The great job hunt

My blogger friend Debajyoti Ghosh, has a zany sense of humour and a way of laughing at himself. That, folks is one hell of a task, since humour is often at the expense of others. Deb calls his blog Facts and Nonsense,  where the two are merrily interchangeable.

In this post Deb recounts the time when he had been persuaded to attend a job interview and how well he prepared for it. Read on….

 

***********

I was holding a copy of my first Times of India with pride. But why pride? Because, in the modern equivalent of a one-horse town where I live, we don’t get TOI or any other newspaper. But we don’t miss them because the local ones carefully cut and paste…er…publish… all the information required to radically transform our lives like the name of the new coach hired by Albania’s gymnastic team or the strategic alliance between Azerbaijan and Georgia.

Coming back to the newspaper, as I held it up, a colorless and somewhat depressing supplement dropped to the floor; it read Times Ascent.  I looked at my friend for help, but he was busy. After having devoured the classified and obituary pages, his pursuit of knowledge had led him to the page 3 of the newspaper,.  Unlike me, who was reading TOI for the first time, he was reading a newspaper for the first time in his life. Understandably, it was a moment of redemption for him.  Now he scrutinized the supplement from various angles and replied pensively ‘It looks like an obituary,’ demonstrating his newly acquired knowledge.

Another friend of ours, who probably considered himself more educated than we were — which according to us was just an illusory notion — shed some light on the contents of that supplement.  Not stopping there, he tossed the outrageous suggestion of taking up a job and utilizing our idle time.  We gave him a disdainful look and I promptly  dropped the supplement like hot potato. Our permanent abstinence from all physical activities had obviously triggered his jealousy.

‘So, what have you decided?’ he persisted with his unpleasant proposition.

There are people who constantly remind you how drab and mundane life is.  I am sure the word ‘bore’ was included in the dictionary when one of their predecessors opened his mouth for the first time. I am assuming that the despicable individual was a man because girls or women can never be boring.

Anyway, he produced some supposedly logical arguments to justify his suggestion, which prompted us to reluctantly pick up the discarded supplement, and look through. What followed next was pure carnage.  In the next few minutes we had marked every ad from VP to receptionist to store manager to driver which said ‘required.’  Soon the newspaper looked like the answer sheet of an under prepared student.

Buoyed by his preliminary success, our killjoy friend advised us to prepare a resume, which according to him, was mandatory to initiate the interview process. After looking at each other without getting any the wiser, we sought further clarification from the same source.  Glad to see that we were becoming more responsible, he provided a sample resume with instructions to fill out details like extracurricular activities and hobbies. We put in cricket, swimming, watching TV, and stamp collection in that column. It was just a piece of cake!

I have to confess here that the hobbies stretched the truth a wee bit. My cricketing expertise was restricted to carrying drinks onto the field; as far as swimming was concerned, you could call me one, if you counted the couple of times I had been pushed into the water against my will when I had emulated Tarzan’s ape call loud enough to put his signature one to shame. And collecting stamps? Why on earth would anyone want to do that?  However, we consoled ourselves that no one was going to ask us to demonstrate any of these skills during the interview.

We had done extensive research about job interviews by turning to our primary source of information — Hindi movies.  What we saw reassured us greatly. The hero Jeetendra,  in addition to fixing a giant machine, had also delivered an impassioned speech on unemployment and its solutions, which earned him the job of Managing Director in that company! Thereafter, all he had to do was to sit in a cabin and sign some papers.  He also got to do a lot more things like singing and dancing with beautiful women and singlehandedly disposing of a gang of bad guys even before the cops came in. Impressive guy, that Jeetendra! Needless to say, we were inspired enough to go for the interview. We tried to mug up the speech, just in case. What was more, we knew the name of the coach of the Albanian gymnastic team! We were well prepared.

On D-day, we watched with astonishment the sun rising from the grocery shop side, which we had hitherto considered ‘west’.  ‘You are in the army now’ played in the cassette player and we, clad in the new clothes bought for the occasion, got ready for the challenge at hand. We had to do with old shoes as we had run out of money after getting the new togs.

