Friday, 23 October 2009

Done Dana Done Dunn...

Its been an exact 24 hours since the last post on this blog and I must say that I am delighted. The target has been hit

Its taken a lot of effort and time to accomplish this. It was a long time plan for me to make my academic plans turn into action and today, the first such day has come to my life

Its rightly said, "Whatever the human mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve"

I remember the Maslow's Need Hierarchy Theory which states that the need for achievement can make you strive towards your goal. The more is the need, the more will be the effort

If a lion is behind your life, you can even beat Usain Bolt in the sprint

A million thanks to God for all the support that has been showered over me to make this happen

They say, "Good beginning is half work done" and I have had one

I look forward for this all through this mission and for all my endeavors all through my life

And hey, I saved my skin for the day. No stripping

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

I am at the height of uselessness in life...

On questioning myself about what is going on in my life, I can only find that I am at the height of uselessness. Over the past 4 years, I have been planning to do a lot of things but none of these could turn into something so successful that I can be proud of or something that can add value to life. Well, let me not repeat the stories as everything has been described by me a good number of times in this blog. Its time for action, its time to rise, its time to move on with something valuable for a lifetime. On giving a thought on these lines, the immediate path that I could choose to move on is ICWAI. My CA registration has become invalid and I need to pay Rs 7500 to renew it which I can not afford as on date. For a fresh registration to CS, CFP, etc too, I would have to shell out some money. Luckily, my ICWAI registration is valid for a few more days. It expires in Nov 2009. And the exam is in Dec 2009. However, it has been confirmed from the institute that I can apply for the Dec 2009 exam as the application would be logged in October itself. But then, if I do not appear for Dec exam, my registration would become invalid and I would have to register afresh by making the necessary fee payment. On the other hand, if I write the Dec exam, I can also write the exam in June 2010 as my coaching completion is valid till then

The next point is that, to write the Inter exam, I need to complete Computer course applicable as well. But then, if I am appearing for only one group, there is no need to do this. It can be done before I apply for the second group. So, to ensure that I complete my ICWAI Inter by June 2010, I need to write the exam in Dec 2009. But then, should I take this as a mere attempt or can something be done? With just 50 days to go, it would be a mere foolishness to think that I will study and clear the exam. People who go for coaching for years together find it difficult to write these exams. And a person who has not touched books for years and he is not having enough time in a day to study, what can he be expected to do?

I also gave it another thought, how long will I pull this race? Its already 4 years. Even my registrations have become invalid. One can imagine how much I have ignored these aspects. Can I say that I have pitied myself a lot? Not seriously, but yes, I can say that I have given myself a lot of reasons to not to do it. Even now, if I say that I shall clear the exam by June 2010, I have enough reasons from Financial to Emotional to Work to Time availability to xyz. And then, give up. How long will I repeat this process? Is it not high time to make things happen rather than wait for them to happen? After all, I am a doer, I do everything but this is one thing which I have only been saying

With all this, I have exposed myself before the world. And now, I need to save my skin. I have to finish this race at any cost. And to ensure that I will succeed, I need to even make a good use of this attempt in Dec 2009. Why not make an effort? I am 99% sure that I will not be able to do it as professional exams are not jokes to be learnt in a crash course. But that 1%, that 1% can do something, that 1% is hope, that 1% can be a miracle, and that 1% can write a history. Why not concentrate on this 1% which is more powerful than the 99% which is mere dust
Clearing the exams or not is a secondary aspect as things are not completely in my hands. Factors like the type of questions appearing, the kind of correction that happens, etc too have an important role to play. You might know everything but one and that one question comes in the exam. You do not know anything except one and that one itself comes as a question in the exam. Exams too are a game of probability

