Last leg of induction

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I was with a colleague who has been in the role for the last 4 years. I had specifically asked for the last leg of my induction with him. I thought to myself, “No matter how good I am, it will take me atleast half the time to get where he is”.

My question to him and his other colleague was “What is my role? What are the expectations from me? Where do I start?”. Maybe it sounds stupid to someone else, but they know what I meant. I am leaving for Bangalore on Monday with lots of gyaan and handy tips. One question that nobody can answer is “What kind of a boss should I be?” Do I get involved in every aspect of the reportee’s job? Do I give them a free hand? How much is too much and how much is too less? The problem is that I will be able to answer these questions through trial and error. Which means, there will be lots of screw ups and mistakes made before I know what kind of a boss I am or want to be. And the answer may be different depending on how am dealing with.

In my mind, there is some clarity and I know where to start. The rest of it is supposed to become clearer. Half the battle is in starting. More importantly, there are people who I can turn to for advice at any point of time. And since they have been managers first and then promoted as managers’ manager, they understand what am dealing with.

The most positive part is that I am pals with people who are still managers and at the same level as my reportees. I speak to them and understand their expectations from their managers.

 


NOT a group person

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In the 3rd year of our marriage, and the first year that we started living together, KC and I took a trip to Leh Ladakh with his friends and their spouses. It was a traumatic trip (worst one till date) and a turning point in our relationship. It is so significant that we don’t talk about it, like all the other significant things in a marriage.

It was also my first trip in a group and until then I hadn’t realized am not a group person because I have only been in smaller groups of 2-3, never more. I won’t get into what happened on that trip but I couldn’t connect or gel with anyone. Which is weird because I have met all of these people individually or with their spouses since then and like all of them. Since that trip, I have felt like a bad, anti social person. The book ‘Introvert Power’ is making me aware that am not a fault, the expectations of the people around me is the problem. Don’t force me into uncomfortable situations and am awesome company but put me in a group and watch me withdraw, become mum and ‘anti social’.

Of course, things have changed since then. This is the conversation we had last night.

Him – So, I will go for a party at A’s house on Friday night at 10/10.30 pm after dinner with you

Me – It’s ok if you want to go earlier. I can catch up with someone over dinner or just stay home. You can go ahead

Him – No. No. I want to have dinner with you.

Me – Ok. I can come along if you want

Him – Rehne do. All these posts about introversion are getting to me. Though my friends were saying they want to meet you.

Me – I can come for an hour but I won’t drink or eat junk and want to sleep by 10/10.30 am because of early morning run.

Him – Sure, no problem. I will drop you home by 10 pm and then go back to the party.

Me – It’s ok. I can drive myself back. You should take an Uber back since you will drink

Him – Arre, S and I will come to drop you back for your safety

Me- I am fitter than both of you put together. I don’t need your protection.

I guess some kind of balance and understanding has been reached. But mostly, am at peace with myself. So NOT a group person.

 


Last place I was comfortably introverted

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The last place on this planet where I wasn’t judged for my introversion was my school. It still amazes me on how much alone time I could get in a place where everyone was cooped up in 4 walls. Of course, those 4 walls extended to a huge amount of space and consisted of – a huge playground, skating rink, school for the younger kids, school for older kids, an area for recreation, a slope for entering and exiting, library, so many classrooms, a grotto, chapel, huge area to play kho kho, a graveyard (not kidding. You could jump over a low wall and enter it), another playground for younger kids. AND for boarders there were various dormitories, study room, refectories (for meals).

I wasn’t the only one, most of the girls would spend time on their own and it wasn’t weird. You could study alone or in groups. Just walk alone or in a group. Read alone or in groups.

The problem started once I left school. I was thrown into the world of extroverts. My mother comes from a family of extroverts (mainly) who are loud, love to gossip and celebrate all festivals together. This was a far cry from her current nuclear family which included an introverted husband and 3 weird kids who just wanted to stay home.

Anyway, I have spent all my life since school apologizing , justifying or rebelling for my basic nature. I need alone time. I need to come back home and read. When am forced to party till late night, it unnerves me because the conversation adds no value to my life. I keep wishing I’d stayed home instead and read. I don’t want to do this ALL THE TIME but there has to be a balance.

Reading ‘Introvert Power’ is making me realize how much I have been trying to justify and apologize for who I am.

Running has been a BIG help. It is a time I spend with myself, thinking random stuff. So, when I have to justify WHY I run alone, it seems unfair.

More ranting coming up as I read the book.


I rock

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I started reading the book ‘Introvert Power’ right now. It has been on my ‘to be read’ shelf for 2-3 years. The book talks about introverts. Every page has me hooked and I keep exclaiming ‘that is SO me’. Someone gets it. Someone doesn’t think am antisocial or a psychopath or a danger to society. Some days I get really tired of playing that role.

Here is a secret- I DON’T hate people. I love interacting with (some) people. I don’t know anyone else who meets so many new people, especially strangers from the internet (except for the people am meeting because they are also having similar interactions through the internet).

Let me tell you some things about myself:

I am a very thoughtful person. I will remember that the 2nd time we met a year back, you wanted to eat blueberry cheesecake because you love it and that’s what I will carry to your house when I drop in. I will look for the perfect birthday gift, and if I don’t know you well enough, I will get you something I like. And if it’s not in stock, I will turn up empty handed but send it through amazon few days later. When you visit my house, I will always drop you till your car/auto on the road. You won’t leave my house alone. If you are in the USA, I will take your address from your husband and send you flowers on your birthday. Even if you have been my boss for a month, I will be able to pick the perfect gift for you. I will remember conversations. I will pick up on cues. I will think about them later, analyse them and decide whether I like you or not, whether I want to take the interaction forward in real life or restrict it to the internet or back out.

