BPO…..

The talk in the cafateria had scared him slightly… everyone was wondering how long this would last.. here they were, just out of college, earning at the start of their careers, more than what their parents did at the end of theirs, enjoying a lifestyle that their parents couldnt have dreamed of, and generally living life to the fullest…
those were the good bits…but the flip side of it was you became a nocturnal creature ( well, depending on the country the client’s audience resided in, the hours varied).. he had heard there were even some local outfits that worked during the day, who dealt with an indian audience, but the pay was pretty bad and besides, they didn’t get free language training, which was a perk he enjoyed… and in case he decided to go there, he would have to unlearn …uhuh, no way, he thought!! besides, he would never get to play the characters he got here… wasnt that what he did everyday, assuming a character who matched the expectations of the audience he was talking to… maintaining a conversation with people he hadn’t seen and would perhaps never see.. pretending to look outside the window and seeing the snow falling( hell, he had never seen snow) or autumn leaves or the colors of the spring.. and generally being someone he wasnt, and would perhaps, never be…he knew most of the people who he dealt with realised all this, but so long as he put up a good front, they were cool with it….
but he wondered how soon all this would start reflecting on his persona.. his language was already a problem with his friends and parents…sometimes he felt frustrated, writing about stuff he had no interest in, replying to comments made by the clients’ audience… maintaining conversations in shoutboxes and tagboards…
he wondered whether the second wave of BPOs would have happened at all – if blogging hadnt become a craze, and once people started, it hadn’t become so addicitive, and after sometime there wasnt a burnout, and in spite of the burnout, people didnt want their blogs to go on.. but all this, did happen, thats why he had a job…
Blogs & Posts Outsourcing, he wondered if this had a future at all!!
until next time, ride the wave….

Once in a while…

He sat looking at the cake, a part of his 70th birthday celebrations… a once in a lifetime event… and wondered how he loved and looked forward to these once in a while events… from the simple stuff to the really ‘once in a lifetime’ events…he allowed himself a brief flashback of his life so far…
he loved his birthdays from the time he could remember.. he was the centre of attraction on that day, and would be flooded with presents…. on the birthday that came once a year…
but he loved the simple things too… sleep, for example, because he was awake all day and slept only once, at night… he liked sundays, because all the other days he had to go to school, and later, work… he used to love saturdays too, because that was the only day he dined out…
he had looked forward to his marriage, because he knew he would be married only once.. yes, an old school thought, but thats the way he was… he used to look forward to anniversaries, the day in the year when everything would be special.. he cherished the day his only son was born, because they were sure there wouldnt be a another..he also had fond memories of the day he retired from work, it was the end of a big chapter in his life……
lately he had started to cherish all moments, because he felt he would be wasting his life otherwise, because each moment of life was special…but these days, there was a contradiction…. he wasn’t looking forward for a moment that was soon to come, a moment that came only once in life… the moment he would die…. no, he wasnt looking forwarded to it, though life happened all the while and death happened only once, but he wondered why…. because he didnt have a choice? because he didnt know what happened after it??…
until next time, live another day…

Day of Reckoning

He was not very comfortable getting into the meeting. he had played around with the numbers and done a last minute damage control exercise, which , though helped him to meet his targets, was not going to go down well with the others in the meeting. Not that he hadnt done it before, but each time he had done something like it, he had faced a lot of flak. he was,understandably nervous.
the meeting began, and as all the other guys mechanically began describing achievements/development work and other parameters in the overall appraisal, he wondered how bad he would look in front of his peers and superiors. finally it was his turn.
as he was explaining his facts and figures, he could feel they were in no way convinced. finally one of the top guys held up a hand. “there are a lot of things that we require clarifications on, that wont be covered in your presentation. it would be better if you answered a few questions.”
“okay”, he said, closing his laptop.
“it has been seen that you are trying to hard sell yourself, when our policy has always been for our target audience to get comfortable with our concept and therefore make decisions accordingly.”
” that has been primarily because i feel now, that it would take too long for them to arrive at a conclusion in favour of us, and during that while, there might be a whole bunch of losses,which i feel is avoidable.”, he replied.
” i think we can afford the delay, and the losses cant be greater than what your actions seem to be achieving now”
he kept silent.
” also, it has been seen that you have a preferential treatment for a particular niche within our target population.”
” i feel they are intellectually much more advanced and therefore would relate to our concept much faster than others”, he said.
” your judgements of intellectual capacity leave a lot to be desired”
he was silent again. he felt the tones of a distinct powerplay to oust him from his position.
“and how could you come up with an idea of using natural disasters to achieve targets. i am referring specifically to the recent geo activity in the asian region. do you know the kind of negative impact it could have?”
“with all due respect, sir, i have met my targets and created a distinct recall phenomenon for our concept”, he replied.
” the means are also important. by the way what is with this fancy name you have gotten your niche audience to call you?”
” i felt that for the value proposition we give, a name would make the audience connect better with me and therefore the concept”
” let me assure you that a concept like ours does not need a name to back it up. we are not pleased with your performance and the next review will be your last chance. and meanwhile, stop getting your favourite audience to call you God. the concept, of faith in a greater power,is quite strong by itself”
until next time, never play god..

