Today I did what I thought that I shall do…as per plan…yahoooooooooo..
I am in touch with one of my old friend. I want to share his stories to all of you today.
Way back in 1989 I joined an IT company. Few months into job, I was learning. I did not have any background of Information Technology , so going was not very easy. However for an enthusiastic young boy that was least of the problem.
One day , I was introduced with my new colleague. Our office etiquette told us that you need to come office in your formal attire. All of us used to come with white shirt , dark color pant and polished shoe. This colleague of mine came with a sparkling green shirt, Trouser which has countless pocket and one brown shoe which is anything but formal. My boss introduced him with me and told “ He is Chinmoy ( not actual name), joined us today. Pls. take him along with you and show him about the way we handle call and customer. His formal training will take place after some days. Till then you be his informal trainer for ON THE JOB training”.
Both of us went out. Soon I realized that he is an “ I know all” kind of a person. Whatever I tried to teach came back to me with suggestion for improvement!!! Not that he knew anything but he pretended that he knows everything.
Day two. Chinmoy came to office with similar obnoxious dress. Our region head Sudipda who was going somewhere suddenly noticed him. He came to him and told “ how come you are wearing such a dress? Don’t you know our dress code? Go home and change your dress.” He went home that day.
Day three. Chinmoy came with somewhat official dress. We went out together to attend customer call. My friend proudly declared “ You know why he wanted me to change my dress? He was jealous. He has never seen such beautiful dress in his life.” I looked at Chinmoy. He was dead serious.
Days goes by. Slowly I realized that this is what Chinmoy is. Arrogant, brass but one good person. Super confident. Strongly believe that he knows best.
After few more months I knew his upbringing. He came from a very poor family. Faced lot of trouble in life. Fought all battle by himself. Did lot of tuition to pay his own school fee. Did lot’s of errand to earn money so that he can survive and grow. This arrogance is his only defense. Otherwise everybody would have trampled over him. No one in his society has come this far. He wore his best impressive dress on DAY ONE in our office.
Many years passed by. I met him again in JAPAN. I got transferred there from office and so is Chinmoy.
He came to meet me. Impeccably dressed in suite. Conversing with me in English. ( Both of us came from Bengali medium school and learned spoken English way down the line). More polished. Much more confident.
I came back to INDIA. Chinmoy stayed in JAPAN for two more years. All of a sudden I heard that he left his job and came back to INDIA.
Lost touch. Next time I came to know about him is that his both kidney got damaged and he is in ICU.
Need help. Some of our friends took initiative a big way. Money was collected and handed over to his wife.
I met Chinmoy after few days. Full with energy. Two incident to emphasize my point.
1. While he was showing his house to all of us he made a comment with full of conviction “ Doctor told me that I am perfectly all right. Only kidney has gone bad. Nothing to worry”
2. His wife told us that initial days when he was in ICU, his birthday came. His wife met him and told, crying “ Do u know that today is your birthday? See god’s conspiracy. How are we all celebrating your birthday.”
“So? Why are you crying on my birthday.Go and celebrate. Tell doctor and all others that today is my birthday. Buy a cake and distribute it amongst all of them. I shall be fine, so not worry”
Same Chinmoy. Super confident. Never say die attitude.
We were in touch going forward. Chinmoy happy all the time.
One day he called me, “ Saurabha , I need a job. Whatever I am earning now is just enough for my family. I want to send my children abroad for study. I need more money. Can you refer me somewhere?
I reached out to my boss. Chinmoy forwarded his resume and after due process he got his job.
Chinmoy went on to do his job. Unfortunately, many years out of corporate world had it’s own effect. He was not comfortable the way today’s demanding customer behave. While he left his job it was customer relationship which mattered. No one used to show contract copy and terms and condition. Today everything is driven by LEGAL argument.
Disappointed , he left job again.
Recently he contacted me again. Nervous, afraid,scared Chinmoy.
“I need a job desperately. Can you help? I was never in this condition before.”
Again after probing this is what he told.
