Posted in m@dness

Note in the Mood- 32

I have always opined that a low phase in life is something we humans must get used to. The age old adage about the ups and downs in life is certainly true but there is something very eerie about getting used to hardships. The state of mind, where you consciously stop counting what it takes to survive – to evolve and to keep standing. Its is when you understand that you are not just the seed, but also the air, water, and light.  This is where the real human potential starts to unfold – The state of absolute accountability and survival. It is blissful.

However, to reach there, you need your wings clipped and chopped, your back broken and bruised, your ego ruined and shattered. And to soar again, you need your faith to be undaunting, your hopes undiminished, and your values un-compromised.  When you have all the above, you will emerge unbreakable.

After working or rather slogging  away in the corporate jungle, I realised that when you are a woman (read: just because you are a woman), you need a couple of things more – a smiling face, a kind heart, never say die and most definitely the art to say “Buzz off” to everything that does not matter anymore.

 

 

That my dears is an art that I just mastered. Oh and Happy Independence Day!

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Posted in m@dness

Just how would we know!?

Its raining here in DXB :). And you know my everlasting romance with it, so here I am in one of my introspective moods while watching it from the “place”.

 “Life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”

This quote from Forrest Gump has always been the tagline of my life. People who take quick decisions always amaze me. Taking decisions have always been a huge task for me. From chosing a dress, deciding which restaurant to eat to all the major milestone decisions, theres’s always stress and time involved! I mean how will we know that the decisions that are taken (the ones that matter anyway) are the right ones?! What if your life changes with that one decision!

For example, deciding to move to a foreign land on a permanent visa after years of wondering whats it like to live outside the country one is born in (and quitting a perfectly stable, well-paying and permanent post) knowing that there is no job in waiting and knowing that years of experience will be thrown aside and career has to be started from scratch and nobody even remotely close to family or friends. How do we know if it is the right decision to actually live the dream?!

Or deciding to pursue something that’s nowhere in our scheme of life. Change our whole lives based on a hunch that plan A might just be better than plan B; how do we know that plan B is what we are supposed to be doing in the first place?!

Or get married. How do we know that this is the person we are supposed to spend the rest of our lives with? How do we know that we’ll have the same romance, beautiful and lasting beyond death, which our grandparents have? How do we know that it is not the biggest miscalculation that we ever made? Personally, I had a tough time at this one!

Or deciding whether to put down your paper at the office. With a job that isnt what they offered on paper and a salary that is way below what was told and with interview calls coming. How do you know if you should take a risk and just quit and attend interviews or hold on to this company and let go of opportunities!

Or how do we decide to leave behind family and friends when they need us the most, just because we think we can do more for them by leaving than staying and know that is what we are meant to do, rather than be with them?  How can we be sure that we are doing what God wants us to; what he has written for us??

I guess,the truth is, we CAN’T know. We just have to take a deep breath,  do it and get it over wit and more importantly, live with it afterward. If we are lucky and have been true to our conscience, the happiness comes. Otherwise, god help you!

Until then thank god for choices! Yes, I am sulking because of the options and decisions I have to take because of the choices but have you wondered what life would have been without those options or choices?!

P.S- The place happens to be my workstation! Don’t tell 🙂

Posted in Gelf News, m@dness

Back Again!

Yeah, I am back here. So? If you are thinking why this time? My answer is, well, this is my space and my will when ever I come, when ever I write. Lol.. With the first line, I guess by now you all must have made out, that mads is back!

There have been things in my life that transformed me into a complete different person. I did sulk and crib. I Might have showed it to some people and might not have to many. And I have moved on. I am looking forward to a new beginning. And this time, I am sure I am not at any cost, going to settle for something sub standard.

 All this while, when I was not me, I’ve discovered some aspects of myself I’ve never known before. The vulnerable me. The strength I thought I possessed was put to an endless test, and it helped me to move. As they say, life is all about moving on. After this phase, I am not just a new me, but someone totally different. And its nicer to grow up.
 
