Thursday, February 28

Job Jabbers : Part 4

(This is the fourth part of the series; to read previous just scroll down)

Functions of an employment department

- Analysis of positions and suitable executives (Each executive is interviewed and carefully analyzed for two purposes; first, to find whether he is indeed the right man in the right place; second, to observe his characteristics, his peculiarities, his personality, and to learn from him his preferences. All of these are carefully listed, and, in selecting employees, care is taken to select only those who will work harmoniously and happily with the executives under whom they are placed.)

- Analysis of potential employees and securing them

- Reports and records - monitor employed applicant behavior/performance

- Recommendation for transfer, promotion, discharge and salary hike

- Information to management, aid in discipline, settlement of disputes

- Consultation in pay rates

- Transfer and

- Welfare activity

That’s that about the book… Analyzing Characters. Had to put this (extensive) summary here for my recall as well as the probable advantage to interested readers. You can download the free e-book if you find this piece stimulating. Just the click the title mentioned earlier in this paragraph.

I stumbled upon a post by Penelope Trunk in her popular blog that I sometimes follow: How to talk about your weakness. I thought it relevant to mention it here.

One common question that most assessors ask is tell me about your weakness. Both the interviewer and the interviewee know that this question is bull-s*it. Whoever would honestly confess about being lazy or deceitful?

However, Ms. Trunk advises that we mention something that is not related to your area/focus of work. For instance, If you are hired to think of the big picture, you can state your weakness lies in detail-oriented work. This is both candid, as well as constructive. An artist who is bad with finances is a good hire for a company. The point is you got to be smart, yet careful of what you say. Chances are, if you don’t know your weakness, you don’t know your strengths well either.

Analyzing character: stories of misfits, why people choose/do the wrong job, virtues and recruiting tips… Four parts in this Job Jabbers series.

And that’s all for now!

Have a wonderful one ahead :-)
Day, career, life… everything!! 

Wish you loads of luck and success… and satisfaction, last but not the least.



Friday, February 22

Job Jabbers : Part 3

(This is the third part of the series; to read the first two simply scroll down…)

After talking about misfits at a particular job and their reasons for being so....

Next in the book are various requirements: physical, intellectual, and emotional, required for various careers (for example, aggressive folks cant be expected to do peaceful tasks), and how to recruit the right people.

An excerpt: There are two distinct types of executives. There is the impatient, driving, quick, keen, positive, irritable type. This man can get good results from a certain type of worker, but he only irritates, frightens, and drives to sullen resistance other types. The other is the mild, kindly, persuasive, patient, enduring, persistent, determined type of executive, who wins his success by attracting to himself the intense loyalty and devotion of his men. Both types are successful, but they are successful with different kinds of men. The employer who selects executives, therefore, needs to bear this in mind.

Mention is made of a businessman in trouble and a “Socratic” personality consulted for his expertise. After a detailed tale, here is what Socratic recommends as six old-fashioned virtues that when cultivated will reap positive results.

1. The first virtue is Order. You waste time and energy because you let your

work push you instead of planning your work and then pushing your plan.

2. The second is Punctuality. You lose time, money, friends, temper, and will-power because you are vague and careless about making and keeping appointments.

3. The third is Courtesy. You have to be tactful and considerate towards others. You ask me to come and help you, and then tell me you are busy but sorry - that's patronizing. You ignore a caller and read papers on your desk, that's rude. You can't afford these in business.

4. The fourth is Economy. Your time is worth more to this business than that of all the staff put together. You spend it doing what a ten-dollar-a-week girl could do just as well, it is sinful extravagance. It wastes your time and hers. Worst of all, it undermines your self-respect and her respect for you.

5. The fifth is Honesty. Business must be done at a profit, but not with dishonesty, unfairness and greed. Give everybody a square, equal deal. That will build confidence and increase trade. And then you can leave your salespeople to wait on all customers, giving you more time for real management.

6. The sixth is Courage. It's easy enough to see obstacles, to make excuses, to procrastinate. When a hard task has to be done, fear not, and do it.

A dialogue between an engineer who hates his job and a caring friend:

Friend: "Well, then, why don't you do something else?"

Engineer: "I don't know what to do. I like mechanics, and some job of this kind is the only thing I know how to do or would care to do. Yet, I don't care for this. I must confess that I am puzzled as to what in the world I was made for, anyhow."

Friend: "What you need is to give your time and attention to the intellectual side of engineering rather than the purely mechanical and physical. You are of the intellectual type, find a job like that. Else, it's like you were an eagle trying to cross the country on foot.”

The authors apologetically admit that they offer no golden key to unlock the door to success. There is no magic way in which some wonderful, undiscovered talent can be discovered within a person and made to blossom forth in a night. There is no short cut to wealth / fame, and nobody else can guess your strengths or what you should do.

