Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Ashok was away on business for a couple of days and I was alone in the apartment for the first time. I’ve lived alone before but never in a large apt. So when I went to bed, I walked around checking if the doors were locked. In spite of that, I couldn’t sleep as usual (read, like a log) and kept hearing every single sound. I finally drifted off to sleep at an unknown time and then I woke up completely startled, someone was banging the front door !! It took a moment to keep my wits about me but I finally came out of the bedroom and walked to the corridor. Through the window I saw a tall guy, all dressed in black (yeah, even in the worst of time, women notice clothes) staring at the door, while another one seemed to be pounding on it.
My heart was racing as I walked closer to the door and I thought to myself ‘’what sort of a burglar pounds on the front door in the middle of the night in an apt in the city centre?”. With that confidence, my heart rate came back to normal and I started hearing a very drunken voice of a woman shouting something in Dutch. Then I knew....and I was smoke-from-ears-annoyed !!
I opened the door hoping for their own sake that they saw the smoke and walked away. And I was facing a girl with the most confused expression and a guy whose mouth was open in shock. Even as I saw their looks turn to apologetic, I still couldn’t help being irritated and I asked them why they were arousing the whole neighbourhood at 3am, knowing the answer full well. Apparently they were trying to surprise their friend (translation: they were drunk and needed a place to crash) and their dear friend is none other than my landlord, who very conveniently had forgotten to inform these noble people of his change of address ! First a cop, then drunken friends showing up in the middle of the night....hmmm....maybe we should consider moving again....
but there is a catch in it....
We moved to Eindhoven. Eindhoven becomes the smartest region in the world. Obviously there is a logical relationship here ;) :D, so we cannot move without considering the repercussions !
So what else is happening in Brainport Eindhoven ? There is an additional glow this week.
This is because of a week-long event during which there are light installations and animations in 20 different locations in the city. The city itself is used as a background and the buildings, canals, even plain walls all turn into amazing platforms for these illusions and illuminations. One of my favorites is the city hall - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTTDingHfjA
Eindhoven was heavily bombed during the war and is now just a place with skyscrapers. The city knows this and keeps constantly trying to do something fun and interesting to keep the locals and visitors engaged and me like it !
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
...what I like about the 7feet-is-not-uncommon-height Dutch is that they are usually friendly, most of them are bi- or even trilingual (everyone speaks German and English besides Dutch) and they are flexible with the rules (which is a wow factor for someone used to Germany!)
…what I love are tulips, windmills, old Dutch houses, wooden shoes, canals, infrastructure for biking and their great effort to recover land from the sea and their success in keeping it !
…what I miss are mountains. The extent of high slope in the Netherlands that I have seen so far is a road with a 5 deg slope (which ironically is always called the Bergstraat or mountain street)
…what confuses me is their take on sex and drugs – if it’s out there in the open, then the temptation is far less than if its hidden and prohibited. Surprisingly this works, there are coffeeshops (not for coffee but for licensed sale of drugs – mind you, only soft drugs) even close to my place and not once have I seen any junkies or misdemeanors of any kind. People are even allowed to grow their own drugs and can have up to 5 plants in the house ! But what they forget is that this logic applies only to residents and not to tourists who when given this ‘’newly-found’’ freedom go crazy and cause all the trouble. Not to mention having to put up with the jokes from the rest of the world about ‘’everyone being in a drug haze’ in Amsterdam !
While I was watching a movie that I thought was pretty much in the sex-and-the-city-genre, I was surprised to find a bunch of girls who looked no older than 13 or 14 seated in the row behind me. Then I learnt that the movie was rated 12 yrs and above !! In spite of that, every time there was an adults-only joke, I couldn’t laugh and couldn’t help but hope that they didn’t understand it.
…what I find mysterious is that Netherlands is never in the news….and I have been checking both CNN and BBC diligently ever since I moved here and not one word of news about the country…I know its small but how can there be no news given that its one of the stable economies in EU ??!
