Sunday, February 06, 2005

Rants of a fledgling manager

Now, I know why Jesus was a shepherd!

Being a student of engineering, you are supposed to innovate, create, and in general, drown people in awe with your magnificient creations. But sometimes, as fate would have it, however vile and unthinkable it may be, you are thrusted into positions hmm.. lemme say, are not very comfortable. And one of them is when you are incharge of organizing or managing something. Before we go into the actual happenings that unfolded the three days I was incharge, allow me to present before you, my case, on how I got suckered into this redoubtable vortex of responsibility.

Well, with most of my classmates, nose-diving deep into books on quant's and logic, and others from similar genere, getting themselves armed to the teeth for the CAT/ZAT/MAT/RAT/FAT and all the other exams. Hoping for a management carreer, which beckons large paychecks to fructify right before their eyes. I thought I should give this idea of 'Managing' a try. This was not the only lure, as there was this silently lurking reason, of close encounters with a certain someone. With as compelling reasons as the above, I had to jump right in, and get the biggest bite out of the management cake. And I did, within minutes, your meek old friend had magically metamorphosised into a haggardly, loud-mouthed, power-hungry demagouge. It is really frightening to see what a mere illusion of power can do to you. I wonder, what real power tastes like....

Day 1 :

Hmm, day 1 was not as bad as you might think. because, there wasn't much work to be done, and I had a deadline the same day. Beats 2k5 at stella marris. who would want to miss that, espescially when it was being organized by my buddies there :) (I guess they would have a similar tale too ). But the morning session was primarily brain-storming. Me, a couple of my friends and the staff incharge, were all that were needed to 'brain-storm'. I really wonder who came up with such a quirky word. Brain-Storming, A neophyte in etymology would have mistaken it to be some sort of cannibalistic ritual. I once imagined cannibal-cook shows, with titles as 'Today's Delicacy - "BrainStorm'' -Hubba Hubba!" and the like. Such, a negative and destructive name for a mild, and rarely constructive process. The better word for it should be on the lines of 'War of the words', or 'Me vs The Entire Fucking Desk, Come'on Baby'... or 'Talk First, Think later'. Hmm, well as it goes, there is always a calm, after a storm, and it was very true. I left for Beats 2k5, and this prodigal calm resulted in tightening our time by approximately 4 1/2 hours.

Day 2:

The second day, was much better, atleast in the beginning. The reason, was that, there weren't too many to manage. Just myself and a couple of juniours, but that was quite a handful. And in the afternoon, after we had finalized all the work that needed to be done, we needed people to do work. And here is where my tale of woe starts. I immidietly started recruiting students of my class, to do some chart work, and presentations. I had recuruited with such fervour, that I had ended up emptying my entire class. The staff in my 'home' dept, if i can call it that, were obviously cross with me. I wonder why, because, they really dont teach anything in class, just puke the crap that they have ingested from low quality books, that you find on platforms, and all that. What I din't realise was that, there was seething unrest brewing within my home department. And I was already being framed as an infidel and a traitor. Why you may ask?, all my efforts, and energies were being spent for the Maths Dept, and not for the C.S.E Dept. Well, if you thought you were immature, and childish, then think again. The higher echelons of my department are more childish, and immature than you can possibily imagine. I wouldn't have been spared if the case against me were stolen lollipops either.

If you remember I had annother reason, for getting into this mess in the first place, Close Encounters?, yeah.. that wasn't too successful either, because the certain someone, was so good in her work, that I really din't want to disturb her. The problem with conscience is it doesn't stop you from doing wrong things, It justs prevents you from enjoying it!. Sigh! With, one of my prime motivators, flopping, and already knee deep in work, and the level steadily rising. I had no choice but to stick on here and finish the work. The second day was just the beginning of the nightmare, as I was blissfuly unaware of the miasma blowing within my department, I thought my headaches were limited to the completion of the tasks assigned. With fifty percent of the charts completed, presentations transforming into presentable form, and in general work getting done. I was happy. Mathematically speaking the second day's headache curve sort of mimicked the 'bell curve'.

