Saturday, October 15, 2011

Changing colors

Whenever I see people with authority, bosses, principals, and the like, I am always consumed with curiosity – how were all these people when they were young, in school and in college? When they were just faces in the crowd like you and me? Somehow, the picture never forms in my mind, so used am I to seeing them on a high pedestal. So I just end up assuming that maybe they were like this always… well, I am imagining a miniature version of my grey haired, pot bellied and moustached boss running around in khaki knickers with a water bottle round his neck and a hanky with his name on it pinned on his front… believe me, funny as it may be, it is wholly unbelievable!

So yes, the conclusion is that these were ordinary people at one time, before they were touched by the winds of authority. And once they got the power… poof! The TRANSFORMATION!

Many who haven’t seen such a transformation before their eyes might find it hard to believe what I say here. But trust me… this is real!

I am really happy for my friends who have got promoted in the recent days. But what gets to me is how their personal relationships change. All at once, I become a subordinate from a peer and a friend. And their interactions with me get limited to getting work done.

I am now sent mails with subject lines like – “report expected”,” whats the status” etc, from the same people who used to earlier send me frivolous forwards and indulge with me in random chats.

People who used to take queries from me with utmost patience earlier are now saying “main check karwata hoon!” which means, they no more handle these queries, instead, they have subordinates to do that. The fact that we used to use these query calls as a means to catch up in the earlier days is quite conveniently forgotten.

People who used to sit with me earlier and crib about the system, the office politics and the like are now a part of the same system – and I end up cribbing about them now…!!!

Two things which this scenario brings to my mind are (a) do I need to be more sympathetic to those friends of mine now coz they are under much more pressure than me? (b) as and when I shall go up the hierarchy, will I also change so?

It is likely that my newly promoted friends are really under too much stress. The amount and nature of their work has changed and they must genuinely not have time for inanities which they had earlier when they were not at managerial level. With time, it is possible that people adjust and settle down and forge new equations, though not as informal as before, but definitely more workable.

And as and when I go up the ladder, these events will have taught me a lot – on what not to do! Subordinates need not cease being friends. The very fact that someone goes up earlier than the others means that he/she is now ready to handle a more leadership role. Being a leader does not involve alienating juniors but taking them along in your new journey. And that is what I hope to follow.


Saturday, October 08, 2011

A Treat to Remember

I turned a year older on September 11. Inching closer to the dreaded 30, the only silver lining I was looking forward to was giving a treat to my friends.

Unfortunately, the treat got delayed. By the 14th, with no treat forthcoming, my friends started berating me… and I was called a miser amongst many things. But casual ribbing apart, even I was waiting for the opportune day to get everyone together and have fun, albeit for a short time. Around that time, I committed the blunder of telling my friends that I would be treating them at the Trident. It was meant as a joke of course, but my gang did use it to get back at me for delaying the treat…!

Finally, a good 10 days after my bday, I managed to get a delivery confirmed from Monginis for snacks and pastries. At 5.30, we met up, after a days work at office. And what followed was even better than what I was hoping for.

Mandar, the life of my party, initiated the ‘Happy Birthday’ song singing. Needless to say, it was really embarrassing, but cute. They tired not with 1, but 2 renditions of the world’s most popular song, with me smiling stupidly all the while. The singing completed, it was an indication for ‘Toot Pado’… that is, make grabs for the food. The pastries were awesome and even I was hogging, all thoughts of calories and pimples out of the window.

And suddenly, Mandar had this idea… he asked everyone at the table to give suggestions to me for my coming year… sort of resolutions for the New Year, but decided by the others. Well, since people always love giving advice, this suggestion was met with hoots of approval. And this post of mine is my record of the things I need to do this year…;-)

Shiv was the first to go. Shiv is a relatively new friend of mine and since the day we have met, his only grouse it hat I am not on FB. So presumably, his suggestion to me was to join FB pronto. Now, I have an inherent laziness to join social networking sites. I had joined Orkut after much persuasion from my engineering mates and never really used it well. With Orkut now on R.I.P. mode and Google Plus raising its head on the horizon, I wonder if FB would get outdated by the time I join it… : -)

Hemang and Manjit came up with suggestions of me trying out something new. Hemang advised to me go out and visit new places, try out new adventures, something which I haven’t done much all these years. Manjit advised me to go ahead and do all the things which I keep wishing I could do. I want to learn singing, dancing, crafts, things I have loved all my life but have been pursuing amaturely. Surely, good ideas that I need to implement.

Abhi n Mandar gave an advice which I was expecting from them – that I should learn to love myself. Well, I have this tendency to rate myself on the feedback I get from others. Whether this stems from insecurity or lack of confidence, I don’t know. I am much better now than I was a few years back. But the effect of the dose of confidence which I got during my MBA days is now on the wane. So again, a suggestion needed to be implemented fast.

And finally, it was Sanket’s turn. And he made good use of his coming last, by hitting below the belt. He said – U should never say things u have no intention of doing. As I grappled to understand what he means, he explained – we were promised a treat at Trident, all we get is Monginis? I was shocked at this meek guy’s so called suggestion which was actually a barb at me… ; -) and couldn’t help but think ‘Et tu Brute!’

Well, Sanket’s words opened up a flow of comments, on whether food at 5 star is good or not, and how Monginis was actually quite tasty… soon, it was time to call it a day, a few had to go back to office to complete work and the rest of us were headed home.

The evening was fun in more ways than one and this post has locked it in my memories for ever…