Two lovely paragraphs to sum it up…

If you are a worker and not a shirker, a lifter and not a leaner; if you have done your best to succeed in your present vocation, and are still dissatisfied, and feel that you could do better in some other line of work, determine your new calling.

If you have never attempted your best, never worked your hardest; if you have grown weary, and laid down your burden in the face of difficulties and obstacles; if you have neglected your education, your training, your preparation for success, then, before you make a change, before you seek vocational counsel, do your best to make good where you are. It may be the one vocation in which you can succeed.

A note is also made of the high cost of hiring and firing in organizations. A powerful thought: There is only one legitimate reason for putting any man or woman on the payroll, namely, that he or she is well fitted to perform the tasks assigned, will perform them contentedly and happily and, therefore, be a valuable asset to the concern. But with foremen, superintendents, and other minor executives selecting employees, for any reason and every reason except the legitimate reason, it is small wonder that employees grow discontented and leave, are demoralized and incompetent so that they are discharged. For these reasons it is an unusual organization which does not turn over its entire working force every year.

Final part coming up next week... Until then, ciao !!

Be well :-)

- Anuja

Friday, February 15

Birthday Love to an Awesome Hubby

Feb 14 is Valentine’s… (Happy Val Day you'all)

... And the next day - Feb 15 - is my better half’s birthday.

(Now honestly, that is a point of debate, since His Highness Akhilesh Pratap Singh actually graced Mother Earth on Oct 5, and even the exact year is arguable. Works for him I guess, since he can celebrate two birthdays in a year…Some people have all the luck in the world. God bless him.)

As wife and friend, and colleague and partner, and advisor and well-wisher (and a whole lot of other things), it becomes my duty to ensure that every day linked to him is special and memorable.

(Quite a task, given his simple and often critical or neutral reactions. Yet, here is my humble attempt!)

Let me tell you more about the ostensibly reticent and good-tempered Mr. Singh.

"What you looking at, mate?" - Attitude right in the pram
And here we are now, quite a hunk!!
He is handsome and tall, and has a personality to die for. Not only does he speak terrific English with his stunning accent, but he also is extremely charming and gentlemanly. Dependable and hardworking, trustworthy and responsible, he is an ambitious go-getter. All qualities that I chose to get hitched for…

He swings between extreme anger and good composure, and loquaciousness and silence. Dealing with his lack of expressiveness and imagination sometimes becomes a challenge, but he more than makes up for it when he has his spurts of romance and surprises. He can bend over backwards for family, sometimes even for friends and acquaintances.

He can overreact at times, and he can be immature on occasions. Yet, one look into his deep, gorgeous eyes and you will forget that you were ever annoyed or hurt because of him.
His hugs are the warmest and his smile is sizzling hot. And yet, he is a cool dude, fashionable and presentable all the time. His taste in electronics and his knowledge in his area of interests is remarkable, and he is quick to learn and faster to excel. I am an immensely proud wife for all these reasons!

He believes the best of everyone, and his love is selfless and unconditional. His generosity and helpfulness know no bounds and he is a true gem of a person in every sense. In every role, he blossoms and makes for an excellent friend, husband, colleague, brother, son, neighbour… you name it!

When we met in Dec 2010, he had recently joined IBM as a trainer, and I did not spare him a second look. But destiny had its plan chalked out, and we connected and drifted apart over the course of the next few months. When he asked me out in Feb 2011, I made him hang around a good 8 months before I accepted his proposal. Surprisingly, he waited. I had my reservations about boys in general, and him in particular, but all my fears and anxieties were laid to rest by his sincerity and affection.

Family was going to be a tough nut to crack, we knew. He is a Rajput (the honour killing kinds), and I a Marwari (the not so open yet tolerant types). Against our family opinions and orders, we continued to come closer and not once did our decision to marry waver. Not even during the worst fights… which have by no means ended, given both our flaring tempers and hypersensitivity… but the love is intact through it all.

We tied the knot on June 29, 2012; almost 8 months have passed. It’s been a roller-coaster of emotions. (After all, it is Mr. Ferris' 154th birthday!)

Learning, adjustment, dreams and their fruition... the span has been totally memorable!

What have we not done? We bought a bike and lost it, then bought another. We have travelled and had adventures at all hours of the day and night. Coffees and dinners, dates and movies. Buddying up with the families, dealing with each other at our best and worst moments, giving up and hanging on. Daydreaming together and plotting against others. Laughing and crying, barking and bawling. Been there, done that… and there’s still so much more to come.

When I think back to the times he has made me smile, it now brings tears to my eyes coz he loves me more than words can say.