The disclaimer is that the interaction has to be genuine. I want to be sure you are conversing WITH me and not AT me. If I feel like what you discuss with me is something that you would discuss with anyone else, that my being there has zero value addition, I will lose interest and not give a damn. Then I will avoid meeting up, make excuses and never ever ask you to meet. If I do turn up, it is because I couldn’t say ‘No’.

Got to sleep since I want to wake up at 5.30 am. The earlier I wake up, the more time I have on the weekend and more things I can fit into the day. Ciao.


WhatsApp groups and their fuck-allness

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WhatsApp groups are like being at a party where everyone is talking at the same time and it needs a topic that interests every single person to keep the group going. Since I hate parties and have stopped attending them, this is like a whole group of people barging into my house and trying to party. VERY annoying.

(Have to mention a a conversation here:

Friend : I want to throw a farewell party before you move to Mumbai. Will invite all your friends in Delhi NCR

Me : Please spare me the torture. You will invite A, B, C, X, Y, Z- none of them know each other or have much in common. I will have think of ways to keep everyone engaged and there will not be any REAL conversation. I’d rather meet each person one on one.)

Having been part of many groups on WhatsApp and having exited all of them, I dread the moment am added to a new one. Why doesn’t WhatsApp understand consent? Shouldn’t I get an invite first, which I can choose to accept or reject and giving the explanation to one person instead of exiting the group in front of 50 people?

This is how every WhatsApp group starts and ends:

  • I got very excited when I was added to a group last night. The group was started by an ex colleague and am fond of most of them but not in touch. Every group starts with excitement. The anticipation that you are back in touch with people who were a part of your previous life.
  • Everyone says their Hi Hellos. There is jubilation around. Old photos are shared.
  • People make plans of meeting and catching up. A reunion of sorts. I haven’t seen any of these reunions happen. Not in one single group.
  • After a few minutes, conversation starts dying out. Unlike real life, where you end up in smaller groups of like minded individuals, what are 10/20/30/40 people going to talk that will interest everyone? That’s when torture starts.
  • Forwards. It is like dumb people have sworn to spread their dumbness around. Atleast on email, you can send it to spam. What do you do on WA? And I have OCD. Unread notifications make me uneasy. Every unnecessary email in my inbox (even the one I rarely use) is sent to spam, mailing lists are unsubscribed from and there is no junk in the primary inbox. So, I hate unread notifications even on a muted group when I open WA.
  • Birthday wishes. How rude are you if you don’t wish someone on their birthday WHEN you know it’s their birthday and everyone else is wishing him/her. On facebook, I wish people I like or those who I would wish if they were around me. On WA, it is people I don’t usually call but am in touch with. I call the people I speak to over the phone. For everyone else, I don’t care and am sure they don’t care if I wish them or not. I have removed the birthdays notification from facebook app as well and it is one less notification in a day.
  • Festival wishes. Someone I know sends wishes on WA through an image (I never open it) for every damn festival. I NEVER reply. But the wishes do not stop.

The best solution I discovered few months back was to delete WA for a few days and then come back. Nobody is going to bother adding you back specially since you won’t announce your arrival.

 

 


Pros and Cons

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The body pump module training at Bangalore this weekend has been cancelled due to the current political situation. Apparently, the verdict on the Cauvery water is supposed to be out tomorrow and flare up is possible. I had a vague feeling this would happen. Somehow, I couldn’t imagine myself travelling to Bangalore this weekend. I did not let this come in the way of my preparation though. The two tracks allotted were biceps and lunges which I had to present and shadow (follow a trainer). Last night I perfected biceps and started on lunges today morning.

The training has been rescheduled to next weekend but my travel, meetings and flight are already booked. Since it is an official trip, am not comfortable rescheduling them. The funny part is am in Bangalore next Monday and if the information had come yesterday, could have planned to be in the city on Saturday.

This leaves my weekend wide open and you know how much I hate that. Any way, just want to list down the pros and cons of the cancellation:

  • Cons
    • Flight expense : Indigo has agreed to waive off the cancellation charge and am still negotiating with Spicejet. I think it should happen. Thankfully, the flight wasn’t too expensive but I want to lose as little money as possible. Makemytrip has been torture. Their cancellation charges are higher than the flight fare and if you push them back on it, they ask you to speak to the airline. If I have to speak the airline, what is makemytrip charging for? As a middle man? When I cancelled the the trip to Hyderabad, MMT asked me to speak to Indigo. Indigo cancelled the flight and refunded the money to MMT 20 days back. MMT has not refunded the money to me. Why? Because I didn’t cancel the flight on their website. They cancelled the flight today and have agreed to give me the money in 7 days.
    • I didn’t spend enough time with KC when he was here.
    • Have skipped gym and run to use the time to prepare for the training. In the process, I have eaten some junk. Workout and eating right go hand in hand for me.
    • I have paid for the training and since the material has been given to me, it is not refundable.

 

  • Pros
    • The agency which organizes the training will inform me about the next training dates and I can attend it then
    • I was quite nervous and kept wishing I had more time. This gives me more time.
    • I have the material and can now prepare well for all the tracks.

 

 


How to survive Mumbai

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Think of yourself as a prostitute, someone who fucks for money with no expectations of pleasure; sometimes for ambition and sometimes, just for the fuck.

You feel nothing. There is no involvement of the heart or the mind. You just spread your legs, lie down and let it suck your soul piece by piece.

All the while, playing your favourite song in your head or thinking about the recent book you read or the last good fuck you had. You replay all this over and over and forget where you are. You live in your head while your body goes through the motions.

It’s a means to an end. It means nothing. It’s just a fuck. Just business. Nothing personal about it.