my phone. As i screened the emails, i was looking at the PST where I had set rules in Outlook. The folder had 1 unread message and was highlighted in Bold Black. I waited, breathed a deep breath and then clicked open that email.

Nick, we will need to discuss.

I could hear my heartbeat thumping hard. It was the same person who had hired me 7 months back in the midst of recession into a Program Manager role. That time, if he would have asked me to be a developer, i might not have thought again before accepting. But now, things were different. Markets were improving. Atleast it seemed more so, because of the numerous emails I was getting from Monster.com. I went into a state of nostalgia.

I passed out of my B-School in Singapore in the midst of world greatest economic recession. Leave aside campus placements at sky rocketing salaries, even plain vanilla jobs were out of question. I had applied to over 200 consultants in India, UAE and Singapore. Not a buzz. Emails just were sent out from my mailbox and they never returned. When some of them finally did, they would all speak the same tone – Dear Nick, after careful consideration of your profile, we feel that we would not be able to provide you a job which would be in line with your expectations and our needs. We regret to state that we wont be able to provide employment to you right now. However, feel free to browse the site for future openings. Apply, apply, No reply was the message. It was not that jobs had dried up. It was just that the salaries had dried up. And I was not very keen in joining a job at a 50% pay cut to last years salary.

I was in a Navy Blue suit at the company office waiting for an interview with the Chief Technical Officer of the company. The suit had a story as well. It would have wished that I wear it everytime i appeared for an interview but then it had seen only guest lectures and no placements. Hard Luck.

My interview had been great and I was offered to join from the next Monday.

Strange coincidence, today is a Monday. And I have resigned.

After lunch at cafetaria, I saw the email with a calendar invite for my exit interview. How was I to enter into that room? I was feeling guilty as well as I saw it as lack of any other option. I wanted to leave this place. And there was no way I could have left the place without leaving the company. So I entered the room.

There was a cold greeting smile on the lips of my manager, the CTO of the company. What happened after was a nightmare. It seemed like a dream when it started with discussions on what I have done in the company and how the transition would happen and then it shifted gradually to why I wanted to leave. My manager was not at fault. I too was not. Some one else was at fault. But who? Right now, inside the room it was me and my manager and both were trying to find out what went wrong in just 7 months of joining. Somehow the duel ended. I walked out of the room, not satisfied, not happy but not guilty anymore. I heard a lot of things which I wish I never would have heard. But again, to err is human.

The day had already been eventful so I did not ask for more. I packed up for the day.

It was not even twilight when I rode my Pulsar 150 DTSI back home. The speedometer would have read 85 but who cares. I was speeding as if I wanted to escape. I was speeding as if I had to reach destination soon. When i opened up my apartment door, I was wishing it all as a dream and tried to wake up. But it was a reality. I had resigned and was going to be released in 29 more days.

Bigg Boss Season 3 came to rescue in the lone apartment. I looked at the ceiling. The fan kept on dissecting my vision. I grew tired and wanted to sleep. I could not..

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Marketing is my cup of coffee.

Posted by Subhendu on November 15, 2009

It did not take me long to realize that Marketing is fun and it is great responsibility as well. I had just recovered from the most tumultous phase of my life.

Boss, Can you give me one packet Gold Flake King Size Milds? I was at a local shop asking for some Nicotine to burn. As i lighted the long and sleek cigarette, I was looking at how the smoke just went up and above. It felt just like yesterday, I had survived 3 major crises, bruised but with a hope that I will move on and prove it to all those who left me. I wanted to relegate back into oblivion where no one would be able to trace me, no one would be able to laugh at me. I feared rejection, I feared people talking behind my back, I feared people overall.

Then as always, when I am most hit, there is a voice within me which speaks up. I have always relied on the voice whenever I am all messed up. And it is inevitably there. And the same voice this time told me to just take up the opportunity ahead. I still thought twice, thrice and many more times, everytime expecting that the inner voice would change its statement. Poor me.

I had nothing else to cling on to. People I loved the most had left me. And I was alone. The only other thing which I loved was my conscience which actually had helped me many times in the past. So, I finally yielded.

It was 7 PM in the evening in Mumbai when i decided that I would resign from the current company I am in. It was a big decision for me and actually a leap of great magnitude when I was feeling thrown away. But then there was no point in continuing anymore. I had lost it all. The depressing feelings overpowered me again. Fighting it diligently, I made myself understand that the lowest point in my life is over. I would have to live for those who love me more than I loved the people who left me.

I resigned.

The next opportunity was waiting at my doors. I opened my arms. Breathed and enjoyed the air.

The air was full of freedom. I was joining as the Marketing Manager in a MNC. If Marketing was about ABC, I just had read ABC, but never took pains to understand or break a twig on it. But then opportunities come with challenges. All along, I had taken up challenges. Sometimes I had failed, but mostly I had been successful. So odds were in favor. I was joining the new company in 30 days from today.

When I closed my eyes to sleep, I felt my eyes moisten.

Dozed off thinking that from tomorrow, I have to start the notice period!

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