Recruitment Woes

 

Focus

Just like the wedding season comes about three times a year in India, I used to think there are certain parts of the year when the recruitment season kicks in. In this season, I receive requisitions from almost all our Business Units, all at the same time. For someone like me, who is not a trained HR expert, recruitment comes with its own set of challenges. Imagine my plight when this season has for one reason or another become a perennial affair for the organization with recruitment going round the year.

One of the biggest challenges I continuously face during recruitment season is the lack of respect of time amongst the generation of today. When calling candidates for interview,  I am reminded of my days of attending interviews, about 15 years ago. In those days, to get an interview call was such a big deal, that we would prepare for days to crack the interview. On the day of the interview, we would shower well, wear our best clothes, go to the temple and report at least 30 minutes before the interview time. Good preparation for interview was not a sign of under confidence in oneself. It was a sign that we valued the opportunity given to us and we wanted to make the most of it. Above all, we had very high respect for the time of the organization, and we couldn’t afford to waste it.

Today, out of the many candidates that apply for the post, we painstakingly shortlist candidates and send interview calls to tens of them. Only 5 -10 acknowledge the email confirm their participation for the interview. Out of these, only 4-5 actually show up for the interview. Out of these only, 1-2 report on time.

For me, it is so difficult to comprehend why would someone apply for a job, if they didn’t want to even attend the interview? The next level of dilemma is, how can someone afford to be late for an interview appointment for their first job? I can understand if you already have a job, you sometimes get late while coming to work. That is part of life. But in this case, you don’t have a job right now. You are searching for one and I completely understand the pressure you are under, thanks to your parents, society and girlfriend to find a job as quickly as possible. Given this context, when you get a call for an interview, wouldn’t you be really excited about it? Wouldn’t you polish yourself well before coming for it? Wouldn’t you turn the axis of the earth, if needed, to be on time for it? And yes, for any unknown reason, if the sun rose earlier and caused your clock to go awry that day, wouldn’t you have the basic courtesy to call and inform the Organization that you would be reaching a little late? And, of course, that you are extremely sorry for the delay. Wouldn’t you?

Sigh! I know I would. I also know most of the folks from my generation would. But, this generation….

I feel, for most of them, an interview is just another thing to be done during the day. For some reason if the Girlfriend, took more time over the phone, they can even choose to skip the interview all together. What the heck, there will be one more interview a few days down the line. Plus, it would look super cool in front of friends, that you got a call for an interview and you didn’t even bother to attend it. It will help create a perception that there are so many organizations trying to get you in.

I can go on for hours ranting about my recruitment woes. The bottom line is that I am completely at a loss trying to understand this generation. Maybe this is what Generation Gap is all about. Maybe, I can never get into the shoes of this Generation and understand what is that they are really after. All I know is that somewhere in this generation are the leaders for tomorrow. They are going to be the ones, we are going to hand the baton to. Since they are the next level of evolution, after us, I expect them to be faster, smarter, and more productive than us. I am counting on them to take forward whatever little we have been able to build in our lifetime.

 

Don’t get me wrong! The issue is not as simple as just turning up late for an interview. The issue is the lack of focus, commitment and discipline about the future. No matter how smart you are or how rich your father is, if you don’t have these three things in your life, you might as well take retirement now from your future work life.

In the end, whatever you choose to do with your life, is up to you. My only request is that please forgive an old soul like me and don’t waste my time, in the process. I have far fewer years left on this planet, than you. And, thanks to God, I still have many more tasks to accomplish in these years.

 

P.S. I chose to write about boys and their girlfriends to keep the context simple. I am not biasing any gender here. I am aware that girls are equally busy with their boyfriends, as well.

The Perfect World

Rainbow Hospital
Rainbow Hospital

Three days of utter chaos finally settled into a calm and peaceful evening as Yog recovered from a bad flu. High fever running for three straight days had left the entire home overcast with dull grey clouds. As we returned back from the doctors visit, reassured that Yog was going to be fine soon, the silver lining to the clouds was slowly becoming wider. As Yogs Grandfather navigated the busy roads of Hyderabad during the peak evening office hours, Yog, Toyna and me settled down comfortably on the back seat of the car. The long drive, the weakness from the illness and the soft music made sure that Yog soon settled into a light slumber in my arms. Toyna tired from her school and then the doctors visit, was also slowly drifting into her dream world.

