Like every other day since I have been discharged from the hospital even today I searched the Internet for any, any software job in town. I made a phone call to a “Government company”, as they call it, named BPCL. Surprisingly, even after making several calls to various companies and being turned down I still felt nervous to make my call.
K. Ravi chief manager HR.
I stared at the green screen of my cell phone where I had his no. stored. I repeated the name thrice over and over again in my head. After a lapse of 5 seconds I could scrape out some courage from the dried brain muscle that once narrated brave stories. I picked the phone close to my body and rested it gently on my lap as if K. Ravi lived in it! In one part of my head I revised what I was going to tell the man while in some other mischievous part I wondered what the K. stood for if Ravi was his first name. I tried to shake of the unrelated thoughts from my head. The chief manager HR portion of the text made that little butterfly in my stomach flutter around with a frivolously casual manner, which made me shudder. I penned down the facts that I had to present to him in maybe less then 30 seconds. This is an art one learns after making several calls to busy (sometimes disinterested) people and say everything in one breath before the listener interrupts! If I keep modesty aside for a moment I can say I have quite mastered that art! Its not as easy as it sounds, you have to sound polite and make sure you don’t push too far to irritate the listener and most of all sound useful!!
I bravely punched the 10 digits on the phone and thought to myself “what am I to loose anyways?” The caller tune was an amazing “ommmm” followed by some Sanskrit shlok that didn’t make much sense to me but made me feel comfortable!! I secretly wished he never answers the phone and this chant keeps playing forever. Suddenly a voice sounded on the other side “Halo?” It sounded more like a question rather than a greeting. I was struck by the lack of professionalism in his voice. Subconsciously I had expected a polished voice with the right ingredients of politeness, hurriedness and authority in the right proportion after making calls to the MNC’s. However, now I felt as if I had called a distant uncle to ask him how things were going.
“Is this Mr. Ravi?” I decided to avoid the K. in his name.
“Yes. Speaking.” Said uncle.
“Sir, can I have a minute from you?” I asked quickly because I had rehearsed this line several times before making the call.
“Regarding what?” he actually meant yes you can blabber ahead but it seems he wasn’t trained enough to say the right words.
I did what I do best these days and gave him just the right information he might need about me to consider me as a part of his firm. I might have taken around 15 seconds and that relieved me as it was quite under the minute that I was granted.
“no..no right now toh there are no jobs..we..we take campus no..its over right now so right now no jobs..we take only campus”
I almost felt pity for the man and realized that he had all the time for me. He repeated the same things over and over.
“Okay, thank you sir” I said in the most polite and warm tone I could speak in.
Just when I was about to hang p the voice emerged again saying, “Who gave you my reference?”
This time the voice did not stammer. There was a sudden authority in his voice and it reminded me of the ticket checkers at the railway stations.
“ I got your number from a friend who works at BPCL” I said in a subdued manner after his outburst.
“haan?” He repeated with the same tinge of lack of professionalism.
I repeated my answer with the exact words as if I had copy pasted them from my conversation.
“Oh, okay” he said in a pitiful tone.
“Thank you sir.” Were the last words I said before the conversation ended.
I wonder if he could have created a vacancy for me had I got a strong reference. His words “Oh, okay” play in my head. It’s not important, I know it’s not, but it does exist!!
Anyway tomorrow is a new day, a new opportunity a new phone call!!