…what I was not prepared for was the population density (the average is actually much higher than the average density in India!!). After having lived in western Germany for more than 8 years, where an overcrowded train is an once-in-a-bluemoon (read, worldcup football season) occurrence, its hard to get used to the always-crowded and not to mention, lower-quality Dutch trains.
We live right smack in the city centre and going for a walk without someone crossing your path is impossible on any day of the week between 8am and 6pm. People are always shopping, even on weekdays ! Now I know why the shops close at 6pm – to let the residents have some peace and quiet in the evenings !
Cycling during peak hours can actually kill you if you are not used to dodging-the-indian-traffic-antics. People on bikes usually fly and it’s almost like driving alongside a Porsche on the autobahn, which you know will overtake you on the wrong side.
…what amazes me and sometimes totally freaks me out is the average fitness level. Pregnant women are so strong that most of them give birth at home with just their partner’s help (they have a home pregnancy kit..seriously!) and they are up and about the next day ! Rowing, biking, marathon teams are everywhere and this is saying something given that the Dutch weather is worse than the English weather !
…what scares me are the stairs in most Dutch houses (or correctly known as death traps) – they are curved and spiral, narrow and dark – all the elements that actually make sure you trip or in the least, drop something you are carrying! It was one of my criteria when we started house hunting – no Dutch stairs. There is no way I am going to destroy the last few grey cells I have just because the living room and bedrooms are on different floors.
…what I am struggling with is speaking Dutch. Knowing German and English, I can read and understand Dutch to a large extent but listening and speaking is a totally different ball game.
… what I find funny:
Bicycle parking areas - We live in a building with 12 apartments with a max. of 24 people and there at least 50 bikes ! The picture below shows the parking area at the station. If you don’t remember where you parked yours…hmm…well…walk !
At least once a week, some shady looking guy tries to sell me an obviously-stolen bike !
The Dutch drink milk during lunch..every day ! Not kids, all of them !
They will die without Hagelslag (a form of chocolate chips that they put on bread) and biking.
They say Blah-di-blah instead of (what-I-thought-was-conventional) blah-blah-blah; every time I hear it, I have to suppress a grin because to me it sounds like Koundamani saying ‘’bloody’’ in a thick accent.
And finally, what I am looking forward to is to be able to embrace Netherlands quickly as my ‘’second home’’ and explore/enjoy the best and deal with the worst of it.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
A few days ago (actually months), I was pondering if life in Germany was making me more German every day. But I also realized...
....I need some noise in my life, I find quietness unsettling. If its too quiet, I have a compelling need to make the noise myself :D
....I need some spice in my life, in the food and otherwise (mind you, I am not a ‘’cho chweet’’ saying girl).
....I need some color in my life. Even in winter, I cannot stand wearing grey and black all the time. From bright red to parrot green, I can wear any color and feel cheerful about it.
....I have to speak Thamizh at least once a day (sometimes when there is no one who speaks Thamizh, I just speak to myself...but lets not go there now..rolling eyes).
....I need to do something when I go to the beach –explore, swim, snorkel, whatever, I cannot simply lie on the beach under the sun.
....I need to use my hands to eat Indian food (there is nothing to beat the sense of touch...obviously doesn't work with Spaghetti but since when is this Indian ?)
....I think French cuisine is way overrated. I feel the same way about Michelin star restaurants where the presentation is always great but the flavor and quantity aren’t !
....I have to watch atleast one movie a week and no it’s not a documentary!
and above all,
....I hate beer, can't drink it to save my life.
....I cannot swear in German.
I decided the best thing to do was to ‘’mix it up even more’’. So I packed my bags, said Goodbye to Germany and moved...well, just across the border to the Netherlands.
PS: As you can see, I had to give an excuse for not having blogged for 2 months….don’t you think moving to new country qualifies as one :D ?
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
Sunday, July 17, 2011
Monday, June 27, 2011
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
- Choose temples in their historical order of importance (targeting those that have not yet been affected by this mindless renovation) and issue a ban on implementing renovation without a 90 day notice period and an explicit approval from historians who specialize in that era
- Task students studying art and history to research the restoration techniques and if possible, the costs involved and create a report for each of the categories like pallava murals, chola frescoes etc.