When I recall our tiffs and downs, it only reminds me that we have remained together despite those setbacks and only grown closer.

When I close my eyes, I see his face and I know there is nobody else that I’d rather be with… He is what I wanted, needed and deserved. I’m one lucky girl!

On your big day, birthday boy, let me tell you that though you hate being called a baby, you shall always remain my baccha. I am crazy about you, and I still feel like a schoolgirl with a crush whenever I see you or talk about you. Thank you for being mine :-)

I promise I will love you forever, and I will do all it takes to make you happy. I will stay by your side through thick and thin, and take care of you. Even though I give you grief on certain predictable occasions, I will ensure that I only get better by the day and prove myself worthy of you and your love.

You’re my dream guy… and I can’t be without you… even when I can't stand you. 

I wish you all the luck and success in life, and I am sure all your wishes will be fulfilled, coz they’ve got no other choice. Have a super day and a beautiful year ahead. May this year be the best of your life, until the next!

Loads of love,
Bubu :-)

Monday, February 11

Kerala Escapade

Ello there!!

Most of you must be unaware that while you were reading up on job jabbers and blah, I was away and gone.  I sneaked away to Kerala for a much awaited and horribly needed vacation that lasted all of one week. All good things must come to an end, and so returneth I to aamchi Pune.

God’s own country (which is what Kerala is famously called) has been on the agenda for a while, not so much because I was keen on going there, but more so coz people have always spoken so highly of it and commercials have portrayed it as a WOW destination.
Honesty forbids me from agreeing. However, I was not disappointed either.

Attribute the latter to my desperation to escape my daily hell at Pune, or the former to my having seen it (almost) all as I am a well travelled lass. All in all, it’s a good place, but not extraordinary. Certainly not a honeymooner’s paradise, which is the tag that the state owes its popularity to.

The place abounds in tea, coffee, banana and coconut plantations and has its share of wildlife. While Cochin, Munnar, Thekkady, Allepey/Kumarakom are on the must-visit list for most people, you could easily fit your trip in 4 to 5 days and a budget of about 10 to 15 thousand per person (not including airfare and subject to time of the year/season).

Backwaters at Allepey / Kumarakom

Akhilesh Singh posing in tea gardens at Munnar
Periyar no-wildlife sanctuary at Thekkady
Time together at last... Honeymoon Part 2 @ Kerala
Vythiri resort at Wayanad 

We started our tour at the Cochin airport, but could not visit the city since it lay on the other side of our next destination, which was Munnar. After spending two nights at Munnar, we spent one each at Thekkady and Kumarakom, followed by two nights at Wayanad. We were travelling in a cab for minimum 4 hours and waking up at almost 6 am everyday. Food and communication continue to be a concern as local restaurants offer predominantly South Indian food and local folks speak broken English or Hindi. You would do well to carry some snacks in your backpack, and speak telegram sort of language with a Southie twang... basically add “aaa” to everything and nod your head vigorously in all directions irrespective of your comprehension or opinion.

Munnar is pretty, and the hotel Grand Munnar we stayed at was beautiful. There is not much to see there, though Mattupetty Dam and Tea Museum are included in the itinerary. We enjoyed an elephant ride and walked through the flower garden, but it was very hot and sunny, so that considerably dulled our enthusiasm. 

Surprisingly, markets are scarce, which is one of the crucial bits in tourism at hill stations like Mahabaleshwar and Manali. Spice plantations and shops are numerous, but I was not very certain with the authenticity of the spices being packed and sold. My shopping list started with a bag of banana chips and ended with an endearing wall clock resembling a wristwatch that can also be used as a table clock, and that is pretty much about it. I am a shopper’s nightmare, right?! Well, my husband ain’t complaining :-p

I did, however, lighten his wallet when I hogged on the ice-cream there. A less known fact is that Kerala has two major ice cream brands – Lazza and Skei. We stumbled upon the mouth-wateringness of the Lazza strawberry ice cream at our Munnar hotel, and then there was no stopping us, or rather my pati parmeshwar. He insisted on feeding me the Lazza delight at every given opportunity. No wonder I love him so much :-D

Truth be told, Thekkady was a waste, the only saving grace being the Kathakali performance we saw. That too, coz I have read about this dance form in a book quite sometime ago. I did not quite enjoy the Grand Thekkady hotel we stayed at, though I can’t accurately point out what made me restless. The Periyar sanctuary where you are taken on a boat-ride to view tigers has little to offer except wild boars, bisons, kingfishers and snakebirds. What definitely was a highlight for us was the Gujarati Marwari Bhojnalaya (eatery) where starved hubby dearest could have his fill of North Indian fare.

