August 31, 2008
So here I’m in my new home. I feel thrilled and excited, at the same time a little lost at my new dwelling. I don’t know where the sugar is kept, where the flour is kept, and where are my shawls? I have to run around the home in search of something… But I’m sure I’ll soon get rid of this and become happy here.
August 28, 2008
Let me dance with the raindrops,
Until the tears from the sky stops.
Let me dive into the summer sunshine
And with moon, my dinner, let me dine.
Then I wish to dance with the breeze
And sing to the lovely big trees.
Let me stroll down the streets
Where lay the autumn leaves.
And when winter comes creeping by
To cover in snow, the earth and sky,
I’ll sit by the warm warm fire
And the snow flakes, I’ll admire.
Until peeps in, the spring of the year,
To say ‘wake up’, in the blossom’s ear.
Let me enjoy the seasons around
Until to the earth, I get bound.
August 26, 2008
At school, college and now at my home, people come to my room and wonder, “How neatly you have arranged the room!” I used to take pride in these exclamations, until I found out the disadvantages of it. At college, in our boarding, there were three of us in a room. We had our own shelves, beds and racks. As I said, I always kept my rack neat and tidy. There were separate columns for text books, note books, files and other paraphernalia. I kept my dresses on the racks, with separate columns for civil dresses and college/school uniforms/dresses. I prided myself in the “Oh! How neat!” exclamations of my colleagues.
My room mate, Seena was just the opposite. Her books used to be on her bed, below her cot and in her dress rack. Her dress rack was one whole pile of everything, uniforms, civil dresses, socks and towels! Sometimes her files turned open with papers from it flying around our room. Now I feel the fun of running behind the papers, while I used to feel very angry with her at those times. I used to ask her to keep things neat, but she never bothered to do so. I sometimes tidied her shelves myself, but it was of no use. Within two days, the shelf will be looking like a place after a storm. Even with this difference between us, we were good friends, and went along very well, although I used to complain to her of her disorderliness.
But one morning all my pride in my neatness dried up. The story goes like this:
We were asked to submit our semester’s bus fee bill, to get the free bus identity cards for us. Students with the identity card could use the bus service provided by the college. As soon as the notice was read in our class, Seena started panicking. She doesn’t remember where she has kept her bus fee bill. I scolded her for being so careless about the bill, and internally prided myself in keeping all the bills in one of the files. That night I found Seena busy searching her bill. I went to my book shelf, opened the file of bills and started looking for my bill. To my surprise, the bill I was looking for was not in the file! I didn’t know what to do or where to search, for I never kept my things out of place. But still, I searched my bags, my purse and everything I could. It was nowhere to be found. By this time, Seena has dug out her bill form her dress rack and came up with that to me. I told her about my missing bill, and she helped in searching it, but without success. I had to pay Rupees 25 for a duplicate of the bill the next day, to get my bus permit.
After this incident, I started observing Seena more. When someone came to her for her books, she would reply, “It will be on my book shelf, you can take it.”
The person won’t find her book there, and will say so to her. Seena will think for a while, and then answer, “Ok, can you please look in my dress rack, under the blue file near the white CD?”
The person will find it there.
But in my case, if someone asked me my text book, and if it was not on the bookshelf column of text books, then that meant trouble to me. I had no other places to look for, even if I must have misplaced it somewhere. And I hated searching for anything, because searching meant throwing all the articles out of their place!
So what is better: to be neat and tidy and ordered or to be orderly disordered?
August 25, 2008
It was my friend, working in the HR department of XYZ company, who related this incident to me.
One fine morning, she saw a tall and blonde women waliking towards her. She seemed to be in her late twenties. The women upon reaching her, asked, “Good Morning, Madam. Can I get an appointment with the HR of this company now?”
My friend, Nancy, replied, “Good Morning, and I’m from the HR department of the company.”
“Oh, thats good. I’m Augusta Denwarks, working in ABC company for the past three years. I’ve wanted to leave them since last year, but they are not going to give me a leave.”
“So why don’t you work with them?” Asked Nancy.
“Because I want to work in this company. You see, I speak English very well as I am an American with a scotish mother. I’m beautiful, tall and intelligent. I can …….blah, blah, blah….” The lady went on speaking.
“Fine”, interrupted Nancy, “Give me your resume so that I can forward it to the HR Manager.”