One thing that definitely is my hand is 3 hours a day (10 hours at office, 1 hour for travel, 2 hours for hygiene, 2 hours for food, 6 hours of sleep). I can steal additional time from sleep hours. Further, on weekends, I have the entire day at my disposal. The challenge is to make use of these 3 hours sincerely to cover a certain set target of study each day. And let me make it a serious issue of it this time. If I do not use 3 hours a day for studies in the right manner and compelte the tasks for the day, I shall punish myself. The punishment might be anything. For the moment, I have decided that if I do not complete my work each day, I will strip. One day, my shirt. If I still stand bold without shame, my trousers followed by other accessories and if I still do not understand the essence, I shall be forced to throw myself without any cover on my body before this world. After all, whats the use of such a person who is unable spend 3 hours a day sincerely towards self improvement. There would remain no difference between me and people who are today dependent upon others for their food and clothing. This is a crude step that I am taking to ensure that I stick up to the plan and things HAPPEN

Its 1 am, Oct 22 2009 now and the new day has come. A day that would begin a turnaround in life

Subah ki kiran na jane kaunsa sandesh layegi
Rimzim si ghoonjaayegi
Ya phir pyaas, adhoori reh jayegi

Monday, 12 October 2009

A million thanks to God... For a blessing in disguise...

Its not even a few days that I expressed my dissatisfaction with the current job role I am handling and the change has come. I just don't know how to thank the Almighty for making this happen. I have been waiting for long to see this change in the job role. In fact, every one of us handling the current skill want to move out of it and deal with something new. The current job profile mainly deals with handling Indian customers having bank accounts with us. In a typical day, 95% of the work would be repetitive, 4% of the work would be with a little twist in the tale and if you are lucky, you might see that 1% as something new which adds some learning. Having been in the same process for about 10 months, it had become a real hectic task to lead a normal life. I honestly considered my life not less than that of a tamed dog. Moreover, my tussles with some things and people added more problems into life. Recently, I had such tussles and I was getting an indication that something is going to happen soon that would badly affect me. After all, in a corporate sector, life is too much dependent on how well you maskafii people, esp, the one who is your reporting authority. And I, I can never do this stuff. After all, my notion of life is very clear, "Sar kata sakte hain hum par sar jhuka sakthe nahin". If a person is good, I will give him all respect irrespective of cast, creed, sex, position, grade, earning, influence, etc. And if a person is not deserving, I would never consider giving a damn even if it be a relation, which if handled this way, can shatter my career into pieces and wreck my life. That was what exactly I did and I kept receiving a lot of serious comments over my attitude, behaviour, etc. People started feeling that I am too much of a show off as I am successful in some arena. People started having a feeling that I am flying too much. So, plans came up to cut my wings (which were never there). Restrictions started flowing, rules were tightened, the clock was referred more than ever, the communication was barged with word to word listening (Even during training, so much stress would not be laid). It was all OK OK till some time

One very important point that I would like to make here is that I never spoke a word for just me. Whatever I spoke was a combined opinion of all the people in the team. Many a times, opinions and feelings are not expressible. But then, I was like the voice of my team and would just say whatever was in our hearts straight on the face. Perhaps, this was one reason that I was highlighted as egoistic, etc. And the moment, I would voice a comment, people would obviously support and the answerer would have no answers left. Now, if you are unable to answer, you can do two things. Go ahead, search the answer, solve the query. The second one, ignore the question, take that questioner away, and things would be fine. Its an unfortunate truth that most people in our lives use the second postion, especially, if they are having power vested with them. Even in my personal life, I have observed the same. All questions that I asked are still questions. Answering questions appropriately with 100% truth is the most essential element to build trust. One must always remember that life is nothing but journey of building your trustworthiness. The more trustworthy you are, the more successful would your heart feel. One question that we all need to ask ourselves each day is, "How many hands have my hands supported?". It might be the smallest of the action from helping someone with disability to cross a road, helping someone with notes to study well, offering a glass of water to the needy, putting off a light that your roommate forgot to put off, being there for someone who is need of support, etc to big things like donating money for public welfare, sponsoring a child's education, etc. How many acts of kindness have you done? How many thank you messages have you received? Have these increased? If yes, at what rate? Thats your current rate of growth in life. But then, there is another set of people who take things in a different way. For them, they feel like the kings of the earth and try to command love and respect from everyone by forceful measures. People who fear might surrender their fake respect to such kings. However, no one would respect them from heart. But then, this fake respect is more than enough for such kings. They feel on top of the world. And if someone doesn't do that, the tussle begins. I fail to understand when will people realize that love, respect, etc are not asked or commanded. They are to be earned by consistent process of the trust building process. Such kings would not feel much happy if a subordinate, who does not have a good relationship with him, does a big deal of work that has benefited the entire kingdom. They would make effort to call it as luck or somehow ignore it. But then, if you belong to that elite group of the king's chamchas, your smallest contributions are upheld as remarkable achievements. Well, I am going too much into this. Let me just put it in a simple form, "Yatha Raja, Tatha Praja" which means "As is the king, so are the citizens". Thats why, these days, most of the business leaders have chosen the quote "Be the change that you wish to see in the world" as their favorite quote and guiding line in life. If the king is honest and humble, the subordinates would have no second thought to do what is told. And if not, the question answer session would go to a unending meaningless conversation

