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Tag: company

‘I have a dream’

“I have a dream, a fantasy, to help me cope with anything,

If you see the wonder of a fairytale, you can face the future, even if you fail,

I believe in angels, something good in everything I see,

When I know the time is right for me, I will cross the stream.”               Lyrics  By ABBA

We used to listen a lot to the songs by ABBA during the days of our graduation. The lyrics of this one still come back to me.

A lot of people have tried to help me along the way. In retrospect, I believe that they were only trying to help themselves. More than helping me, they were helping themselves. All the time trying to oblige me. Very strange. To continue living with ‘respect’ . To keep the company ‘running’. to keep the money ‘flowing’. Quite a task.

There is no air in the environment. But there is so much air in the heads of people. It is difficult to guaze and even more difficult to deal with. What would it take to live a simple life. With no titles. No frills. A lot more than what it takes to live a life of drama, frills and accessories. A fake life so to say.

We are in the process of finalizing the reports for two sites in Mumbai. We will be depicting the shielding benefit using the height data generated by photogrammetry. Hopefully, we will do a good job. Hopefully, we will be able to deliver value for money. The file of unpaid bills is growing bigger by the hour. The month has ended and it is that time of next month again. A time to pay the rents, bank instalments and bills. Over to the Higher Power. On my knees again.  I have failed to lead the team. I thought I could change people. I thought I could change the way we work. I cannot change a damn thing. A damn thought in anyone’s head. I cannot change the way we work, talk, think, behave. And all this while I lived under the illusion that maybe I could change something, someone. I am powerless. And the realization and acceptance of this fact is of great relief to me.

The hype and the hoopla of living continue to surprise me. We are still in a jungle I guess. It is the survival of the fittest.

And yet, I have a dream, a fantasy.

‘I have a dream’.


‘Repairing of the soul’

Hariom has left. Got a ‘sarkari’ job. Never mind that we invested in him for three months and put everything at stake. Never mind that we got no output from him. Not even one module. He only took from the company. Maybe that is what he was good at. Just taking and taking. He had nothing to give. And he is the best example of a typically educated and completely self centered man of our times. Gagan has left. He joined when he had no job offer. After two months, he suddenly realized that the online shop was not his cup of tea. That the online shop was just about uploading and downloading of maps. He could not make it work. And in place of doing a SWOT analysis, he dumped the project as useless. This is the current educated Generation X we have created. Its all about me,me,me,mine,my life, my money. There is no ‘us’ in their dictionary. The ‘selfishness’ is just very tiring. Very irritating. Re-start the computer. Re-start the project. Again and again. Talk about trust.

The news of a gangrape disturbs me. Why do we ban drugs of all kinds and yet promote addiction to sex? What are night pubs for anyway? Why is it not possible to ban them? Pubs are where girls and alcohol are used to boost and satisfy the male ego. What kind of entertainment can they provide? We are connecting sex with money. Then why ban prostitution? Why was the girl employed in the pub? Mainly to entice and accompany single men. At a cut. At a cost. My guess is that she refused the advances of a few men who took revenge by gangraping her. A man knows no other way of taking revenge from a woman, specially if his male ego has been compromised. And yet we claim that we live in a civilized world. Let us face it. We live in a jungle where mostly men rule. A woman must know her place, must behave else she will have hell to pay. Just like the girl who has been gangraped in Gurgaon. She was raped and slapped around. So it was not just about sexual violation. It was also proving to her as to who the boss was. No, I do not think I would like to be born as a woman again. No. Its too damn tough.

The bad: A single project in hand. Cash flows which are next to nil. The accountant wants to go home.
The good: Pradip patel has joined us in a senior position. Another trainee is arriving from Afghanistan for a months’ training. The IIT batchmates have committed to providing support.
The ugly: Appu is not talking to me. She is fed up of my unavailability. The pump in the house conked off and it took a lot of money to get it repaired.

The weekend, weekly rations, calls, homework for a project.
The repairing of things.

Leaving no time for the repairing of the soul. The most neglected task of the lot.

‘Repairing of the soul’.



Just another bill

Just wanting to be quiet. To be silent. It is very tiring to constantly deal with people. With bills. With real life.

GC was invited for campus placement to an engineering college near Ambala. We were very reluctant in the beginning but due to persistent efforts and calls, we decided to go. Vikram was supposed to accompany me but he somehow could not reach on time to join the trip. So I went alone. It was good and it was also sad. Good because it was nice to see our company banners put up in the college and the warm welcome they extended to me. It was sad because I saw so many students who were just completing their B. tech at a huge cost to their parents with dreams in their eyes. I did not have the heart to tell them that most of their dreams could/would crash against the wall of reality. I tried to be honest but their innocence and naivety baffled me. We had the same dreams once. Of making it big, of honesty, of using technology for the benefit of people. And for the college they are just numbers. Every admission means fees and money. And more the number of admissions, more is the money. And nothing else matters. The lives of the students involved is definitely not on the agenda. They pursued us to come for campus placement as every company visit means publicity which in turn means more admissions. Every placement also means media attention and again it means more admissions. In fact the colleges are willing to pay the HR guys for every placement. Talk about education. Some education happening in this country. And then we wonder what is going wrong.

