Monday, December 18, 2006
Pessimistic me: (with broad smile on his face) see, I told you, I warned you so many times, this is what is going to happen, but you won't listen to me; you always listen to that stupid optimistic guy, he has no sense of reality. You have put yourself into deep hole, with no hopes to come out. You have managed to effectively ruin all your career prospects. You have not just made miserable yourself but also in turn will make your family miserable. You are a loser.
Sunday, November 26, 2006
Some great thinkers in the world believe that what separates humans from animals is consciousness, i.e. man knows what he knows but animals don’t. I don’t believe that, I think we are just too arrogant to accept, we are just epitome (I am not sure of this also) of a continuous process of evolution of millions of years of earth. We are just another animal who is more evolved than any other, and it has nothing to do with consciousness. Do we want to mean that suddenly when humans evolved from let’s say Bonobos (our closet brothers in the evolution chain) who have 99 point something percent DNA same as human we suddenly gained consciousness. If animals don’t have consciousness then every damn decision they take or every damn thing they do should be instinctive and there shouldn’t be any rationalism to it. If one does not have consciousness then every situation one faces must be new for him/her/it. Should we then say animals can’t learn, oh hell! But then I guess the n number of researchers on animal behavior will surely disagree on it. If any decision taken by an animal is instinctive then I must say we have lost great deal of instinctive powers (well, I think though we may not have lost; we have certainly forgotten our instinctive powers due to our obsession for rationalism and reasoning). Don’t think I am against rationalism, it is very essential for e.g. I can not write this post, by just saying that I suddenly realized that man is also just an animal and so accept it, but what I want to say is we are obsessed with rationalism and forget that rationalism is just medium through which we express our instincts. First we realize something and then we explain it through rationalism. Well, sorry to go off the topic, let’s come back to we as an animal. Though I am not a scientist in animal behavior, having seen 26 years of real life, enough National Geographic Channel and Discovery channel that there are if not millions there are at least thousand of example where animals show perfect consciousness about the situation they are in and what they can do in that situation.
It is very interesting how I stumbled upon this thought. Very often I have imaginary conversations in my mind with people, and in one such conversation today on movies where I was imagining a conversation with my friend, we (I) came to conclusion that “people like to see in movies what they can not do and what they don’t or cannot have but they want to do and want to have. And what sells most is action and sex, so is it that most people by instinct want to be physically strong (wanted to say violent actually ;)) and like sex a lot. Isn’t those instincts same as any other animal in the world?” Here I suddenly went into this tangent of these so called efforts by great thinkers to differentiate between man and animal.
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
I know many people will be eager to give advice on planning, timetables, etc. etc. That works only to some extent. Anybody says more about managing work, that's all bullshit. Come on, show me a person for whom everything goes according to plan. I believe people for whom plans work perfectly, either they are horribly unambitious about what they can achieve or they are extremely lucky. I know, I know that planning is about being prepared but hell, but just being prepared doesn't get things done, you actually have to do the things.
Saturday, September 23, 2006
Others, are thoroughly frustrated that the job is not what they like to do or their boss or amount of work or something else. Why is it so difficult to be satisfied in a job? There are some people for whom work is the only good thing about their job, their salary is low, company culture is bad, etc. etc.
Some may blame dissatisfaction to human nature of always asking more, but is that really the reason? It may be the small part but not certainly the main reason. The way jobs are designed in most organizations make them boring. By very nature, most jobs are boring. I know I am making very strong statement but that's what I feel when I see around. Only people who seem to be happy are those who are extraordinary enough that they can progress fast enough so that they are on new challenges before they get bored with the old things. By very design is job is for a particular set of activities and when a person as identified and established for that job keep doing the same or expected to do the same, that being his recognised competency.
Though one might say this is how it is there from ages of human existence, I feel it is not so. Simply because though one has expertise in only one area how to handle that area has entirely left to the person, and like for everything decisions were in his hand. This act of taking decisions in all kinds of situations is often what gives satisfaction of facing challenges. Though there is nice theory of empowerment in Industry (at least in manufacturing industry) it is often seen that the constraints put on employees in terms of directives and process guidelines are such that the empowerment has absolutely no meaning. Most people hate doing same things over and over again and jobs seems to stress on that aspect very strongly.
We need jobs which consider human oriented approach. We need to wake up and do something about it. The arguments here are not yet complete but will come up with more thoughts at some later time.
Friday, September 08, 2006
I know what you are going to say, either you are going to say “It’s their mistake if they don’t ask,” or you are going to say “Life is unfair”. But these arguments don’t work; asking is exactly what most such people don’t like and putting everything on destiny is probably worst thing to do. Does anyone has any solution?