Allepey was the highlight of the trip; the backwaters are filthy but enticing nevertheless. Our Manor Backwater resort overlooked the backwaters and had a swimming pool, so we were happy with the arrangement. A boat-ride was very soothing and refreshing, and I was glad we did not stay in a houseboat owing to the heavy rains that night plus reviews about insect invasions.  

Wayanad was an altogether separate package which I had looked up on a travel website. We spent two nights at a 150-acre huge luxury resort called Vythiri, approximately 70km from Calicut (Kozhikode). Pretty log cottages and serene forests made for an enchanting ambience, and the service was impeccable. They obviously charged a bomb for it, and a similar experience could be had at the Malhar Machi resort near Mulshi in Pune.

Cab, airplane, auto, boat and train... we rode them all in our travel. Tanned and relaxed, our tour ended at Mumbai where we celebrated my nephew’s big day in style. Bhoomik is now 3 years old, and he was a star at his birthday bash that sported a Chhota Bheem cake. God bless my beautiful baby… Remember the time I wrote about his birth? How time flies… !!!

And now it’s time to get back to routine… it sucks, really. But hey, all good things must come to an end in order for better things to happen.

Have a great day, you’all!


Monday, February 4

Job Jabbers : Part 2

(This is a sequel; please scroll down to read part 1…)

How do people choose the wrong career? Having chosen the wrong field, why do people continue to hang on there? There are several reasons…

- Ignorance and lack of definite purpose

- Immaturity of judgment on the part of young people (hobbies and strengths don’t always make great job choices. Talents may be hidden. Young boys long to

be cab drivers and conductors because they consider these professions ideal at a young age. The average young man of twenty is only a little more mature than a boy of ten. He still lacks experience and balance.)

- Influence of association (“My friend wants to become a soldier, so I will join the army as well….”)

- Poor judgment of parents or teachers (Parents over/under-estimate their kids, and don't know the real nature of work/professions. They objectively do not assess either. They also want to live their ambition through their children and so, “I could not become a doctor, but my son shall” happens.)

- Prejudices / Gender bias (Many people have intense prejudices against art and other such professions, especially for their sons. Moreover, they think certain people exhibit certain behaviors because they belong to certain professions. Nursing is considered a “women’s job”.)

- Family traditions (Some parents want to save their kids from the hard work they have done, or believe that just because they did it, their kids also can / should.)

- Economic necessity (Sometimes, teens are called to earn a living and help the family with money. Local conditions, friendship, associations, chance vacancies decide careers.)

- Restlessness (Children cannot wait to begin their careers, and choose whatever comes their way. They do not want to “waste” time developing their real talents or seek opportunities for advancement of which they are capable. Sufficient education and training is crucial to realize aspirations.

- Versatility (He, who can do many things well, seems to have difficulty in finalizing one thing and doing that successfully. He is often a serious problem, even for those who can study his case scientifically. It is tough to guide him and even tougher for him to follow the given counsel. One thing is sure - he should stay away from routine/monotonous work.)

- Mediocrity and hidden talents (Even in the case of those with no particular talent, there is always some combination of aptitudes, characteristics, disposition, and other circumstances which makes a particular vocation far more desirable than any other.)

- Blunders of employers (Recruiters want to fill posts and interviewers do not probe right. This lands a misfit a job, that benefits neither the business nor satisfies the employee.)

- Social ambition / Hunger for fame (Certain vocations entitle one to social recognition / fame. Don't fit yourself to a job, do the reverse. Exactly like they said in 3 Idiots – Don’t run after success; pursue excellence instead and success will follow you. )

- Laziness / Conservatism (Hard mental effort is important to decide upon a new line of work. Analysis of work and self, scrutiny of conditions and environment is necessary to make an intelligent and worthy change. Change in vocation usually involves additional study and training, and hard work in preparation for the new task. A lazy man drifts along with whatever is currently available than to go through the grind of aiming and working for something much better. Change is more hateful to them than unloved work.

- Lack of opportunity (There may be no real chance for misfits in the locality where they live and conditions may make it almost impossible for them to leave)

- Lack of education and training (Family and personal situations, cost / time or other factor

- Deficient Self-confidence (Fear of failure in new vocation)

- Lack of courage / ambition (Many men have self-confidence and yet lack courage to face difficulties, to overcome obstacles, to meet hard conditions, to pass through disagreeable experiences.

The book goes on to describe how even vocational guidance is strewn with complications, namely the need of accurate vocational analysis, wise counsel and training, and correct placement.

Another sequel coming up soon…. Come back later!!


Dream last night

I dreamt of you last night. I know I dreamt of you last night. I don't know why I dreamt of you last night. In my dreams, you were at my...