Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Job That Wasn't

So a lot of people ask me what it is that I do for a living. Proudly, I tell them that I work with (and not FOR: we believe in the ownership and partnership crap) a GLOBAL INVESTMENT BANK. Some of them are satisfied with this vague answer and move on to more interesting topics like when do I plan to get married. Some others seem unimpressed and ask me why I can’t manage to find a more respectable job with a respectable company like TCS. But a few painful ones continue to probe, “ok, I know it’s a GLOBAL INVESTMENT BANK, but can you please ELABORATE on what it is EXACTLY that you do?”

Cornered, I try to follow the well-established principle mastered in B school vivas, “If you can’t convince them, confuse them.” So I quote the headline of my Linkedin profile: “I am in the research division where I am responsible for product development” and throw in some MBA jargons like “BD”, “Innovation” and “Cross-functional collaboration”.

But the jobless skeptical person continues, “That makes very little sense to me. Can you explain to me, in layman’s terms, what your day-to-day responsibilities are?”

Desperate and at a loss for words, I am a picture of discomfort, “Well, you know, it’s very difficult to explain. You see I don’t have any routine tasks, so you know, it’s more unstructured in nature. But primarily, you know, I am more of an internal thinktank if you will. Do you get my point?”

Jobless skeptical person gets more suspicious, “Not really. If you had to explain to a five-year old about what you did at work today, what would you say?”

In my mind, I go over my day: I reached office at 9, I read the editorial of two newspapers, abused IT for blocking my blog, had breakfast, tried to adjust the heights of the text boxes in my ppt and had a call discussing the colour of the text boxes. After 30 minutes of argument over why red is more suitable than blue, I needed a coffee break where I bitched about my boss. Then I changed the colour of the text boxes to blue and went for a really long lunch break where I bitched about my boss.

After lunch, I was sort of sleepy, so I surfed through tripadvisor, planning my fictitious honeymoon with the fictitious guy, making a note to add “should not be scared of heights” to my list of requirements which also include “cute, intelligent, humble, articulate, well-read, well-traveled, non-obnoxious, non-loud, non-geek, non-weird, slightly old-fashioned, with a good sense of humour, possessing good taste in movies, clothes, shoes and music, willing to share household responsibilities and most importantly, capable of exterminating pests especially lizards” collectively referred to as “unrealistic”. Satisfied with my good work, we went out to the nearby overpriced coffee shop where I bitched about my boss.

Next, I attended a two-hour meeting, where I sat diametrically opposite to my boss behind a big guy so that I was well-hidden and free to scribble a cartoon on my notepad while other people gave updates, discussed ‘high-level’ topics and presented ‘basic concepts’ like convertible bonds or credit-linked notes, while I secretly wondered if I was the only one to whom it did not seem ‘so basic’. But after five minutes, I gave up and went back to my cartoon which was shaping up really well. By the time the meeting was over, I did not feel like changing the font size of my entire ppt, so I annoyed some colleagues on the newly-added communicator exploring the range of smileys and bitched about my boss

Aloud, I said, “A five year old would not be able to grasp the significance of my work. It’s not child’s play you know.”

I have to make strategy-level decisions for my company, and sometimes it even involves deciding THE.WHOLE.POWERPOINT.TEMPLATE


Ankur said...

I can only make a smiley for this post!

:-) said...

hahahaha .... who said that's an easy job to do ?

"I surfed through tripadvisor, planning my fictitious honeymoon"
I feel embarrassed to aadmit but I also did that a few times :)

Anonymous said...

I hope Uve shared d blows link with ur boss!! Am sure he ll enjoy dis as much as i did!! ;-)

Anonymous said...

*blogs link

Nefertiti said...

yes yes laugh at me...
it's THE BEST...not the job, but the planning of fictitious honeymoon


Carpe Diem! said...

I love your description of the fictitious guy! :D And I've planned so many unrealistic trips, honeymoon or otherwise in my life that I've lost track of how many places I actually know and how many through tripadvisor. :P

Nefertiti said...

@carpe diem
add sensitive, sports freak and mildly alcoholic to that. since it's a ficitious person anyway, might as well be optimistic! and tripadvisor IS quite out of this world isnt it given it manages to take us out of OUR small worlds...

Suyash Jain said...

I am sorry but "hahahaha" can't stop laughing .... what an interesting post! Very good read!

Rachit Aggarwal said...

Really nice post but also a sort of nightmare for me as i have my joining in may. Just 1 month is left of college life.

Nefertiti said...

well it looks like u are also from the same profession, so you might actually identify with some of it. and welcome to my blog!

ahhh... i deserve such a sadistic pleasure in freaking out newbies who are just about to join the corporate world, full of hopes and dreams. but seriously, don't worry. Much of my cynicism is misplaced. it's not as bad as I make it sound. But congrats on your new job and best wishes!

survivingbrain said...


may be you should publish those cartoons in the blog !!
and I am sure you will have a pretty good collection of them..


Nefertiti said...

nah... i m not good with cartoons :(

Nimisha said...

Nice ususal :)

Nefertiti said...

and strictly fictitous as well :)