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
Most of the air travel I have done in night, at that time, cities look very good due to their lighting and all. However this time I started around 2 in the afternoon and the city looked terrible. Stupid concrete buildings everywhere and nothing else, absolutely ugly it was. On the contrary as I was reaching Goa, everything on the ground looking green, small houses inside the green, rivers flowing in between. It was marvelous; immediately I felt like my tour to Goa is going to be worth it. Actually it is not the usual time to visit Goa; monsoon is supposed to be off-season to visit Goa but then I like Goa in monsoon, it was just too good. In fact, being off-season there was very less crowd and we could enjoy more places in less time and like that fact very much. Also being at the rough sea in the monsoon time is a different pleasure in itself.
One thing I desperately need is some place where I can every now and then and the place allows me to relax, forget the world around me and be myself, not the stupid constrained individual who is always worried about how he can accomplish what he wants to achieve while satisfying all the stupid material constraints put by the world on him.
Monday, June 19, 2006
I was kind of conscious about my patience moving towards danger zone, but my friend’s comment has made it explicit. Probably, as first measure as my friend does I must remember each time I read a book by some great personality or ‘systems thinking’ book or any other book which contains influential philosophical thoughts, that I am reading it for pure pleasure and not be very serious about it.
Monday, June 12, 2006
I came to office and followed ritual of checking mails and some news. In the news section couldn't find anything new exciting, only serious news was the grenade blast in Jammu. Somehow, the frequency of public joking of politicians have reduced nowadays. Newspapers are still following the rahul mahajan heroics, Arcelor's refusal to Mittal and so on. Football worldcup is not yet making big headlines, of course it is just first round and all the exciting matches yet to come. In between Federer despite all his amazing tennis skills has lost to Nadal in french open. I thought he might win this time. This guy Roger Federer never fails to amaze me with his skills; in each of his match there will be some shots on which you will say "where the hell did that come from?".
No no, I am not using this blog as summary of news, it was just few things went through my mind quickly. Probably it was an effort to prove that though I don't write much on social or political issues I am very well aware of them and follow them regularly ;)
After the ritual of mails and news I stumled upon the big question which also like a ritual I stumble upon every day, i.e. "what to do?", I am unusual researcher with 5-6 diferent activities related to each other in abig picture, but where to start is always puzzling. I started with sending mail to our academica collborators as a start and then wondering which book should I read for my work.
If you hapen to be reader of this blog :)) and if you are wondering why am I writing about my boring day actiites the answer is simple, " i don't know what to write about", well actually while writing this I realized there are at least 3-4 things in my daily life I can write about. I guess but at the moment I will save the the elctronic words from the bytes of my words.
Monday, June 05, 2006
Meanwhile I few times I went through the statistics on who visits my blogs and not to my surprise I found that hardly anybody visits my blogs but as a good engineer I analysed how to get lots of visits to my blog. There are always two ways to achieve success one is by manipulation to turn things in your favour and one by being good in whatever you do. No need to tell further that in real life most people choose the former way. So, when it comes to writing blogs you must be either very good like greatbong and others or use some of the following techniques. Though these techniques won't give you success like greatbong but will definitely have the capability put you in a decent position...
- always write on current and preferably controversial topics and doing so do not forget to include some controversial or famous names related to the topic or issue
- Leave comments (take care to be among the first few to be doing so) on the blogs which are already famous, it doesn't matter whether you really read the blog or have an opinion, you can always post comments like "hey, me first!" or some such comments which have nothing to so with the blog.
- give some cross-references to some news articles or famous bloggers in your blogs, so that people searching for the news, or the famous bloggers looking who visits their blogs can bump on to your blog.
As you might have noticed that all the above three are primarily possible because of the google power and statistics counters. Though 3 seems to inadequate number as the points explaining technique for increasing your blog visits, try these first, I am sure you will be surprised with the result. Some more will be added later, If I happen to attract some people to read my blogs or some unfortunate souls bump into my blogs through some google searches and so.
Anyways, If you are good writer, you can also register at some bloggers' sites which ranks blogs and bloggers, it is a virtuous cycle as you get more visits your rank improves and as your rank improves more people visit your blog; of course only upto a limit after which quality of your blog dictates your rank and blog visits.
Monday, May 29, 2006
I don’t know, why but such incidents happen to me at quite a good rate, as I remember correctly almost once in a two weeks. Now, probably you will understand why I was such a skeptic even when I though the guy was genuine. I don’t understand this rate, is there something written on my head like “this guy will help you” or “you can easily fool this guy”. In Hyderabad largest percentage of such people asking for help will be those who went for Tirupati and lost or finished their money in between. And even after so much experience with such people I haven’t yet been able to decide whether most of these are crooks or genuine. Once I met one unique fellow, I came to know about his crookedness since one my of my roommates also happened to be asked for help by this guy. This person tells people that he is former government employee and then something happened for which he has filed some petition and then takes out a huge bundle of money and says he already has collected some money and needs last 10 rupees. I doubted him and didn’t give him money, but just a minute late saw one person giving money; and this guy asked my friend money 2 days after that.
