Friday, May 11, 2007

Stack Overflow

There used to be a time when I used to laugh... just laugh at things happening around me when I had no control over them. It's about scenarios where there was just too much pressure for me to handle things happening around me... things happening at such a fast pace that one might even fail to notice a few events in the heat. Those are the scenarios when I would simply smile or laugh to myself, much to the amusement of people around me.

Thats what I call "stack overflow".

For the last few years, these occasions were missing in life, maybe because I was in an impregnable comfort zone. Nothing really to challenge me, that is. And days, weeks, months had passed on.

No major tiffs even, with my folks... things were getting mature back home, but mundane as well. (There used to be a time, about a couple of years back, when I used to argue, fight, even break things in the heat of the arguement with my folks... nothing of that sort, these 2 years)

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For the last few weeks, I've been getting calls from resource management consultants, thanks to a job portal, where I had posted my resume.

Scores of calls from various fledglings/start-ups that needs someone with my kind of profile; about half a dozen calls from the big players who hire "code-coolies".

A few telecons were interesting, a few were informative, and a couple of interviews were on the challenging side (calls from the big players).

My natural assumption was that there are'nt guys who can handle the assessment process (on my capabilities... courtesy, my profile) in the smaller firms. Most of the interviews were with the founder, ceo and the likes, who were trying to market their ideas/business plan/vision for the next few years, so that prospective candidates would come n join them.

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The day before yesterday, I got a mail from the head of HR in a firm. I had replied to that mail, forwarding my resume and asking for a one-on-one. I had'nt done that (replying by attaching my resume) to any of the hundreds of other mails that I had got since posting my resume on the job portal.

And the reason for my replying to that mail was that the firm had the backing of a multi-billion dollar Indian Manufacturing Industry, based in Chennai. And I knew what a huge reputation they carry for themselves in the automobile-manufacturing related sector. The family behind the giant has a legacy of its own. Writing something flattering or something thats close to bootlicking about businessmen or their likes, is not my cup of tea, thanks to a potential entrepreneur's ego within me. And I dont think I am doing that here. Just that I am acknowledging what I've known and heard.

Also, the mail was a touch different in the way the requirements for candidates were specified. It simply caught my attention.

So, there go the reasons for my act of responding to the mail.

And within minutes of sending that mail, I got a call from that guy. That was a good one.

An appointment was agreed upon, time of meeting fixed for last evening, 1830 hours.
I landed up at the venue at 1800 hours, met the HR guy, was taken to the business unit head for a technical round. I had expected nothing more than a normal interaction (where the roles/responsibilites, the growth plan for the next few years for both the company & myself and a bit of technical assessment are the stuff that are normally talked about).

It was not to be!!!

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Man... what an interview... there was so much stress that both of us (the business unit head and I) took a short break on the fly and started laughing, to relieve myself of the stress).

The stack just didnt overflow... it exploded right on my face, to put it mildly.

The organization's expectations from me were stated out point blank. That was the icing. Thats when I instantly decided this is it, this is the place where I need to be.

Then came a walking (or smoking) HR round with that guy I had replied to. That was followed by another HR round, someone higher to this guy had handled it.

And then there was a wait for about 30 minutes. I was told the CEO is on the way. That was interesting too. I hadnt seen such an involvement in any of the meetings of this kind.

A few mind games were on, regarding the negotiations on my expectations, so much so that the CEO asks me "So it seems like you're shopping around".

He said that because he knew I had already given my notice to my current employer. I had talked about this when the topic of "joining period" came up during the HR rounds... I had told the HR that I am currently deciding on the offers on hand.

And so, I told the CEO, "But I do not think this meeting is anywhere close to window shopping" !!!

A quiet grin on his face and I knew that was convincing enough.

I was so excited/stimulated that I couldnt stop laughing, on my way back home and that was past 2200 hours.

Infact I couldnt sleep, thanks to the clips that were on a loop in my mind... I was still rolling in the bed past 2:00 A.M in the morning.

Thanks to the stress buildup, that left me exhausted, I could finally sleep off.
A great day after almost eternity!!!

P.S - Thin slicing (Malcolm Gladwell's "Blink") ? or so it seems, though it would be too early to judge my action (replying to the mail) already.

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Blogger sangy said...

Arun. I just had to get to ur page and read
was a good one..
that was just a way to start a conversation with you...
i wish we could stay in touch

8:03 PM  

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