Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tough Assignment ... !!

Hell it's been some time since I have blogged. Its even more surprising coz I have run into so many incidents that I could have blogged everyday ... maybe more than once a day. Having read that statement again, I realize that I should have said INCIDENTS HAVE RUN INTO ME. Never mind.

It was one of those mornings when I was at the office tapri with one of my good buddies sipping chai. We noticed that there was this huge group of youngsters (maybe between 22 and 25 years old and yeah I realized I just grew older with that statement), all clad in similar white T-Shirts. We guessed that these youngsters are part of one college which has doled out some term end assignments to each one of them. They were selling chai, sandwiches, shirts, etc. It reminded me of my school days when we used to do SUPW(yeah we had a subject called Socially Useful Productive Work) tasks after school hours or during weekends.

Anyway, these students (I am not calling them youngsters anymore) were divided into groups, each group selling something different. From the place I was standing at, I could see a group of 3 (2 boys and a good looking girl) selling shirts. I guess this group took advantage of the girl being good looking and asked her to approach people to buy the shirts. She was quite persuasive in asking people to buy the shirts at Rs. 350 per shirt. Almost no one was buying any shirt of course.

I was just hoping she would approach me coz I was just itching to have a crack at her and maybe spoil her day. I have no justification to think that way but of late I have been having a crack at people way too much even for my comfort. Its almost like an addiction which I should let go off sooner than later.

Anyway, she approached 4-5 sets of people and kept walking away from me and then disappeared. My friend and I continued chatting and it was time to get back to work when we suddenly saw the group emerge and this time they were coming to us for sure. Badhiya.

She walked upto me and said ...

Her: Sir, can you please buy a shirt? It is a very good quality shirt and its only for Rs. 350. Definitely, you can buy 1.
Me: Of course I can. But you see, I am not carrying any cash and I am in a hurry to get back to work and hence I cant run to the ATM and get cash. But we can work this out. You see the shirt I am currently wearing is much more expensive that the shirt you are selling ... maybe for around Rs. 1000. So here's the deal ...

(All this while the 2 guys with her are looking on not knowing whats happening as are the other onlookers ...)

Me: You can take off my shirt and give me the shirt you are selling in exchange. But since my shirt is much more expensive than the shirt you are selling, it wouldn't be a fair bargain. So I will need the shirt that you are wearing too.

The guys with her tell her "Let's go from here"

And they run for cover.

Another incident that could have been avoided but wasn't.

Cheers ... !!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Appraisal Improvements ... !!

Its that time of the year again. APPRAISALS ...

Appraisals begets curiosity. And excitement. And disappointment. And? And some more ... maybe confusion, maybe uncertainty. May be not. Almost all of us pin so many hopes onto this one yearly phenomenon and end up being restless for the duration it lasts. When it's over, its either a pall of gloom and despair or an air of euphoria. For a lot of us, we are so concentrated on ourselves that we don't need to worry about others. For others (like me), its easier said than done.

To perform a good appraisal for the team is quite an annoying task. So many parameters and policies to adhere too. Sometimes, it defies common sense and yet you have to put up a brave face and justify practically every unjustifiable statement or observations you have made for someone. I hate this job.

This year I was going to perform the appraisal for around 15 folks. Most of these folks had worked with me during the year gone by and I had lot of comments to make for them. Both good and not-so-good. For others, they reported to someone else but since that someone else was no longer in the team, I had to take it up. These cases were brutal. I am not going to mention what transpired during these discussions or feedback sessions. Just one light incident that I found worthy to be jotted down.

For every individual, I carried a printout of my comments. The comments were categorized into 3 parts. Strengths, Improvements and Summary. Along with the rating of course.

Anees is a person who had joined the team in August 2011 and hence was comparatively new to the team. He was part of a team that used to sit adjacent to our team before that. So we used to interact with each other even before he joined my team. He is a jolly personality and always up for fun events within the team and cracking jokes. We have had several chats on Communicator that I don't feel like going into more details. For obvious reasons. :). Typical guy talk.

The current scenario is that he is resigning and will not be around starting March. I had given him a rating that he didn't deserve due to some stupid policy that the organization follows for a person quitting the job. He was due for promotion and had he stayed, his rating would have been completely the opposite. So much for policies. Crap.

During our discussion, we discussed his Strengths first and then his Improvements and the conversation went off quite well. I also made it clear why I had given him his rating. He was aware that something like this would happen and he did not accept the rating which was perfectly understandable.

At the end of any such discussion, I was asking each person to give me my own feedback too so that I can also improve. This was the highlight of the discussion.

In his own very sweet and innocent way, he said ...

Bass ek hi Improvement hai aapke liye ... quit Drinking.

And we laughed. I said ... Yes. Someday. When I am no more alive.

In the hustle and bustle of the most traumatic appraisal experience, came this moment which lightened it up a bit for me.

All the best Anees. Do well.

Cheers ... !!