With fire in our hearts and resume in our hands, three of us hopefuls stepped out to announce to the corporate world of our arrival.  One office had been specially selected due its proximity to our house and a movie hall — our next destination post the interview session.  Within five minutes we reached the venue where a dilapidated house greeted us.  In a despicable act of treachery, one of our friends opted out at the last moment and decided to wait for us at the tea shop outside.

A lady sitting in a makeshift reception area collected our resumes.  There were a few cartons stacked next to her table but where were the cabins which were to be allotted to us for signing documents once we were selected for the job of — well, maybe not the Managing Director but at least an Assistant Director?

A group of enthusiastic and slightly garrulous group of boys entered the office. We stopped one of them and gathered to our dismay that it was a door-to-door sales job for a newly launched product.  Instantly we knew it meant a futile endeavor to sell items that were never used in the history of human civilization nor might ever be used till doomsday. Obviously briefed by the man inside the cabin, one of them told us about the fulfilling experience of handling ‘challenges’ every day, with an ingratiating smile.

Didn’t we know that the ‘challenges’ came not only from the customers but at times from their dogs as well?  We cursed each other and our friend for putting us in this predicament and started edging towards the door.

The receptionist called out my name as the next candidate and that made me start walking more briskly.  But determination was obviously her motto as she came out from behind her desk and began following us.

With a stunt that would have made Akshay Kumar proud, we slid two storeys down the banister onto the ground floor.  We looked over our shoulders and saw her coming down the stairs very fast – thankfully not the Akshay Kumar way.  There was only one option left for us now — we ran.  Like a sprinter in a relay race, our friend came out of the tea shop and joined us without asking any questions.  We ran for another couple of minutes just to be on the safe side and stopped only when we noticed a few startled faces peering out of the shops.

It was time for a gentle stroll — the theatre was only half a kilometer away.

Image courtesy: http://mikelynchcartoons.blogspot.in

91 comments

  1. Hehehee…It was even funnier for me cuz I sat outside Jeetendra’s office for a year of my life…and imagining job advice from him is…well….err….

    Awesome post! Loved it!! 🙂

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      hey thanks a lot Shreya! you could have asked him if there is any opening in Balaji films :D.

      Like

  2. Rajesh A · · Reply

    Found it today, and loved it…

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      thank you so much. glad you liked it 🙂

      Like

  3. First time came to know that job hunts can be so hilarious 😀

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      Thank you so much. we were actually scared for few seconds when that lady came out of her desk and followed us, but after we started running, it was all fun 😀

      Like

  4. Down south, the Tamil movies portrayed quite the opposite back then. They used to show how difficult it is to get an interview call, how so many people are thrust into poverty due to lack of a job, etc. Its the same brainwashing, but the approach is different 🙂

    Destination Infinity

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      no, it was the same in Hindi movies as well. but Jitendra was an exception 😀 and that’s why he gave a speech on unemployment problems :D.

      thank you for the comment 🙂

      Like

  5. Need i say anything about this gem of a post?I think this is the only post of yours that i have been late in reading ;& look how many comments i have had to swim through! But even these were v. enjoyable…..now now don’t let all this adulation go to your head….talking of heads & faces who is this beauty in your new avtaar? You confuse me!
    Zephyr thanks a lot for this piece of entertainment.

    Like

    1. You are welcome Indu! Glad you enjoyed the post. Deb has a way with words while recounting hilarious things. 🙂

      Like

  6. Brilliant post. Couldn’t help laughing out loud, startling my friends in the process.

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      thank you so much. that’s exactly what i want everyone to do; read my posts and laugh out loud even if it’s a badly written post :D.

      and once again i would request you to post more often. it’s an absolute treat to read your posts.

