A Job Interview
The alarm did keep its word and woke me up at morning 6.00 am. Finished my morning bathroom activities within half an hour. It's 6.45 am, made a cup of tea, went thru the headlines of the morning newspaper. The venue of interview is around 20 km away from my house and there is no direct city bus service and moreover going by bus will take a lot of time considering Bangalore traffic. So I planned to go on my bike so that I can take print out of the salary slip on the way and also can have breakfast. It was already 7.30am, Sun was getting brighter and hot. Filled my bag with the required documents and also took a bottle filled with water. Before getting out of house once again closed my eyes and told 'HIM' please do the needful. Started the bike and went straight to the nearby internet cafe, I told him need to take print out. He politely replied "No Power Sir". Just not the start that I expected. I drove further but could not find any shop with print facility. It was already 8.30 am and I thought let me drive and if enroute I see any shop I can take printout but what about breakfast?. My inner confidence shouted "Leave it sudhi, you are going to get the job and skipping one day breakfast is not going to starve you to death, once you get job you can have double breakfast". Okay, kept riding, on the outer ring road, reached Nagwara signal, heavy traffic - hawkers selling mobile chargers, selling hanging hanumans, Enunchs asking for money, some children finishing their breakfast in the car, executives on laptop, some talking on handsfree mobile, Radio FMs playing in cabs. I always like the scene at traffic signal, its as if you are getting snippets of life of entire city at this 2 minute stop. The signal turned green and people drive as if they are participating in Formula one race. I moved on and kept on checking for some internet cafe so that I can take a print out, reached Banaswadi outer ringroad and found a cybercafe, the system took almost 10 minutes for my gmail to open. I asked the boy at counter why it is taking so long to open the site, he replied "It is because of heavy traffic". I could not hold my laughter, indeed Traffic is a major problem as the webpages also has to travel via the congested Bangalore roads in this heavy traffic. Somehow took the printouts and took xerox copies of my other certificates and started heading towards my destination. It was now 9.30 am, crossed the KR puram traffic and phoenix market city mall, prestige shantiniketan and at last reached TESCO HSC. It is 1015am, parked my vehicle and headed straight to the security office at gate. There were few candidates who were making the entry and taking visitor pass from security. I too filled the details on visitor book and collected the visitors pass. Entered the building and was asked to wait in the visitor's lounge. I looked around and saw around 30 other candidates waiting anxiously for the call. Everybody has come here to sell themself, to negotiate, to get the visitor pass changed to permanent employee tags. The HR lady came inside and asked us to submit the resume , everybody handed over the resume. she collected the resume and after a few minute came back and called 10 names and took to another room. After 15 minutes she again came and called 10 names, my name was also there. we were taken to a small room. She introduced herself and put forward a question - "Can anyone of you tell what is the job profile we are looking for?". One of the girl replied that it is a sort of MIS kind of job like daily report making, admin activities etc. I raised my hand and I said that it is a remote secretary kind of job. She seemed convinced with the reply and she asked how I came to know that, I replied honestly "It is clearly mentioned in the email that I received". Then she asked each one of us to introduce ourself. I was the fourth person and I introduced myself (personally this is the only part that I hate about interview). After completion of this session, the HR lady informed that only one person is selected among us. Suddenly my hopes were at its height because I was confident that she is going to call my name. But the HR lady called that one name that got selected, I dont remember the name she pronounced but it definitely was not my name. I felt as if I have just now jumped off from a cliff and floating in air at a very high altitude. HR lady informed that all the other canidates can go back and need to improve on their communication skill as the candidate they are looking need to be good in communication. I wanted to ask her that you have mentioned in the job requirement that it is only 10% voice, but I did not ask. I came out of the room, the girl who got selected was smiling and was calling somebody on mobile and informing about cracking the first round of selection. A lot of mixed reaction started happening inside my head. I wanted to tell that HR lady that the color of the dress (churidhar) that she was wearing was very awkward, her hair needs to be properly combed, should not have chewing gum in mouth while taking interview and above all should look at candidate's eyes while taking interview. Till this moment I was not feeling hungry but now I was feeling very hungry. I drank the water that I had carried along, handed over my visitor pass back to the security and walked out. While driving back I could not help but think of the last 12 hours, from the moment I received the intimation of walkin interview, the preparation, the ride, the final show. Like every other time, I told myself dont worry sudhi it is not your loss, that company lost a chance to get a effecient candidate like me. I remembered the dialogue from the war movie 'Black Hawk Down' where Eric Bana says - "When I go home people'll ask me, "Hey Hoot, why do you do it man? What, you some kinda war junkie?" You know what I'll say? I won't say a goddamn word. Why? They won't understand. They won't understand why we do it. They won't understand that it's about the men next to you, and that's it. That's all it is."