So I’ll let you off with a few things…and then get back to regular blogging 🙂
…I have a job now. And I am actually happy about it. I thought HR was my thing but I realised, I liked it only because it was the easy way out. So here I am, doing marketing! These few months taught me that the easy way just doesnt pay off like the hard ones do.Till last year, I have been taking the easy way out always and so this new me is going to take the road that has the bumps and turns 🙂 Life has to be exciting, right!?
… I miss Cochin every single day.
…Joeey, Div, Deeps, Naani, Su, Chech, I love you guys a zillion times.
Div gave birth  to Faith!
…I learnt that money is important too 🙂
…” If you do, I do, If you dont then I wont” Should this be the attitude towards people we care for?Should tit for tat be the policy? Or should our love and care be unconditional always despite the indifferent attitude of the other person? If they value what we feel for them why dont they show it? Not related to my life at present. This was for somebody I used to know! And also please dont think this post is about you! It is abt no body in particular. This is something I’ve always wanted to be clear about in my head. I am sure everyone faces this dilemma every time the people they care about turn cold towards them (reasons may vary- mood swings, new friends etc) My policy by far has been I always tend to be very patient with the person till he/she cools down. I give them the right and liberty to vent out their frustration at me because if friends wont listen and understand who else will? Most of the times I take the shit. I hardly react.Now I will. You hurt me, I will hurt you!
…Ro, I am falling prey..to your mesmerizing ways:)
…Keep your ego aside in relationships. Talk it out! It works all the time.
…Save money. Really. I used to sulk and hate Das for taking  a chunk of my salary and putting it into a savings account. Left with no job and a financial crunch that I didnt ever dream of, that savings really helped! Trust me ladies, you dont want to walk with your head bent, around a huge mall with “75% SALE” written all over the place and shed a tear because you cant even afford a cheap sandal! And guys, you dont want your wives to go through that right?!
…The only people you need in your lives are the ones who have proven that they need you in theirs!
…I love blogging at work!
…Its Thursday and its weekend!!!
…Dubai is not the Capital of the Emirates! Its Abu Dhabi!
…Being careful is a good thing. Dont let it lead you to PARANOIA!
Thats it! Bye for now!!! I will be back soon 🙂 I promise!
Posted in Interesting Reads

Finding the Job of your life- An HBR Blogpost

Let’s face it. We all think about it. At times we think of little else — even if only rarely and in certain settings do we feel free to admit it. The conversation often begins furtively, the question murmured as if slightly shameful or out of place. How can I get more of it at work?

Meaning, that is.

Meaning at work, in work, from work. Despite work even. Meaningful work. However you put it, we crave meaning more than ever.

It may be because we are freer. If we’re fed up of soulless work we are told to take charge of our career, find our vision and carve our own path. But what if we can’t see clearly? What if a path that looks promising actually leads nowhere?

It may be because we are too focused or not focused enough. We feel stuck on a narrow path and we wonder what lies beyond it. Or we hop between jobs without commitment or a clear direction.

It may be because we are more exposed. Courses, networking events and social media may not open so many doors but they provide plenty of windows — into a myriad of new neighbors’ lawns whose grass often looks greener. Take Facebook. Everyone has fulfilling lives there. Their colleagues are helpful and fun, their partners attractive and caring, their travels exotic and food delicious. Their glasses are full. Children always smile and never have tantrums.

Someone always seems to be pulling it off. Whatever ‘it’ is. So why aren’t we?

The more we reach for meaning, the more elusive it becomes. Interrogating its nature, what it may look and feel like, makes it more mysterious. Thinking about meaning only deepens our longing.

When you look at it that way, meaning is like love.

Yearning for either turns some into poets and drives the rest of us on a quest to experience it.

But when it comes to love, most grown-ups realize what that quest will take.

