A “Slot”ted Life

I had thought, I won’t write about placements. I had thought I would not give this matter so much of importance. And if I had to talk about just myself, I could have avoided giving this importance. Quite sometime back I have stopped valuing my worth with respect to job processes.

But this system forces you to live a “slot”ted life. People seem to determine their worth by which slot they got a job in. And system does not help it either. You just have to look at those gloomy faces to feel the disgust. (At times I really felt that let me getting a job be delayed and let one of these people have one; since I am not going to have a nervous break-down anytime soon!) And as I talk about it to some people, it only makes me feel more appalled to realize how deeply rooted it is and how sacrosanct the whole idea is considered. Apparently one of the ways to judge a B-School in India is the ratio of number of job offers in various slots. And probably one would want to be a slot-1 institute and not slot-2 or later (meaning which slot they get a large number of offers in).

As far as I am concerned, I am a slot-2 individual. And I care little. I could not force myself to have adoration for those who got the jobs before me or pity for those who got it afterwards, unless I have such emotions for them as individuals. Its such a crazy thing to do. And yet people do it. They see how irrational the recruitment process can get, they complain and still they value it, still they tend to determine their worth by their slot! God, its a slotted life people are living here and its an insult of human life I would say.

Some people feel the urge to tell me, “Its natural, Jaya. Think of someone sitting in the ‘process’ (as it is called) from Day 1 and not getting a job.” Yes, I know, its natural to feel physical and mental fatigue. Its natural to feel ever depressed. And yet, it is forced by the system to feel worthless, gloomy about the prospects of life and what not! It is not as natural as it is made to sound. It is natural to feel like encouraging people if they have not gotten a job yet, an yet it is not natural that they should be pitied!

This time it was only a summer placement; God knows what will they do during the finals. “Ending up in a slot 3 company” seems to be the best way to describe someone’s worthlessness in this.

I detest it.

And yes, talking about system, it reminds me of one of the articles, I had read for my CB course at IITK. In effect it said that system/society can not viewed as a sum-total of all the individuals in it. The behaviour of society can not be predicted from the behaviour of all individuals etc. One of the reasons given for this was the historical baggage we carry. Several things come not from the individuals present now, but from those in past. And that the system sticks to them can not be explained by the attitude or behaviour of individuals. Isn’t this slotted feeling one such baggage which was made sacrosanct at some point of time. There does not seem to be anything wrong with individuals! Or is there something?

Disclaimer: I really admire the way the process is managed for these five days. For the first time at IIML, I felt like I want to do this! Its simply awesome the way things are carried out smoothly. So, as long as at a personal level, worshipping the “God Slot” is not a pre-requisite, I would like to work for process.

This entry was posted in Cribbings, IIML, Imported from Old Blog, Thoughts by Jaya. Bookmark the permalink.

About Jaya

Jaya Jha is an entrepreneur, a techie, a writer and a poet. She was born and brought up in various towns of Bihar and Jharkhand. A graduate of IIT Kanpur and IIM Lucknow, she realized early on that the corporate world was not her cup of tea. In 2008, she started Pothi.com, one of the first print-on-demand publishing platform in India. She currently lives in Bangalore and divides her time between writing and working on her company's latest product InstaScribe (http://instascribe.com) with a vision to make it the best e-book creation tool. Blog: https://jayajha.wordpress.com Twitter: @jayajha Facebook: http://facebook.com/MovingOnTheBook

One thought on “A “Slot”ted Life

  1. Since I am removing the Haloscan Comments, I am copy-pasting the comments I got on this post here.

    I don’t think u can call it historical baggage because that would mean that at some point of time it made more sense than it does now.
    abhaya | 11.18.04 – 2:58 pm | #

    A mistake of history is still a historical baggage, is it not? Unfortunate part being that it never got questioned later either!
    Jaya Jha | Homepage | 11.18.04 – 5:26 pm | #

    1. Do people in IIML know of this blog? Haven’t seen many people from IIML commenting on your views.

    2. What’t the problem in vying for the first slot? If people just want a job then any decent company would do. A first slot would mean that they were better than the rest of the batch. The same reason people want to be first in a race.
    Nandz | Homepage | 11.18.04 – 8:11 pm | #

    Nandz dear,If “A” gets a job in slot-1 in Kotak, a finance company and “B” gets a job in “Wipro” in slot-3,an IT company do you think “A” has won the race? People in IIM follow the herd-mentality…they just go the way where others are going…
    Deewana | 11.18.04 – 9:07 pm | #

    There is no harm in racing so long as you do not start measuring the worth of your life by a five day long race. I do not know what your experience with placement process is, Nanda, but I wonder if anyone looking at it can fail to see thousands of incosistensies that would always be there. And its nobody’s fault really. Who has yet been able to device the fool-proof recruitment system? After all, what will HR researchers do if such a system existed? Making such a sacrosanct measurement device out of it is simply unfair.

    And in case you think it happens everywhere; well I, myself, have seen the whole year of placement at IITK. Believe me, it does not give you the slightest idea of what the situation here, and probably in all B-Schools, is like.
    Jaya Jha | Homepage | 11.18.04 – 9:57 pm | #

    It was amusing for me, because I hadn’t applied to most of the slot 1 companies, since they were finance jobs or banks and I wasn’t interested. I had a difficult time dealing with “sympathizers” in the second slot, who were trying to encour
    age me, when I did not need any encouragements at all! My day had only started. But at the same time it was irritating as to why should one assumed to become a pitiable creature just by being unable to crack a job in slot 1. Even if I had a
    pplied to all the jobs in slot 1 or even if I had to wait till slot 3 or even la
    ter, I do not see a reason to be pitied or to feel worthless. And not to say that sympathizers were saddist or anything. In fact they were very nice people. Doing good. Somehow those who had to wait for later slots also assumed that this is the treatment they need. So, probably it’s all fine with those going with the system and still irritating for some (or am I the only one?).
    Jaya Jha | Homepage | 11.18.04 – 9:57 pm | #

    Except for those irritatingly loud GDs, I would have loved to wait till slot 3 since then I would have had a chance of getting through an IT company, which would be my first choice. So, there might be a lot to be said about even this slot system, but I am not getting into that. Any perfect replacement won’t exist even here – so I will live with it.
    Jaya Jha | Homepage | 11.18.04 – 9:58 pm | #

    The basic premiss of my comment was “people just want a job” – which means that they dont care in which company (as long as it’s above a certain cutoff wrt to package and all).

    So, what I wanted to say is, that, probably slotting is not the issue. The issue is that people dont know what company they want to work for – “the herd mentality”. Every one wants McKinsey/ITC/HLL. Every one wants (i) CSE (ii) EE (iii) ME and so on…

    Even if everyone knew what kind of job they are looking for and where their “real” interests lied we would still have this slotting. The only difference then would be, people would be racing with a well deliberated motive, and not based on a “herd mentality” motive.
    Nandz | Homepage | 11.19.04 – 1:36 am | #

    As I said I am not getting into the “slotting-system” here. Processes are fine. Whatever one’s performance indicators be, you will never have a perfect one.

    I will reiterate – I am not questioning racing either. No body can afford to sit back in life. We all have to race. Its just the kind of worth being attached to its results that I can not reconcile with. And also the presumptions regarding how every one must universally take it. To add the race is an affair of few days. If the difference is not understandable, either you are not aware of the situation I am talking, or I am not able to describe it with enough emphasis

    I am putting (or at least trying to put) more a philosophical question than a procedural one.
    Jaya Jha | Homepage | 11.19.04 – 4:06 am | #

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