- The reports can be used to approach the Govt. or organizations that work towards restoring temples and/or other monuments and can also be used in contacting UNESCO heritage programme to see if any funds could be allocated for these purposes
- If there is an NPO that people can rely on, it will definitely bring in funds from within India and outside. I would gladly give 1% of my salary every year to this cause.
- Above all, it is of extreme importance to make sure that this is not projected as a religious issue because it isn’t. I would not have been any less concerned about the destruction of such historical sites if I had been a Christian or a Muslim and I am sure plenty of Indians would agree with me
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Although the town shows unmistakable signs of growing urbanisation, the narrow streets, the Castillo de Sohail (a Roman fortress converted to an Arab fortress), the open parks and all a stone's throw away from the sea make it worth visiting. Another town close by is Marbella, also known for its Plaza de Torros.
Friday, April 8, 2011
One became many and at one point, I actually had 37 small blossoms (and yes, I counted). I proudly showed it off to a friend who pointed out to me that the plant was getting bigger for the pot and I should shift it to a bigger one.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
Buda Castle district
You can either take the funicular or walk up the hill to reach the Buda Castle District. Either way you get to see some beautiful views of the city before you start exploring the district. There is an imposing building of museum and after passing through what looks like a village with shops and hotels, the beautiful Mathias church comes into view.
The fisherman’s bastion was my favorite in the district, to me it was a magnificent terrace of the Buda Castle and offered beautiful views of the Hungarian Parliament and the rest of the city.
The Buda Castle also houses the Hilton hotel and the very famous Faust wine cellar. If you are a wine-lover, it is definitely worthwhile to spend some time tasting different wines from Hungary while sampling some delicious scones and cheese along with it. The sommerlier is very friendly and explains all about the wine while allowing you plenty of time to sample it.
Although the cathedral had an impressive façade and offered views from the top, I was enamored with exquisite interior with designs that had a touch of the Oriental about them.
The best way to see the opera house is to catch a concert there (obviously you have to plan ahead) since the opera guided tour is overpriced. The building looks like any other from the outside and this adds to the ‘awwwww’ factor once you see the inside….really beautiful.
We saw people clothed in black robes and matching hats and no one needed to tell us it was the Jewish district. My hands were itching to take pictures of them but it was Saturday (Sabbat) and Ashok told me that he wouldn't come to my rescue if I got beaten up for sacrilege! The synagogue came into view with the 2 minarets shining in the sunlight. After we took a walk in the block, we decided to come back again for the guided tour on Sunday.
Ashok is fascinated by Jews and more specifically Hungarian Jews (a small but extremely talented group of people) and so I couldn't help smile when he was given a cap soon after we entered the Synagogue.
No visit to Budapest is complete without doing what the locals have been doing for hundreds of years - a visit to one of the legendary baths. Even cab drivers will recommend this as one of the must-do things. Yes, weekends are crowded and its better to take your own towels but the experience is new and refreshing on various levels because of the openness of the baths and the beautiful architecture. I have a good mind to go back for a spa weekend since each of these baths offer a wide variety of treatments and massages. Tip: Buy tickets from your hotel or travel office to avoid the long queues at the bath.
Holocaust memorial centre
As the name suggests, it is not exactly a ‘fun thing’ one does during a vacation but it is a historically important place offering a lot of information and insight into the sad past. My visit to the Dachau concentration camp left me completely drained both physically (since I chose a severely cold day to go there) and emotionally, so if you have not read much about the holocaust, then you should brace yourself for this visit.
Danube night cruise
A night cruise after a visit to the holocaust memorial is a good way to remind yourself that whatever happens life goes on and that one must not dwell on the past but learn from it and move on. The area around the Danube river is a UNESCO world heritage site and you will see why. It is indeed a sight to see the historical monuments (castle district, museum etc.) along the river glowing against the dark sky while you cruise through it sipping champagne (I would not opt for the dinner cruise since I find it overpriced and eating will distract you from the beautiful sights). Tip: Choose to sit on the upper deck – the views are better and you can go out of the cabin for taking some great pictures.
