04 May 2010

My First Job in Bangalore

I owe a lot of my professional confidence to Mr. Vivek Padubidri. He was my 1st boss in this big city. I had just wrapped up my work as a Lecturer in Mangalore University & had come to Bangalore in April of 2001 to meet him. And god willing, to work for 4C Learning Solutions as a Content Writer.

That was my first real interview, in a totally new, unfamiliar city. I was very nervous. He asked me to write an essay. I wrote on Women’s Liberation Movement. I still have that essay with me – 4 pages on A4 sheet- back to back!

Mr. Vivek had founded the organization that dealt with Computer/Web based training, also known as e-learning. It was a small set-up, just a handful of employees. Located in Jayanagar 4th T Block, right next to Carmel Convent, here began my initiation into Bangalore life. Roti Mandir, Cool Joint, Fire & Ice (was closed down a couple of years ago), Ganesh Fruit Juice, Paridhan, BDA complex became regular hang-out joints. I mostly went with my male colleagues or girls from the PG in BTM Layout where I was staying.


When I started work in this start-up, I didn’t even know how to shut down a computer. Every day, before leaving office, I used to switch off the main switch connecting the plug to the CPU. After about a month, my system crashed! That’s when someone explained to me how to turn off a computer. He said. “Go to Programs(the colorful button on the left hand side of the monitor), move to the red button, click on it, click on Turn Off, wait for the lights to go off, THEN switch off the main switch”. I diligently wrote down his instructions on my notepad. That was the level of my ignorance!!

If I am pretty tech-savvy now, it’s because, on the day when the system crashed, Mr. Vivek chose not to shout at me. Had he blasted me that day, I’d have taken the first bus back home! And that would have been The End of my corporate training work life that was to follow soon!

Poor me, fresh from a village! Though I was good at the work given to me, I was too na├»ve & there were far too many things I didn’t know. I spoke from my heart, without thinking of the consequences. I used to pack off my bag at sharp 6 p. m & was out of the door at 6.05!! I hardly ever stayed back late, unless I was “really” needed. I didn’t know that staying back was a sure-fire way to ‘impress’ your boss. I didn’t care!

Sometimes, I felt very stupid. Because I didn’t know the difference between a RAM & ROM, what is hardware & software, what is instructional designing, what is meant by operating system, the impact of e-learning, business models, return on investment, I didn’t even know anything about “search engines”!! I had never “googled” anything!! And to top it all, I never hesitated to admit that yes I don’t know all of these things that the others knew or at least pretended to know. I asked questions. I learnt everything from scratch. I didn’t mind being stupid.

My first year in Bangalore, in 4CL, was a learning experience, unlike any other. I was literally hand-held & taught & guided & encouraged, to learn & not be afraid of the unknown.

19 comments:

  1. Good one:) a nice realistic writeup:)

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  2. lovely...post. we remember our FIRST THINGS remarkably...esp in professional feild.

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  3. @chitra: yes most first things are very special :)

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  4. very honest piece of writting..following NOW :)

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  5. @maniac: ha thats one scary name: maniac hunter! whatever made u take that?
    welcome here. & thanks for your comments & following :)

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  6. Sounds like my initial days in college..

    I was also a guy who has moved to the city and I did not have a clue about working with computers including how to turn it on/shutting down and the best part was I had opted for Computer science engineering by that time.. :P

    But the positive to take is,we have developed to a level where we have set up a blog and we are successfully maintaining that. :)

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  7. @Vishnu: that IS the best part - computer engineering and shutting down comp :)))

    very true, today after so many years, when we look back, we are very happy about our learning curve

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  8. Very nice story and honest, as always. Whenever we try to learn something new with an uncluttered mind, that is when we learn best. Even if we are experienced in that field for over 10 years, you still tend to do it the same way you did the first time. (At least you would remember doing it the first time). :)

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    1. true, retaining a little of the student in us always helps
      thanks for reading this post :)

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  9. brilliant sujatha. absolutely loved it

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  10. I can see ur honesty in ur writing n i like it

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  11. Quite relatable and I am not surprise by your ignorance and I too learnt from scratch like a fool and still learning....loved this post..:)

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    1. yeah most of us go through a similar phase i believe. some accept,some don't :)

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  12. First experiences are always something, isn't it! We may fall, we may stumble, but those experiences most certainly help us stand on our feet and look the problem in the eye. And when we look back, they remind us of the incredible journey we have come through. :) I can never forget the first month in college or the first week at work.

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    1. very true - the "first" is always special - award/job/child/love - it always leaves an impact

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  13. Hi, this is Vivek, the guy who tolerated the computer crash in your first job :) Good to see your blog..Your career seems to have really taken off since I last met you. All the best.

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    1. OMG...Sir....this is such a surprise!!!!! wow! don't know what to say! i never thought this piece would ever be read by you or any one else from 4CL.
      thank you Sir for being patient with a village bumpkin like me :)

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