Ladies and gentlemen, I am back to the stories of my job hunt. This story is from the memory bank. While everything is from the memory bank, but I deposited this in the memory bank when I didn’t know what an ATM was or I was yet to hold a cell phone in my hands. It is from the old days which really good – college days.
Life is quite like a crazy boss – every time you think he will act sane, he will act insane and vice versa. There is no predictability. It is quite like IPL 2011 – every time you think your team is almost certain to make it to top four, it falls to the bottom of the table. Yeah for some like Mumbai Indians, they have always been at the top.
I recall my engineering college days. Well this is something you often do when you are at wrong side of 30, don’t you? In my class, my marks always stood in top four but only if the list was made in ascending order. I was never a bright student but I enjoyed my life at campus. Three years just flew by. As I entered the fourth year, campus placement started. There were 30 guys and 2 girls in my class and all of us started gearing up - some prepared to pretend that they were the best, for some the best they did was to pretend to prepare. I fell in the second category. But for all my shortcomings, I thought two of my qualities will take me through – confidence and positive attitude.
First company was an IT giant headquartered in Bangalore. They believed in being powered and driven. They hired 15 of us. 17 were left now. Suddenly, the class of 32 was divided in two groups. Those who succeeded were calling up parents, friends, visiting temples, partying and enjoying life. Those who were yet without a job, were sulking. Sometime later, some from the first group started consoling some in the second group. I found this situation a bit funny.
“We don’t have just one company visiting the campus. There are many more to come. And one company was not going to pick up all anyhow. Some of us will fail at some point of time. Why to feel so sad about it?” I was thinking.
Second company was also an IT giant headquartered in Bangalore. They claim to apply lot of thoughts in their business. Out of the 17, 15 were eligible for the written test. Out of 15, 12 cleared the written test. I was one of them. After our interviews, all of us came back to our hostel. 5 guys who couldn’t appear for the interviews were preparing for other companies. Others were waiting for the result.
If atmosphere was gloomy after the result of first company, I felt as if someone had died now. 11 guys and a girl had cleared the written. I don’t know about the girl as she stayed in a place I could never dare to visit – girl’s hostel, but 9 guys looked so sad as if the dean had told them all – “We saw a copy of debonair in your rooms. We have called your parents to tell about it. Pack your bags now, you will be rusticated” I was the only guy with a smile on his face. I was confident I will make it. I was very positive about it. And even if it didn’t work out this time, there were other companies lined up.
But other 9 were not like that. One by one, I was going to each of them to cheer up their pensive mood. Everyone was cribbing “Why will they hire me? I am not going to get a job.” Two of them were actually crying. They had given up hope of getting through the interview, all of them.
I pitied them – how could someone lose without having actually lost it.
“It’s year 2000 – the IT boom. For so many months we have been reading about the recruitment spree. This is just second company. Result of the interviews is yet not out. How can someone say he will pass out without a job in his hand? How?” I was laughing at this defeatist attitude. “If they actually do not get this job, half of them will actually commit suicide” I thought.
After 2 hours of efforts, I along with some others, were able to cheer them up – not all but some of them. We had our dinner in the mess. Result was expected to be out by 10:00PM.
“Hooooooo…..yaaaaayyyyyyyyy!!!” I heard two guys chanting. These two guys had gone to check the result at the placement office and were coming back. Within no time, all of us were out and running towards them.
“What happened? Who got through? Did I make it? Do you have the list?” they were being asked by everyone.
“All of us made it. Everyone got through” one of them said.
“What? Really?” someone responded.
“Oh sorry, 11 made it. 1 didn’t” came the reply.
“Haha. Kiska Kataa” (Who missed out?) I asked. I was almost laughing. “To miss out when everyone made it needs some talent” I said with a laugh of arrogance.
“Tumhara kata.” (You missed out)
Silence. Pin drop silence. Just that I felt that silence. Others were still shouting in joy.
I went numb. I went deaf. It wasn’t the failure but the way it has come which was causing the hurt. “How can I miss out when every tom, dick and harry made it? What the hell.” I was thinking “Am I so bad?”
Those guys were almost in tears few hours back. Two of them were actually in tears. I was the only one who was upbeat. I was consoling them. Now they were jumping on their feet whereas I had lost my ability to hear.
Slowly I gathered myself. Things became normal.
“Bad Luck” said some.
“See your grades are not good. You should have taken more care of your studies” said a guy who was crying.
“You shouldn’t have said THIS in the interview” was another remark.
Next company came within a few days. They looked beyond the obvious. I got lucky third time. But I had learnt a lesson, a hard way, about the unpredictability of life.
The economy was booming, may be at a pace faster than it should have. It had to fall at some point of time. It did fall next year. To make it worse, US lost its twin towers.
The company which believed in applying thoughts delayed the joining by a year. So 11 of them had to wait for a year before they could start working.
The company which looked beyond the obvious asked me to join within a few months. For all the sadness on that night a year ago, I had a feeling of relief. I learnt another lesson that day – life keeps teaching you lessons, just that few of them come a hard way.