Govinda to the rescue
My biggest concern in traveling to Eastern Europe has always been the ability to find vegetarian food and my past experience in Marienbad did not help. Google pleasantly surprised me with Govinda, a vegetarian restaurant in Budapest run by Hare Krishna. All my doubts about the chef’s capability vanished when I tasted the lentil soup they had, it was this ratatouille moment when I almost smelt home ! They had a wide variety of menus and a surprisingly low price. Add to it the convenient location (a few 100m from the Saint Istvan Cathedral), it was the perfect place for us.
- Exploring the city on foot is a great option when the weather is good
- Transport to and from the airport is possible only by means of a taxi or airport shuttle (there are number of private companies doing this, google to find the best option)
- Although we did not have any issues, the locals warn you against visiting certain districts to avoid your pockets being picked.
- Get Hungarian forints from your home town or use an ATM since the exchange rates offered at the Budapest airport are very poor.
Budapest made complete justice to its reputation as one of the most beautiful cities of Europe. It was a weekend of feasts – a feast for the eyes, the mind and the stomach.
Saturday, April 2, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
….masters class at the University of Stuttgart…..
….department when I started at Bosch……
….department when I started at Intermap……
In short, my life in Germany has mostly revolved around interactions with men and on some days it gets really tiresome (Menfolk can truly be incredibly boring)! I have never been a pink-loving cho-chweet saying girly girl but at times it drives me nuts to have no female perspective around me!
the infinite patience that girls (atleast most of them) have when shopping for the most trivial things…
explaining to a colleague that I was late because I couldn’t find matching shoes for an outfit (read realized that I couldn’t wear sneakers to work)….
discussing a co-passenger’s really weird eyebrows (I once mentioned it to Ashok and it freaked him out, he said concentrating on weird eyebrows made him see the woman as a witch :D)….
grumbling about my unsuccessful attempts of using cold wax strips at home….
talking about an emotional scene that I saw in a movie or read in a book….
gossiping about oh..well…anything and everything :D (Men are not allowed to roll their eyes at this statement given that they gossip equally well)
sharing ideas about what furniture or curtains to buy when moving into a new house (Men treat the concept of curtains so trivially that it drives me nuts!!)….
talking about weight loss (successful or unsuccessful attempts, work-out routines, diet tips…oh the list is endless….)
Yes, I can call my girl friends but they live in different countries and different time zones and waking up someone at 3 am to talk about eyebrows will only result in sleepy swear words ! Although I have a few girls here in Germany to call, I can hardly impose on them on week days when they have enough things to deal with. This is why, when I get the chance, I really abuse it ! All my conversations with my girl friends easily last an hour and anytime I go to a party and see a bunch of girls, I get all excited like a kid being taken for ice cream…after all it has indeed become a luxury that I get a glimpse of only now and then !
To all my girl friends out there: I REALLY REALLY MISS YOU !!
Monday, February 28, 2011
The story begins with Ashok and I deciding that we need to move to a bigger apartment (apt from here on). We answered the “budgetla thundu vizhume” Q with a solemn decision to reduce our travels (and ignored the “haha, like that’s ever going to happen” responses from within). Moving has always been a distant concept for me. I have lived in the same place and completed my schooling in the same city. Besides a brief sojourn in Trichy when appa got transferred (and the bank took care of all the moving, house hunting etc.) I have always called the same place my ‘home’. Moving to Munich from a furnished student apartment was also a piece of cake given that I had only 2 suitcases with some books and clothes (and no I did not have a dozen pairs of shoes then!). So this is my first official move and frankly it feels like I ran a double marathon over and over for a week!
