House-warming and Free Advice

Life at the PG has been busy of late. I don’t get to blog as often as I would like because the internet doesn’t work half the time. And when it does, the speed is so slow that I suffer from slowitis just waiting for the page to load. There are now a few girls staying in this new place. A few are working. And most of them seem to be searching for jobs.

The other day, while at work, I saw a long queue that stretched from the office in front all the way down 3 floors and to the security gate outside the IT park. People were made to stand for hours, pushed around, shoved, as if they were about to be sold in some mass auction. Standing there for a minute, I watched them. Most of them young. Fresh out of college. The company wasn’t even one of the big  ones. I can’t even remember the name. Yet there, they were. Just a job. Just a job. And for two consecutive nights, a job is what the girls in the PG come to ask me.

On Wednesday, there is quite a rush in the place. A shamiana is put up. And the cooks are getting ready. There will be a puja I am told at around 4AM in the morning. Gulp, I think, there goes my night of sleep. At around 8PM, there is a knock on my door. A girl who seems to be working for the caretakers of the PG tells me that food is served on the second floor as the first is occupied with all the materials for the puja. And then, in Telugu, she asks me if I can know of any jobs.

“For you?” I ask.  Not in Telugu, but in Kannada.

Bit by bit, it emerges that the two girls in the room opposite mine are looking for a job. I ask them if they have an MBA. No, they have graduated with a Bachelor’s in Tech. But, wait, there is a girl downstairs who has an MBA, says the caretaker’s help. A few minutes later, the MBA comes up. She has an MBA in Finance. I ask her to send me her resume, thinking I will forward it to someone in HR. The next day, I see the resume. And I think – ouch, this CV needs work. I keep it there in my Inbox, intending to work on it sometime.

The next day, another knock. I ignore it. I am struggling with the Tata Docomo Photon dongle I bought to substitute for the wretched Internet. One more timid knock. I ignore it again. But the third time, I can’t. I open the door. And there in front of me is one of the girls with the Bachelors in Tech graduation.

“Can you help me, Ma’am?”

“With..?” I am not quite sure what I have to say.

“I have taken 3 interviews. Three I cleared, but three I got rejected in the HR round. I want to know what I could be doing wrong.”

I am baffled. Then recover a little. She speaks fast with an accent. It takes me another 5 seconds for what she has said to sink in.

“You got cleared and rejected?”

“No, Ma’am. Always I get rejected at the HR round, Ma’am. One person asked me how much I will rate myself on a scale of 1 to 5, and I said 4. Was it wrong?”

I can’t think of an answer to that. What would I rate myself? I don’t ask her name. She tells me she has another interview with Mphasis, being conducted by what I presume is a vendor, AMC Square. Having studied Electronics, there are not many options in that field. So, try studying whatever you can. Her roommate is teaching her wed designing, and CSS. I tell her that she has to have a focus.

“But Ma’am. We just need a job now. Then later, we can search for a dream job.”

I smile, ask her to pass the CV. And the words resonate in my ears. There is no dream job. There is a dream. And there is a job. The two don’t go together. What we dream of is never a job. It’s our life. And what is a job, is just that. A job. I wonder how her interview went.

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