First day; for the second time

You’ve planned for this day. The previous day is spent in anxiety, you don’t know what to expect.
You pack your bag, look as neat as you possibly can, part your hair well, enough to look good, but not too much to look like a geek and definitely not too much to look cocky. Utter confusion in your mind
You walk up to the office, open its doors. Scared shitless. Somehow you make it up to the reception, tell them you’re the ‘new guy’ and wait for details to be given to you.
You get called and are given the directions to your room and the the teacher to meet. Good luck they say

That walk up to the classroom is pensive, almost in this old movie slow motion camera. You have never thought so much in your life. A 50 metre stride looks a few kilometres long… and then the flurry of questions entered that space.
Will they like me?
Will they accept me?
Will i make friends? I hope they’re nice people, people like me…  what if I’m not smart enough?

Your stride slows even further when you see the room you are to enter,  suck it up and find one reason why they will ‘love’ you..
So i thought, whens the first P.E class?  Maybe they fancy the instruments I play… Maybe i don’t have to worry about much. You’ve reached that door, take a deep breath, and you knock…..

Good morning sir,
I walk into an empty classroom. Dressed the best i possibly could, clean shaven I look neat.
Walk confidently, look the interviewer in the eye and with an outstretched arm and with a firm grip I greet the recruiters. Round 1 over. I sit down in front of this panel on a lone seat, prepare to brace myself for the questions ahead. Round 2
What are you studying in college?
Finance? Why finance?
What are your future goals, where do you see yourself in the nest 5-7 years
Why XYZ Pvt Ltd, and why should we pick you

Almost ‘Matrix’ like i slide and slither may way through these questions, try to be as objective as i possibly can, as politically correct if need be, and as sincere as I set out to be. Some chose to even throw in the good sounding lie; Traveling? I love to travel; Long working hours? I’m only 21 sir, if I don’t work hard now, how can I expect to later?

You say what you need to say to engage conversation, prove your stand, hold your own maybe..
Such a far cry from your first conversation in school isn’t it…….?
Didn’t think so

Monday morning.
You wait at the reception, waiting to be called in my your manager, or maybe even that intimidating chap who nailed you through your interviews.. why him? He’s the only one you recognise isn’t he?
You scan your surroundings, intimidated by all these men in suits,  the blackberry’s. A little more scanning, and you realise, that for every suit running around, tending to calls from clients, there are a few distressed young-lings, dressed exactly like I was. Would that be in the near future? Am i ready for this?
Every stare we got literally meant, ‘you’re the new guy’

Then someone you recognise walks upto you, a face that recognises you.  You’re placed in this room with all the other bakras, anxiously awaiting the start of the social conventions. You realise you’ve suddenly grown up, but the feelings are pretty much the same. You wait for that coffee break and there those questions flow
Name, age, college…likes, dislikes, so on and so forth……
Sport? Yes, i love sports, infact played basketball, swam and cricket at nationals. Cricket? Yeah, nailed it. How can anyone hate me now? I said i love cricket, half the country should love me now shouldn’t it?
Current Affairs? Politics? World Economy..?
Slowly you get into the groove of conversation and find your place in the crowd. I’m impressed by some of them and realise that kids from the much ‘hyped’ Delhi University are just as smart or just as ignorant as you are.. who cares about that 90% anymore?
Its all a level playing field now

Monday morning.
Wake up half and hour earlier. Go through all the documents that you put together the previous night. Run through your age-old routine. Coffee, newspapers, shave and suit up. Say your goodbyes at home, and then while you walk through the door, the only thing left to take is optimism.
Today’s the start of a new experience, one you hope holds you in good stead for your future. A choice you hope is made after long hours of consideration, a choice you think is an upgrade from previous ones, a choice you think is better.

Another colour scheme, a different receptionist but the same welcoming smile. The offers of coffee, breakfast follow; the attempt to make you feel comfortable in this environments, while not wrong, they don’t usually help those butterflies, rats, by now even those elephants in your stomach.
You sit around waiting for that clock to hit 9 and start the paperwork. Pick up the closest newspaper, magazine, newsletter to waste your time. I’m not sure i ever managed to read those articles properly. That corporate feel is one that slaps you in the face so hard, recovery probably takes a week.
No one shows up till 9, thats when you realise, here the culture may be different, the people are different… there will be no grand entry this time..
Bijon someone calls out, I look up. Stick out an outstretched arm and with a firm grip I greet the person who welcomes me. He walks you through this alleys and cubicles, you sit in this corner and start filling about 500 sides of paperwork with names and signatures.  After a few hundred, you don’t even recognise your own signature..
I meet the team after almost an hour of paperwork. A group more qualified, some degrees daunting, some specialties intimidating, but this is a choice I made.
This is my first day at work, for a second time…

There will be choices we make as individuals, and I know a large number of us feel the same way. Whether employed or entrepreneurial, new ventures and experiences will always make you a better person, someone more competitive, a being more adaptive and dynamic.  The only permanent thing in this world is change, for we know, what we do now is only a means to an end.

‘Its all part of the dance’

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