On my return, we had to stop the car to fill gas. The boy filling it made some gestures which were not welcome and I got down to confront him and protect my dignity. Needless to say, there was an arguement and his behaviour became more and more rude and unacceptable. At some point I slapped him and he hit me right back. Forget that he was perhaps twenty years younger to me, forget that he was making uncouth gestures, forget that I was a client at the petrol pump and needed to be treated with respect. The cops came and a complaint was filed. Of course the manager of the petrol pump as well as the other men wanted to just hush up the incident but I insisted on filing a complaint. It just means that a woman, educated or not, with money or not, in a car or not, cannot retaliate. If she does, she will be attacked as the male ego exists in the lowliest of men. The driver, the petrol guy, the grocery man, the vegetable vendor, anyone whose only virtue is that he is a man, can attack any woman if she confronts him and/or refuses to ignore his unacceptable behaviour.

I guess this is our country. And the men still rule. Like it or not. Behind the polite facade is the male ego and a woman dare not challenge it except perhaps if she has some political backing or contacts.

There is some movement between the Ministry of Civil Aviation and AAI. Hopefully, they will come to some agreement on the protocol to be followed for the issue of the NOC. The training in the office continues. We are doing the best we can. Maybe the best is not good enough. Maybe it is. For now.

Beginning of the month. bills. salaries. rents.

Kuchh naya?

Just another bill.


‘The normal normal’

Life has been very difficult in the past few days. It has been diffcult to breathe, let alone live, walk, talk. Write. It is as if we have been constantly under siege.

We have two professionals coming in from Afghanistan for advanced GIS training and we need to arrange for their boarding and lodging as well. This is freaking us out.I mean the bit about ‘boarding and lodging’. We are thinking along the lines of maintaining a small guesthouse on behalf of the company which could host people from outside the NCR region for a few days as and when required. Chandrakant is leaving for Mumbai this week for ground truthing and collection of GCP’s. We would like to wish him best of luck.

It is always diffciult to draw boundaries. To stand up for what we believe in regardless of what the others think. It is always easier to give in. To belong. To go with the crowd. I think this is why our life will always be difficult. On many fronts. For me and for Appu. The cops, the landlords, the un-deserving, the immature , the system will always try and crush our self-respect.
The bankers are also breathing down our backs. The instalment and the interest is being paid every month but now they need more transactions. Maybe we should sell a few grams of cocaine. That is the only way we can make money overnight and give them the transactions or the turnover or the money. Any which way. That is why so many scams happen and then we wonder what the hell is happening and why.

‘Normalcy’. Are you mad? What is normally normal?
Maybe the abnormal is normal. And the sane, more insane.

Still looking for ‘normal’. Keep looking buddy. It does not exist.

‘The normal normal’.



‘Zero’

I guess I am angry. And hurt. And the freedom provided in GC will need to be curbed. We are not ready for democracy. For freedom. Freedom has a flip side to it which is ‘responsibility’. And most of us want the freedom without the responsibility. We want all the pluses. With no minus at all. But the two always co-exist. There is no company, no person, no area on the surface of earth which will have only one of the two. But in our short sightedness, we cannot see too far. Our visibility levels are below 50m. Maybe we need some CATS procedures to be able to see the entire length of the runway of our life. OK, So we will need to block naukri.com, facebook and personal mails. ‘Blocking’. Something we have never done in a decade. But I guess it is time to change. We will need to lower our bar of expectation for honesty, integrity and commitment. Very saleable words. Very flimsy. Very lying. Kitabon mein hai shayaad. It is in the books maybe. But that is where their existence is confined to. It is nowhere else in real life. ‘Reality’ bahut ho gayi yaar. Its bloody painful.

Chandrakant Pandey has been asked to leave. He was found using the company resources, time and money for searching a better job on naukri.com. He has apologized but it is too late. Too late to restore our faith in anything and anyone. So while we are busy ensuring that the salaries get paid, the heaters work in the office and the meals are served in a clean and hygienic manner, our team is busy looking for better options. What can one say to this? Kya bol sakte hain? Best of luck Chandrakant. Let us see who turns out  to be a winner. The race is not yet over. And while you keep looking for better opportunities and jobs, you will miss what is right on front of you. All the best, nevertheless.

I think animals would be more loyal. Just that we cannot train them to do GIS. What a pity. Yes we are poor. Very poor. As a society, as a nation, as people, as a generation. We have no values, no integrity. And that is the worst form of poverty. The rest does not matter.