The house hunting was unbelievably short and I liked the first apartment I saw and what’s more it was close to work and suited our needs perfectly. Just when I was beginning to think that moving is not all that complicated I got a letter from my house owner saying that I have to leave the apt cleaned and painted. After hours of packing (I couldn’t believe I had 4 cartons of books and no, I didn’t have the heart to throw or give them away) and multiple trips to the new house, we finally emptied the old one….except for some of the furniture. We had made a decision to throw away a futon and a writing table for very good reasons (read they were so beyond their prime that even ebay couldn’t help in selling them), only we didn’t know how. You cannot just throw the furniture into trash but you have to drive them to the Recycling area and even if we manage to get it down 2 floors, we didn’t have a truck to transport them (one needs a special license to rent and drive such trucks). So we called the city to pick them up, only they charge like crazy when you want them to come at a time that’s convenient to you – 50 bucks for every 15 min. So we had to get everything ready and just bite our nails and hope that they didn’t send a couple of slow moving lazy men….
Painting a couple of rooms white sounded quite simple to begin with but the catch is covering all other places that you didn’t want to be white (like wooden floors, electrical outlets) and then using varnish for the rest (door frames, window frames, heaters etc.). After painting came the cleaning….ohhhh… the cleaning…I think its excruciating to scrub a bathroom floor knowing that you will never use that bathroom again ! The worst part was the lunch break in-between when we were too hungry to make do with a coffee and croissant but also too dirty (and smelling of bleach) to go to some place decent. Those were the times I fondly remembered people moving in India….where friends/relatives or neighbours’ take care of the food for those days and painting is left to the house owner (of course at a small price).
Inspite of having a friend help and getting a day-off from work (In Germany, I get a ‘moving day’), we had to work all weekend and I couldn’t remember where I was when the alarm went off this morning! I slowly realised that I was in my new apt and that I have to go to work even if I couldn’t feel my arms and legs and go I did…wearing a cotton kurta at -2 deg C because I was too tired to look for the carton containing my pullovers....
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
The resort we stayed in had WiFi but weirdly it never worked within our suite – we tried even the balcony and the gardens but it simply just wouldn’t. there was an internet café 400m from the resort and it was quite pricey. The first day, we had an excuse – looking for directions using google maps (since we hadn’t rented the car with a nav) but from then on we knew which direction to take since our resort was directly located off the highway. This resulted in me not using the internet for almost a week and so far, it has only happened in one place, in India, where I am overwhelmed with good people and great food and can blissfully forget the world wide web. The first couple of days were eerie – no youtube for songs, no online weather forecasts and above all, no gmail or blogspot! I was inordinately pleased with overcoming the internet addiction….but the happiness was short-lived, as soon as I got home and saw more than 50 new emails in my Inbox, I was hooked again (Vanity, definitely my favorite sin!)....
Driving along the coast in Spain was fun – it was neither the erratic Italian driving nor the stiff German driving, it was somewhere comfortably in between. Speed limits in the highways were usually between 85-120 kmph and almost everyone was always driving 15-20 kmph above the speed limits anytime there were no radar speed trailers around. During our entire stay we had driven around without any problems but that changed on the last day on our way to the airport. We had just got on to the highway and mama was behind us. The cop car overtook us and was in front of us for a while and we figured he had his own things to do until the lights started flashing and he took the exit and asked us to follow suit.
We quickly checked to make sure we had the license and put on our most “innocent” expressions. Two cops got out of the car, asked us to get out and started talking rapidly in Spanish. I waited for them to stop and asked “You want to see the license?”. Ashok has an international license from India, so when he handed it to the cops, they assumed we were tourists directly from India and started rapidly talking among themselves (and we did not try to correct them :D).
Monday, February 21, 2011
Let me enunciate each part of that sentence.
I lost a bag at the Munich airport. I usually carry a backpack as my carry-on and one of my girl(y) friends suggested that I carry a small hand-bag (gender woes…grrr!) for my passport, cash and cosmetics. I did, only I forgot to pick it up after the security check. Since I had a whole line of my items coming out the x-ray (from belt to shoes to laptop), I conveniently forgot the seldom used hand-bag. Fortunately, I had my passport and cash in the backpack (God bless the force of habit). Unfortunately I realized I left the bag only when I got into the shower at the hotel in Spain and realized I had no shower gel or shampoo.