We long ago gave up the fantasy that a Prince or Princess Charming will show up one day to sweep us off our feet. We know that finding love takes more than hopeful waiting. It takes building a relationship with somebody to share love with.

Love, the sentiment, is a consequence of having found our somebody. It begins when our desire for love morphs into desire for a person . In fact, when we are in love we may not even think much about our desire for love. We’re too busy doing what lovers do — holding hands, writing letters, promising, being consumed and scared and comforted, raising children, fighting, making up, making out, having a laugh.

When it comes to meaning, however, many grown-ups still believe in a version of the handsome prince and perky princess.

We call them “dream job” or “fulfilling life” and imagine them to be out there — at the other end of the marshes of torment, waiting for us to wade through a forest of doubts. Ready to understand us perfectly and delight us ever after.

That very belief keeps us confused and stuck.

Meaning, like love, is a consequence. Not a destination. It is the sentiment we experience, usually in passing, when we’re engaged with activities, people, or purposes that keep us busy and make us feel alive. It is not the big warm light at the end of the tunnel. It is the tiny LED that signals “life is ON.”

If meaning is what we seek, then, the best we can do is to find something so engaging that we stop thinking of meaning. How? The same way most of us go about finding our somebody when we are looking for love.

Yes, fantasizing, getting advice, and taking to the Internet are all well and good. But sooner or later you have to play the awkward, exciting, unpredictable game.

Dating.

In her landmark study of career transitions, Herminia Ibarra echoes the psychoanalyst Adam Phillips’ view that flirtation — a form of experimentation suspended between imagination and commitment — is the royal road to explore potential interests and discover who we are, not only when it comes to romance.

On a first date you rarely ask yourself, “Is he or she the one?” Ok, maybe you do, and you might be able to tell if someone isn’t. But you are more likely to wonder, “Is this going any further?” or more precisely, whether and how you would like it to. The latter question is far more useful, for three reasons.

It is (more) answerable. It is impossible to know in advance if a job you are considering will be meaningful. You can tell if it is attractive, which does not hurt — but this offers little real guidance. It is possible, however, to sense from a project, an internship or even just a meal with potential colleagues if that attractive job may be worth pursuing further.

It reveals what you want (and what you are prepared to give). Considering a concrete option, as opposed to a fantasy, puts your expectations to the test of reality. If you went further, what might you have to invest, rearrange, give up? What would you want and fear? How much work are you prepared to put in to make it work?

It exposes you (or makes you withdraw). It is impossible to love and learn without making ourselves vulnerable. To rejection, hurt, disillusionment or exploitation. To surprise, affection, understanding and transformation. Dating won’t help you assess those risks and opportunities accurately, let alone prevent them, but it gives you a chance to entertain them and maybe take the plunge.

Any job, like any relationship, brings out some parts of yourself and demands that you put others aside. At best, they free you to express more of who you want to be. At worst, they make you feel unsafe. When flirting with a job, you may feel freed up or want to shut down. That is a sign of how the job may change you.

There are as many kinds of meaning as there are kinds of love. Claiming and liberating us at the same time, both elicit the full range of feelings that come with being alive. Our “meaning lives” are as complex and messy as our “love lives.” Both can be frustrating at times and gratifying at others. In fact, it is the possibility of experiencing a broad range of feelings, in relation to someone or something that matters, that makes them meaningful.

A meaningful job has boring moments, scary moments, angry moments. It is not a flat line of unvarying personal fulfillment. Nothing is great if it is monotone. There is no job of your life out there, waiting to be found

Posted in m@dness

I, Me, Myself

Good Afternoon people! It is a Wednesday afternoon and I think most people I can see from where I sit are in a cranky mood! Soo I was away with family for some family bonding giving  each other solace n all that and I am going to be on and off in writing till the new year. Not that I have lots of things to do but I need to get some time to myself and do some me time before the new year begins and so I will be on a wavy mood(high and low) !

