Monthly Archives: October 2010

A KPO/BPO Story

Interview:

“Congratulations. You have cleared all the levels. We are proud to have you in our company. Here’s your offer letter. You join on…”

“Thank you sir.”

Induction:

“New joinees, you will be taken through an induction programme. You will be educated about our company and it’s core values and what it takes to be successful in here. You have arrived at the right place.”

Day 1:

“Team, let’s welcome our new member. He hails from so and so…blah blah blah…” clap clap clap.

Day 40:

“You are doing well. That’s awesome. If if continue in the same trend, you can get incentives.”

Day 100:

“You are in the night shift.” Groan. “Don’t worry. You will enjoy it. You have a night shift allowance and  a free ride back home.”

After reaching home and having scarecly slept for what seems like few minutes-“Oh my God! Time up for night shift. Even if I am one minute late, they will roast me!” A mad rush to catch the evening/night cab.

First Appraisal/Confirmation:

“Congratulations. You are confirmed. Great job. Continue this good show.” Appraisal Letter contains two lines-one confirmation and the other a minuscule raise.

Another Day(Not a very bright day):

“You took leave for two days. These are crucial times. Next time see that you don’t take any leave.”

Said leave was taken for the first time since joining. No appreciation.

Yet Another Day/ Appraisal:

“You are doing well. But wait till the next appraisal. You deserve to be promoted.”

Same dialogue is repeated for two appraisals. Employee in question equates himself to a bonded labourer/machine and what not mentally, cursing his ill luck.

Last Day:

After realizing belatedly that this is not going to work and having gone through some harrowing experiences, employee throws in the towel. Manager has an Exit Interview with him.

“We are sorry to see you leave our team. You have been great and we value your contributions. Good luck in your future endeavors.”

Ex-Employee heaves a sigh of relief and dreams about his next company where he has joined and hopes that none of the past gets repeated.

But….on joining the new company….same process repeats!

MORAL:

Do not join an outsourcing company at any cost.

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Catch them young!

The most important period in a person’s life is the time when he is a student. That too a school student. A school education marks the initial phase of the molding of the intellect and the inculcation of values and skills that define tomorrow’s leaders. But are we up to the mark now?

Recently there have been reports in the papers of teachers meting out punishments to students on trifling matters. Some times the punishments are hard to the extend to cause severe mental agony and leading to psychological problems. Who is to blame? The teacher or the student? Or both?

This point was driven home by the film Taare Zameen Par. The story of a talented dyslexic student who remains in the shadows until a teacher coaxes him out to fame and recognition. How many more talented children are there out who are not recognized properly or are neglected due to lack of time? Are we chasing too much that we are neglecting the true purpose of that chase?

Today’s education system especially the school education system is in shambles with the old values and the teacher-student bond thrown out to the air. Profit is the motto with schools competing with each other offering ‘services’ and demanding exorbitant fees as a reward. I am not including those who are genuine in giving the students a committed, value based education.

Today’s teacher has no time to listen to his/her students’ doubts. He has to finish off the portions, make sure that the entire batch passes out, never mind if they got it right or not. This mentality has grown to such an extend that it has affected the students themselves as they are more shrewd than their teachers in taking the ‘right’ steps in passing out.

As a result, these not so practically applicable mind sets of people enter college and face trouble in grasping the next level concepts. Mostly it is the case of peer pressure of parental forcing that a student takes a particular subject in college. There are very few who venture out to study their heart’s desire but are ridiculed.

And why not will there be a dip in the number of employable students? How many students today relish their school days? How many continue to broaden their mind by constant education? How many research scholars are there? The parents are equally to blame as they do not listen to their wards and encourage them in their are of talent. Let alone encourage them to read. Reading helps in developing the imagination. It also develops problem solving skills as we  are able to analyze a problem in all aspects and come at a solution.

This must change. Right from school. We are touted to be the next intellectual beacon to the world. The present condition doesn’t add up to that reputation.

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Oru Desanthinte Katha

Title: Oru Desanthinte Katha

Language: Malayalam

Author: S.K.Pottekkad

Translated in Tamil as: Oru Gramathin Kathai (The story of a village) by C.A.Balan

Specialty: Winner of Sahitya Academy and Gnanapeet Award

Publisher: Sahitya Academy

Malayalam literature is a beehive of interesting creations and creators. Basheer, MT Vasudevan Nair, Neela. Padmanaban, Thagazhi Sivasankaran Pillai and many more are there who offer a rich writing style and whet the readers’ appettite. S.K.Pottekkad occupies a high place in the ranks of excellent Malayalam writers.