The women started searching her heavy ladies bag. After a few minutes, she dug up a visiting card, and handed it to Nancy.
“Thats my visiting card,” said Augusta to a stunned Nancy, “You can call me in that number for appointing an interview.”
“But we need a CV from you, to give you an interview.” Nancy tried to make her understand.
“You need a CV?” asked Augusta. “No problem.” She started searching her bag again. After some two or three whole minutes, she came up with a pen.
“Give me my visiting card.”
Nancy returned her her visiting card. She scribbled something on it, and gave it back to Nancy.
“Now that’s my site address. You can download my CV from it.”
Nancy felt herself fuming. She wants the interview, and I should download her CV for her, Nancy thought. But she had to be polite with customers.
“But madam, we want a CV with your photo in it.” Nancy explained to her. She saw the faces of her co-workers turning towards her.
“You need a photo? Please wait.” Augusta searched her bag once more. This time it was a CD.
“Please take a print of my photo from this. There are five of them, you can print whichever photo you find suitable.”
Nancy had no more politeness in her towards this weird job seeker.
“I want a printed or emailed version of your CV, Ma’am. And it must be in the MS Word format.” Nancy found her voice raising beyond the limits. Her colleagues where curiously watching her to see how she managed the situation.
“Ah! Have you got an email id? Please give it to me so that I can forward my CV to you.”
“Its nancy dot 1982 at the name of this company dot com.”
“Ok, what’s the name of this company?”
“You don’t know the name of this company?” Nancy was more than stunned. She noticed her surprise on the faces of her co-workers too.
“Sorry Madam. No.” A geek reply.
“Its XYZ, madam.” Nancy replied.
“Thank you, Madam. I ill forward you my CV within two days.” Augusta replied.
“You are most welcome, Madam. Have a good day.” Nancy smiled, happy to see off this person.
The entire HR department roared into a loud laughter as soon as Augusta closed the door behind her.
I remember my earlier post about the interviews I had, and how westerners are good in their behavior. But when Nancy described this incident to me, I felt there are some westerners who haven’t yet learned the way to behave. And yeah, Some People Never Learn.
August 25, 2008
August 24, 2008
August 20, 2008
I had the luck to attend some interviews these days, as I’m searching for a job. The first interviewer was an Indian, and this is how the interview went.
INT1 (interviewer) : Explain yourself. ( My resume lies on his desk).
me : I’m Najeeba, doing my alphabets now, and I’ve reached the “M”th alphabet in caps and small letters.
INT1 : Ok, can you spell ‘cot’?
me : No, sir. I haven’t learned “T”.
INT1 : Ok, Then can you remember a word starting with “P”?
me : No sir, I have learned only upto “M”.
INT1 : I see. Then give me a sentence with the words you have learned.
me : (OOOppppsss…… What do I do now???? Think for sometime, and then write : He liked me.)
INT1 :Fine. Thank you for coming. We will contact you later.
me : Thank you sir. (Happy to be out of that place!!)
I wait for two weeks without any reply from them, and then finally conclude they have selected someone else.
The second one was with a westerner. Let’s look at that one.
INT2 :Good morning, Mrs Najeeba.
me :Good morning, Sir.
INT2 :I see from your resume here that you have learned upto the “M”th alphabet. Well done, Mrs Najeeba.
me :Thank you sir, and I’m trying hard to finish with the rest of the letters.
INT2 :Good. Now can you spell me ‘Mall’?
me :Yes, sir. M-A-L-L.
INT2 :You are right. Do you have any idea about the letters after the “M”?
me : I know capital “N”, “O” and “P”.
INT2 :Its ok. Best of luck for the rest of your letters.
me ;Thank you, sir.
INT2 :Thats all Mrs Najeeba. We will contact you in a few days. Thank you for coming here, and lending your precious time for the company.
me :You are welcome, sir. And thank you for the interview.
With in two days, I get a reply from them thanking me for coming to the interview, and sadly saying that they have selected another guy for the post. They have also wished me best of luck for my future job search.
See the difference? We Indians still lack some of the manners to be shown to our elders, youngers, superiors and inferiors. “Thank you” and “Sorry” are seldom heard among Indians, and some find it very irritating to speak out such words of thought. Shouldn’t we change?