      Like

  7. This is very hillarious Deb. The way you write is awesome dude.

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      Thank you so much Mak. glad you liked it. comments like these motivate me to write 🙂

      Like

  8. Oh and by the way.. loved Zephyr’s introduction too. Was very sweet and apt. Humor is an art and you have mastered it Deb. 🙂

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      even i liked Zephyr’s intro :D. forgot to tell her.

      Thank you so much Zephyr for this lovely intro. i am planning to send you a long mail for the intro and for this guest post thing. just remind me in case i forget again.

      Like

  9. Deb.. that was just phenomenal. One of the very best I have read. Your are the master when it comes to humor. I was laughing my heart out.. Unfortunately am at office.. so couldn’t roll on the floor. 😛

    I couldn’t imagine Jeetendra doing all that.. Guess I haven’t watched enough movies of him. Damn! I could visualize Dharmendra in that role easily though.. 😛

    Very few in this entire world would know the name of the coach of Albania’s gymnast team. I am truly impressed.

    And statements like: “I am assuming that the despicable individual was a man because girls or women can never be boring” and “we watched with astonishment the sun rising from the grocery shop side, which we had hitherto considered ‘west’: True Gems!

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      and that’s a phenomenal comment 🙂

      no, Dharmendra left corporate world and opted for a more action packed lifestyle in his movies in latter part of his career.

      i actually deleted those lines which you mentioned while editing but Zephyr had put them back again :D.

      thanks a lot Raj. that’s an awesome comment 🙂

      Like

  10. Meera Chandrasekaran · · Reply

    So, you are now doing guest posts for Zephyr. Man, your star is on the rise and deservedly so. Loved the post but then I say that about all your work 😉 I worked in sales when I first started and sold Toilet Paper, of all things. So I empathize with your feelings of horror.

    Ab agar aap bata sakein why you don’t need to work for a living, I’d like to adopt your way. Are you independently wealthy, purkhon ki pushtaini jaaydaat and all? Or did you win a big jackpot, do you make pots of money gambling or do you have an import export business like the Bollywood villains from the 70’s?

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      oh, your comment popped up out of nowhere.
      ‘star is on the rise’ – now that’s a statement i am not familiar with. honestly speaking, i know what i write 😀 and i definitely don’t deserve to write for someone like Zephyr. i was really shocked when she asked me to write a guest post for her.

      no i don’t have any of those things which you mentioned. after working for few years, i realized that i have been the worst employee in all the companies i worked with; so decided to stay away :D. moreover, i am just too lazy to work.

      Like

  11. ROFL!! Hobby filling in resumes is indeed a cake walk and nothing beats our bollywood movies and heroes when it comes to some instant inspiration taking! Really amusing encounter you had! Thoroughly enjoyed reading it…thanks Debajyoti 🙂

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      thanks a lot Arti. yeah it was indeed fun and we had a good laugh at it later.

      i love hindi movies 😀

      Like

  12. If it were not for the fact that I am sitting in a remote village accessing this post via my feeble datacard, praying I would be able to finish this comment, I would have thought–does this guy live in 1 billion strong India? Seriously–was that first time he held a TOI? But being here everything falls into perspective–I met some young guys this morn–and now I can see them also on the great job hunt!! You are hilarious Debajyoti!!! In btw, did you learn to write well from texting or hindi movies?

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      yes, it was actually the first time i was holding TOI. of course, i did read times of india another 9 or 10 times after that.

      thank you so much Bhavana. i am trying to learn writing on my own and i need to improve a lot. not a bad idea to check out some Hindi movies to improve writing skills :D.

      Like

      1. In Hindi or English? Or maybe since the films are so versatile they might even improve your writing skills in Swahili 🙂

        Like

        1. debajyoti · · Reply

          i am going to write one hindi poem next, just wait and watch 😀

          Like

    2. debajyoti · · Reply

      my comment reply is in moderation because i spelt my name incorrectly. thank you so much for the comment.

