Friday, November 26, 2004

Barriers to entry

I arrive on Tuesday, my first day, well ahead of 9.30am, get a 'visitor' tag and fill in the visitors' roster, at the entrance, guarded fiercely by efficient security staff. I wait at the reception for the bosses who usually smartly march in a bit late, in their crisp shirts, reeking of expensive aftershave. My boss is the first to arrive and he beckons me to follow him into the work area. I have not taken two steps when I am stopped by the security at the door to the work area. 'Madam, you can't go in with a visitor tag'. Back to the reception, I sit and study the wonderful photos on the wall, eye the visitors and refuse numerous offers of coffee. Then arrives the Secretary to the CEO, a very smart lady whom I had mistaken earlier for the creative head. She says she had no idea that I was joining. More apologies and hemming and hawing. I read the papers - ET, TOI, HT from cover to cover.

Then boss-ka-boss arrives and speakes to secy to CEO. Then i am finally allowed to enter, two hours later.

In the afternoon, secy calls me, no, sends regal summons. I am handed a voluminous form to fill up along with a couple of papers to sign - I won't do this...I won't do that etc. I duly fill up the form, hesitating at have you suffered from any of the following and lists out a huge number of serious illnesses. Not yet, but all things are possible.

I go downstairs to return the cv to the secy who incidentally has the nicest and largest office. 'No. Please put in a photo and return', she says. 'But that will take time', I say, since I am all out of photos. 'That's OK. You can have it clicked at our digital studio'.

Come Wednesday, I have my photo clicked in a studio with all sorts of strange lights and many adjustments and nodding of head and posture changes. All this for a passport sized photo of my face. The photos are uploaded to a PC, the owner of which didn't have time to breathe, let alone print my photos. So, the day passed.

Next morning, the usual suspicion at the entry when I once again sign the visitor's roster. But hey, I found some passport photos of mine, in which, like always, I look like an escaped convict. So the appointment letter is not far away.

I begin the day, wondering where could I place the lovely frame (a diwali gift) with our (A's and mine) photo. Where would it look best? What else could I keep. I cut short my reverie to plunge into the bewildering world of pitches and presentations and a 1000 abbreviations. The day is nearly over when I ring up (meekly), the royal seccy, all a tremble and dare to, like, Oliver Twist, ask for more - my appointment letter that is. What??? (I can well hear her scream in her mind),

- You have been given a desk, a phone (but no STD connection),
- an email id (but no PC).
- Didn't some one come and take the exact spelling of your name for your OWN visiting card and you want more????

She doesn't ofcourse say all this. 'Not today', comes the reply. That doesn't surprise me in the least. Somehow, I knew that was how it would be.

Friday is holiday and so I will hopefully get it on Monday.

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