I’m a TCSer now. You hardly realise the transition from a college going careless freak who doesn’t give a damn bout what the world thinks about him, to a responsible, branded, respected person who’s begun to earn his living with all he gets as a result of his parents’ continuous struggle with him and his homework over years in school and at home. All of those efforts are forgotten in the triumph of getting a job and in the relief of not having to study anymore at least not your parent’s way… We never fail to count the beatings and the scolding’s we got from our parents but always fail to take into account the efforts, the tensions and the trials that they’ve been through and the embarrassment you’ve caused them by not living up to the expectations of the others, all based on how good your parents are in their field. It is said “the son of a thief will be a thief”, thankfully the same doesn’t hold true for the truthful ones. A man makes himself over his lifetime. Everyone is an individual independent of the rest.
Having said that I also want to mention that there is definitely a part played by the genes which is not negotiable under any circumstance coz science has proved their existence and influence in the formation of the character of a person. But then that just makes about 30% of the total character. The rest is made by what the person learns from the world and how he takes the various trials and tribulations offered to him by nature itself…
Coming back to my experience at Trivandrum through the training phase. We reached Trivandrum on the morning of 12th October. The joining was scheduled on 13th October. We had report at the office at 8:30 am.
We were allocated the Lall guest house for our accommodation. Anurag, Abhijat and I reached the lodge by around 8:30 am and found that there was just one bed free while we were 4 people altogether (including Bicky who was to join us shortly). We were asked to go to the Peepul Park hostel for our accommodation. We checked into room 53 and 37 respectively.
The induction was on Monday morning and we reached the auditorium in the Peepul Park building in full anticipation and excitement, looking forward to what was going to happen next. And then the induction started with the HR executive coming for an introduction followed by KLP (the delivery centre head) and so on by many one after the other. the excitement kind of died down after KLP mentioned that he’d gone thru the various social networking sites (Orkut being the prime) and how impressed he was with the reviews of the ILP in TCS being called “Paid Holiday” and today after the training is over I ask “WHO THE F*** SAID ILP IS A PAID HOLIDAY???????”, bloody, they suck all that you have and also what you already don’t have (money).. It’s like bloody hell in there and that too in such a dead place at Trivandrum where u don realise where to spend your first salary (considering you get it while you’re still in ILP. Yeah, we got it half way thru), the only options being a dhaba outside the technopark or the movie hall adjacent to the railway station which is a touch better than those I find here in Bokaro only in the sense that you DO have seats (I mean the foam on the seats) and that there’s a faint air conditioning affect which clubbed with the fans dry out your sweat by the end of the movie. So you kind of get enough for the 40 bucks you pay for the ticket.
So it’s definitely clear that you just can’t have a worse place to be in when you receive your first salary of your life. Frankly I haven’t seen such a dead capital in all the places I’ve gone to in India. In almost every state the capitals are the best place to be in and with the best and latest malls and facilities. Take for example, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Bombay, Chandigarh, Calcutta, Guwahati, Jaipur etc. But this place is just too bad… And I’d also curse the training schedule a bit if I’m to, coz it offers completely no time for a person to breathe and grasp the surroundings, let alone explore the adjacent places etc. coz before you do that it’s time to get out.
Anyway, proceeding with the induction program I was talking about, the lectures continued till we were shown a movie called the TATA movie, where the legacy of the TATAs was shown with all descriptions of how it all started under Jamshedji Nusserwanji Tata, the founder. And how tat progressed to venture into various fields one after the other. Surprisingly there was no mention about Ratan Tata who’s the current chairman of the Tata group. The best thing about the whole presentation was the motto on which the TATA group functions: “Everything came from the people and must go back to the people”.
That’s something which struck a chord with me and made me feel comfortable for I shared (and still do) the same views, just that I had an invidualistic view on it which is but natural. I liked the movie for it had Kabir Bedi’s narration which is a pleasure to listen to. The coarse voice with a brutally good English makes you feel so royal. You just can’t take your eyes and ears off the screen. The sessions continued till 5:30 in the evening and the last session was the bank account opening session which I must mention here for tat was the fastest I have seen a group being made to work at the orders of one lady. The SBI guys came in at 5:30 and the lady began here introduction and soon the kits were distributed and just after all the kits were distributed they realised they’d distributed the wrong kits so they immediately replaced them with the authentic ones, and then started the session. The lady asked us to open the envelopes and went on and on page after page in the kit with instructions on what had to be filled and what had to be left blank… Boy by the time we could comprehend what she was telling and relate it to the form in our hands, she was off to the next page, no place for doubts at all whatsoever. It was like a blitzkrieg… She conquered us in a flash of light and by 5:50 she and the rest of the team were off the dias and out of the auditorium with the finished kits… We were all still sitting in our seats with mouths wide opened not able to realise we’d just finished filling our applications for a salary account in SBI and signed in about 6-7 places without knowing what was written on it.. Our salary accounts were applied for and the day was over…
The next day was again a process of induction which contained mostly all the don’ts for us in TCS… Don’t do this or your account will be locked, don’t do that or else you’ll be called for questioning, don’t do this or you’ll be fined, don’t do that or you’ll be referred to the admin for a black mark on your Character Certificate… Gawd!!!!!! Someone tell me what to do!!!!!!!