Well, it was informed to me on Saturday evening that I should come to the office on monday with a clean shave, neat dress and a tie. On asking why, I did not get any answer. We tried guessing reasons and most striking one was that my coming to late to office on that one day has become an opportunity to create an issue and I might be facing some very senior person and have a bad time. I did reach the office today in time in the said manner to find nothing. I waited for long and then I was informed, in such a way like you are punishing someone, that I have been moved out from the team into a different team. Oh my God! I was jumping. Send me anywhere in this world for any business but relieve me from here. But the funniest part of it was that I was being communicated this news like a judge is announcing a death sentence to someone. But then, this decision to throw me out from the team came as a blessing in disguise to me. What more could I have asked for? In happiness, I forgot to ask, where have I been moved to. But then, the very next moment, I was being informed about my new job role where I shall be handling NRI customers. Its a pure sales role with big targets to achieve. It definitely built up pressure but I am sure, not as much as the current role is giving. At least, I would be able to interact with some sensible people finally

I would like to bid an adieu to my team today. A journey of about 10 months would fade soon. New colleagues would step in and the old ones will get older till one fine day, memory fades them off the mind. One good thing is that Raghu and Vivek have also been sent here. So, this would be a joyous reunion for us. I would definitely remember the times spent with this team, which is incidentally my first work group, for a long time. And guess what, all these people, now, want to move to the team where I am moving. But then, this being a pilot project (first of its kind) may not ask for more people. And finally, thanks to everyone in the team. I would again repeat one thing that I repeatedly say, "No one in this world is bad. People are just wrong at that point. Situations sometimes make them wrong but most of the times, their thoughts makes them. A person becomes bad when he knows that what he is doing is wrong and yet, he does it". I wish everyone a fruitful career ahead and a happy life ahead
Lamhe yeh suhaane, ho na ho
Kal phir aaj jaisi koi baat, ho na ho
Jindagi bhar yaad aayenge yeh pal
Chaahe poori umar mulaqat, ho na ho
This post has been written by me out of a lot of excitement of moving out but then I don't know what kind of a place I will be moving into. There is every possibility that the new place might turn out to be more horrendous. Moreover, this post merely deals with one single job related problem that I was facing till now to have appear to be resolved. Whether it is really resolved or not not would be known only after a month's time

Speaking about the other angles of life, the pressure has been building up heavily. I don't know when the volcano would erupt and destroy what. I have been looking for at least a little progress in life but that has been totally curbed. I even failed in my Symbiosis exams recently. Life has been taking a real test of me. Failure is creeping in. And for the first time in 3 years, I have not received my income from LIC. This goes to show that a major financial aid that I was receiving till now would cease to be there in the future if I do not make some attempts to pump in some business. Thus, I have been dumped into the worst of situations of life. And above all, my morale has gone down due to the kind of responses I have has from people over a month's period when they got to hear about the problems that I am facing. Not a single helping hand came (as usual). Well, when your own hands are not ready, where the hell do you others to land in. This has been one of the most disheartening phase of my life which has forced me to make some serious decisions over these things. People in my life, unfortunately, do not understand words like effort, humbleness, honesty, truth, consistency, trust, etc. Forget it, why drag people into this

