Sunday, August 29, 2004

Well, I ended up not writing the T test. Today was Avanni Avattam and I had to go to the temple to change my poonal. It was 8:15 by the time I got back home. My friends went to Anna University at 6 in the morning and even then managed to get a slot only at 1 PM. I mulled over it and decided not to go in the end. Just didnt feel like standing in the queue for 2 hours in the hot sun. I heard the queue extended for over a kilometer from Anna University.

Still getting conflicting thoughts regarding C and P. It would only worsen if I got through T too. Things wouldnt be complicated but for the bond that P has.

Before I got a job, I thought it would be heavenly to have a dozen job offers to pick and choose from. Its not that easy once you sign the damn bond. Until you sign the bond, the company seems perfect.Once you do sign the bond, you feel trapped and every other company seems more promising :P.

So here are my 2 most conflicting thoughts:

Thought 1 : " C pays more! Everyone knows C! Everyone says great things about the company! Damn that I have a bond with P!"

Thought 2 : " Your original plan was to work for 2 years, get the experience and go for an MBA. So why bother which company? Everyone knows P too..."

I keep oscillating between these thoughts. Everyday I'm convinced 1 thought is better than the other...and then I change my mind again.

K, right now Thought 2 seems more convincing....esp because I dont want to study for the interview again....

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Well, my first week at work is over. I havent actually been WORKING as such, we just have classroom training. I'm learning, or rather trying to figure out what Pro*C is :P.
To tell you the truth, I'm glad the weekend is here. For the last 5 days, I've been sitting in the same air conditioned hall for about 8 hours a day...and the monotony is setting in.(Well atleast I'm being paid for it).

My brother in law said that if I got into C, I ought to take it. I guess C is doing really well now, also they pay quite a bit more. I've been told the work atmosphere is pretty good.

T is having its walk in tommorow, guess I'll go for it. They dont pay that much initially but hey, its India's number 1 software company(I think P comes 8). I think their test is kinda tough, guess I'll simply go give it a shot. Its a walk in at Anna University, I think the place will be jam packed tommorow.

My main concern is that P has a 2 year bond...which I have to sign by monday. So what happens if I get into C or T? Do I just stop going to work?

I'm a little reluctant to report on my dad's health because it keeps fluctuating. For the moment though, the news is good. He's breathing on his own without the ventilator (We were scared he would become ventilator dependant). He also opened his eyes just a little and closed them again.

So life goes on. I think the hospital is going to occupy a large part of our time for the next few months to come. Just have to be patient.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Day 1 of work. Didnt do much really. We filled out form after form after form. I think we filled forms for 3 hours straight. There are about 25 of us and I got to know most of them.
I kinda liked my first day in P, the HR people made us feel very comfortable. The food in the canteen was pretty good too. Actually I didnt know if it was good or not, I was starving by the time we broke for lunch so I piled everything that was available on my plate and bulldozed my way through it , not caring for the taste. You could have put a live chicken on plate and I would have eaten it without batting an eyelid.

The offices are pretty good. On the downside, once you get inside you lose track of time. Rain or shine, hot or cold, you have absolutely no idea whats going on outside.

We asked the HR people what we were going to do over the next few weeks. The lady smiled and said " Relax, we arent going to ask you write code from today. Just use the time now to settle down, know the company and bond with your team mates."

So all I did today was bond with my team mates. There are about 5 of us who have got calls from C, so we were wondering what to do. I felt so bad when I was filling out all those forms, especially the one for my HDFC bank account. Was I going to leave the company after I got an id card, an access card, a bank account, my own PC, an email address with the company, my own coffee mug......?

The thing is, I have to sign a service agreement with P by the 30'th and C isint going to tell me when my interview is until the 30' kinda looks like I might stay with P.

K, now excuse me, I have to go to my OFFICE.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Starting monday, I'm going to be entering into a whole new world. I'm going to be able to use sentences like " I'm going to the OFFICE " :P. I feel a strange rush of pride when some of my relatives come over and ask " So when are you joining duty?". Its an amazing and rather unfamiliar feeling, when people who always didnt bother to look twice at you on account of your age come up and ask you how much your salary is or where your office is located :P. Suddenly, I feel very grown up.

The funny thing is, I've never really given any thought to actually WORKING. SO far my idea of work is that it is a system which pays you gobs of money to sit in an air conditioned room and wear a tie.

I get so caught up in the whole thing that at times I forget the difficulties my family is facing. I forget that my father is critically ill and that its been an entire month since we admitted him. For a few moments I become oblivious to the anguish my mother is going through...and then it hits me, I become sober again.

