This Day, That Year…

18Nov07

The year was 2002. The day was November 18. And I had just woken up into a warm Monday morning cooled by the humming Air Conditioners within the confines of my room at Hotel Poonja International in Mangalore. I lay motionless in the bed listening to my watch ticking the seconds off counting down to the biggest moment of my then life – the first day of work. Hours later, I would start nervously, clad in my new shirt, new trouser, new tie, new shoes and new socks, almost spill a drop of sambhar on my trouser, and take the elevator down to catch the bus to work. To Work! How awfully strange it sounded on that day to say I was going to ‘Work’!

It felt so much like a newborn baby, with nary an idea what to expect out of a career – except that, it should be ‘great’. The nervous pride of beginning a career in a dream company overshadowed the nostalgic memories that were being created in those very minutes. It was still like good ol’ college days, and the first few weeks of training meant I would continue to pour over notes and write exams and wait for results. The 90-member class room – where I always sat in the last row – seemed just another extension of the college-day classes.

And when one such session was in progress we were told not to call the instructors ‘sir’ like we were so used to calling the college professors, but to call them by name; it was the corporate culture, after all. “Welcome to the corporate world”, one of the instructors had told us with an ironic smirk on his face. Life was never going to be the same again.

Well, it never was. Five years later, today, there is just the sepia tinted pictures of those days etched in memory. I do continue to work for the same company where my career was born on this day and brought up this far; where I grew from an anxious kid into the stuff that adulthood is made of. Today, I know why it’s hard to write software, why they call customer the king, and why they taught stress management in college. I know age and energy are inversely proportional, and, needs and responsibilities increase with income. And I also know that choosing the seat next to the emergency exit gives you the maximum leg room in flights.

So five years, it has been. Enough time for a newborn to go to school. And that’s how long it has been since my professional life was born. A stutter here and a stumble there, but it has kept moving nevertheless.

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8 Responses to “This Day, That Year…”

  1. Hi Kishore.

    The process of adjustment from university and corporate life can, in my opinion, present both excitment and trepidation.

    University is a comfortable life. A life where one can sit in a theatre and listen to a lecture, go to the library and read a textbook, or go to the cafeteria or bar and just ‘hang out.’Although there are some deadlines for projects and assignments, the pressures are not like they are in the corporate world.

    Corporate life is different. There is much more pressure to perform, meet deadlines and manage priorities, take initiative, think on your feet work with limited guidence and produce results.

    In university, you are learning about the world in a comfortable enviroment. In corporate life, you learn how to manage in the real world, often having to perform tasks which are outside of your comfort zone in order to succeed.

    You are sure right about the emergency exit seat. Personally, I am fortunate in this regard. I am two meters tall and therefore nearly always manage to get an exit seat. Being tall is not a disadvantage in flights – it’s a big advantage!

    Cheers

    Andrew

    Personally, I found the transition both exciting and a little frightening at the same time.

  2. College life may not be directly relevant to our professional life, but good academics gives us a solid foundation, is it not?

  3. 3 shubhere

    Hey! :) howdy?

  4. I was thinking of writing a post on mine too. I started in a small company with a paltry salary. Yes, the year was 2002 and I am in my 5th company by now. But boy, it has been quite a struggle.

  5. Very beautifully written post Kishore.. Smooth to read, goes straight into the heart…and immediately connects the reader with the author.

  6. what happened? so long ?

  7. hi Kishore,

    Your post took me into the beautiful and nostalgic initial three to four months of my career. Life has never
    been the same ever since. Nice post!

    Padmashree


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