A Prelude to the next post

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KC and I have this joke where he threatens to tear my fishy (the one I sleep with) and my reply is that the fishy came first (we were dating by then but not committed, committed) and so is automatically more important. All my blogs have been with me for 10 years now. Sure, there are other people who arrived and have been in my life longer than that but the company of the blogs has been consistent. They are a window to what turns life has taken.

Most of the posts are fun and games… many times, hiding the reality. I don’t write about the important moments. But some posts are personal and I go through a lot of pain to write them. Sometimes I get reactions like “Oh, that happens to a lot of people” from people who have not gone through anything like that in their lives. I don’t forget such reactions but I don’t hold them against anyone. I remember (like everyone else) the moments of my life when I have been completely down and out and learn from them. My lows make who I am and not my highs. Never the highs.

I don’t remember my great runs… I remember the worst ones. Like, SCMM. Running better and faster at SCMM is more important for me than ADHM. I know I can crack the latter, the former is the real challenge.

There are some posts which put me in a depression even before I type them… and the gloom stays on for days after they have been written. The post coming next is somewhere in that league because it reminds me of a terrible, terrible year I had- 2009.

Pros : I got married, switched jobs, moved to Mumbai, paid rent for the first time

Cons : The year I learned to live without family. You never realize how dependent you are on family till you have to live without them. Dealt with major health issues for the first time in my life, marriage was long distance and so not really hunky dory. The new job sucked… terrible manager, horrible colleagues, organization full of chaos and Mumbai.

The next post is going to be about a harassment issue I faced in the new job. Give me a day or two to type it out because Fridays are super busy (because TRX) and I have too many things lined up for Saturday (salon and Seek Sherpa food walk). I can talk about the incident because nobody has asked me not to and neither did I sign a contract asking me to not talk about it. Of course, all names will be kept confidential. I was just discussing this with D today who was my manager after the whole issue was resolved and I got a different perspective of the issue. Hopefully, he understood why am very cynical about the way it was dealt with.

Before that…. The other day someone asked me “Isn’t KC possessive?”. And I realized why we are not overly possessive about each other- it is because of the corporate culture we work in. Travelling, hanging out with colleagues, drinks, parties are part and parcel of the job. We have been doing it since we started working. It makes no sense to wonder if meeting someone over drinks is ok or not. Maybe if we had met in college before we started working… maybe, we would have been different. But as things stand, I don’t mind or care and same goes for him.

I started my career as a Management Trainee with a FMCG company. We were 9 trainees who lived out of a suitcase for almost a year before we were sent to some remote location to sell candies. The only other female was in HR but had to go through a similar drill. As a female, I traveled alone, lived in hotels alone and all my interactions were with men- distributors, retailers (mainly paan shops), wholesalers, executives, Area sales managers etc etc. I lived in a guesthouse where I was the only female. I remember I was in the Bangalore guesthouse when I was handling sales of 6 rural towns (Chikballapur, Bangarpet, Kolar, Kolra Gold Fields, Hoskote). It was a Saturday night and the other ASMs were making a ruckus. Getting drunk, throwing water on each other, gossiping, pulling each other’s legs were the usual form of entertainment for these guys on weekends. I turned in early to give them privacy. Anyway, mom called and heard the noise.

Her – Are you alone?

Me-How can I be alone among 6 people?

Her- I mean, are you the only female there?

Me- Mom, I am the only female anywhere

When I started handling rural Gujarat, I ¬†lived with the other ASMs in the Mumbai guesthouse. Everyone treated me like a daughter or younger sister. Throughout the 2 years, I did not face even a moment of discomfort where I felt like someone was getting too close. Never. Ever. Sure, being a female in a FMCG sales setup means attention at parties or everyone knowing your name, people watching your work performance more closely but it wasn’t anything I would remotely call “harassment”. I had been on company trips to Bangkok, Australia, Lonavala Ambey Valley, Corbett etc; sometimes I was the only female in the group. But I always felt safe and comfortable.

Stayed tuned… for the next post.


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