Fate is a funny thing. For the 3 months since I left college, I worried day and night that I'd never get a job and that I'd be a good for nothing who ate and slept at home all day. Now suddenly I have a job, but my father dosent even know about it.

I'm getting through the whole thing knowing that what ever should happen, will happen. I know that I should be prepared for the consequences, whatever they may be. However, I just cant bear to watch my mother cry. I know that I cannot even come close to experiencing what she's going through...I'm helpless.

Not knowing when he will become ok, whether he will become ok, when he will wake up, how long the whole thing will take, how much money it will cost us in the end...thats what we all despair about. The uncertainity is killing us.

Its tough when one day my dads health improves and we all cheer up and the next day, it slumps again. We feel cheated....and actually guilty that we afforded to let ourselves laugh.
Well, I spent 3 months worrying that I'd spend eternity without a job, but that didnt happen. So I guess its the same with my dad. Just have to be patient.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

There was the problem of too little and now there's the problem of too much! I have a job in P and I've been called for interviews at C and I-I!

I'm in a dilema, C is putting up the interview schedule on the day I join P.C pays more and is probably has a more casual atmosphere than P...but I cant bunk work to attend the interview....I'm confused :-(

Monday, August 16, 2004

Fairly busy day. Had to go to college to pick up a couple of reference letters are required by P. I tried to get my no due and transfer certificates but it became too late. Took an auto and went to P. One very grim security guard told me I was late, which struck me as odd because I distinctly remember the lady saying " Come by sometime on Monday and pick up your call letter. " He then grumpily directed me to the 2'nd floor. I came upon a door and no matter how determinedly I pushed or pulled, the door stubbornly refused to budge. One sympathetic chap there asked me to flash the visitors card before the detector. The door smoothly opened.

The office was pretty impressive, all high tech...I dont think I'm supposed to work here though. This was the one in Sp Plaza. Mine is in S towers, a rather drab old building right next to it.

Then I met Miss Mohanapriya who gave me my call letter and gave some details regarding my job, most of which I didnt understand. She kept using short forms like
ERP and I kept going blank until she noticed my rather vacant expression. She said everything would be explained during the induction program. I join 1 week from
now, on the 23'rd of this month. I thanked her, pulled the door again a few more times, remembered the visitors card and exited sheepishly. Came down and met the
grumpy security guard again. It looks like he's already decided I'm one of those late comer types. I tried chatting with him, signed in the wrong register and meekly
watched him glare at me. I dont think he rates my intelligence highly.

Then had to go to IMS to get my money back. You see, on friday I went to IMS and paid up Rs.10,000 to join their CAT cruncher course. I'd done that as a back up option, in case I didnt get a job. As luck would have it, I got my job 1 day after I joined the course.
So I went up to the lady there and quietly told her I needed my money back. She refused saying that it was against the rules. So I told her about my dad's condition
and how expensive it was to keep him in hospital. She mechanically replied " I understand your position but IMS cannot refund your money". I hate it when people say things like that without for a moment considering the difficulty the other person is facing. I didnt want her saying she understood my position. If she did, I would have got my money back that minute. So I just quietly said I wasnt leaving until I got my money back. She grumbled for a while and then took me to the manager. I sat down and told him the whole story. Chap listened to it grimly and asked me to write a letter and also attach proof of my fathers condition. Then I would have to
wait 45 days for the money to return. I agreed and left. I dont think I will join IMS ever again. I found them too cold and impersonal.

So its 1 week to employment....cant wait.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

For several nights now, I have been going to bed in the lobby of Malar hospital. This is because the nurses in the IMCU will decide at 2 in the morning that my dad needs some esoteric medicine which must be administered immediately. The ICU is on the 5'th floor and the pharmacy is in the lobby. Thus someone always has to be there to run up 5 floors (the lift takes ages..not worth waiting for), collect the prescription, run down to the pharmacy (the medicines are always hideously expensive) and then run up again and deliver them.

Whats really annoying is that there are no employees to attend to the phone at night. Thus when it rings, it rings and rings and rings until someone wakes up and answers it (ie, me). Initially I thought I was being responsible. I'd always lift the phone, listen to the nurse and then yell out " Mr. So and so's attender, please go the IMCU". Big mistake. Now whenever the phone rings, all the other patients relatives just sit around casually and wait for me to pick up the phone. Some of them will come up to be and say gruffly " I'm going to sleep now,wake me if a call comes". So much for shared responsibility.