Altaf aaya tha. job chahiye. Mar raha hoon. Job de diya. And then what?He harmed us at the first opportunity. Chandan aaya tha. Kuch bhi nahin aata tha. Mauka diya seekhne ka. kaam karne ka. Kya kiya. Peeth piche waar kiya. Hit us behind our backs. Ritesh aaya. Jobless. Unemployed. Just a lot of gas in his ballon of ego. chance diya. Vishwas kiya. what did he do. He masterminded the hacking of our sites and e-mails to damage us and start his own company. Accha nahin kiya guys. You have just harmed the next team at GC, the next generation. In place of creating more freedom for them, you have ensured that the next team will get limited rights and limited opportunities in a limited space. You have killed the faith that we worked so hard at building and maintaining. Well done. Khush raho. Live with the history you have created. Job to mil hi jayega. Repeat your performance again. And blame GC, blame me. Thoda bojh kam ho jayega.

Focussing on building a new team. Again. And again. No idea what to look for. How to judge. Hariom is shortlisting a few candidates. He is the only team member left. Its me and him with the housekeeping staff and the guard to give us company. Good. So far so good.

Back to zero.

Zero, a good number. An auspicious number. Anything can be done with a ‘zero’. There are immense possibilities.

‘Zero’.



In Process

Breaking news. The office rent has been increased by 20%. What a grand closing to 2011! Happy New year guys. Could you please earn some more revenue for the company? And do not spend money on partying or on girlfriends. I do not know about ‘saving the planet or the earth’ but do ‘save our lives’ The office ‘kharcha’ (expenditure) has increased ( And I mean exponentially, not even in a linear path).
One has to pay for everything in this life. Man, how I am realizing the truth of this statement. Yes, of course. One has to pay for every deed, good or bad, done or undone, every tea,every coffee, every call, every text message,every project,every payment, every word spoken in anger, water, roof,electricity,petrol,vehicle, living ,dying till we get some space in Nigambodh ghat. and I guess we have to pay for that also. So bottomline is that we have to keep generating the moolah. For better or for worse. In good times or bad. Keep earning and paying.

We need a U turn. A turning point. In the company and in our lives. Look up to the sky buddy. The sky might have some answers. And at least looking at the sky is not taxable ( up to now that is). If the government realized that the common man was getting some fringe benefits by looking at the sky, I am sure there would be a ‘Sky tax’ or ‘God support tax’ applied to the activity. So till then, we can look up and seek support from HP.

Ritesh has joined the team. kab tak rukega? The most common and the most powerful question. And that also in GC ( a madhouse with a mad woman). After all he is an IIT’an and GC would be too small a canvas for his huge vision. Ok, let us use the common cliche, ‘it is after all a growing company’ (kabse grow kar rahi hai bhai, kitne saal ya decades lagenge?) Like we are a ‘developing company’ in a ‘developing country’. We are ‘IP’. I mean ‘In Process’. That is a good state of being. To be in IP. We are not like ‘finished’ (as if that is a huge acheivement).

The ice tray of the fridge has been replaced. The gas cylinder has been bought in black (the legal one has not yet arrived although we got a message after fifteen days of booking that it is on its way, in IP that is). There is water in the house. And milk. And vegetables. And a few fruits. My God, we are rich. And let me not forget the plum cake that Appu bought on the eve of Christmas. Also the lunch and dinner being served in the office. Aur kya chahiye. Gratitude. Dude, practice some gratitude. It could have been worse ( I mean let us forget about the bills for a moment).

Truly, there is a lot to be grateful for. Despite and inspite of everything. Even the fact that we are in IP.

For being a work in progress.

In process.


To build a good team

As the entire technical team has left without a proper hand over, I was going through all the files and papers to bring some order to the chaos last night. I was surprised and pained to find printouts of a well designed CV of kamakhaya Puri Kushwaha. So apparently, while feigning to work, he was actually drafting his CV and using the company money, resources and time to look for another job. Actually making his biodata when he was supposed to be working. How ethical is that? Is this not stealing? Is this not being a thief? What do the management gurus have to say about this? I mean these guys had freedom, salary on time, lunch and dinner cooked in the office. Still they had to resort to stealing. To running away like spineless men with their bags the moment their salary got cleared. Without a call. Without handing over. Without informing. Maybe there was no work happening in the office for a long time now. Maybe all they were doing was making CV’s and applying for jobs. All of them. So they would delete their internet history before leaving. Just like a thief would remove evidence of his crime. Pathetic. All this when we were breaking our heads over the lack of a project and the filing of the balance sheet and arranging the ‘atta,dal,chawal’ for their meals in the office. I was told earlier that Narendra Kumar Das was masterminding and playing politics within the team but I never believed it. Till now.