Finally, I would thank God once again for this boon in disguise and request him to do something about the other problems of my life too. I know that you are helpless too as the people who are supposed to take initiative are putting the task on you. Now, how can I expect you to come down to earth for a simple creature like me? I don't know when people will understand that God does nothing except supporting good efforts and destroying bad elements. To have God to support you, you must at least make effort. You pray all year that you should win a lottery and the God is convinced and throws all luck on your name. But then, who will purchase the lottery? People don't realize even that they should at least be responsible enough to purchase it

I would like to remember one line of Mahatma Gandhiji before I close this post
"The person who sees a rape or murder or crime or anything wrong happen and keeps quiet is equal, in fact, worse than the rapist or the murderer or the criminal or the doer of any wrong action"

So, if your hands do not move or your mouth doesnt work seeing someone suffer, you are more responsible for that situation than the actual person who is reponsible for it. More so if it is a loved one or a person who is dependent on you

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Am I coming towards the end...

Over the past weeks, life has been very unfair to me. I have been failing and facing problems in each and everything that I do. No matter what effort I make, I am getting no solution to any problem. Perhaps, my lady luck is not with me. Luck is one very important thing in anyone's life. It can make a big difference. Though we say that luck favors the people who make efforts, its not the truth always. Sometimes, the God tests so much that the elastic gets stretched beyond its limits and life gets broken. A human has its own limits beyond which it becomes difficult to survive the pains

At the age of 19, I was in Bangalore in search of a job. Yes, at 19 only. I did find a job at Mphasis BPO. It was a BPO/call center boom time then and there was no dearth of jobs. The salary was around Rs 12000. And where do I stand today? After doing a 3 years BCom with splendid performances in every field of activity and a specialized PGDBO to become a professional banker, what have I gained? Rs 2000 per month? And I had to spend 4 years for this. Guess what, the loan that I have taken to fund my education at IFBI is still in the repayment process and I need to pay Rs 4000 a month towards it. So, in all, I am taking home Rs 10000 a month which is a loss of Rs 2000 compared to what I was earning in 2004 as a 19 year kid. Had I continued there, I would have at least a couple of promotions and would have been earning quite bagful. I heard that those people who joined with me at Mphasis are drawing around Rs 40000 now. So, I must say that the plan of returning back to Hubli to continue my studies was the first mistake that I did. May be, I never required it though the world said that its very important. Academics definitely are important but they can not make one successful in life

I came back to Hubli and my BCom life began. It was a great celebration of success in the initial days. I cleared my PE-I exams in CA as well as CWA. I topped the college in the 1st semester exams. Life took a totally different shape. And the decision of continuing with studies, which I reffered as a wrong decision, now became a delight for life. I had found my lady luck

Soon, things went haywire and I could not do well in the CA exams further. I failed in them. I missed the tuition classes. I even missed the exams in the end. Having no hope left, I started planning something different for life to proceed it further. After all, one cant afford to keep quiet and sit idle. Specially the one who has so many goals to reach and so many commitments to fulfill

I kept hopping from one place to another place, one idea to another, one destination to another without any certainty in life. A list of venturing that I have done might surprise anyone. Perhaps, the saying that a person must have only one goal and must keep moving towards that direction only is more applicable to me. But then, this is an era of multitasking and uncertainty. A heavy risk taking attitude, though it has made me successful, has spoilt me

Now, where do I need to hop for the next hope? Oh, before that, let me come to why do I plan to hop. Let me get practical about life and speak out. Let this not be called as cribbing. All these I thought that these problems will be there but we need to adapt and excel and make ourselves successful. But now, I have found that these problems would continue to exist for a lifetime

Imagine taking calls for 10 hours a day speaking all through the day to over 100 people who call in from various places with their queries. The ears and mouth are dead by the end of the day. The mind becomes restless and keeps blasting molecules of blood out of the nerves which makes one feel that his head is going to burst out. We keep getting emails that speaking 30 minutes continously on the phone causes this damage, that damage, etc; speaking on a phone for 1 hour can make you this, that, etc; then how do call centers function? I have inquired with my friends at other call centers and I have found that they take 20-80 calls in a day. Usually, they do not cross 60 on a normal day. However, I take a minimum of 100 calls each day and the number has reached 200 several times. On an average, the daily volume should be around 130-150. This is why we are called as the most efficient utilizer of human resources. Before you say "Thank you for calling in. You have a good day", you already have someone to be wished "Good morning! How may I help you?". This process has made life so mechanical that we all have become machines