Day 3:

After waking up early in the morning after a weary night with interrupted sleep and recurring nightmares of missing deadlines, and being persecuted for crimes, unknown to me.. I was a bit jittery. I had to bathe this off my system. A step I usually resort to only in the case of direst of circumstances. With sleep filling my eyes, I dragged myself to the dept corridor. My first job was to find a class to accomodate all those who were willing to spend their talents for the dept. I ended up running around the campus, climbing up and down the blocks, all in vain. My search for an accomodating classroom, ended fruitlessly. But my friends, as I later realised, were more than happy to work under the cool shade of the coconut trees, and in the grass. With, the cadets ligning up for 'taking care of some charts', It was upto me to fill-em up with ordnance. Once, ready to go there was no stopping them. And with the presentations completed, I was feeling happier. But unfortunately, the feeling of happiness, was fleeting and evanescent. The OD's (that's on-duty for the uninitiated, wherein you get attendance, for not attending classes) were being refused for all my dilligent cadets. And the root cause, being centered to one, narrow-minded, childish, imbicile, whose name I in a gentlemanly way refuse to mention.

This issue, was priority number one, as my cadets, deserved atleast this for all their hardwork. I had to hunt down, certain people and ask them to sort out this issue with the higher echelons of my department. And finally after a few rounds of negotiations, this issue was amicabily resolved. The only casuality being my attendance. Yeah, atleast my cadets were better off. The work was getting done, but my troubles were building up. It seems, that people in my department thought I had to get some comeuppance. Along with this, I had to face the wrath of my H.O.D and all his minions, espescially those who are bald on both the sides of their head. By afternoon, all the charts, models, and presentations were complete. Only thing was putting those in place, which was no bigdeal at all, with the help of a couple of my friends, namely C.A, and atul, etc.. this was as easy as 1 , 2, 3...

It was already 4 p.m, the presentations installed, the charts affixed, the models placed, volunteers recruited. I was feeling happy and relieved. But only to be met right in the eye with my nemisis for the moment. He was fuming with rage and a bit of jelousy too. I was like a whimpering cat. The great millitary general inside me had vanished abondoning me in the hands of this vile creature. I felt like a small helpless kid, uneasy under the greedy and lecherous eyes of a sick paedophile. The ageless dilemma which had cropped up in the head of every hero history had ever witnessed, did not spare me too. Flight, or Fight. I had to decdide quickly. Without wasting an instant, I decided on flight, and quickly evaded his eye. Raced to my bus and hid under the seats.

Three days of managing, some sort of a menagerie, getting work done, being persecuted by childish and immature freaks, and surviving all this with sanity. I had wondered how, others, in my college take up work of organizing , take it so lightly. And after intensive thought, and introspection, I had come to a conclusion ...

'It hurts only if you care'

This was one enjoyable experience over all, even though most of my motives failing, getting into trouble, and the like, I have decided to stick on to engineering creations, that marvel people and drown them with awe. Management, Is more like herding sheep, but only more difficult. I guess I am not built for that. Sigh!.

This post is trailing already, and I guess, I had written more than what you would like to read. so, till later,

Signing off,


Vivek said...

I wonder why you felt that managing the thing was painful. I had fun doing my part :)

Vishnu Vyas said...

Tried managing with the entire dept out to kill you.. not a very pleasant experience, esp if you put sabha somewhere in the picture. Oh!, I guess i blew my gentlemanlyness with this comment .. ;-)

MM said...

jus wish that sabha is jus like the other duncey staff and doesnt have the brains or the inclinations to read blogs
(i assume sabha is the baldie,rt?)

Sneha said...

Vishnu ,

1) Factual error: Jesus was a carpenter. (only metophorically referred to as a 'shepherd of men')
2) It's spelt Stella Maris Not Stella Marris.
3) Very nice read...
4) Don't complain so much..admit it ,it was way better than sitting in class..
5) About the 'certain someone' ..Take courage , There will be other make sure you don't blow them.

Sneha said...

Oh one last thing...When were you ever concerned about 'gentlemanliness'???????