Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I am growing old..

Oh yes.. some people I know would be overjoyed with the confession. A reminder to such folks -- all of us are growing older with each passing day.. so are you, so is my little girl. She is 2 years,5 months old now against the 2 yrs, 4mnths last month. So much to wipe off the smiles! But I do feel old today, old enough to preach people the importance of honesty, old enough to disapprove the lack of integrity in the younger lot, and old enough make remarks like -"In our times.. blah blah blah!". Is it really so long back? It is less than 6 years since I graduated!

Let me tell you what happened today, so that my rant starts making at least some sense. As I already mentioned sometime back, my company is recruiting these days. For me, that translates to a couple of interviews per day, out of which few are held over the telephone. The intent is to perform an initial screening and save the candidate the trouble of having to come over if we do not see much promise. I did one of these telephonic interviews today. The profile of the candidate was good, a fresher from a premier institute and I went in thinking that this is going to be easy. We would be calling this person for a personal interview in any case. We exchanged niceties, and I asked him about his academic interests. He mentioned something about OS and logic. Fine, I said, we shall start with some puzzles. I gave him a question, and waited patiently for him to come up with an answer. He talked out loudly while working on the problem. I understand that, some people talk to themselves rather loudly especially when they are trying to concentrate hard. Then I heard another voice.I felt the phone line is playing tricks.. Again, I heard 2 voices at the same time. I grew confused, and asked the candidate if he had somebody with him? No Madam, pat came the reply. I blamed myself for hearing imaginary voices. But then, it happened again. I started hearing very keenly. There were at least 2 more people on the other end helping the candidate solve the puzzle. I could have done away with the interview there itself, but just to be sure, I asked him some more, similar questions. The hushed voices kept filtering through his voice. The interview ended in around 20 min, and I was already fuming by then. This is so not done! How badly can you need a job to fall to such levels? And how optimistic can you be to believe you could get away with this? He is a fresher with 2 placement offers already made.. I would have called him over for the next round with eyes shut. God knows how badly we need good people, but to qualify as 'good', you need to be honest first. To cut a long story short, I just returned to my place, gave him the lowest rating and sent the feedback across. Do you think I did the right thing?

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Today is the big day!

Pari starts school today. I generally do not record daily activities, or development points over here like first steps, words or teeth. But this had to be an exception, probably because I attach far more importance to the said milestone than any physical achievement. The thought of my little girl embarking on the life long journey of learning gives me goosebumps. And I wonder, where did my teeny-weeny baby disappear.. this classic mushy momma woe always reminds me of the Calvin cartoon where he performs magic with a toaster. Calvin puts in a bread and it disappears. What comes back is the toast! Bad comparison? I know, sigh! Guess I am too excited to talk sense.. lets just do with some pictures.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Random thoughts on recession, hiring and firing..

We have a recruitment drive going on in the office. Now, me and the husband, both of us generally carry our work home, but not our offices, meaning we hardly discuss official matters at home. This, despite the fact that he was a colleague before he transitioned to be a spouse and we still work for similar organizations in similar capabilities. But when it is things like hiring and firing, we do spill over the beans. He expressed surprise at my company hiring so soon after doing away with some 10% of the employees, barely 4 months back. This has got me thinking. Somehow, I had not put things in perspective and considered it a general activity till I discussed it with him. How do I feel about this hiring.. Strangely, I have almost the same feelings as I had at the time of firing. My general feelings about most things are a little mixed. There is no extremely happy news, and no absolutely sad tidings, which means I am never jumping with joy, and not shedding buckets of tears ever. I guess I have been conditioned to think in this manner by my parents, and I cannot thank them enough for it. When the company was firing like crazy, I did not feel scared, and not that disturbed. I would agree that circumstances vary, and I might be better off than some other people who faced the music. I mean I have a husband who earns as much, some savings to keep us going for a few months, probably an year if we behave responsibly. Our parents can still support us, for sometime at least.. we have no loans, the flip side being that after working for so many years, almost always with a decent pay package, we still live in a rented apartment. The only *liability* we have is my little daughter, and I hate to call her that. She is an asset to me, and I have put the best years of my life in order to earn her. Women prime at 25, isn't that the saying. I digress.. but I seriously think that a correction was required in the IT industry. People have been taking a lot of things for granted. This served as a rude reminder that your job is not meant to be one of those things. It was really unfortunate for the victims, they were penalized for no obvious fault of theirs but at the same time, it did a hell lot of good to the others. It makes me sad to see people not giving half their potential to their jobs. Now, this is a personal observation I made during my years in the software industry, it might be entirely different for other people. Post the job cuts, we did lose resources, but the ones still employed came out so much more responsible and matured. Now that the company is recruiting again, we will get additional resources but it is only when the current ones keep the momentum going that we shall benefit from it. Also, recruitment at such a big scale means loads of interviews and extra effort on our part. For me, it will be trying to squeeze more in the already hectic schedule. All the same, I feel it is a healthy sign of recovery from recession. Here's looking forward to an eventful week.. Resumes anyone?

Friday, June 5, 2009

I wish to be..

..fifteen again! I have been in a strange mood for a couple of weeks now, feeling like writing a lot of nonsensical, not-so-pleasant, unhappy-with-life stuff. At such times, I really regret having shared my blog with people I know. I mean I had managed to keep it under covers for over an year, and then someday, suddenly I had this feeling of well-being, the feeling that everything has finally fallen into place and I would not need to sulk in a dark corner ever.. read, put up an anonymous post, that my life is in a shape good enough to be shared with the world. Also, I was inspired by the way people use their blogs to log and share their experiences, their pictures and their babies' antics. Yes.. that reminds me, it was when I started writing about Pari and posting her pictures that I shared the blog. And now, I know that the family follows. My little cousins do, even though they never comment. And I cannot write things that could potentially scandalize them.

The last paragraph was a digression, if you can call it that, considering that my whole intention is to ramble. Today is one of those days, when I feel lonelier than Eve and miss home immensely. I wish to be 15 years old again, and sit by the window in what used to be my room, overlooking the garden, some random book in my lap, our National-Panasonic radio playing old Hindi cinema music in the background. I wish it would be an afternoon in July, the surroundings all green because of the shower in the morning, the sky still overcast, and the wind flipping over the pages of my book while I look out from the window. I wish to go back to the days when I had no job, no financial concerns, no husband, no baby, no excess baggage, and no worldly wisdom.. just my parents and my grandparents, people who love me unconditionally for what I am. And yes, my little sis who would be 2 years old and worships the ground that I walk. She would be my daughter's age, but mean much more to me than her. My baby sister was so unlike Pari. She was much more innocent, had large eyes and threw no tantrums that I can remember of. Being the third child with siblings 10 years your senior, makes you different. But it surely doesn't make you any lesser. Pari would never know what having an elder sister means.. Vatu always looked up to me, and with far more reverence than I can ever expect out of Pari. Here here.. I always get carried away when I talk of Vatu. However, wishes are not horses yet, so I guess I would wait some more to fly.. and sleep through the night with an aching heart..