Sunday, March 01, 2009

My Dream Break

When my results came out for my grads, it was as I had expected. I did not pass out with flying colors. The subjects were fine with me, mugging was not. But the Indian education system expects you to have a good memory, not brains. And I never had a good memory. I taught some of my fellow classmates while I was doing my +2. They did pass out with good results, so in a way I was satisfied.

On D-Day (R-Day rather) the moment I came out of my college I wanted to give R the good news. And although we never spoke at the instant as she was in office, I did send her an sms. Sometimes when you know that a person wants to listen to you, even if she is not on the other end of the line you don't feel the difference! Love can be so fulfilling, isn't it?

After my results I was under pressure to pursue a career, most importantly a job. The job became a necessity, more so because I was freshly out of my previous job with ICICI because of my accident. So I started searching for jobs in domestic Call Centers under her advice. Me, a friend of mine, Santosh, one of his friends, Sumit who had recently come down from Delhi after his campaign in a Call Center went out of business, the three musketeers started looking for a job in Calcutta. Every now and then the three of us were to be found in the interview venue together. But life was not that easy, and we went for rounds and rounds and rounds of interview before it happened.

One fine morning while I was sitting back at my Aunt's, Santosh called me up saying whether I was interested in appearing for an interview for a Delhi based company. Neki aur pooch pooch! So in an hour or so, the three of us met outside Hotel Hindustan International which was the venue that day for the interview. We never knew anything about it except for the fact that Sumit, being from Delhi, told us that it was one of the best companies in Noida. It was only half way through the interview that we came to know the name of the company, ExL Service and they were hiring for a Tech Support Process.

Although I was not sure about Santosh and myself, but I was pretty sure of Sumit getting through the interview. Afterall he had prior experience in the Call Center industry. R's phone was out of balance and so was unreachable. I am talking about 2003, at that time the Lifetime pre-paid offers were just a dream, at that time we were even charged for incoming calls, and so I was feeling a little down.

When I went inside the venue, the excitement died down completely. There were BTechs, CCNAs, CCNPs that went to try their luck there. I was looking like a big fat lump of lard sitting in between them with a mediocre BSc degree. It was one of the most tiring day of my life, the interview process was completed by nothing less than 12:30AM. That was the first day of my life that I had stayed out of my place till such wee hours at night, everyone back home were worried.

We were first interviewed by an recruitment agency and then by the HR of that company. The HR was a pretty looking girl, Nandini. So in the one-to-one round with the HR, I had to act smart. I went through the HR round in a breeze *ahem*. In the final round, which was a telephonic interview with a Group Leader from Delhi. His name was Aakash Chowdhury. A very soft spoken guy and one of the most knowledgeable person I have ever met in my life. He asked me several questions, a few of which I never knew but was not afraid of admitting the same to him. Then he asked me a very stupid question, does the resolution of a computer depends on the Monitor? I said of course it does not and went ahead to give him quite a global gyan about what is resolution and how to go about increasing it. In the end, he said that I was brilliant because out of all those BTechs, CCNAs and CCNPs, I was the only person who answered that question correctly. Surprising! So finally I got through.

Was it sheer luck? Was it my ability to convince people? Or was it my computer skills? I still don't know. But whatever it was, it gave me a dream break that many people would die for. I was selected to be a Tech Support Associate in ExL Service for their DELL campaign. My first official job, with DELL. A reason good enough to fly high up in the air, above the clouds.

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