Thursday, 17 March 2011

Build up to the journey

Post engineering,sans the degree(or results),i eagerly waited for my call letter,not because I wanted to work,I just wanted  to have my first pay check,and 1 by 1 start eliminating the plethora of gadgets,and start filling my room with them.After enjoying the initial few months of vacations,I started becoming restless as the months kept passing,with the joining not visible for miles.Soon frustration crept in,but,its prolonged exposure made me immune.Employed,still jobless,I sat in my room,watching movies,playing games,which I once used to be a dream.
As one by one,nearly all colleges in Mumbai had received their call letters,we sat there,waiting for ours,cursing our college authorities for not making an effort.All we kept getting during that time,were mails to verify our details,conduct Bio-metric tests and shit.One thing that I was happy about was the fact that I got to stay in Mumbai longer,as almost all Having lost hopes of getting the joining before the end of the year,checking mails regularly had also become the thing of the past.

One fine afternoon,towards October end,switching between movies,Call of duty,I stumbled upon my Call of duty,which was nothing less than finding kryptonite.After going through the mail,which stated I had to report to Ahmedabad office,on 13th Decemeber,I realized,the joining could not have come at a better time,as I would get to celebrate my birthday with my friends,as I always wanted.Also,the fact that I wasn't very far away from Mumbai,made me even happier.

After sharing the news with my family,I quickly messaged my friends about the same.As excited as a man who was just told he had become a father,I started preparing a list of all the movies I had to watch & games I needed  to play within the next month,as my mom started preparing a list of food items she had to prepare in the same time.

As the days kept passing,slowly life started getting serious.This I can say from the fact that suddenly my Iron Maiden,Metallica t-shirts started making way for ties & shirts.Crap! As they say,no pain,no gain.
Clothes,shoes,documents were soon out of the cupboard,as my room became an obstacle course,with me having to navigate through bags,wires,clothes lying all around.

As the month of November drew towards the end,I started to count my last few days in Mumbai,thinking about how things are gonna suck in Ahmedabad.With less than a week left for me to leave the city,Mr.Ha-Horses got posted to Ahmedabad,and had to report within the very next day.As we had a makeshift farewell for him,I put myself in his shoes,thinking in about 5 days,i'll be the one who'll be getting a farewell.

11th Decemeber 2010.Bidding adieu to the city which had been my home ever since I was born,wasn't easy.At the station meeting up everyone,who had been a part of my daily routine for the past 4 years,for last time wasn't easy either.At the platform,waiting at for the train,cracking stupid jokes,teasing friends,irritating cousins,I realized how much I am gonna miss all of this.
Alas,the train was at the station.With no option other than boarding it,I waved one last time to family,friends alike,as I embarked upon a journey,which I didn't really wanted to go on.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

1st Day at work - Powai Part

.. okay,we know we belong to Travel,transport and hospitality,that doesn't mean you make us travel in the scorching sun.Show a little hospitality! Provide us some means of transport.
And ,off to Powai we were,and in spite of the things happening,my face lit up,like the sky during Diwali.

Clean roads,no potholes,pizza outlets,huge buildings,and I realized we'd reached our destination.Take a left,and you go Karting,walk straight down the road,pizza outlets,one after the other,cross over to the other side,coffee shops.You name it,they have it.I was in heaven.
So,the rickshaw dropped us off in front of a building,no different from the others,except the fact the this building bore the names of the companies it housed,as we marveled at them.As we climbed the incline towards the building,I said to myself,I dont care if I dont get a good project,as long as I am posted here!
On reaching the entrance,it felt no different from the entrance of an airport,with all the stringent security checks,the gates,and the works.Again,just let me be posted here!

