slavesincorporated

Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category

One Page CV

In Communication, creativity, curriculum vitae, cv, humor, Interview on March 21, 2017 at 18:26
After your blood test your CV is the most telling document on how you have lived your life.
You have been starring at it for ten minutes now and even the cursor seems reluctant to blink. It’s all there, bad decisions, regrets, denials, stress injuries and battle scars, all there in black and white. Neatly tucked into two pages.
CV
But it seems like a lot. And not in the least because you want to save paper. But you feel two pages is too pompous for the train wreck you call a career.
Freshers are all over the place with their 4 objectives, 6 strength areas and 11 hobbies. No one really cares coz as a fresher you are a commodity. But with age comes clarity. This clarity can either be liberating in the infinite possibilities free will presents or debilitating in the inevitable mediocrity most of us statistically end up in.
Internship
You have managed to find yourself in the middle of these two extremes once again. Juggling ambition and realism is a loosing battle. The least you can do is be benign about it.
So you start throwing all the excess baggage overboard. Some of it is quite embarrassing; high school competition certificates and ‘basic computer skills’ need to RIP with the 90s. Fluency in secondary and regional languages is redundant in the 140 character world. And hobbies…Where do you even start with those condolences? You have only really gone hiking once and even that trip was cut short after you sprained your ankle at the base camp itself. Your guitar strings broke from rust. And you hate driving so much that you prefer commuting in cattle class over haggling for parking spots. It’s down to sketching, reading and blogs now. And even these hobbies are on life support.
Getting Paid
And they always will be till you keep calling them hobbies. Always looked down upon as guilty pleasures. As an artist the desire to perform always exceeds the desire to get paid. For some reason, businessmen do not suffer from such afflictions. Or may be you are looking at the world upside down. You have to give it to your present and future employers though, they made making money their hobby. And now their visiting card is itself their CV. Till you can do the same, one page is enough to sell your slavery.
Visiting Card
– Punit Pania

Retired / Absconding / Dead

In HR, Interview, Office humor, Retirement on July 22, 2013 at 17:08

* Resigned / Transferred / Promoted / Retired / Absconding / Dead

There they are staring at you through a pivot table. The universe of choices available to you the employee. Precise, clear, mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. But not very motivating.

Prisoner

Not that motivation was the intention anyway. You remind yourself that you have a tendency to look for motivation in all the wrong places. You need to concentrate on the task at hand. Classifying hundreds of exit interviews or lack thereof into neat non-threatening categories. It seemed at first an unenviable assignment. Your team is bent on churning out some graphs and hitting SEND. But you can’t help but read some of the responses out loud. Most are of the pedestrian ilk:

  • To pursue better avenues
  • Relocating
  • Mom is ill
  • Going for higher studies

But some are interesting, almost inspiring:

  • Going to Osho Ashram for a year to practice meditation
  • Starting a consultancy of my own, connect with me on…
  • Going back to look after father’s farm
  • Finally won a property dispute granting me 70 million!

Now we are talking!

‘Who is this guy?’

‘70-****-million?’

‘Maybe he can hire us now.’

‘Is he married?’

WinningTicket

And similar chatter indicates your team is alive. Who would have thought records of slavery would serve as interesting reading. Seemingly sterile in aggregation, but brimming in isolation. Brimming with sound and poetry. With stories and potential, sunshine and possibilities…if only we decide to.

Decisions are often rued and seldom taken. They are deferred, deterred and pondered over. They bring great power but also attract a great deal of gravity. They seem easier in hindsight and impossible in the here and now. Leaders make decisions, managers execute them and slaves follow.

Obama Chair

Seeing so many of them together is a rather disorientating experience. Especially as these are decisions taken by the average voter. Decisions to leave this galley and move on. Move on to greener pastures, slimmer work hours and fatter pay cheques or at least one of the above. Anywhere but here.