Happy ending: On my way back, I picked up the bag from the “lost and found” at the Munich airport
with a twist: I had to pay 5 bucks to get it back since they had “stored” it for me. They actually have a list that says how much you pay for retrieving your item from the lost and found !
I was refused entry into Gibraltar. We were staying along the Spanish coast and Gibraltar was just over an hour’s drive from the resort. Since the checkpoint gets fairly crowded, we got up early (which is a herculean task for me esp. during a vacation) and got there before 9am.
Officer: Do you have a visa to enter Gibraltar ?
We smugly flashed our schengan visas
Officer (with an “I am not impressed” look): Gibraltar is not a schengan country
Us: Blank stares…..
Officer: You have to go back to Spain (and then he points to the U-turn)
Us: Blank stares turn into disappointed looks
Me: Does being in Europe for long and having a PR count?
Ashok turns the car around, reaches the U-turn and a sudden wave of genius hits me and I force him to make an illegal turn to get back to the port of entry.
Officer (now impatient and annoyed) walks towards us.
I had remembered that Gibraltar is a British territory and both Ashok and I have UK visitor visas. With a triumphant look, I flash those visas.
Officer: I would have let you in if you had a British PR but a British visitor visa does not count
Me: Are you sure?
Officer (exasperated): Madam, I am the head of immigration, I think I know!
Unfortunate ending: For the first time in my life, I was denied entry into a country (thankfully no “denied” stamp in the passport)
with a twist: we still saw the rock of Gibraltar
and a resolution: to go back with a visa and am keeping my fingers crossed about meeting the same officer (cat one time, elephant also one time).
To be continued…..
PS: I know the heading is exaggerated and misleading. Oh..man, I really should stop visiting rediff and times of India pages !
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Friday, February 4, 2011
Monday, January 24, 2011
Respect for each other’s career choices: Long-distance relationships are 99% of the time the result of career choices. When both of them are employed and the decision is not simply about the money, it calls for an understanding and respect for one’s career from the other partner. In many cases, the girl inevitably has to make the career change and while it may be practical because of a number of reasons in some cases, in most others, she simply does not have a choice. So any partner, who is willing to try a long-distance relationship for the sake of the other, immediately takes a Vishwarupam in the other’s heart.
Keeps passion alive: A relationship always survives on love but the zsa zsa zu is needed to keep the spark alive. Many of us can easily spot people who are newly weds or couples who have just started dating. This is mainly because they have too little time and too much to say/do and hence have eyes only for each other. This precisely works for a long-distance relationship where weekends are exclusively reserved for the other partner and everyone/everything else ceases to exist. Ashok amma used to make fun of me for calling her on Friday evening saying that I was saving my time over the weekend for Ashok and getting the phone calls to families out of the way! Well…guilty as charged!
Allows more traveling: Long-distance relationships mean travel…duh! So it makes taking vacations and traveling for pleasure even easier. I can’t keep count of the weekends Ashok and I spent in another European city like Madrid or Hamburg or Verona. We figured “Why meet in Munich? Why not meet elsewhere if it means traveling the same distance?”. Not to mention all the additional flying miles one accrues and that ends up as a free ticket later ! In the last week of 2010, we had just come back from a trip and we spent 4 days at home without doing anything – no travel, no restaurants, no outings, nothing (except of course grocery shopping). At the end of the 4th day, on New Year’s Eve, when we were going out to watch the fireworks, we suddenly realized that it was the first time that year we had spent 4 days at home without any plans!
Avoids the ‘we’ syndrome: We love that restaurant, we hate that movie, well, there is nothing wrong in being “we” but many couples very often lose perspective of the “I”. I personally feel that its very important to retain one’s individuality. While one learns new things for the sake of a partner and makes changes w.r.t a few other things, a relationship should not mean losing one’s identity. Ashok takes part in chess games and tournaments, I blog. He plays squash, I like table tennis. He started dancing since I like dance and I started showing interest in history since he loves it. So while we do things in common during the weekend, we also keep our separate interests alive during the week.