Finally in the building,we searched for the person we were supposed to report to,entered the office.Amidst the array of cubicles,we found a sign saying RMG,and we rushed towards it.As we saw others,with same situation as us,we found a glimmer of hope of getting a project,before reaching home.
Introducing ourself to the concerned person,we were told our alloted ISU has no projects at the moment,and we didn't know how to respond."But !",and she said,"there is an opening for a SAP project,i'll just confirm".
SAP .. holy crap! Is this like a dream.Please dont wake up,if it is!And I waited to hear the most beautiful,optimistic word of the english vocab.
And the phone call ended,and there was affirmation.I take back my words,I don't need no office in Powai,just let me be in that project."But !"she said.Why are there so many buts!Isn't everyone happy with the pair they already have.Anyway,so what that but was for is,there is only one seat,and 5 of us.Still a 20% chance,but what field in SAP will we be working on exactly,was the big question,which remained unanswered.No details were revealed about the project,making us wonder what exactly the project might be.We were told 2 of us had to report,out of whom 1 will be selected,and we were told to decide amongst ourselves who the 2 people are going to be.

We left the room,with everyone calling up their most experienced person from this field,asking whether to take up this offer or just let it be.Faces as tensed,as the day the allocations were announced.Yes,no,,can't decide,WTF,I wanna go home,these were probably the only words used during those minutes we waited outside.So far,only Mr.Why-Chromosome was ready to take up the offer,while the rest of us were just looking at each other,waiting for someone to say something."Aavois",I said,"I am a trainee.Its SAP",and we left for the room again.As we entered the room,I just prayed,that this should be a good project,and we said the two of us are ready to go for the interview.And,our details forwarded to the concerned person.As for the other 3,they were told to report to the Andheri office the next day.

And so,we left the office,still wondering if we had done the right thing by accepting the offer,while the others wondering if they had done the right thing by rejecting the offer.As we left the building,we met others,some like us,project less,frustrated,and jealous of others,who had been assigned to a good project,others dejected by their project,some elated.Walking towards the exit, I started texting others,asking them about their allotment,how they were finding the new city,were they missing the training,at the same time receiving calls,with the very same questions.Tired,exhausted,we searched for a place to eat.
Finally,catching a bus home,we were still thinking if we had done the right thing and what to expect tomorrow,after spending the whole day travelling from one place to other.

As the first day of our job neared its end,one thing was sure,everyone and i mean every single person sure missed the training,and wished to go back in time,to those memorable days.
If this is a dream,wake up now dude.Lets go back to Ahmedabad !

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

1st Day at work - Andheri Part

.. So now,we were told to travel to Andheri,and report to our respective RMG.As we left,we met,hugged our friends,said our good byes to people who were supposed to report to different locations,and off we went.

Everyone divided themselves into groups,rushed towards the nearest rickshaw yelling 'Mulund Depot',as if we were in Amazing Race.10-15 mins later,as everyone reached Mulund Depot,the same thing was repeated,"Kaka,Andheri kaunsi bus jayegi".Now the 'BEST' part about this was everyone conductor/driver had a different & an unique answer for this question,and according to them,the other buses aren't supposed to go to Andheri.
Dazed and confused,everyone agreed on one solution,food :D
After quenching their thirst(for water),and satisfying their hunger(for food),everyone headed back to the stop,eagerly waiting for a bus.As soon as the bus arrived,everyone rushed in,just as kids rush out of the school gates,at the end of the day.The driver,conductor flummoxed by whats happening,started wondering if they were been hijacked.More than half the bus was occupied by us,as if were out on a school trip.

After about an hours time,it started to get noisy,as i was woken up from my sleep and i realized we were near.As we went past the buildings,i started liking the place,thinking maybe its better i got it in Andheri.And the moment i laid my eyes on a Subway outlet,i fell in LOVE with the place,and i prayed to get my location as Andheri.A minute later,our stop arrived,and as we started alighting,the bus started becoming taller.

As i gazed towards the building,i realized this shall be 'my office' for the next two years.More than that,a Subway outlet,a minute away from the place excited me even more :D.As we entered the building,flashing our ids towards guards,we called up our respective RMG,only to realize,they were out for lunch.So,we too went towards the cafeteria.Seeing the menu,i started liking the place even more.

