Work Stories: When I could not say No!

In June 2005, I completed the coursework requirement for the Doctoral program at NITIE. Bored as a full-time student, I decided to find a job with a company. Turned out to be a waste of time, as I could not find a job that my skills would fit into. I gave up on my search.

A few weeks later, I received a call from a recruitment consultant sharing details about the opportunity with a print media company requiring a candidate with solid financial management knowledge irrespective of any work experience. Sounds interesting! What’s the harm in appearing for the interview. Finding a job anyways was a Plan B to kill my boredom with the Ph.D.

I step into this big office on the first floor of Makers Chambers at Nariman Point in Mumbai. I meet the MD after a 15-minute interaction with the Finance head.

Unlike the Finance Head (middle-aged and under-weight compared to average Indian men of his age), MD was younger and muscular. He spoke fluent English and looked confident with a hint of arrogance in tone. He asks me about my interests outlines the role I was considered for. It was a ‘No’ for me as I stood little chance to succeed at the job. I nodded, acknowledging to come for the second round to their office in Navi Mumbai with clear intent to never face him again.

But, God has his own plans. The MD calls me on my handphone to make it for a quick one-hour interaction. I said, “I will not be able to join as my college does not allow full-time doctoral students to work outside of campus. I reluctantly agreed to meet him and the VP I was likely to report to.

The VP also wants to hire me. And, before I could even sense what was happening, I was sitting before the MD at his cabin that was five times bigger than the previous one. “You join us from tomorrow.” I ran out of excuses and mindlessly stated that I had instructions from Dad to focus on my Doctoral program alone, no job.

“Give me this no, I will talk to him.” I was stumped in one go by the MD. He guessed pretty well that it was me who was unsure. He finally gave me a day to make up my mind and promised to call to check on my decision.

I could not refuse and slogged two years of life to learn a lot.

PS: Connecting dots from the past, not so logically.

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