I am having no point against my organization. Its definitely one of the best and a great place to work

Personally, I have problems due to my own reasons

The foremost one being the heavy headache that I face each day

Secondly, I am not finding any growth in the job that I do. Neither do I have a chance of promotion mainly due to the ongoing crisis and also because there have been no promotions in the past 2 years. So, if promotions do happen in April 2010, it would be for those people who have been waiting for 2-3 years. Of course, they need it more badly than us. Nor do I find the job enough satisfying. Firstly, the pressure is too high. Its painful

Nextly, the learning has come to an end. These days, even before the customer has spoken about his problem, the solution is already given by us. Unfortunately, there has been nothing more to learn. And whatever I learn here would be of no use once I move out of here or even stay back with a different job role. All this happened way back in May 2009. From then, I started taking my own initiatives to add some value to my job and make it at least a little interesting. I started giving ideas to make products and processes better. In the beginning, these ideas were appreciated and I was told that they would be sent to the business team and I would get the result. That never happened. One fine day, out of impatience, I forwarded these directly to a very senior personnel and I got a good response from there. I was asked to prepare a project and submit it so that he can take it further. I did that. In fact, I did all that in my home spending extra time. Such deep was the desire to come out of the boredom of my job. I did a lot and even now, the work is going on. Though all this is unofficial and has no impact on my performance or growth, it adds some adrenalin into me as I am able to apply my skills and do some activity which can be termed 'productive'

The most painful part of the job is that neither I am adding any visible value to the organization nor the organization is adding any visible value to my career or life. Though I get an experience certificate for a year's service, its not going to be of use in the market as it would be a mere customer service experience which would stand equivalent to that of a call center executive and nothing more. The job of reading out what is written on the screen and follow the informed process to serve the customers does add no knowledge value to a person. It would be a mere mechanical operation of the said process

I understand that people at my age with the similar educational qualifications (and in case, more) are doing the same job. But, what I believe is, I am not meant for this. I am not a labourer, a day wager or someone like that who is instructed to do some work and he does it that way and gets paid. I am much more than this. Even if not, I want to be much more than a mere labourer

I can definitely prove my stance and in fact, I have been doing that by providing various ideas also. I have also thought of moving into product designing or content writing, etc but at big organizations, the rigidity is so high that it would not be possible to just move someone just like that. For that, the openings have to come and then we need to apply in the prescribed format and go through the whole process and get selected. And there too, it shall be very difficult to implement things. The simple reason is that we do not have any decision making power or authority. The resistance to change would be too high as a change would mean more work

All in all, my current job profile is good to develop communication skills and nothing else. However, in some case, people have been losing their communication skills as voluminous interactions happen in Hindi and that has hampered the English accent to some extent. Many a times, they are speaking in English and they have to use so many Hindi words in between as the English synonym would not immediately come to the mind. Unfortunately, I am one among these people

Another annoying part is that we are allotted a timesheet each day which tells us about what we need to do on a typical day. The time sheet would contain 2 breaks of 15 minutes each and one break for lunch for 30 minutes. For the remaining 8 and a half hours, we are supposed to sit on the chair in front of the workstation with our eyes on the screen, headset on the head, hands on the mouse and keyboard, ears sacrificed to the callers and minds to follow the process. Thats pretty tedious. And you are not supposed to move for whatever reason without getting a prior approval. Sounds like a jail but then, its acceptable. After all, businesses are not social organizations. Morever, you have come here by your choice and no one is forcing you to do this job either. If you want, you do it. Else, the door is open

Further, you are not supposed to have lunch at any other time other than your scheduled time. If the computer has planned your lunch at 11 AM, you have to go for it no matter whether you are hungry or not. If your lunch has been scheduled at 3 PM, you should go at 3 PM only even if the canteen closes before that and you might not get your food. Who's bothered? Who asked you to join here? Did anyone force you to stay here? If you are not happy, you can leave. Dont complain, dont crib

You are not supposed to have your food for more than 30 minutes. You can definitely come back leaving your food unfinished. After all, is it more important than job? You are being allotted 2 breaks of 15 minutes by the computer and you have to go for all your regular activities like drinking a glass of water or a cup of tea, going to the loo, taking a tablet to beat the headache, etc. Of course, you can piss and shit in your trousers. Who stopped you?