Dealing with decisions is daunting. You would rather have it imposed than go through the ordeal of deciding yourself. This has dual benefits. Less taxation for the brain and you get someone to blame later.

Rock_Paper_Scissors__Hitler

You may have found some motivation after all, albeit in traces. You change the morose classification:

* Resigned / Transferred / Promoted / Retired / Absconding / Dead

to a lighter one:

Quit / Assisted / Concluded

At least, it will force your descendants to dig deeper.

You still need to make those graphs though.

– J.

Power Lunch

In Head Slave, Interpersonal, Interview, Office humor, Power Lunch on March 10, 2012 at 20:37

You never liked the office Cafeteria. For one, they never served coffee. The food was barely edible. And the line-up to the food eerily resembles a prison canteen. To top it all, you are required to sign against our name to avoid you from taking seconds. You can’t imagine swallowing one batch of this mass produced feed matter. But systems are made keeping the masses in mind.

Once you secure a plate and pile it what seems least repulsive, your next challenge is to find a place to sit. Sure there are vantage points and sweet spots to be hunted for. But on most days, just finding enough space to rest your derriere and perch your plate is good enough.

Today is one of those days. The company you did not choose to have is Head Slave himself. He looks ambivalent mingling with the mortals. You look harrowed, being one.

Small talk eventually leads to interview type questions. Between giving the safest possible answers and ignoring looks of mock awe from your usual lunch buddies, you get very little eating done. At the end of it, you feel like you have been interrogated for a Class Action lawsuit. HS now knows more about you than your last girlfriend.

You know you should have been prepared for this. An elevator test can happen anywhere. But the barrage of whys and hows coupled with the prison food are hampering your performance. The trick here is to ask a short question: Why? How? Can you elaborate? And then do your eating while your subject jumbles over his answer and fumbles over the food. Unfortunately, as Bottom Slave, you cannot do much asking.  Whenever you are able to swallow the last morsel in time to blurt out a sensible answer, a phone call that HS just has to answer derails your train.

It is no surprise that he finishes before you. With every reluctant bite you take, he seems to be getting jittery. You also seem to be taking an eternity to chew your food. Though bugged overall, you are impressed with HS’s ability to eat/swallow and talk fast at the same time. It is almost as if he has evolved into a post-humanoid that doesn’t need to chew its food. Maybe he regurgitates it later. With that thought, you decide you have had enough, of lunch. You politely get up half-way to signal it’s time to go.

Having lunch at your desk seems like a better idea by the day.

 

J.

Fit to Slave

In HR, humor, Interpersonal, Interview, Office humor, SlavesInc on March 6, 2012 at 03:33

‘I am a fun-loving person who likes to talk to people.’

‘I like to work in a challenging environment with dynamic growth opportunities.’

‘I like travelling and listening to music.’

Who doesn’t? (you finally intervene)

‘…in my free time’

You: (a look that says ”D’uh”)

This is what a typical slave round-up interview recruitment process goes like. And it is not very different from when you were recruited.

Now that you are on the other side of the table, your expression has changed. It has changed from mock eagerness to mock contempt.

As yet another candidate walks out post a volley of niceties, you and your fellow adjudicators can’t help but exhange weary looks and snide remarks. There is a definite Idol vibe going on. You are not sure if you are immitating TV or interviewers everywhere can’t help but be this way!

When it is finally time to come out with the results, you are caught between two worlds. One warns you of falling for personal prejudices and gut feel. The other reasons that you have done your best to be fair under the time restraint. It is not like you are assessing someone for marriage!

Your inner rebel finally breaks through and vouches for a candidate who doesn’t exactly ‘fit the bill’. With this candidate, Intelligence is not a question; willingness to get hands dirty is.

And sure enough, your dark horse disappoints you. She backs out at the first mention of fieldwork. You remember George Clooney’s Ryan Bingham in Up in the Air:

‘I’m like my mother, I stereotype. It’s faster.’

At least you tried.

– J.