It irks me. The being pulled out of the comfy zone I mean.It’s like being pulled out of a cocoon. It always feels terrible to get out of one’s comfort zone. But as everyone knows, you can’t achieve anything unless you get out of it. Change of phases always bring me a great discomfort. Eventually, I do end up liking them though.

When I was in school, I was damn sure I will never like college. First of all, I had to go to Tamil Nadu and talk to my classmates in Tamil. It’s not that I don’t know the language at all n all that but if you speak to me in “Senthamil” I would look as if I was just given a time bomb. I would never get to lead that super cool life like in school were  I was just so carefree, enthusiastic and in love with life. I would never get to travel in my school bus, hang around the local shop with my friends etc. And on top of that, I  knew I would get a culture shock at CBE. If I sound like a rude mallu, I must admit that I was one! The me taking a liking to CBE was a gradual process. I slowly started liking the place. I started liking the “chilli parotta” which was the only reason I didnt die of hunger in my first year. But then like I said I would have found some reason or the other to like the phase anyway. I met Div and Deeps there and formed a bond for lifetime. By the end of my third year, I was completely in love with the new phase.

By the time I reached my final semester, I knew I had to figure out what to do so I decided to study further. I came back to my hometown to do my masters. I wasnt too glad and all that but yes the fact that it was my hometown kinda gave me a high. By the third semester, I was damn sure I wouldn’t like going to work. Too much responsibilities. Too much headache. And you can’t sleep during work hours. When I started to work… it didn’t turn out so bad. The money earning part I just loveeeee 😀 The financial independence is just awesome. I have been working for about 3.6 years now and have loved it till now( though I still crib about the lack of sleep and not being to sit at home and idle n all tht)

Now its almost time for my next transition(the nost major one by far) and I feel the same discomfort. Maybe all this uneasiness is for the good, as proved in the past. Though I think this transition phase is a lil harder than the other ones I went through because there is a lot more pressure, a lot more of disappointments.. and you are just looking desperately for that little iota of hope and happiness.

Sometimes, I just wish I could go back to my childhood days and start things all over again…

But then…this is what life is all about.

Posted in m@dness

I have a job, too.

So I have a job, too. I’ve had it for the last three years and 6 months. It would be fair to say that it really is nothing like I expected it would be. I love that line. It is so loaded. It could be the statement of an HR fresher who has been lucky enough to find her niche in the World of Work in the first attempt, or it could be the gripe of a disillusioned HR Professional who finds that the World of Work has placed her in its very dregs.

Don’t worry, I’m somewhere in between. I’m not likely to die of too much happiness or become an embittered, cantankerous old lady who lives with a parrot with a charming disposition anytime soon.

I work at a manufacturing firm that makes seasonings and food ingredients. A pretty huge firm with about 135 permanent staff and 100 casuals, I am proud when I say that I am the sole HR who takes care of all the issues. Right from sourcing to exit interviews of all of them is taken care by me. So when you come to think of it, its a dream job for all HR professionals. You can learn everything and have a first hand shot at every aspect in HR. But thats that. When you work for a family business, you have a lot of limitations.

Anyhow, I’ve learned some valuable lessons during my not so long career. One is that mindblocks are very pesky things, and they have lousy timing. Secondly, levels of ignorance are bound to be higher once you step out of your hallowed college campus, so that shouldn’t surprise you. Third, most people will not understand your need to talk aloud to yourself or have fun with ur friends at work, and they will react by smiling indulgently and giving you their best “She’s SUCH A Child” look. Next, people say some shockingly inappropriate and offensive things sometimes. When you simmer down, you’ll realize that the bloke has a daughter, who shall grow up someday. And then you smile slowly, sure in the knowledge that life will teach him. Finally, you will sorely miss the time when your friends were the people that you spent most of your days with. Understanding, empathy, love and friendship are very, very precious things. And if you’re lucky enough to actually find a friend in your workplace, go break a coconut in a temple or something. Most people bring only one part of themselves to their workplace, and that is not really enough sustenance for a friendship. It’s good enough for a few laughs and general niceness, but not really friendship.