Yog slept off comfortably in my lap, while Toyna rested her head on my shoulder and dozed off. The peace of the moment was accentuated by the beautiful songs on the radio and the comfort feeling of having two extremely caring adults in the car with me (Grandparents to Yog and Toyna). This was my perfect world. What more could anyone ever ask for in life?

Yog coughed intermittently as the car jerked to avoid the on road bedlam. Toyna shifted in her seat once in a while trying out a more comfortable position for her head. I patted Yog back to sleep with one hand and with the other, I soothed Toynas soft curly locks. When we were about 10 minutes away from home, Yog sat up, all of sudden with a bad bout of cough. As he coughed harder,  I could sense there was something else that was soon to follow. I woke up Toyna urgently requesting her to hand me an empty tiffin box resting in Yogs bag. She reacted quickly and handed me the open tiffin box. As soon as I placed it before Yog, he threw up a good amount of milk that he drank before sleeping. The tiffin box did it’s job well and saved the car from a big mess. This thoroughly disappointed Yog. As the next set of bile rose through his gut, he pushed the tiffin box right out of his face and proceeded to empty the next set of broken down milk, right on top of me. Aghhhhh!

With that he lay down back to sleep quite contended at not only throwing out whatever was bothering him in his stomach but also soaking his mother in his vomit. After all, it was his birth right to make sure his mother smelt as bad as he actually felt. The rest of the journey went in trying to clean Yog and me with little wipes that we always keep along for such emergencies. All the windows of the car were now open. Vehicles coming a little too close to our car, were automatically forced to move away, thanks to the foul smell emanating from our car.

What can I say!?! This is the beauty of my perfect world. Soaked in shit, vomit, dripping nose, leaking diapers and more… my perfect world might not smell very perfect to any stranger right now.  But believe me, it is actually quite perfect the way it is. You have to have a perfect world like this of your own to really understand how.

 

P.S. I did have a bath before writing this blog. I hope you cannot smell the stink of the vomit in the blog.

Brother and Sister are supposed to fight

Boat RideToyna and me squatted on the floor trying to get some Hindi revision in order. Yog feeling left out, tried different means to get our attention. From scribbling on the books, snatching pencils and trying to tear the books, he tried his best to rescue Toyna from me.

When everything failed, he came to his last tried and tested technique – Hitting and Scratching. He caught hold of Toynas arm and pinched and scratched her. I turned to give him my dirtest possible look, trying to tell him it is not OK to hurt others. He acknowledged my look with one of sweetest smiles, maintained the eye contact with me and proceeded to hit Toyna on the arm again. I scowled at him. Toyna looked at me and then at her brother and figured that her mother was no longer in control of the situation. She decided it was time for her to take action.

She pushed Yog back from her and gave him a tight one on his arm. My jaw literally dropped as I realised this was really out of hand now. Toyna, till date, had never hit back at Yog. However, this shock was nothing compared to what was lined up ahead. Even though he was hurt, Yog giggled, picked himself up together and ran towards Toyna to throw himself at her with as much force he could garner. Toyna, in return, caught him before he could fall and proceeded to tickle him.

As Yog giggled and rolled in her arms, Toyna looked at me and said, “Don’t worry about us Mama! Just like you and Papa keep fighting, Yog and me are also supposed to fight. After all, we are brother and sister! ”

Once more, I was short of words to express my thoughts to this beautiful girl. Love, pride, wonder, and above all respect for Toyna could only be summarised by a big hug. But then, Yog had, by now, made sure that Toyna was far away from the clutches of her mother. A hug was not possible to either of the two parts of the rolling and laughing bundle. I left them alone to soak in their childhood and give myself time to soak in my blessings.

Just be my Valentine

Just be my Valentine

When Pavan and I started dating 15 years ago in a small conservative town, we were seriously constrained on time and means to express our love for each other. Blame the society, or the office, or just the values that we had been brought up with. It was impossible to state openly that we were in love and we meant the world to each other. The more we were put into constraints, the more our love grew for each other. In those days, one more boundary just meant one more thrill, mystery or adventure. We were seriously in love.

