Monday, May 6, 2013

Day 1

The caretaker cooked awesome b'fast in the morning. The HR female had raved about his food. It was only later that the food went downhill to the point that, when my mom came to visit she was horrified that I was eating such bad food. A cab arrived to pick us up... this luxury was only for the 1 week period.
We arrived in the posh office at 9 am all dressed in our formals. As soon as I got out of the lift, I came across the other 2 trainees from Delhi. N (HR female) tried to introduce me to D since they are from the same college but he completely ignored me. That was my first taste of 'Delhi' snobbishness. I had my least interaction with him in the first 2 months and maximum after that... and then we became friends... and now, we are just acquaintances.

We were seated in the conference room. According to the itinerary someone from each department and brand would present to us. Guess which department we were most eager to interact with? Sales? Marketing? Nope, it was HR. We wanted to talk money.

We met N and A, the most friendly and jovial HR females. Most HR professionals are friendly but these girls were genuinely warm. We had maximum interaction with them and they always had a listening ear.

Anyway, as it happens... nobody had time for us. There we were- all eager and charged up... waiting to make good first impressions but people were too busy to pay us any attention. We spent time interacting with each other. There was easy banter between DS and SS... they were from the same college and SS kept pulling DS's leg. It lightened the atmosphere and none of us had to try and make conversation.

But, this was at the back of everyone's minds-
9 of us had joined for sales. The most important part of sales life is - "location". Where you end up for the first 2 years will make your experience heaven or hell. Atleast 4 out of 9 wanted to be in the North- preferably Delhi... 2 would have been happy with any location... 2 of us were from West and would have been happy with anything except East... 1 would have preferred North or South...
The reality is that only 1 location would be available in North (going by past trends)... and none in a metro. Metros were most coveted and given to the best ASM once they have proved their mettle. We were there to struggle it out in some remote, upcountry location. The tension beneath the banter was electrifying. We were all competitors and everything was fair in the war. People were willing to go as far as possible to bag the coveted location.

One by one departments made their presentations. Finally, N came to present... another legend in the organization. He handled the brand which made the most profits... the brand which only the best and trusted would handle... the brand that made careers successful... he gave us a dirty look like presenting to us was a drag of his time. He gave the most boring presentation EVER. And he knew me and A since he had interviewed us. We tried our best to defend him but the rest had written him off as arrogant.

What do I remember about everyone on the first day? What was my impression?

N: HR female... so obviously, very nice and warm and caring. Typical Dilli attitude
D: Spent most of his time on the phone helping his girlfriend pick courses for her 2nd year in MBA. Completely lost
A: Hmm... don't really remember
SS: Happy go lucky... the sort of guy who can strike a conversation with anyone.... but not in a good way
DS: The brunt of all jokes... someone whose case you can easily take and he will not mind
S: A serious geek. He was describing Vipassana that was part of the MBA course. D and S, both attended but the way they both described it... the former thought it was hell... while the other thought it was heaven.
H: Very silent... too silent
AB: The quiet manipulator.... the one who will only blow rings of diplomacy... who will say stuff without committing anything
Me: Guarded.. introverted...
A: The Bong... need I say more?

AB and I had something in common... we were guarded... we didn't just start blurting out what we felt. Thats how we were groomed in our B School. It discouraged spontaneity. This was the corporate world... every word must be weighed. A was always like that but I learned the hard way.

SS, DS and A were from NMIMS. I think they teach a special course called "How to Ass Lick your way into the corporate world". They had that in common and it wasn't very effective.

We were a competitive group. It was something like being part of a group in B School. In TAPMI, we are all assigned a group of 9 people... then there are 2 core groups within that... We are encouraged to bond, spend time together... hang out... it is supposed to help work together. Below are the stages we go through:
- Spend all our time together... work on assignments, go for dinners, hang out... trips to beach... to valley view... end point. Oh the joy!!!
- Slowly, you tend to bond more with 1 or 2 people... smaller groups are formed... chemistry builds up
- Conflicts come in... ego clashes happen... you defend and support the people you share most chemistry with
- Groups change... now, you share better chemistry with someone else
- Conflicts come in... loyalties change
- You all end up having conflicts with everyone
- Everyone hates each other
- The group outings stop
- You no longer want to meet up for group work... all assignments are managed in smaller groups or through the internet so that you don't have to meet each other
- End of story

This group had a similar story.
More tomorrow...


  1. well our group never stopped meeting. as u know !


  2. hello... i dont think all of us started hating each other in our groups!!!

    Nice start of the blog though I always kept wondering why you don't talk about the sales piece in your life. anyways..looking for frequent reading from here..

  3. @ Mysterio: Then your B school did not prepare you well for the corporate world ... :P

    @ RT: Well, atleast some of the people hated each other... none of groups hung out regularly by the end of the year. I didn't talk about it 'coz I didn't want to get sued or ruffle feathers. Btw, feathers have started getting ruffled... :P