Sunday, June 6, 2010

Totall recall?

An overarching comment: I’ve written this post under a heavy influence of whiskey, and I have no idea how it has come out.

Okay, I’m back with another one. A true story this time. Now, I cannot really dramatize a true story much because I have to narrate it as it happened. And as it is, there was rarely any scope for dramatization. I could not throw in more emotion or drama into it because it was super emotional and dramatic by itself. At least to me. You might be able to relate to me if you’ve undergone a similar experience.

The situation: I worked in a company (let’s call it Sherpul) for around two years. I had an awesome group of friends there. We were around 10. The work was pretty good too. The chicks were good. A bus would pick me up almost from my home in the morning and drop me back in the evening. Everything was great. For some reason, I was extremely popular in the company. You wouldn’t have wanted to be in a better place. Then things started going a little wrong. The company got fewer and fewer projects from clients. Everyone’s appraisals started taking a hit. I was as it is earning peanuts. So I started looking out, much against my will. I got an offer for a better-paying job (salted peanuts). But I had to take it up. Never in my life previously was I unwilling to quit a company as I was then. But I had to. रोज़ी रोटी का सवाल था. (Rosy तो आज तक मिली नहीं. बस रोटी मिल रही है, but anyway.) I said all this because I wanted you to imagine what I was feeling at the time of leaving that company, which was like a second home to me. If you can’t identify with me, then let me tell you that I was extremely emotional at that time. I’d have cried had I been a girl.

I joined the new company after two days, and it was induction time straightaway. I remember I was sitting in the induction room, and a manager was telling us about how great this company is and all that usual bullshit. Just then, my phone rang. Well, it was in the silent mode, so it didn’t really ring; it vibrated. It was a senior from my old company (Sherpul) calling. She was also a good friend. I cut the call because the induction was in progress. She called again. I cut the call again. She called again. I cut the call again. Then she SMSed me asking me to call back ASAP because it was super urgent.

Now, those who have been in this situation will know what the meaning of the call is. For those who don’t, here’s what it means: When you quit a company and join another because they are not willing to raise your salary as much as you want and they are not willing to give you the position you want, and when some senior person from the company calls you after 3 days of your having quit the company, it means they are calling you back to the old company. Plain and simple. It generally also means that since they are calling you back, you can now call your shots. You can ask for a tremendous raise in the salary. You can ask for a better position. And you may also end up getting it. And a better salary was super important to me because I'm the sole bread earner in my family.

So when this call came, I knew what this was about. You can’t imagine how ecstatic I was. I just completely zoned out into a different world; all this with the induction programme still in progress. I imagined myself joining back Sherpul. I made a mental map of the cubicle arrangement on the floor and chose myself a new seat. I came up with a salary figure that I’d ask them for. I came up with a position that I’d ask them for. Then I imagined my career path. Here’s how I pictured myself:

Within two years, I’d become the practice head. Now, being a practice head is like being in a government job. You can do whatever you want to. You are the king, and everyone else is your servant. I’d be like Johny Lever in the following video. And no one could do anything to me.

In the next two years or so, I’d become the VP. I’d command respect wherever I went. Take a look:

In a few more years, I’d have earned enough money and experience and would start a company of my own. Here is how my first day in the company would be. Check out my conversation with my business partner:

I’d retire early and lead a peaceful and generous life. I’d donate heavily. Watch me in the act:

Now, when I say this, I really mean all this. I truly imagined being back in Sherpul and then doing brilliantly well and then life being a bed of roses. I was sitting in the induction programme of a company, and dreaming about my to-be career in my ex company. The entire bandwidth of my mind had been taken up by my imagination. I’d zoned out so much that someone had to shake me up to inform me that there was going to be a break in the induction programme and that we could go have lunch.

I swear, I literally ran out of the room and went into the corridor where my cell phone’s signal strength would be the best. I wanted to hear the news of my recall loud and clear. I wanted them to tell me that I’d won and they had lost and that they were never going to be able to find a replacement for me and that they had to call me back. I dialled the number of my friend who had been trying to reach me some time back.