If you have had a wonderful and memorable childhood, especially in the villages, you will feel an instant connection to this story. The story follows the reminiscences of the protagonist Seetharan when he returns after a long time to his native village Athiranipadam in Kerala. The period is set in pre-independent India, 1912 to be exact.

The story has a tag line-His story is the same as theirs. Yes. Our childhood and even our adult life is molded by the impressions we get as a child. The society at large make a huge contribution to one’s childhood years without knowing it. Thus we find Seetharan ruminating about his childhood and the people who made an impression on him then.

The story starts with Seetharan returning to Athiranipadam to find everything has changed from what it was long time ago. He starts by searching for his love Ammukutty and from there, the journey into the past starts.

As each and every character is introduced and their flash back is dealt with in detail, you can’t help but wonder at Pottekkad’s mastery in handling the characters and in giving such a rich, diverse background. We find ourselves reflected in the characters that Pottekkad makes to roam the pages. From Seetharan’s strict disciplinarian father Krishnan Master to his mother to his big brother Kunjappu who is a wastrel at first but who metamorphs into various avatars as ‘Basra’ Kunjappu, ‘Painter’ Kunjappu(the way he becomes a painter is a hilarious one!) to ‘Railway Foreman’ Kunjappu, to the huge mustached Kanaaran to the mischievous Supper Circuit Gang led by painter Sedev and later by Vasu in which Seetharan is a ‘Minor’ member, the hilarious adventures they have at every one’s expense-especially the Mathina hotel episode, the account of exchanging the calendars of the village folks and the theft of the rose flower in a grandiose manner will make you go sick witrh laughter.

Such accounts thrown in with serious portrayal of the character as they display their village simplicity and their grip on values, the strong bondage to each other, the communal riots that threaten to destroy the village’s peace, the nature rich Ilanji Pozhil which has it’s own share of stories where Seetharan spends his vacations, his struggles with mathematics in school and the ways he takes to overcome it, his fascination with poetry and his valiant attempts to get them published bring into your mind a plethora of fantastic feelings.

The novel is a huge one-900 pages nearly but is an engrossing one. It is a must on every reader’s shelf. Especially readers of Malayalam literature.

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Chitti Chitti bang bang!

All are going gaga over Rajini’s latest flick and are going for repeats. But, are we getting the message that Shankar & Co have pasted out?

The film has the least understood and developing subject of Robotics as a theme.  This is a recurring theme in Issac Asimov’s novels and stories. Read Asimov’s The Complete Robot. Quite interesting one.

Robotics, as Chitti says at the end of the film, has a good scope and this film is an indirect promoter of the subject.

The idea of developing robots, especially Andro-Humanoid Robots and using them for daily uses is not far away.

If you have read the works of late Tamil writer Sujatha, you will see how this film has made the work easier for scientists and interested students of Robotics. Read his En Iniya Iyandhira, Meendum Jeeno(a sequel to En Iniya Iyandhira).

This is a must see film for all-intellectuals and fans alike and is a milestone in the annals of Tamil film industry.

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CWG-A Retrospect

Whatever might have been the organizers’ intentions in conducting the Common Wealth Games, the ultimate effect is a big disappointment. However we may claim that we are bagging medals like anything, smashing records, setting new trends, it is a black mark on our pride and honor thanks to Kalmadi & Co.

I am not averse to India playing host to any games-let it be the Olympics, but we must be ready to conduct events of such scale. Take the Olympics in Beijing.  Everything was planned to the T and preparations began a year ago. Though we bid for thew CWG games in 2003 itself, the finishing touches were not ready even four days before the opening ceremony. The facts are known to all of us. Added to that the two accidents at a span of 24 hours.

We did save face by conducting the opening ceremony very well-would it been otherwise, then?  But there is not the competition as would be expected in an event of such nature. With half of the top atheletes pulling out, it was an easy cake walk for our boys and girls. Not to say that they lack in preparation or talent, but a better competition would have brought out better performances. And there have been reports of racial abuse and actions which are unsportsmanlike in nature.May be that’s why, in a manner of ridiculing us the NZ TV host made fun of Sheila Dikshit’s name. No offense, ma’m, but the situation prompts such a comment.

Mani Shankar Iyer was right in commenting that CWG is a black mark on our name. The events and conduct of the sports authorities and conduct of senior and deserving athletes make us doubt whether our motto is money and spot light only rather than exhibition of true sportsmanship.

Next time, let us do this(conducting of games) in a professional manner.

 

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