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

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