I said, “Helloooo! Boliye!”

Then she spoke.

Then there was a 45-second delirious silence from my side.

Then I said, “Yeah, see you soon.”

Here’s what she’d said, “I was calling you to ask you the exact address of your new company because they called me for an interview. I might get a good position if I’m selected. But never mind; I found out the address on my own, and I’ve almost reached.”


Anonymous said...

Good one Mohit. This is exactly how I felt while leaving my first company. I wanted to stay back on the last day :). N I know the comp u are referring to :p.

Someone from ur paani puri group :)

Mohit said...

:)) I know who you are, but if you wish to be anonumous, so be it :) BTW, plz send me your blog link. And hope to meet you someday when both of us are in Mumbai. We'll have the pani puri again :) Cheers!

Amit Kanade said...

hey man...1st i want 2 thank myself,coz i rarely read blogs or any email of such kind and also becoz after reading ur blog i really felt inspired to blog even though i have a blogging account.
but i must say u are a really terrific writer...i think among my friends u and sushant(uve met him but u might have forgotten,hes wrking in hyderabad in Qualcomm) possess terrific command over writing,cos itz really effective....atleast for me.
Writing can really expand the horizons of emotions(thats y love letters are so effective)...u can even convey what u cant by just saying(using proper diction and accent).
And ill start jotting down my thoughts as well.....i feel really sad i never expressed myself...things i shld have written down,that i coud've cherished now....neways i think m being too emotional....coz my heart is really heavy dese unfinished story that i think i should end.
Kudos....keep ur hand moving...i mean use a pen...not pen(is),naughty boy.

Mohit said...

Amit, what a beutiful comment! Thanks, man :) BTW, in the process of typing your own thoughts, you reinforced in my mind the importance of the the written word :) One tends to lose perspective at times, and when there'll be moments when I feel creatively burnt out or plain lazy, this comment will help me refocus. Thanks! Let's meet up in Thane once both of us are back to India. BTW, I dunno why your heart is heavy these days, but I'm sure things will work out :)

Mayur said...

Buddy, the sher always pulls you over! That has been the charisma of the place. Or at least what it was. Who knows, someday Powai might light up again! Got to be someday. Reliving memories is never easy. For it creates questions. It creates scenarios. Some of them, better left off with time itself.

Mohit said...

Hi Mayur :) I completely agree with you when you say some memories are best left behind in the time frame they belong to. The place was great in some respects and not so great in some other respects (for me too). I have made it a habit to remember places/things/people only by the good memories I have of them :)

VS said...

Good one! Yes, SherPull Sure was our second home :)
Plz write about the next exit as well.. and the gazal.. u know what I'm talking abt! ahem..

Mohit said...

Hi VS, thanks for the comment :) Are you talking about my exit from the company where you are currently working?

VS said...

Yes, unless you are planning to quit THE next company :)

Mohit said...

VS, I'm planning to quit the company I keep, like VS, NA etc. LOL, kidding :) BTW, the ghazal story is still incomplete. Has an outside chance of getting completed today. Attending a concert in Seattle tonight. Will be in the 7th row from the stage. Had to sell off all my clothes and one pair of shoes to be able to afford the ticket. Let's see whether the meeting of the best singer in India and her future music composer happens :))

MuZiC iN vEiN ! ! ! ! said...

Shudn't that be Sher-'Pool' as in a Deergha ukar for the translated word for Bridge???

From this I did figure u were once a part of LionBridge!

SherPull indeed.. Awesome post man!

Mohit said...

Hi Akshay, indeed there should be a deergha ukar there. It was a deliberate attempt so as the name not to be very easily decipherable, which, you just proved to be rather lame! I'd rather have gone the distance and written "Sher-pool." Well done, and thanks for the comment!!!

Mohit said...

Bummer! It's correct when it's rhasva!! Coz "Sher" is Hindi, and the damn bridge has a rhasva "pu" in Hindi and a deergha "pu" in Marathi.

Aapan doghe bhau bhau, char aanyaa che chane khau...