First Employee!!

No, not a technical person yet. Its not easy to locate affordable people with open source experience.

But we do have an office helper now, whom we picked up with the help of the person who collects our couriers. She is not comfortable with computers and Internet, but has proved an immediate help in operational things including production and packaging of book and filing the papers.

This help and relief comes at the cost of the flexibility though. Heck! We can not lock the office and go for a morning show of a movie now. As someone quipped, “For the rest of us the reason is that my boss won’t let me go or the client is super-demanding. For you it is – my employee is here!”

Taking a break between two jobs, this person was inviting us to join him in a morning show.

Back to being an employer for the first time. Even this is an experience for us. Sometimes I am surprised by how quickly she registers things. And at other times I just can’t find a way of getting across to her. All those theories about communication gap come to my mind, but they aren’t much of a help. Even when you know there is a gap, figuring it out and filling it up is so difficult! We spend a lot for time discussing all kinds of business and technical issues between us. Now, another aspect that has got added to our discussion is how to make her most productive. How to teach her new things? And slowly we are realizing that a lot of notions about how to interact with people has to change. For example, I find it a little odd to tell people something and then ask a question back to ensure that they have understood it. Feels too patronizing somehow. Too “teacher”ish… After all, if they do not understand they will say so. Why become patronizing? But it seems like its a good idea to do this with her and she would not mind it. She is otherwise hesitant is outrightly accepting that she did not understand and this will encourage her to communicate. Or will it not? I do not know yet. Let’s see.

Apart from the customers, I guess dealing with non-tech employees is also going to teach us a lot!

This entry was posted in Business & Entrepreneurship 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, 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 ( with a vision to make it the best e-book creation tool. Blog: Twitter: @jayajha Facebook:

7 thoughts on “First Employee!!

  1. Small bit of advice from someone who hasn’t been an employer per se, but has managed people on projects. The “feedback loop” that you talk about is definitely a good thing. Until your employee knows your expectations better, its a great tool to use. I’ve been in situations where employees were afraid to admit that they didn’t understand instructions because they thought it would be a big disappointment to their boss. Its just best to make sure everyone is on the same page.

    Another possible strategy I try to use as an employee is to check in with my boss is the “check-in.” If its a longer project, I’ll get started and after I’ve completed a bit, I’ll show my boss what I have to make sure I’m heading in the right direction. He can correct or direct as needed, and I will not have wasted a bunch of time and everyone is happier with the product in the end.

    Heck, I still do some of these things with my fiancee when we’re working on something together, because she and I have such different operating styles.

  2. Hi Jaya,

    Really good to see your progress . First employee, wow, taking each step towards growing into a bigger company.
    Hope to see your endeavours in person and contribute where possible.

    Great going, keep it up.


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