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 naïve & 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.