There is no actual place to sleep. You have to push aside the chairs and reserve a spot on the floor before someone else latches on to it. The spot under the fan is a prime location and the competition for it is intense (On the downside, everone has to step over you if they want to leave the lobby).

Then there are the cockroaches. Yesterday someone complained so they sprayed pesticide all over the place. Thus I spent the night in the lobby which

1) Smelt terrible

2) Had a larger number of cockroaches than usual.

All of us in the family now have that famous Malar hospital smell which clings on to us all the time. Our clothes reek of it. People wrinkle their noses the moment we
come near them.....I think we smell antiseptic.

I have to go collect my call letter from P on Monday...once I start working I dont think I can spend anytime at the a way I'm actually glad, I just want to get away from it all...but then I feel bad that I'm not going to be around all the time to help out.

P has some pretty formal dress codes I think. Only formal wear...worst of all, you gotta wear a tie. I dont like ties. I think they make you look quite silly. When I
went for my interview I noticed that most of the employees had some pretty rotten ties on. I think the average indian male thinks that no matter how bad you look or
no matter how unsuitable the colour combination of your clothes are, you will still be able to seduce Carmen Electra if you wear a tie. ( even if your shirt is blue and the tie has pink flowers on it)

I might go out today to update my collection of formal wear. I have one decent tie..I might have to look at my dads collection too.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

I got my call from P..... I've got a job in a good company.....but its not sunk in yet....for some reason I'm still nervous about my C test.....

My dads condition remains the same, stable but unconcious. I've got my first bit of good news from Polaris and now I'm waiting for the second bit from the doctors.

Friday, August 06, 2004

I've already become sick of telling people how my dad is. Sick because I'm
forced to mechanically repeat the same answer over and over again day in and
day out without a single change. People keep dropping in to ask. I am repeatedly
waylaid on the road and the phone just hasnt stopped ringing.

There's this new watchman we have, a tall thin old man who wants 2 hour
updates on my fathers health status. Initially I was touched by his concern but
now I find it plain irritating. Irritating because each time I give the answer he
smacks himself on the forehead, looks at me sorrowfully and moans out loud in
tamizh " Only God can save him, only God can save him! ". So much for sunny
optimism, I felt like kicking the old bugger today.

Dont get me wrong, I fully appreciate the concern everyone has, its the emotional
support that we get that keeps us going without losing our hopes BUT its just so
damn annoying when people react like all hope is lost. Then there are some
people who ask such stupendously stupid questions, I almost lose my temper.

Neighbour : " So hows your father now? "

Myself : " He still hasnt become concious aunty..."

Neighbour : " Oh ok. So is he eating by himself now? "

Myself: " he still isint concious...."

Neighbour (casually): " So he's in a coma huh? "

Myself : " NO! Not a coma! He's just not awake yet."

Neighbour: " So how does he eat then? "

Honestly, why are they so worried about how my dad eats? Arent we facing
bigger problems?

In other news, I finally got my hall ticket for the CTS exam. Its on the 14th. Wish
me luck. The way my dads health keeps swinging from stable to hopeless and
back to stable again, I dont know if I'll have the mental peace to study.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

A leeetle bit more hopeful today. The reason behind yesterdays negative entry was simply that the doctor had been a lil negative. There was a lot of crying at home so the general atmosphere brought me down. Luckily last evening the neuro who operated on my dad said he saw some improvement. My dad is not progressing at the rate he wants him to but nevertheless, there is some minor improvement. So there's some hope we can cling on to and thats a relief by itself. ( Also my uncle is carefully monitoring my dads horoscope and claims everything will be fine by the 19th. I dont really believe in horoscopes but hey, its reassuring to hear. Another aunt of mine is going to all the important temples and doing every puja possible.)

Its a good thing that a lot of my relatives have come down to help. The emotional support is tremendous. Everyone wants to pitch in to help be it some distant relative or the watchman or the flower lady(and before I forget, the people who read my blog). Thats whats so great now. Its such a nice surprise to know that everyone cares.

In other news, I bought the CAT application form and just finished filling it out. I'll go through it again carefully later. I'm doing it on my own for the first time, I usually left all that to my dad. He filled out most of my application forms last time.I never had the patience to read instructions and verify everything while my dad was a stickler for details when it came to such matters. So now I have to be very very careful.

I might have to go to Banglore some time next week to write the aptitude test for Hexaware. Lets see how things settle down.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

My father had a surgery yesterday to relieve the pressure caused by excessive cerebro spinal fluid. The doctors are apprehensive because he still hasnt woken up. Brain damage might already have occured. They've asked us to pray.