This particular edition of my blog comes to you purely based on the comments for the previous blog!:)
Firstly, I need to clarify that the girl in question wasn't exactly a "friend". I am not even sure I can call her an acquaintance! Have interacted with her the sum total of two times, the first time being when she came to my place to meet me and the second, when she accompanied me to office.
To address some valid points raised in the previous comments..."Everyone wants 'presentable' people in the office. Not good-looking, not necessarily 'fair' (that IS a bit ridiculous) but well groomed and well-turned out." - - True. I totally agree! Let me explain.. If the candidate looked sloppy, unkept etc, my boss's behaviour would be perfectly understandable. My indignation/irritation rose from the fact that she was none of the above!!! She was well kept (not a hair outta place, something i can't myself claim!), has a personable face and a decent figure (again something I _CAN'T_ claim, unfortunately!), if slightly on the skinny side As far as I am concerned she is presentable looking - she doesn't wear the most fashionable clothes, but having said that one would have to admit she doesn't dress tackily either. What I meant by my comment in the earlier blog about 'not the sharpest dresser' was that her clothes didn't look like they were 'newish', but they were DEFINITELY within the acceptable range! Hell, I wear stuff like that (am doing so now!) and I am the manager here! Plus she spoke with perfect diction...She may not be able to use bombastic language, but grammar et all was flawless - something I cannot unfortunately claim about all 'English educated' people.
When I said she could use her smile little less stingyly I meant she could be more 'animated'. When I go for an interview I always make eye contact, laugh, even make jokes, generally let them know "hey buddy, I'd like this job, but I am not exactly going to starve to death if I don't get it." Part of the reason I can afford to do that, is precisely because I _won't_!! Much as I would like to tell her, and others like her, to go into an interview with all guns blazing, it just may not be a possibility for them at the time. Especially if you have an out of work father and mother to support as well as an good for nothing elder sister _and_ the only means of the current household income is based on selling snacks made at home! I know I am overly naive and stupidly idealistic most times, but I try and not let it affect my judgment in a business setting (but I guess I let my personal feelings on this issue get the best of me.) Its just that I know his (my boss's) business and the sort of candidates required. I know you don't require Ms.A Rai sitting at the front desk. It is not even the hospitality industry where the front desk has to be immaculately dressed. This was back office, mainly involving things like recording orders placed, etc. It just saddens me to see the ridiculous yardsticks employers use today. Yes, I realise the supply is far,far, FAR greater then the demand which is why M.B.A's are willing to lower themselves to saying "Hi,My name is _ _ _ and I work for _ _ _ .Can I take a min of your time?" But surely some consideration should be given to the candidate's suitability and individual circumstances? (I believe that will inspire loyalty, the kind money just can't buy) Especially from someone's like my boss - he has spent many hours telling me about the 'opportunities' he has given others. He has actually taken (or claimed to me!) under his wing people like drunks and ex-thieves and "completely reformed them"! Now for that man to turn his nose up at someone purely based on their skin colour and/or dress is a bit much in my opinion.
The situation in India with so many well educated people being produced and so few jobs to go around is rather sad.
That brings to mind the one industry, constantly requiring more and more educated, English speaking people, especially in the metros, the call center industry. Most industries require experience and freshers get a raw deal. But in this particular industry that is taken to a whole new level all together! A person could have jumped on to the call center bandwagon a few years earlier when the industry as still in its infancy and would now have over a couple of years experience under her/his belt and therefore gets away with astronomical salaries. It doesn't matter that the said experience was garnered as a result of having to drop out of college due to poor grades. It matters not a whit that the said experience was in something totally different/unrelated to the present job. eg: I cannot for the life of me understand HOW someone selling credit cards to a U.S based customer can claim expertise in customer service for U.K based customers, with cell phone problems, especially when the entire training month was spent having coffee and chit-chatting and hence knowledge level = zero! I put my lack of understanding down to my limited intellect because obviously the H.R managers of alllllll these call centers have put a great deal of thought into this policy. What do you think? Should experience be a deciding factor? What percentage would be fair/rational weightage toward experience? Which fields should give experience weightage?
Going back to the girl's problems - I will try and work something out for her elsewhere, but its sure is going to be uncomfortable to tell her she didn't get this job. (am scared to answer my cell phone, she has called thrice since today morning and its only 3 in the afternoon) especially since I was very encouraging on the first day - based on my boss's "Do you like her" behaviour!
Oh btb, this person deserves a big hug methinks! He lives miles and miles away, doesn't know the above mentioned girl, but wants to help. A few more chaps like him and this world will truly be a better place. I'm not asking for world peace or anything radical like that, but a greater acceptance would deffinately go a long way in making this world a better place.
Parting shot : "One has to add value other than just efficient filing." is sadly true, especially so in today's context. So the next time you think of going for an interview wear your sunday best!
...ramblings of a crazy mind
Monday, March 22, 2004
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