      Like

  13. oh boy .. reminded me of the times when We had freshly graduated and thought the world was under our feet .. only to find out that the Burlingtons catalogue company I was offered the first job was to Sell the damn catalogue house to house .. and thinking I was very handsome and what not , easy to sell to all the lovely housewife’s who had nothing to do when the husbands went away to office .. (err feminists please lay off, I am talking of those days when that’s what happened).. only to find that end of the day or was it a Week .. I sold ONE catalogue and that too My best friends Mother..

    ahh the charm of selling .. never again in my life ..

    the post made me smile .. thanks Debajyoti.. so hey by the way have you got a job now .. and what movie did you see in the theatre that day .. Not another Jeetendra one pleaseeeeeeeee 🙂

    Bikram’s

    Like

    1. What’s that supposed to mean? That’s what happened in those days? I trust you mean that they hand nothing better to do than buy useless stuff and nothing else, or the belan is ready and primed to strike 🙂

      Like

    2. debajyoti · · Reply

      thank you so much bikram. no it was not a jeetendra movie, i guess it was andaz apna apna, first day first show. definitely a better option than attending interviews :).

      Like

  14. When I was in college in 60s and my name/addresses used to appear in Penfriends column, I received not one but two appointment letters without any effort on my part. One from a Bombay based ‘Acme’ Ltd offering a lucrative job and another wanting me to act in their film! All they wanted from me was to part with some money to be sent to them by way of ‘Postal order’ only which I never sent and thus LOST both the job!!!!!

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      hahaha. yeah we still get those job offers here 😀

      Thank you so much for reading 🙂

      Like

  15. I love humorous post and this was just perfect. Reminded me of some of my encounters while doing a variety of jobs 🙂

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      thanx a lot :). glad you liked it.

      yeah, interviews can be fun.

      Like

  16. alkagurha@gmail.com · · Reply

    When one has nothing to lose interviews can be fun.
    Hilarious narration…and a Jeetu or a Govinda movie is a perfect antidote after any diasater….

    Like

    1. But here the movies were the motivation not the salve 🙂

      Like

    2. debajyoti · · Reply

      only if you have nothing to lose. i love Jeetu and Govinda movies 😀

      thank you so much for the comment.

      Like

  17. Image courtesy? Where’s the image, Deb?

    You know the name of the coach of the Albanian gymnastic team? Wow! Aren’t you well-informed ! :D. And Bollywood movies to prepare for a job interview? Good idea, yeah — you learn a few ‘speeches’ and get your dose of entertainment too. You’d have got that job if you didn’t flee like that. 🙂

    Like

    1. Images on Cybernag appear only on the Home page 🙂 Since the link goes directly to the post, it is not seen. Maybe I should put up a ‘click Home to see image,’ in future posts. 😀

      Like

    2. debajyoti · · Reply

      hey thanks Nambiar for the comment. and you know what? even i wanted to ask Zephyr the same question 😀 but then i saw the image on the home page.

      and i know i’d have got the job.

      Like

      1. Thank you Zephyr, Deb. I got to see the picture. 🙂

        Like

        1. debajyoti · · Reply

          hahahaha. you are a kid 😀

          Like

  18. Continue to spread the cheer!

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      as long as i get comments like these, i will try my level best to write decent posts 🙂

      Like

  19. I am still laughing. Now your resume can have ” sprinting” as an added hobby.
    You are the limit:-)

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      hey that’s a great idea!

      thank you so much for the comment. i was wondering where you disappeared after voting 😀

      and you are the best 🙂

      Like

  20. Jai Ho Hindi movies ! Jai Ho ! Never again will anyone say that Hindi movies are a waste of time after reading this post, will they now? 😀

    I’ve had two memorable job interviews. The first (also my first ever job interview) was less of an interview and more of a discussion on books and poetry and I came out feeling very grown up, if you know what I mean. Alas, the second one was a tedious interview where one of the panel members, a well known feminist, kept insisting that I should do a Ph.D. Though I kept saying that I was not interested in doing one, she would not listen. Finally, something in me snapped and I told her that I would definitely consider her suggestion and would do one on Mills and Boon books and would she please be my guide? The interview ended rather quickly at that point. 🙂

    Great post, Deb. And Zephyr, i’m loving your guest post series. 🙂

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      no way, who says hindi movies are a waste of time?

      thanks for the comment and your need to quickly write a post on your experience of interviews. that would be a fun read coz i loved that post which you wrote on your train journey.