Iconoclastic

adjective: characterized by attack on established beliefs or institutions
He cursed as he read the sports page of the newspaper. the damn editor had written a special feature on the organisation he worked for, but he knew who the target was. he wished he could be editor for a day and take out his frustrations on the press. the way they ridiculed his work was as though they were wreaking some vendetta on him.it was guys like this who made him wish the old systems were still around. but maybe that was it.. these guys had started experiencing freedom of speech only a few years back, so they didnt know what to do with it. he hadnt heard even a murmur of a complaint those days when athletes didnt perform well in the sport he coached. it was only now that they had started having opinions about everything.
it had all started with his first protege.. she looked like an angel on court.. her critics pointed out that she could barely win a set, but he was okay with that… she brought in the glam that was missing in the sport, and inspired an entire generation.. she truly was the one responsible for his current crop of prodigies.ah, his current crop – 7 in the top 15 on the WTA tour… and at least one, MS, who looked as good (if not better) as his first star, and who could give any current athlete in the sport, serious competition. it was his bad luck that none of his damsels had fared well in the year’s first grand slam,and his biggest hope had got beaten at the hands of that american wrestler in disguise… the press guys had a field day, blaming him for all the failures.. and just when he thought things couldnt get worse, that guy MS had gone ahead and won the men’s category… and so he couldnt blame the system now!!
He wished he were in the country where that other kid SM was from.. SM, who was also beaten by the disguised american wrestler, … just like the initials of the names, the systems and press were also the opposite there… that would be a lovely place to be. that country had a population almost 7 times that of his country, what a gigantic resource pool, and still, when the kid got beaten, she became a star overnight.. hell, he had heard that she even became editor for a day!!
(just a fictional perspective of a russian coach.. the first protege was anna kournikova, the female ms is maria sharapova, the male is marat safin, sm is sania mirza….. other ms include michael schumacher, martin scorcese, manuscrypts ;) … )
until next time, do all MS make good icons?? ;)

Erica

Erica’s birth delighted a whole lot of people. there was something about her that made them believe that she would make her mark in the world. and she did nothing to dislodge their faith.on the contrary, her accomplishments were noted by everyone, and she was a sort of benchmark among her peers, and even her elders.her actions seemed wiser than her years, and people considered it very normal because the people who had a hand in her growth were certainly very intelligent folk. her morals were of the highest standards and she always stood for values like truth and justice. she resolved issues with wisdom and pretty soon her stance on issues were valued and respectedby people everywhere.
as far as her own growth were concerned, she was very industrious, and made friends of the same kind. her growing popularity and ability to influence others attracted a whole lot of people with different dreams.. people who wanted her help to realise their dreams. and when these people grew in stature, so did she, because she was the reason for their success.of course there were some rotten eggs among these, but not too many in number to seriously affect erica’s character.
a lot of people considered the early years of the twentieth century, a landmark time in erica’s life. she fought for all the right things during the time of the first and second world war, and further enhanced her reputation.
towards the end of the second world war was when things started going wrong. experts believed that it all happened because erica suddenly started believing that she could get away with anything, because of her global stature. her actions suddenly became extremely selfish. her ego bloated and she started vociferously declaring in words and deeds, “am erica am erica” until it finally became “america”. the rest,as they say, is history.
until next time, dont let the ego hurt you!!

oops, almost missed, happy valentine’s day, peeps!! :)

Broad minded

 

(circa 2002)
He waited impatiently for his potential customer to meet him. Exciting times, he thought. After only about 6 months of work experience, here he was, poised to become the top selling sales guy in the country, for the company. Quite an achievement, considering that he was not even in one of the metros, which were the best territories for any sales guy to be in, especially when the service you were selling happened to be a nascent thing called broadband internet. These were times when internet cafes and their customers were quite happy with the speed that a dial up connection gave them, and internet access itself wasnt exactly common.

The last few days had been a maddening rush, he was competing with someone he knew only by a name,a counterpart in Bangalore, who was a couple of years more experienced than him, and who had the luxury of working in a city that happened to be the nation’s IT capital, a city which had enough people who were educated about broadband technology.

In the past few days, he had used all his contacts and leads, and now had a score equal to the guy in Bangalore. Today was the last day of the month, and unlike his ‘opponent’ he had no ace, up the sleeve or anywhere. At least he had given the guy a run for his money, he thought.