Oh and if you are an unmarried girl of marriageable age, a gazillion people will ask, in tones of utmost concern.”Why don’t you get married?”. After the fifty-eth time, you’ll smarten up, stop explaining, plaster your best wise-grandma smile and say,”Because I don’t feel like”(and say”Because I am scared that I’lll turn into something like you” on your mind.)

I like parts of my job. I like that I have a few good friends. I like that I can present ideas to the boss,even though he thinks it is bull shit and rarely heeds my advice. I like that there’s a room where I can read the newspaper everyday after lunch. I like the fact that tea is free. What I don’t like is the amount of  nagging that takes place here. I hate the narrow mindedness almost everyone seems to posses here.I don’t like the profusion of gender offensive cursing, and the lack of awareness about the offensiveness of it. I don’t like the recycling of old ideas. I don’t like that people just detest change in any form.

But inspite of all this, I’m very, very lucky that I actually get to do what I’m good at, and have my work taken seriously. Sometimes….Rarely.

 

Posted in m@dness

And still we work

I got up about 5 minutes earlier than usual today and was sulking about getting up from bed and going to work n all that. Thats when I listed out what exactly are the highs and lows of going to work or just being employed.
 
The Highs!
Early to bed, early to rise makes you healthy, wealthy and wise. I am totally against this but since its universally accepted, there must be some truth to it. So I have to wake up at 5 am every single day n go to bed at about 11 pm.
You end up eating your lunch on time(which is good especially if you are dieting n exercising n all that). You are always looking for an excuse to get away from work and what better excuse than lunch time. It’s the only break away from work which is totally acceptable.

You get to meet new, interesting (and uninteresting) people. More the number of homo sapiens to irritate, the happier you get.Ryt?

You are succumbed to less nagging at home coz your family kinda figures out that you aren’t so useless after all. Well, as for me, my family always always finds some way of finding out how useless I am and if they dont get anything, they go back into the past, dig up an old incident and prove that I am useless! Bah! Someday…Someday
You get to waste your time some place else other than home. At home , you are wasting your time in front of T.V and at work you are wasting your time in front of the computer browsing the Internet for something thats least informative. I look up travelling sites and figure out places to go.
 
 
The most important point – you get paid for doing close to nothing. The more idle you are, the more you get paid. Example – the managers of an organization (hope my boss doesn’t read this).No, seriously. I actually feel bad for the workers on the shopfloor. They work their ass off and still get paid peanuts! Anyway, I get paid so am not supposed to complain!
 
The Lows…..
Early to bed, early to rise makes you healthy,wealthy and wise. I know I mentioned this in the advantages part, but how can not having a life make you healthy ? Getting early to bed doesn’t necessarily make me want to get up early. On the contrary, it makes me want to sleep more and curse my work… is cursing your work a wise thing to do ?
 
You get stuck in a time table of sorts. A time tabled life. Who wants that ? You could be out there doing more interesting things like shopping! Instead, you end up sitting in front of the computer all day long thinking why the hell you are there spoiling your eyes for which you are paid a pittance.
 
You have to laugh at the manager’s unfunny jokes (?). You have to make it sound as if its the funniest thing you have ever heard in your life even though inside you are wondering how much of a competition he would have been to Suppandi!N you have to make the boss feel that he is THE most intelligent person on planet earth all the while knowing that he is just parading  on the border lines of dumb n dumber!
 
You can go for vacation only if you are allowed to! You have to slog so that your manager can go for vacation even if he sneezes. They get tired by just watching you work ?
 
All this and so much more and still we end up waking up every single morning and getting to work and slogging and sulking and cribbing and at the end of the day feel like its all a viscious circle!