      Like

    2. Thank you Sudha for liking my guest posts. They are indeed unique aren’t they, spanning the entire gamut of blogging from activism, social issues, humour, human interest, etc. etc.? Ahem….it also shows I can recognise good writing 😀

      Like

  21. Really nicely written!

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      Thank you so much Navin. glad you liked it 🙂

      Like

  22. Debajyothi! Been a while since I laughed out aloud at anything. Thanks for reminding me that it is still possible for me to do so:)

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      Thank you so much Suresh!! i laugh a lot while reading your posts, of course, i am talking about your humor posts only. and your comments make me smile coz they are always good 😀

      Like

  23. and not to forget the songs- the melodies
    one more thing Deb, why the affinity towards Jeetendra and Akshay? if you could spill the beans on that one..

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      oh i just love those songs and melodies. i would rather watch a movie of Jitendra than any of these recently released movies.

      Jitendra was an alrounder :D. and akshay kumar? even god flinches when he does those stunts 😀

      Like

  24. ROFL!!! 😆
    I was in office and I burst out laughing reading this!! 😀 😀

    May I ask how long ago was this?!
    These days people prepare like crazy for job interviews…and still end up underdelivering.
    The reference to Akshay Kumar and Jeetendra was too good :mrgreen: I could actually imagine those stunts!!
    ROFL @ supplement looking like an obituary! TOI editors would be scandalized to hear that one! 😀

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      well, the credit should go to Zephyr and her editing :D. she turned my badly written post into a readable one

      that was almost a couple of decades ago. thankfully we don’t get TOI here, so the chances of them sending me a legal notice is less 😀

      thanks a lot for the comment 🙂

      Like

      1. Just curious.
        Do u remember the name of the movie u saw after that? 😀

        Like

        1. debajyoti · · Reply

          don’t remember the name of the movie but there are quite a few movies where Jitendra exhibited his versatile prowess :D. however, if you need some job related info then i can recommend a movie of Manoj Kumar where he was simply outstanding. forgot the name of the movie 😀

          Like

          1. Hehe 😆

            Like

          2. Hey Undakanni, how you animate your smileys?

            Like

          3. How on earth can you recommend a movie without knowing its name? It is like me telling the older brat to tell the name of the song with such clues as, ‘it has a slow tune,’ ‘the singer goes all senti’, ‘a violin plays in the background’ and so on. And these are not clues for the same song, but each one is for a different song 😀

            Like

          4. debajyoti · ·

            no, i vaguely remember the movie. don’t know where this comment will go but it’s for you Zephyr. and i can send you a list of smileys :D.

            Like

          5. Could you now? Please send it to me with a note as to how to use them!

            Like

          6. debajyoti · ·

            i have sent you the list :D.

            are you only going to talk in smilies now 😦 ?

            Like

  25. totally howlarious debajyoti! Thangam, I must commend you on your guest posts ~ they are truly enjoyable 🙂 one thing I learned from my experience with the limited interviews that I have attended ~ is that unless you are being specifically quizzed for a tech job requiring tech knowledge, it’s that the guys who are doing the interviewing do not necessarily know more than you about any subject at hand. When I applied for my current job, having cleared through all parameters, the 3 member panel began quizzing hyper nervous me about my major ~ history. The topic at hand…the 3 battles of Panipat!!! And, here I was, sincerely trying to impress them with my knowledge, when one of them committed a faux pas. At that point I realised I could bullshit them to high heaven for all the difference it would make 🙂 and I did. No one challenged me…and I held forth until they chased me out !!! Turns out, they just wanna check your chutzpah and presence of mind 🙂 thanks deb, for reminding me of this incident 🙂

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      I love long comments. Let me read again :D.

      thank you so much for reading and for this lovely comment. and the incident which you mentioned here is more hilarious than my entire post 😦

      thanks again for the comment and now i am going to brush up my knowledge on battles of panipat :D.

