Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The Placement

Dedicated to: My sister first, and my sister next!

Ten days it's almost been, and I couldn't see any job offer on the horizon.
Nerves got the better of me. It's been almost 5 years since I tasted any tangible success (the last being on the JEE-2009 results day), and since then life has been going only downhill. I felt afraid it would culminate in a disaster in the form of placement season.
This year (well, that year), only a handful of core companies showed up so far, the notable ones being Eaton, Bosch and Reliance, apart from FMCGs.
Eaton - history screwed me up in the form of CGPA. Well, a narrow miss.
Bosch - Thought I'd done the written test well, but karma screwed me up.
Reliance - More karma.
On the fourth day, I attended, reluctantly though, the Futures First's interview(s). Stress interviews they are supposed to be, so I prepared myself for the challenge.
It was a series of three interviews. The first one went fairly easy with who I'd like to call 'the smooth guy.'
Those who qualified the first round were sent to the second ( I have to mention this because some interviewers count on a cumulated performance.) This dude was a tough nut. Within seconds I realised that this guy isn't going to buy my attractively-packaged-garbage so easily. I need some convincing and confidence to do. He asked me a few puzzles, and even though I wasn't able to answer a significant portion of them, I kept my cool and projected my confidence fairly well. Only that I went a tad farther, and tried to reverse-stress the guy by correcting his questions.
I was interviewed for the third time, though. It was 3 O' clock in the evening. The final interview was on, and he kept repeating the same questions that the HR-2 asked. Enough, I said to myself. "I am hungry, I haven't had lunch or breakfast today, Sir," I said to them.
The final nail was sent into the coffin.


On the ninth evening, though, It was announced suddenly that Mercedes, which was earlier open only for the M.Techs, was opened to Dual degrees as well. My branch counselor specifically called me (and only a few other guys) to apply for it immediately, and that rest could be taken care of later.
With only little hope did I send in my resume, with only little hope did I attend their Presentation, with only little hope did I attempt their written test.
With only little hope did I check the shortlists the next morning. And unsure enough, my name was there.
With more of 'little hope,' I attended the group discussion session. The last time I attended a GD was my first time, and It was a disaster. I had to make amends this time. Except that this is a do-or-die situation.
The topic for the discussion was a fairly easy one, and in spite of my lack of confidence and high-pitch voice, I managed to blend in pretty well. I was confident of my performance in the GD round. But karma hasn't been my friend so far.
With great apprehension, I checked the shortlists for the final interview, and heck, I made it to the final round!
It was only 11a.m, and the interviews weren't for another couple of hours.
Couple of hours became quadruple of hours, and still there was no sign of my being interviewed any soon. As always, there was lot of pre-interview chat. "What kind of questions are being asked?" "Are they stressing you?" "How did you do?," and stuff.


The student coordinator sent me in to give the interview.
I entered the room.
As soon as I entered, HR-2 guy started to shoot me with questions.
Before answering them, I respectfully interrupted,"May I have a seat, Sir?"
"No, you are supposed to give the interview standing."
I tried to give my broadest smile possible, limited only by my only-so-much-elastic lips.
"Have a seat, pleasure to meet you!".

The HR-1 guy came from behind and tried a wise-crack at me, "Since when are they allowing Tenth class students to attend IITs?"
Trusting my innate spontaneity, dubious as its existence and laudability is, I replied immediately, "After they complete their intermediate, Sir!"
HR-1 looked appalled, but HR-2 seemed to like it. He broke into a wide laugh, and complimented me.
"Thank you, Sir," I said, pinning my hopes on the coordination between HR-1 and HR-2.
I knew at that moment that I scored a few brownie points.
HR-2 and HR-3 went on to interview me on technical stuff, and strong I am in Fluid Mechanics and the like, I answered them with fair ease.
I came out of the room after a firm handshake with HR-1,2 and 3.

I knew I impressed them, but who knows what my karma has in the store for me?! Lots of questions hovered and circled in my head in the immediate half-hour, and I could do nothing but to watch them mess with my mind. The final results were awaited, and HR-1 requested everyone to assemble in the corridor so that he could do the needful.
We all semi-circled around the three guys, and in spite of all the advice on the ephemerality of the first-job-pleasure, we pinned our hopes of future in the little piece of paper the HR-1 was carrying. What if the HR-1 was pissed at my comment and their coordination backfired, only to see myself eliminated?
As soon as HR-1 came out, I occupied his immediate left and started having a peek at the list of names he was carrying.
1.Vivek Bharadwaj
2.Arshad M Siddique
3.Chandrasekhar Sirimala
4.Anoop Jogdand

His fingers covered the fifth name. I was only more sure that my karma had finally forgiven me!
As he was announcing the names, he requested the selected guys to be awarded the Mercedes-Benz cap.
After announcing the first two names, I could finally see the fifth name, and it was mine!
"And the fifth guy is...," he looked around and then at me with a weird smile on his face I wouldn't be able to figure out the meaning of hadn't I already known!
Even before announcing the fifth name, I went around him and stood in-front of HR-2 who was giving us the caps.
"Oh, so you already knew huh?," asked with a smile HR-1.
"Yes, sir, I was peeping into the sheet!," said I, much to the laughter of all the candidates and the HRs. I got the Mercedes-Benz cap, after all!

I came out of the venue, and as I was walking on the main road, too many thoughts were running in my mind.
But then the first one, as if instinctively. I picked up the phone. Not to call my Dad. Not to call my Mom. But to call my sister.
She burst out immediately.
What would it have been for me if not for her support and kind assurance! Consistent and cooperative for almost a month since!

Infi number of calls followed, and at the end of the day, only one thing remained.
Sweet dreams!

Everyone faces this situation for the first time in their lives at some point or the other. Some of my friends made it to Deutsche bank and ITC. Day one. Slot one. So It should not be a big deal, technically. But screw rationalism!
"He's so excited about just XXX, I made it into XXXX," is the most foolish statement one could hear!
Happiness lies only in satisfaction inside, and not by what others perceive you as!

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