Bahut ho gaya. We will need to take away the freedom offered, the sense of ownership provided. Koi ownership nahin hai. If backstabbing is the forte of today’s generation, then let us be prepared for it. I was thinking that I have failed in creating leaders. But then technology can be taught. skills can be taught. But how can one teach values and ethics. Or integrity. These cannot be inculcated overnight. So how and where does one locate honesty and straightforwardness in a CV?

I managed to clean up a lot of files yesterday. Of course a lot of cleaning and managing is still required. The viruses in the form of people have left but the infection remains. It will take some time to disinfect the office and the minds of the remaining members. The server room is also being cleaned today. Stock taking of the pantry is in process and Om Prakash is checking out the files on the systems. We are gearing up for the next phase. Clearing up, cleaning up, growing up.

The silver trophies, the certificates, the food, money on time and on demand. Kuch pharak nahin padta. They want it all. I guess alll the team members want to be the captains of the ship without the responsibilities. I used to think that there was something wrong with us. But no, there is nothing wrong with us (except for the fact that I am a woman). We are just fine. Its the members who cannot cope with the unearned freedom, power and trust given to them on a platter.

Its becoming increasingly rare to find an honest man. An honest team.
Chirag lekar dhoodna padega. In fact, that is the biggest challenge for us today.

To build a good team.


Mass walkout -Part II

Once when there was no money and no work. And now when there is no work but a reasonable amount of stability (meaning that at least the salaries are being paid on time). The issue, which on the face of it is a non-issue and yet has been the biggest issue: ‘male ego’. Have been combating it from the day of my birth.

The office was not opened till 10:00 am this morning. The guard had taken a half day leave and the keys were handed over to the housekeeping peon who works in the evening shift. He came to the office with the keys and did not know how to use them to open the glass door. Ajay, the manager (who should have managed) the crisis reached office only at 10: 15am. I was frantically making calls to the office after 9:00 am and nobody was picking up the phone. I had even called Ajay yesterday, i.e on a sunday to remind him that there could be a problem in the morning as the guard had taken off. I was assured that everything was under control. I was upset by the time Ajay reached office and I told him that with a senior profile like his, he should have taken more responsibility. That with a ‘manager’ on board, I could do without the tension of checking whether (and how) the office had been opened on time. bas ho gaya. The fragile male ego got punctured.

And then it was the worst possible show of all the male egos getting together to stage a walk out and quote, unquote ‘teach me a lesson’. At least, in this area, I have already learnt my lessons, guys. I can live alone, work alone and stand alone. It is OK. This is not the first time it has happened. They did not call me, inform me or say their goodbyes. The office became a picnic spot. They picked up their bags and left. Quite a manly thing to do, I must say. Just walk away. The ‘walk out guys’ have also enrolled Dimpi in their mission. She also refused to take my calls and most probably will not come back after her holiday. She was also not ‘woman’enough to talk to me. I am the ‘villain’ again. Bahut aadmiyon ke saath kaam kiya. Aadmi koi bhi nahin mila ( worked with a lot of men, did not find even one man amongst them). ek bhi nahin. Not even one with any balls.

The following have walked away unceremoniously from our office today : Anand Singh Rawat, Ajay Kumar Bhatia, Dimpi Nayak, Kamakhya Puri Kushwaha. Narendra Kumar Das had also left after reacting very badly on a trivial issue. I did not mention it earlier as I wanted a peaceful closure. I wish we could put them on a blacklist so that they do not cause harm to another company. But I guess that will have to wait. There are other more pressing and urgent issues to be handled here.

Ajay had worked earlier in an office automation office as an admin executive. I think the promotion to the level of a manager in an IT company was a heady cocktail of of ‘power and control’. jhel nahin paya. Same with Anand. Both were new entries to the IT sector. And could not deal with the freedom along with the responsibilities and of course ‘my gender’. I do not know about Kamakhya and Dimpi. maybe it was pre-planned. They were just waiting for the right moment (just after the salaries were dispersed). How opportunistic is that?

We have begun the process of taking interviews. Just that the training in the applications of aviation will have to be done again. The collective energy will have to be channelized again. par achha hai. A complete clean-up is good to build a better and stronger building. A complete virus scan so to say. No remnants of any virus strains. I think over the months there was this smugness in the technical team that they had learnt all that was required. That they were the best. And this ‘smugness’ was harming us. It was stopping us from learning and growing. So it is nice that we can start from a fresh and clean slate again with no skeletons in to bury. Sometimes relationships which are meant to end just end. And it is for the larger good of all concerned. Its just the way they are ended that makes it messy. And painful.

We will go forward. We will fight the remaining battle. As always. Even if the ‘we’ includes just ‘me and God’ as of now.

I do have one request for my HP. Give me the same brain, the same feelings, the same problems maybe but in case I need to re-visit the earth, please do not make me a ‘woman’.

Repeat:

‘Please do not make me a woman’.


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