Post lunch,half sleepy we went in search of our RMG.After a little bit of searching we finally found the cubicle,our RMG was supposed to be.Seeing an empty cubicle,i wondered how much time do these people get as a lunch break?.After inquiring,we found out that the person was reporting to the Powai office today.So,we called up and were told to report at Powai.
Now the fact the there is a possibility of being posted in Powai for the next 2 years,brought the biggest smile on my face for the day :)

We paid the cafeteria a last visit and bid adieu to the nice place,as 5 of us left for Powai ..

Sunday, 6 March 2011

1st Day at work - Thane Part

Like everyone,I too was nervous,anxious about my 1st day of work,mentally preparing myself in the 3 days leave given by my employer.I was supposed to report to the Thane branch,where I would be given my base-branch.

D-Day,half an hour left for the time we all decided to meet,but here I am all dressed up,and ready to go.As if time had stopped still,with every minute felt like a never ending Himesh Reshamiya song.
At last,the clock struck 7 and I left my place.Reached the bus stop,only to find myself alone there.Frantically messaging everyone to get there asses down there ASAP,as i watched one bus after other pass by.As time passed by,thoughts of losing half my day's salary,or worse,losing a chance to work in a good project started running through my mind.And there I was messaging everyone again !
Finally at around 7.20,everyone was there,only to realize we were supposed to wait for someone else as well.
I mean WTF ! Aren't we like already 20 mins late ? Thankfully she arrived 5 mins later and we were ready to leave.But 'HANG ON',where the hell are the A/C buses ?,and i realized that we'll be travelling,'State-Of-The-Art' ST Buses.My thoughts of myself being the neatly combed guy,wearing a nice crisp white shirt,were suddenly replaced by college days look.With the thought still running through my mind,i boarded the bus,where Mr.Cisco,was confirming whether we are in the right bus.Please,Lord .. don't do this,please be the right bus.As i boarded the bus,i was happy to find an empty seat,the sight for which i long for,these days.Anyway,Mr.Cisco confirmed that it was the right bus,and i was as happy as a clam :).But,my joy was short lived as i found out the bus wont leave till 7.45. Salary = Salary/2 seem quite the perfect equation for the day,at that moment.

The engine purred,and we were off.And after a nice,comfortable ride,we reached the place,on time(phew).Waiting outside the premises,i met my pals whom i hadn't met for like 2 days,still felt like an eternity since we apart.Saw some new faces as well.Though everyone had that anxiousness in them.
Anyway,inside the building,and i felt the pride of being an employee of my employer.And then i asked the guard where are the new recruits supposed to wait,and he pointed towards the room with the most noise and i walked towards it.As i walked inside the room,i saw all my friends,with whom i had spent my glorious 70 odd days,reminiscing the wonderful times,completely oblivious of the current situation.
After laughing,joking,exchanging phone numbers,messaging friends at other centers,i finally sat down,waiting for someone to come along,and tell where i am supposed to be for the next 2 years.Minutes turned into 2 digits,but still no sight of anyone.With hunger creeping inside,i had reached my breaking point,but thankfully the concerned person entered the room.After collecting some documents,he set us off for breakfast,and i ran faster than Usain Bolt towards the exit,where the big question hit me,"Which way is the canteen?".Conserving my energy by not asking anyone,i followed the huge group heading towards the only other building visible.As i reached the building,i noticed another building and walked towards it.This sequence was repeated 3 times as i finally reached the cafeteria.

Food,glorious food,you are my life.While having a nice breakfast,my cellphone buzzed with a message stating my salary has been credited.Finishing the meal with a smile,i left the canteen,to take the 42.195 km,marathon walk back to the 1st building,on the way discussing with my friends,how i am gonna splurge my salary.

Back to the room,and RMG started calling out names and their alloted ISUs.Fingers crossed i waited for my turn.One by one,all my friends were alloted ISUs,as i waited there to hear my name being called out.
They say,the best is saved for the last,probably thats why my name was called in the last ISU,with a couple of my friends.The happiness of hearing my name,made me miss out on the information that was told later on.Turns out,my ISU was Travelling,Transport and Hospitality and i was supposed to travel to Andheri branch,for an interview ..