Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My First Job...

"
The sanskrit exam had just ended, and it was the last exam of 10th class and I was feeling very happy. Finally had finished school, and probably would go in to college. From time I had started watching movies, and seeing all the heros having so much fun in college I always wanted tobe in college.

But at the same time somethings were troubling me. The community in which I grew up, there was a rule that everyone does business. Other career options were unheard of. All my friends were planning to go with their fathers/elder brothers to their own shop/business and learn to work. But sadly my father worked in the bank, and he did not have business. So I was kind of stranded. So I wanted to find out what I wanted to do in life. Vivek, one other friend of mine had same problem. So united in our problem with the anxiety of uncertain future, we thought that we should start finding a job for ourselves.

We looked up in papers and found this particular sales agency which wanted sales executives. Next day we ended up in this sales agency. I dont even remember the name of it right now, the only thing that I remember is that the owner of the sales agency (as was murmured to us by the other guys who had come there), was a young man of 25, and he had started it when he was our age, and he had reached a level where he was earning lakhs of rupess per month. WoW.

There was supposed to be interview as well, and first one for us in our lives. Both vivek and me were nervous, vivek had even tried reading up all the maths and all. But we just cleared the interview, he did not ask anything. He only explained that we were supposed to do door to door selling. He explained how we could sell more and more and keep multiplying our return. He was so casual and looked so cool. Instantly he became our hero, and we wanted to be like him. He was so smart and a great man. We were wondering why his name had never figured in papers. All of sudden felt that we had found our career option.

Next morning we were supposed to go there at 8 and start the work. We had decided that we were not going to tell our parents, because they may stop us from doing this. We would tell them later, we were sure that if we were able to earn enough money, then they would feel proud.

Morning, and we were handed 10 packets of dining table mats. Each packet was to be sold at 100 rupees, and 10 rupees was my earnings from the same. We were even made to wear the tie. And we were asked to memorize something to the effect.. "Maam, we are from DontRememberTheName company and we have this ....".

May, Gujju land and tie, but somehow these things did not seem to bother us, we were just thinking that this was the thing to get into. We were just looking at this as a great opportunity to become rich. We would sell lot of dining table mats, and make loads ofmoney. Even 10 sets sold would give us 100 rupess, which did seem lot of money. It just meant selling one set an hour, which did not look difficult. Further still everyday the item seemed to change, dining mats one day, dining set other day, books on third day and so on. It looked so exciting. We had even decided that after some days we would carry different items, so that we could sell one or the other.

So out we went, we figured out a locality that we had to go and we started. Went from house to house, we had a little tough time in figuring out most of the times weather the lady washing clothes outside was the kaamwali or the house owner. But we kept on. Sometimes lecturing only to realize that we were talking to kaamwali, but then we would start again.

I remember one particular house we went, were after the intial lecture of introduction, the lady asked us to wait. We were hoping that she had gone to take money, but instead she got in her hand a similar packet of dining mats, and they looked spoiled and badly damaged, "I had bought it last week from similar guys like you and now in one wash it has got spoilt, please take this and give the money back". Ooops...not knowing what to do, both vivek and me broke off in a run, and ran away from her house as fast as we could. Did not stop until we reached the next street. I still dont know why we did that, but I guess we were afraid. Afraid that she would snatch a good packet from us. We did not want to get in to 100 rupees loss. 100 rupees was loads of money at that time. We stood at the corner of the road discussing about how we are going to deal with this situation. Wondering if we were cheating people. Wondering if the lady would have send her son to follow us.

We started again after sometime, but somehow the rosiness of the whole business had disappeared. We were begining to feel tired. And started wondering why could we not go back home and watch DDLJ.

At the end of day we had sold three packets, made thirty rupees. The owner of that company, our Hero of the morning, (I say hero of the morning, because somehow in the evening things did not look same, we started doubting him, his success) told us that we had done great, and tomorrow we should sell more.

From next day onwards we never went there. I guess that I decided salesmanship was not the right career for me. I dont even remember what I did for rest of the vacation. I guess spend it with TV, cycling here and there, and so on. Wonder what I did with those fifteen rupees (that was my share).

But I still think about that day. That image of me and vivek with mats in hands and the face of that lady are still fresh. I guess I learnt the importance of money that day, learned to respect my parets for taking care of all my needs and pocket money.
"

8 comments:

Vaidehi Dongre said...

funny story. i also admire the fact that u thought of having a job after 10th exams. all i did was kill time :)

SUCHARITA ROY said...

goli..this is so so so inspiring.and this is so straightforward. all i did after 10th was to get into the mood with all the iit wannabes in my school and think of doing everything under the sun..naver thought of a job..my pearents would have killed me..although ever since i have been in college i pick up some one or the other and teach them ( no money of course..every teaching is free service in medicine. we are taught things and if we dont teach them...we dont remember..) so anyone interested in academics goes around teaching peopple everywhere...

anant said...

Nice post Goli.I think I have heard this story from you before, but reading it was nicer.

I spent my after-10th vacations fantasizing about growing mushrooms in the spare bedroom and selling them in cartloads to all the five star hotels :-) I am the thinker :-)

Learnt a lot from your 'bhaiya' posts :-)

Goli said...

@vaidehi : thanks, I guess that is how the place is where I come from. Most of guys start working after 10 class.

@sucharita: I come from dominant business community, and at our place, engineers are unheard off, especially guys start doing business as soon as they are out of school.

@anant You have to blog about it, "growing mushrooms", not a bad idea I would say, considering mushrooms are so expensive. Glad that you liked "bhaiya" post :D

rohini said...

I just couldnt stop laughing after reading it... hey its too funny especially the thoughts that were running in ur mind.... she myt snatch a good packet.... she myt send her son after you guys..... its simply too good...

Vaidehi Dongre said...

goli, where do u hail from?

Goli said...

@rohini... Thanks.. :D

@vaidehi... Come from Vadodara..but from a total business community. I guess most of the people in Gujju land are hardcore business man.

PritS said...

GUJJU...
khana and paise kamana...
Luckily I am not a Gujju. :)
As for me, till I came to college, vacations meant timepass. Just kill all the time in whatever I want to do. :)

I guess the salesman is back now!!! Right?