The interview 

no gyaan, no insights. no big philosophies this time around. a simple interview that i had to sit through. 🙂

so, she said.. where are you currently working? TCS, i said. It was a particularly tiring day at work. I dint have the energy left to beam with pride. Flat , plain, TCS it was. So, TCS, you know. Tatas. thats where i work, i said.

Hmmm.. tata huh. what do you do?

This was a bloody bouncer of a question. My boss, his manager and most of my customers could not answer that question straight. They knew i was involved and represented calls. Not one had actually bothered to jot down the boundaries of my work, or define the role as they saw fit. When my bosses and customers gave up on that notion, i was never going to prepare a straight answer either!. Its complicated, i said. This time, i was beaming with pride. The things that i take pride on. God Lord!

What?, hows that complicated. Care to explain was her retort.

See, i went on to explain the list of things that i would do between 9 am to 10 am on a typical monday morning. That went on for a good solid fifteen minutes. Not that i cared if the answer impressed her or satisfied her curiosity. I had had enough of the question and a long droning nag of an answer was my best bet to skip the area of discussion. Come to think of it, i guess it worked. Rest of the evening, i dint have to talk about the nature of my work any more 🙂

Hmm. ooooooooook, she stretched. Evil woman. I knew what that meant. She had already formulated the next question in her mind. One more question to survive, i thought.

So, what platform?

excuse me?, whats what platform, i enquired. In my mind i started to panic. Did this woman really understand and figure out what i did? If she did, why would she ask me about platforms????

You know, she said sheepishly. Platform, like Java, oracle. that platform.

Ya. I think there is Java. Definitely have heard people say Java. Oracle is also the backend. I remembered sitting through lenghtly discussion on different versions of Oracle and how limited/flexible their support was. Oracle, i said, backend. Pakka. Lock kiya jaaye!! Then throw in some JMS, MQ. you know, the usual stuff.

Ah. JMS and all huh. Good good, said she. JMS must have been the magic word. She was happy that i was doing something related to JMS. On better circumstances, i would have asked her to walk me through why she thought it was a good thing. Maybe there was something about it that i was missing. Hey, it could go onto my resume. Why say no to a few more Lacs on the negotiation table. But i decided against it. This was not the time. This was not the call for it.

And how flexible is your work timings she went on. Pretty jam packed i said. Sometimes i dont even come home. Ofcourse i was lying through my teeth. And yeah, she dint have to know that. It sounded cool. Sounded correct and above all, it sounded like the right thing to say given the context.

So how come you are not in the USA and in the UK she enquired. 
What, i said. in utter disbelief. My customers are in the UK. I’d love to work from las vegas, but i think my customers will not fund me for that trip. I did have sarcastic answers all running in my head. I dint have the heart to exercise my freedom to use sarcasm. I remided myself. This call was not the right place for it. I had to be polite, appear polite and sounding polite was the order of the day. So sans sarcasm, i said my customers operate from the UK. Makes sense that i work from here too.

So, You will never go to USA is it? she followed on.

Yeah… obama and i had a mutual disagreement. We exchanged vows. He’d never set foot on Besant Nagar Beach, chennai- India. And in return, I’d never set foot in the US soil. Good lord, i did miss my sense of sarcasm and my freedom to exhibit it. I could see my dad screaming at me. I told you, BE IN UR BEST BEHAVIOUR karthik!!!!!. After naming me when i was 15 odd days old, the only time my dad used my name was when he was unhappy with something that i did. In all honesty, i lost count after dad touched 1 million. I was doing my 5th grade back then. So, Karthik is a name he’s used a lot. I know better than giving him another opportunity to use it.

So me, being polite, not wanting to sound like Mr Smarty pants, i said that depends. Global recession, economic conditions and above all else, the Tatas. Tatas which employs managers who manage me, must release me. then i should get into a USA based project and then usa deputation. So in a nutshell, ya, might happen in the future, but i’d not hold my breath till that happens.

I had answered all her questions to the best of my ability. I was also mostly truthful about it. Now, it was her turn to be gracious. Do you have any questions for me Karthik, she asked in her most polite voice. I could imagine my head meeting a power chain saw. damn, life’s simple choices and i dint bother buying a power saw!!!! 

Nope, none i said. with okays and byes the conversation ended.

I rushed off and called my dad. 

So how did it go, he asked.

Not well and all dad. I DONT THINK I WANT TO MARRY HER!!!!!!! i cut the call before my dad could bless me with a piece of his mind. 

And that my friends, is a TCSer’s experience on bride hunting!!!!!!

Next time, i think i will buy a book of the infamous E. BALAGURUSAMY(if you dont know who this is, i bet you had an awesome college life) before i take such calls.

– Katz

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