      Like

    2. Hmm…thank you for the appreciation of my selection of guest bloggers. *takes a bow* It takes an editor to recognise a good writer 🙂 I can just imagine you pulling off those stunts at interviews. Typical Prema!

      Like

  26. That was an altogether new way of preparing for a job interview. I remember how I used to break my head about what weaknesses I could write that I could safely explain during an interview and that actually ended up being strengths :). The days of the interviews. They were fun!

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      I know but of late interviewers have become smart. so ideally we should day – ‘dude, i don’t know anything’ which will never get you a job but at least save us from the hassle of preparation 😀

      thank you so much for reading 🙂

      Like

  27. Hmm… That was a narrow escape, reminiscent of tense chase scenes of Indians Jone’s movies. But weren’t you asking for it? Beware of friends who prefer job clips over obituaries.

    ps. I was bowled over by your town’s awareness of affairs in Albania, Azerbaijan and Georgia.

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      Absolutely, it’s always advisable to go through the obituary pages instead of job clips.

      oh, we know everything, the only problem is that we won’t be able to locate those countries on world map :D.

      Thanx a lot Uma. Phew! writing full words can be difficult but Zephyr advised me not to use short forms 😦

      Like

      1. not advised, but ruled with the belan. And yet, I see a ‘thanx’ there 😛

        Like

        1. debajyoti · · Reply

          progressing slowly :D.

          Like

  28. Ha ha…after reading this I’m definitely curious to know what you do for a living Deb 😀 😀
    Hindi movies can make one really disillusioned, isn’t it? Glad you took inspiration from Jeetendra and not Dharmendra, or else you’d sharpen your boxing skills, not interview skills. 😛

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      I don’t do anything Varsh 😀

      Dharmendra wouldn’t have been a bad option either.

      Thank you so much for reading Varsh 🙂

      Like

      1. Wouldn’t miss anything written by you Deb. I need my dose of sarcasm and humour! 😀 😀

        Like

        1. debajyoti · · Reply

          Thank you so much Varsh 🙂

          Like

  29. Once you knew you’d end up selling junk, you scooted! Even your friend has got to admit you have a practical head on your shoulders. Hope you find a job you enjoy.

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      Oh no, i am not going to look for a job. that’s quite a tedious process 😀

      thanx a lot for the comment 🙂

      Like

  30. lol! that was hilarious!!

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      Thanks a lot Deepak. glad you liked it 🙂

      Like

  31. How one wishes that job interviews could be so much fun! Hindi movies can make a ‘Man for all Seasons’ from ‘Mr Nobody’ .Hilarious 🙂

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      We can make job interviews fun, only if we have no intention of a serious interview.

      Thank you so much for the comment and continue to watch Hindi movies 😀

      Like

  32. I wrote a long comment and it disappeared 😦

    Just wanted to say, loved reading this one…hilarious!!!

    @Zephyr: Am loving your guest posts 🙂

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      Thanks a lot. even i like the guest posts here :D. thanx again for this wonderful comment 🙂

      Like

    2. Thank you RM! Deb certainly has a great sense of humour, doens’t he? 🙂

      Like

  33. hilarious to say the least- immensely enjoyed it, so movies do help atleast to make a daring escape, liked the Azerbiajan part.:)

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      Thank you so much!!

      three hours entertainment and a plethora of information :D. Hindi movies rock 🙂

      Like

  34. That one was so ingenious! I mean the research process. Hindi films are indeed the source of great knowledge, information and edification. I must commend you for revealing the source for the benefit of the readers of Cybernag. 😀

    Like

    1. debajyoti · · Reply

      hahahaha, Hindi movies are the best. why waste time on wiki?

      that’s a lot of editing and it definitely looks better now :D. thank u so much 🙂

      Like

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