“You know Saurabha, when exactly my bad luck started? The day I got my job second time. During my stint in JAPAN , I saved lot of money. But as I left my work and came back I exactly know my standing. Then after my kidney failed. You all helped. I had my savings relatively untouched.
After my kidney replacement , I was aware of my financial strength and knew where to spend money and where not to. I started a small business which was giving me small return. My expenditure was less than my income.
Then came my 2nd term of work. I gave away my business to other. I was earning big. Why do I need small money anymore?
My plan became BIG. My spending even bigger. Lots of dream I started chasing with this money which I did not have earlier.
Then came this rude shock of reality. World has changed big way. I was not able to cope up with this changing corporate world.
While leaving job I thought that if I can survive first time without job, I can survive this time as well. In fact my jobless days were happier that this.
After leaving job I realized that I cannot survive with little money anymore. I need money. I put my savings in all risky investment so that I can earn more.
They all backfired. Today , I have no money, no earning and huge spending commitment.
Had I not got this job, I would have not committed so much money in so many places. I can’t even start my business which I left before. I gave it and today , I cannot get it back and rightfully so.”
Now , dear reader , I want to ask you the same question. How do u define success? They day Chinmoy was jobless, was he more successful or the day he got his job and let loose his guard.
Today Chinmoy is no more the confident one I knew. He blamed him for everything, listens to all advice I ( for that matter anybody) gives and pleads with anyone he know.
This is life isn’t it? Let me know your definition of success.
Multitasking , and I failed
Today morning I was brushing my teeth!!! While doing that my wife told me to bring milk from outside because she has to prepare it for my daughter. I did that midway while I was brushingJ..I did two more jobs then after. After that finally I am done with my primary task.
As a result of that I took much more time then the usual and end up doing a not so good job at any one of them. I have observed the same in my office. I switch between tasks, I take more than normal time of completing any task and also sigma of time taken to complete all jobs are most probably more then if I hv taken them up individually.
Reason why it is so? I have to take my mind off from one task, to another job and again to third one. In the process most probably I am dropping some of the associated task related to task 1 or 3.
Subsequently I went to have my breakfast. Ordered for tea. Tea maker did not give me one immediately. He opened the tap for coffee in a mug. While espresso’s are getting poured in he quickly started arranging all his small cup, put sugar in them and just in time took out that mug just in time when it is about to get filled up.
He poured espresso in each cup and subsequent to that added milk and his coffee is ready.
Was he doing multiplexing? No I suppose. He was aware of his timing. He knew exactly how much time it will take for coffee to be filled in his mug and his speed of setting up coffee cup with sugar. That’s it. While I was trying to switch between multiple unrelated tasks.
So, multitasking is a no no for me. Am I successful at it. Nooooo. But I am trying.
I have observed myself. I am a great believer of planning. You ask me to anything immediately and I get pissed off. Moment some task comes first thing that come to my mind is, how much time do I have?
Convinced , I am planning to bring plan in my life and that is why time management is so important to me.
How am I doing? Not even near the mark. But more I think of it more I am aware of it and more I am thinking ways and means to achieve it.
I have tried workflowy ( try www.workflowy.com). Fantastic one. But I left it now.
What was I doing while at office? I divided my time into many mini time zone ( e,g – 9am-10am,10am-11am etc). looked at my calendar and filled the void area with the work I intended to do.
It did not work for me. Most of the time , I have underestimated time. Also while working I could not avoid small distractions ( friend calling for tea, office gossip, quick e-mail reply)
Last two days this is what I have done and till now I am successful. I have picked up only three major work which in my mind should not take more than three hours .
In office I curved out “work zone”. This is nothing. I only mentally told me that “ Look, this is your work time. You will not allow any distraction ( Other than boss calling of course J ) to distract you. You are scheduled to complete this one task and until this finishes no other work. No not even loo break “.
So in eight hours of my time I needed to curve out only three work zone. My individual task took more than an hour but that is ok. I could finish THREE task I want to complete.
In weekend like today I wrote down 7 things I want to complete today. 24 hours and 7 things to complete. I am good at this moment.
Wish me luck. Share me your idea of planning as well. How do you plan for your month, year, and how are they doing?