Finally the day ended with Brigadier Suresh Nair coming and talking about the TATA code of conduct and letting us know what the standards of conduct are here at TATA…
The induction was finally over and we were relieved to know we dont’ve to sit thru the day listening to what not to do and what to do in TCS and that we were finally going to kick start our training… Only the days that followed made us realise that sitting for the lectures was any day better than working your ass off till early morning in the labs where hardly 5-20 guys were sitting and doing the case studies assigned to them…
The training started and it was then that I realised that Dr.Scheme was a language and not a ‘type’ of language. All this while I thought scheme was a type or characteristic of a language which used a particular scheme in its structuring or programming… That day I realised it was a language on its own and that it had its own syntax and semantics…
I had volunteered for the post of the class representative (as is expected of me) so I was going to pay the price for it while also reaping the benefits… Our technical co-ordinator was a tamilian (to my dismay) Mr. Aravazhi he was called. And he was the typical dark complexioned tamilian with a wry smile on his face booming with the confidence that he dint have. The typical under-confident ass who pretended to know all the things in this world and spanked people with his words and whenever needed whipped people with his sarcasm and that nasty smile which surpassed that of the wicked man on earth.
Everyday he’d come to me asking for the day’s schedule knowing that I dint know I had to do it on a daily basis, which again he dint mention till he gave me a piece of his mind in turn reducing some of my ‘peace of mind’. It took me a week before I understood the functioning of the time tables and the way things went with this guy and the company. Everyday he’d come and look around seeing our systems checking on what we were doing and then would find us all doing things independently and will nail us all down with a test or come to me particularly and question as to why everyone is so independent and in their comfort zones. I would never have an answer and he’ll go off with that smile. And soon as he’d turn around I’d abuse him in full flow in Hindi which luckily he dint understand but he got to know that I dint like him just as much as he dint like me which reflected on my scores of the second evaluation. We had a case study to do and though I really dint contribute much to the project and major work was done by Anurag, me and Abhijat were just the helpers sort, yet he gave both Anurag and Abhi a 65/100 while I got a 60/100. He followed the suit in the 4th evaluation which was done by me and Abhi together and I must say we had contributed equally to it… And there also he put an 85 for abhi while an 80 for me. But I was happy I was being challenged, that probably brought out the best in me in the 4th evaluation for if he had given me the same marks I might, just might have ended up a bit relaxed on the last evaluation.
Apart from the evaluations, the crowd that came together at Trivandrum for the training included students from 3 different colleges, SRM University, ITER Bhubaneshwar and Sikkim Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal. The crowd on the whole I’d say was mixed. We had some real good geeks in there while the major ones were average guys who were pretty cool with the whole session. While there were the rest who were a touch poor. I wouldn’t want to quote anyone as being part of the latter grade but then I personally believe they needed some real serious and focussed attention for they were extremely poor and ignorant at the same time towards the subject and the company speaking both technically and non-technically.
On the whole it was good to get back with people from different places again after a long break of 4 years having stayed with the same class of people with the same views and thoughts about things all over. I also had a chance to face more professionalism in the whole group there. The group was completely professional in their conduct and being the class representative helped me interact with all of them in my batch and with those in the other batches too. Thus I came to know more people and more people now know me which is a great feeling. I’d like to add that I dint have much of a problem exercising my duties with the group for two reasons, their co-operation and the maturity level was much better than back in the college and the other being the fact that all of us were supposed to behave professionally thus making everyone conscious of their conduct in the group. Thought there are the ‘masti’ guys everywhere you go but then I have been with worse guys to actually feel helpless with these guys. The test of my being the class representative was all through the semester but then the final and the real test came on the last day wherein we all had to run about like mad dogs getting one document after other and making all the associates do the right thing coz everything was electronic so one step goes wrong and u got to report it to the management and there are a hundred formalities before you can make the next move. I remember addressing my batch in the lab on the last day. I said “there is one thing I want to make very clear to all you guys, I want full co-operation from all you guys in all the issues all through the day and I want all of you to leave the masti and gossip back in the room for the day and give all your attention to me and what I say, for what you do today will decide if u guys are getting released from here today or not. And I mean business here, it’s in all seriousness that I make the above statements and DO NOT take me lightly on that.”
Believe me each and every guy of my batch of 30 paid full attention to me while I spoke those words and they did follow the ‘orders’ to perfection, kudos to them for their sincerity and attention.
We had a team work session where all of us had to write about the strengths and weaknesses of the rest. And I received all my strengths as being a good leader and a person always having a smile on his face, the weaknesses had my anger and laughter both in it except one person who wrote that I create a first impression of being a head weight kind of guy. That was a surprise but I realised I do actually act like that in the beginning before showing my ‘true colours’. Anyway I received compliments from a lot of them for me being a very good CR, but the best of them came at the last moment and that was from Mr. Sibananda Pani , a student of ITER Bhubaneshwar who was leaving for the station on the last day, his bus was leaving the campus and I was there to bid them goodbye and just as the bus started, he got down the bus and came to me and congratulated me saying “yaar tum sahi me sabse mast CR ho yaar”, and then bid a goodbye.. It was a ‘mast’ moment. There are many facets to the training at Trivandrum which I’d be writing in the future entries to my blogs.