That was when he got a call from the customer care department; he crossed his fingers. ”There’s a guy who seems to be interested. actually very excited, insisted he wanted to meet you today itself”, said the customer care executive.

And so here he was, waiting for the man who could tip the scales in his favour. The wait was over and he shook hands with a middle aged man who was apparently into the shipping and cargo handling business.

” Timely information is essential for your business”, he started his sales pitch.
“I agree”, said the man, “so i thought i should have an internet connection, and a fast one at that, but i am a total ignoramus as far as technology goes, you’ll have to educate me”
“It doesn’t get faster than broadband”, he continued, and gave the man the entire spiel about the under sea cables, routers etc. The man appeared slightly confused, but convinced nevertheless.
“Sounds good”, the man finally said, “I’ll take it, but from what you say, I guess I’ll have to buy a computer first.. how much does a good computer cost these days?”

until next time, know your opponent…

P.S. please use comments.. we can finally be free of haloscan.. yippee!! :)


All in a day’s work

Just another normal, working day. but in a building that was arguably the most dynamic in the world, which made everyday more than normal and boring. he worked in one small office in one small floor of the huge building complex. a small but exciting office, in an exciting building…only he didnt feel the excitement at all, he believed he would have felt the same way in any other building. pushing papers in administration and housekeeping couldn’t be exciting -period!!

he walked in and found there were a lot of earlybirds today too… some meeting happening, he could tell, from all the smoke around…. the smoke had nothing to do with the thinking, more to do with the cigarettes. he had warned them at least a million times not to smoke in the general area of the office, but that only made him, in their own words, “the butt end of all the jokes, no pun intended”, ha ha!!

he told them to take their meeting to the meeting room, which was met with a lot of protest..but he was firm and finally had his way.he busied himself with his work, thankful that their meetings were now happening elsewhere.

suddenly he heard a muffled knock from the meeting room. first he thought someone was playing a prank, but as it became more frequent, he decided to go and check it out.as he neared the meeting hall, he could see a lot of smoke coming from under the door. he tried to open the door, but it seemed to be locked. as he was standing confused, he distinctly heard a shout for help. without thinking further, he kicked the door open, and immediately felt the heat.damn smokers, he thought… he quickly got the fire extinguisher and successfully dealt with the flames.. but then he noticed that a few of the personnel had lost consciousness and some were in shock…

and to think that he considered his job had no chance of excitement. but perhaps this was the only exciting thing that would ever happen to him here, he mused as he dialled the emergency number – 911…..

far away, a bearded, turbaned man, was watching the same building on a small screen… he paused as though he had decided, smiled and made a small note – WTC, 9/11 ….

until next time, keep building some excitement

Destiny’s Child

A dark, cold night, not unnatural in this time of the year, he thought as he drove fast towards his master’s home. and not exactly a night one would want to venture out on, but this was a life or death situation. life or death for his master’s son. a worthy son of a worthy father.

the medicine he was carrying could save the son’s life, a life which could be very important in a few years’ time, for his master was a very powerful political personality and his son was poised to take over when his time came. and he was already showing signs of scaling heights that his father would himself have loved to touch. in short a very worthy personality in his own right.

but that was until the sickness showed up. it gradually spread in him till he was a shell of his former self. all the doctors in the land were consulted, but even they could not give a correct diagnosis, a cure was far away. that was when his master heard of a practitioner who could perform miracles. he was said to have travelled in far away lands, and had cures for diseases which other doctors couldnt even diagnose correctly.and he lived up to his reputation. after he had seen the patient once, the practitioner correctly traced back all the phases of the sickness. and thankfully confirmed that he had a cure.

as he urged the horses faster, these were the thoughts that played in his mind, and he was happy that he had been chosen to carry the medicine safely from the practitioner’s clinic to the master’s house. who knew, he might be altering the course of destiny itself. and so it was that he saw the little boy crossing the street only a few seconds before the possible collision. his mind worked furiously. if he tried to stop the horses, there was a definite possibility of the carriage skidding on the snow. if he didnt, the child would get trampled under the horses.he made his decision, and the skid threw him out of the carriage onto a wall. there were only two things he remembered as he was losing consciousness – the child staring wide eyed in shock, and the sound of a bottle of glass shattering – the bottle of medicine.

he was taken home, and regained consciousness a few hours later. as soon as he woke, he asked two questions – one answer made him feel miserable, and the other made him sigh in relief. his master’s son had died, for the medicine hadnt reached him in time, but the boy was unharmed. in fact the onlookers had said that his actions were heroic and most humane.

he saw the boy in the corner, and called him close. the boy muttered his thanks and the man smiled. his wife said that their rabbi was there to see him. as the little boy was waving goodbye, the man asked him,”whats your name, child?”.”adolf”, replied the child, “adolf hitler”.



until next time, beyonce makes a better destiny’s child