Fast forward to 6 years later; we were blessed to have a decent home, a 3 year old daughter, rewarding jobs but a marriage which was on extremely tight tenterhooks. Each day started and ended with a long list of unfulfilled personal requirements. We were lost trying to meet the responsibilities of parenting, work, home and health. We were lost trying to find ourselves, leave alone trying to find each other. I guess, we were too seriously married.

Fast forward to today; we continue to be blessed to have the love of an extended family including parents, sisters, nieces, nephews and two adorable children. We have discovered ourselves. We have discovered each other and where we want to be TOGETHER. We have very little time that we spend together, so we have learnt to count and celebrate each moment that we share. We consciously go out of the way to make each other feel special. A number of times, we stop all other priorities, no matter how burning they are, just to connect with each other. I guess, we are seriously in love again.

I consider myself no expert in relationships. After all, till date, I have had only one boyfriend and one husband. This is hardly enough experience to be able to draw inferences. However, there is one thing that I have learnt in my relationship with Pavan that I wanted to share today. It is far more rewarding to remain a Girlfriend/Boyfriend, than it is to get married. Marriage somehow dulls the romance. In order to fit into the image of a responsible parent or a spouse, we start taking relationships too seriously. We burden the relationship with expectations, rules, and compromises.

The surprising part is that none of this happens when you are in a relationship with the same person before getting married. As a girlfriend/boyfriend, we are constantly looking for ways to make the other person feel special. We love them for their eccentricities and we consciously try working on improving our eccentricities. The bottom line – we never ever take each other for granted.

Imagine if we could combine the romance of dating to the fulfillment of marriage. Imagine if we could continue to remain as best friends, even though we were married. Imagine that no matter what the date, whenever we are together, it is Valentines Day!

This is the story of my  marriage, the story of my Valentine. For us Valentines Day comes about 50 times a year. Life is too short, not to celebrate love, each single day that you are together.

One Afternoon

Toyna, Yog and Mamma

The afternoon clock said it was 2:30 p.m. The caller on the phone was desperate. My heart grew heavier as I listened in. Not again, not today. I just couldn’t manage to leave office today. I pacified the caller with an assurance that I would come home if the situation did not improve in the next ten minutes.

I looked again at the clock in the corner of my laptop screen. It was not cooperating. It was just 2:31 p.m. There were 89 more excruciating minutes before Toyna would get home. I pushed my chair and got up from my seat. The document on the screen was no longer important. I aimlessly wandered to get myself a glass of water. Anything to distance myself from work, from the agony of home. When will things get better, when will Toyna get home?

I tried to focus back on work, and was saved by a team member trying to clarify a doubt. As we got back into discussions, the clock felt ignored and decided to rush a little. Before I knew it, it was already 3:15 p.m. When I chanced upon it, my heart stopped. I had promised I would call back again after 10 minutes. I hurriedly called home to check how Yog was doing now. He was thankfully settled and watching nursery rhymes on the TV. While I hate to use TV as a means to calm him down, I guess desperate situations call for desperate solutions as well.

I allowed the TV to run for while, at least till Toyna got home from school. I knew once she got home, all would be well again. Yog would be happy to see her and she would know exactly what to do if he was still cranky. In the worst case, if she was not able to handle the situation, she would call me with a clear synopsis and I could guide her on what to do.

It has been three days that Yogs grandmother went out of town and we installed a new nanny for Yog. Yog refuses to allow the new nanny to come close to him. Every time he goes into his moods, she calls me desperately and requests me to come home. Three days  have been a pure battlefield trying to balance work and Yog in my 24 hour long day. The silver lining to this grey cloud has been Toyna.

Without a single strain of panic or stress, she just so easily assumed the “Lady in Charge” position at home. While distracting Yog with her antics, she would guide the Nanny on how to handle Yog appropriately. She would first pacify Yog, then the Nanny and then me over the phone by providing an accurate update of the ground situation.

To think that she is barely 10 years old herself, I could never have expected her to play this role so effortlessly. When she is around Yog, I don’t have to worry about Yog at all. She just knows what to do. Looking back, I wonder when did she transition from being my responsibility to being my biggest asset. What would I ever do if she was not by my side?