Time for friends: For many people (unfortunately here people means girls), a marriage (or even a relationship) means hardly any time for friends. Somehow even in this social networking age, some people never find or rather take the time to keep in touch with friends and the first excuse they give is “busy with partner” (I say excuse because the partner may still have time to keep in touch with his friends). The excuse ceases to exist, when the partner is not in town during the week.
Of course this may not work for everyone but when it works, it fosters trust and builds a foundation that makes one say “evalavo pannitom, idha panna mudiyadha” !
Well, as always, I need a disclaimer to safeguard myself. This article is in no way intended to recommend couples to have long-distance relationships. It should only serve to enlighten those who are in one such relationship and cannot see the silver lining. Any decisions you make are wholly yours and neither the author, nor the examples given can be cited to suggest otherwise :D !
Monday, January 17, 2011
I cannot believe that the employer is dumb enough to assume that the girl is some version of superman and can fly and get all these things done in a day, pack, move to a totally different city, find a place to live in and still be ready to start working at 9am the next day.
The girl is obviously anxious, calls HR, gets an extension of 5 days, hurriedly does everything (not to mention the parents who work round the clock to help accomplish this in addition to all other things they normally have to do), goes to the new city, finds temporary accommodation after spending a whole day going around the city and arrives on the joining day exhausted and even more anxious!
Is the employer increasing productivity by making the freshers join a week in advance? Wouldn’t it better if all candidates were given at least 2 weeks time to be prepared, especially when they are just stepping into their careers from student life? When HR already knows that the candidates are going to ask for an extension, can they not save all this drama by being a little considerate? Why take the freshers for granted? Is such behaviour going to give the employer loyalty and respect from those freshers?
An NRI wants to move back to India for good. He has a telephonic interview with a MNC at 7am in the morning (because of a 4 hour time difference with India). Its 7:45 am and he is still waiting. He writes an email to the person with whom he has interview asking if there is a change of plan. He gets a reply in 2 minutes saying that the person is in a meeting with a client and will call back later.
Would it have been difficult to send this email 45 minutes ago informing the NRI of the change? It would have been clear from the NRI’s resume that he is currently working and has a job to go to and cannot sit around for 45 minutes doing nothing. How can a group lead at an MNC not even have this basic courtesy?
The interview is rescheduled and this time the group lead is again 20 minutes late. Neither does he inform about this in advance nor does he apologise for being late.
Following the interview, a video conference is set up. The NRI has now taken an afternoon off and is sitting in a video conference facility. He has a presentation prepared and is expecting 4 people to be present. As usual, they are late. 3 of them turn up in 15 min and the fourth in 25 min. No apologies, as usual. He starts presenting; one of them sitting right in front of the webcam starts chewing a samosa loudly while 2 others are discussing among themselves. Patiently he finishes presenting and then answers a few questions. He is told that he will be informed of their decision in a week.
2 weeks pass by and there is no response, so he writes an email asking them for an update. 2 more weeks pass by without a response.
The NRI writes to HR saying that he is withdrawing his application. Who would want to work with a bunch of people, with absolutely no professional ethics whatsoever ?!?
Does applying for a job translate to “I need a favor from you and so you can take me for granted”? (Indian) Employers, please understand that it means “I have skills that I think will be of use to your company and your company has prospects that will help me grow”. It is a mutually beneficial relationship and until both the employer and employee understand this, there can never be a healthy work environment.
I have heard of number of people in India who change jobs just because they get a better package elsewhere and have seen a number of employers complain. I am not saying that its always the fault of the employers. But before expecting loyalty from the employees, they should think if they did at least a few things right to deserve such a loyalty. Paying a salary does not guarantee that because it is not money given away, it is money given for services rendered.
Unfortunately (or rather fortunately) there are certain things beyond money….
….for everything else, there is master card :D !
Website Hit Counter I had decided to have a counter only after I hit a 1000 views and since it happened last week (as on 14 Dec 2009), now is the time to see some stats :)