Finally I think my stipend has arrived. On saturday I got a mail from the dispatch section to collect a courier and I very firmly believe that it is my stipend. If it is not, I should lose any hopes of getting it either :-). So, here I go with the Pepsi Talk!
So much time has passed; I really do not want to crib about the bad experiences. And an ensuing discussion and preaching of the kind “this is how the real world is” would only spoil my mood. So I would refrain from having a crib-series here. 🙂 What I would write instead are couple of funny incident (most of them gave me enough pain then; but now I can certainly look back at them and laugh!).
And this one is the best of them all. After I had done my market research and analyzed (?) the data, the boss wanted me to make a PPT of it, which will be sent to some person sitting in Bombay! Good – I made it and sent it to him. No immediate feedback, but when I asked him to let me go to the conference organized by GE (which would have taken 5 days, of which one was a sunday), he would not let me go and cite all things relevant or irrelevant about what I have done wrong. One of those was “… and the PPT you made. It is just not up to the mark. Some effort needs to be put in. You have to be able to tell people what they need to know. You are nowhere close to the expectations I had from you given you background … blah, blah…”. I went to the conference anyway and I would skip the story of how. It wasn’t particularly pleasant and something I would not have liked to do under normal circumstances. Just that the way my boss liked exercising control over people’s (mine included) lives prompted me to go to an extreme like that simply to get it done my way. But anyway. Point was that the PPT was the most useless thing he had ever seen in the world. Great…
Few days after the incident. I am back from the conference. Have moved on with the work. Boss seems to have an unusually free day. My project is stuck – I am unable to get the data I need. Most likely it will require some intervention at a higher level to be able to get the data. I want to discuss it with him. But he must get his little chit-chat done with everyone before he will give me time. Okay, after waiting for hours and hours – finally the time came. But before I can complete what I wanted to say, “Your PPT needs a rework. Come – we will sit over it and finish it off by 3.30.”
“We?!”, I am surprised, of course. Boss is in an unusually good mood. By then, I had learnt to be skeptical of these fits of good moods he would have.
Fine – I sit there. He makes the title slide. Then, he writes “Contents” as the title of the next slide.
And then – the Nokia tune – his phone rings! This is the travel agent who is planning his honeymoon (yes – he was going to be married soon. Would be married by now and on his honeymoon, of course!). Okay – so I am asked to give him some time. After the travel agent is done with – I guess he gets into the “wedding mode”. He starts calling up friends informing them about the impending wedding and pressurizing them to come, while I finish my lunch. Waiting… Waiting… And then the boss descends, “Why do you not start reworking on it? I will send you the file and …” (gives me the instructions I have already heard and had tried my best to incorporate me in the slides I made!). Fine – so I have this PPT on Pepsi’s official template with this title slide and another slide which says “Contents”. I write the contents, pick up my old PPT and copy paste the entire stuff on this new template. There is one more change I made. I had put the diagrams and text side-by-side. I change the placement to have diagrams on the top and text at the bottom of the slides… (He had said that the construction of the slides should be such that I put the diagram on the slide and then at the bottom have some text explaining the interpretation. I didn’t think placement at the “top” and “bottom” was important, but then decided to give it a try this time anyway!)
Done! What do you think was the reaction to this new sets of slides?
“Oh! This, I think, has turned out really good. Excellent work!”….
And guess what! It remained excellent throughout the rest of the project.
Ofcourse, I know that in my communication classes I have read the importance of using the “content page”, but that is not the point here…
If you must criticize something for the heck of it, at least remember not to appreciate it so generously next time! 🙂