But then, there are some supportive things too. Suppose you are not keeping well, you can take a break. But then, you have to take a permission for that. And no one would go to take a permission as that would be another source of headache. Suppose you get the permission and you face the similar problem in the future, you would be doubted as a liar or lazy or uninterested to work, etc. So, people always consider it better to work rather than care for themselves. After all, whats wrong. They are getting paid for it. Are they doing it free of cost?

All this has been building a lot of pressure on me. I definitely do not have anything against the organization. I respect the system. But then, the problem is with me as I am unable to adapt to this system. Having food when the computer feels like, drinking water with someone's permission, going to the loo when scheduled for it is not something that I can really do. Honestly speaking, no one does. But then, no one mentions of it and I am making a mention

The word "why" is one word that I hate to answer when the question pertains to my personal life. And off late, this word has been rising a lot of times on me. Specially from the time there has been a change in the team structure, I have been unable to sustain with whatever has been happening with me

Last month, in a business contest, I generated leads to the tune of almost Rs 1 crore and I got the compliment as, "It was your luck"

Recently, due to the heavy rains, I got delayed in getting back to Hyderabad after leave. In fact, the intensity of rains and floods was so high that my journey of 12 hours took me 42 hours to complete. I went a couple of hours late to the office and there were already plans to fire at me. I was asked to go back home as I came late though I had informed it in advance that I would be late. When I explain the situation that had arisen that the problem that had happened and how the entire South India is suffering, the comments that came was like I was lying. I jut dont understand how can people be so silly to think that I took an extra day's leave in the name of rains and floods and now I am giving a lame excuse for that. I felt ashamed that I am working under such silly people and how foolish was I to explain my problem to them. And mind you, I still approve them as right people. After all, they are paying you. You can always leave if you not interested. Who is stopping you

Switching over to another issue, ie, unavailability of time. I am registered with SCDL for PGDBA and I have been finding no time to study for it. I have been feeling very for this as I have almost spent about Rs 35000 towards it and things are not in a good shape. The amount that was borrowed to do this yet remains to be returned. Thus, all these issues have forced me take a serious look into life again and take some serious steps to put things in order. Everything is in a mess right from my body which has become somewhat comparable to that of Yokozuna due to no physical activity to my mind, heart, soul and what not

Now, the usual dilemma that hits to me very year. What next?

I seriously do not understand what keeps happening in my life. I just dont realise where the paths are leading. Should I define my own paths and move on them irrespective of whatever happens? Making a right decision to lead my life has been the biggest problem ever since I was born. No decision suits my life. I am such a constant changer that I can never settle on one thing for a long time

Moreover, my lady luck is never there with me when I make a decision. Thats why none of my decisions stick for a long time. After all, who's bothered? Are you not getting paid? What more do you want? Compassion, support, etc? Come on, is she not paying you enough every month
As always, the big list of options lies in front of my eyes now as I get ready for a change. The same have been listed here priority wise

  • LIC and only LIC
  • CA without articleship and stress on LIC work
  • CA with articleship of 6 hour a day and LIC work whenver possible
  • CWA alongwith MCom and LIC work
  • CS alongwith LLB and LIC work
  • CAT coaching alongwith LIC work
  • GMAT coaching alongwith LIC work
  • Stock broking business
  • Job

A permutation and combination of the same and any other avenues needs to decided over and the move needs to be done quickly. But the biggest hurdle in all this is that I am supposed to make certain liability payments every month and for this, I need a minimum of Rs 20000 every month

If I leave the job and venture into business or studies, I am risking Rs 14000. If these sources do not yield me Rs 14000 a month, I would land upto into bigger problems, higher pressures and it would be a more painful situation. CA-CWA-CS would need me to study for 4 years from now and that would really be a difficult thing to do considering the current situations in life

A complete analysis needs to be done before I take any further step. I just wish, my lady luck, at least this time, would come to support me to take the right decision

Good morning life