I don't know what to do, but life is not easy anyways.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
On the other end students doing hunger strikes and all, I definitely understand protests but making the public suffer for the protests is what I don't understand. I have the same objection as I have to strikes of government servants, teachers (I have real grudge against them, as they always strike just before board exams), airport employees, etc. I got message yesterday from somebody that one person died in hunger strike, what is going on? What the heck are people trying to do? What we need is more and more support from students from all educational institutes than strikes.
Mr. Arjun Singh has absolutely no clue as to what he is talking about and how his decision is going to affect the country? If you read his interview here, you can see he seems to have no clue about background of his decision, how he is going to implement the decision and so on...
It is also very clear, that the parliament is not clear whether the reservations are needed at all?
I wish there is someone who can take wise decisions on such issues and more importantly has the authority to do so.
Monday, May 22, 2006
This was in IIT, the other hotels etc, were a different story at all, except on dhaba inside IIT and one far away at a place called 'gol market', there was hardly any hotel where we didn't taste stale food once and fought with the people there. The dhaba inside IIT was good, that was the only place where one can get descent tasty food in IIT, so it had other problems, sometimes we had to wait for an hour or so for food to arrive. The 'Dal tarka' we used to get there, I am still to get that good 'dal tarka' anywhere. Thee other dhaba was damn good especially for non-veg people.
I can go on and on this topic, especially how quality of food in our hostels were ensured by a central facility, etc. etc.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
The problem is definitely not availability of faculty, it is attracting it. If one has to get European faculty, I guess one has to attract them by paying very high and providing good growth opportunities (I am sure at the expense of existing Indian faculty, we Indians always have this bias of considering westerners better than us). If you do same thing for Indians, I am sure one can get better than better faculty than Europeans. In India, most professionals look teaching as the last or convenient option (when on is more concerned bout place or doing time-pass rather with career perspective) if all other options are exhausted.
So, what is so unattractive about being a lecturer in Indian universities and colleges? Well, many will point out pay packages, but according to me that is just one of the many things. There are many more reasons; like reputation for the profession, slow growth opportunities, lack of research and consulting opportunities, etc. I have just mentioned three of the most important ones. Of course, the first one is derivation from the others, but it is true that in our society if you for teaching profession people think that you didn’t get any other opportunity and therefore you went for teaching.
Well, what brings a good interest and develops faculty is research and consulting opportunities; this is one of the reasons why most of the IITs faculty is so good. If while teaching one gets research and consulting opportunities not only one can increase his/her but also gets familiar with the latest of happening in the filed, bring them and experience and all of it leading to teaching students well with help of experience, examples of actual application, understanding of basic concepts and latest developments. Focus must be on such issue like bringing consulting and research opportunities in the universities rather than importing faculty from foreign countries. Universities and Government has to introspect as to how such opportunities can be made available to the faculty. For such opportunities to exist Industry must trust Academia, which today does not happen. Academia itself should take initiative and do some projects for Industry on experimental basis to establish the trust, may be in initial years Government can support such collaboration. From industry side, Indian industry itself badly needs such research help in order to cope with the international competition and excel on the global level. Take example of IT industry, how many years can they survive on just giving services to foreign companies and countries they have to look at the other options. They all try to move up the value chain (God knows what that means) but what they don’t understand is with what they are doing now itself, they can change the world with different attitudes by generating value rather than lowering costs and for that they need research help from academia.
There are good solutions available than doing stupid things like importing faculty from European countries, academia must spot it and Industry itself should take initiative because after all these students are going to Industry after they complete their education and hence the future of industry depends on issues with academia.
Monday, May 15, 2006
It is very important for a person to be in company with people who are always cheerful and face the life smilingly; not does it just cheers you up but also gives inspiration to face all kind of situations patiently. And exactly opposite is the situation when you are with people who are always sad over things surrounding them. Actually I was going to write this about people who always complain and cry over situations, but then I suddenly realized that not all people who complain are sad. You can say the realization might have come up from my own experience itself. When I complain I still care about the things and I am not sad, it is just that I want to improve them and contrary to that when I stop complaining I am really sad, I have given up. I find those people amazing who complain and cry over things very jokingly, and make joke on themselves.
Laughter and cheers are among the most important things in our life, without it our life will become hell. We have to turn around things cheerfully and enjoy every bit of life. All such things are better said than done. Well, hope everybody around me does it without taking wrong meaning (ha ha ha… sometime I can’t help but pessimistic. It is difficult to follow your own medicine) of it…
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
She: Yeah, how shameful for her to do any such thing like that.
He: did you see, some funny comments by some stars about her writings in times. Especially, Anu Malik defending it.
She: of course, he must. He is the one who gets inspired by the music of the most other artists. It is very shameful.
He: Of course, it is. (smiling)
She: Why are you smiling.
He: You know I just remembered one of my professors. He wrote a book on his area of specialization, which was inspired by some other book, same way as many our Hindi movies are inspired by movies from other languages. What more funny was that he used to say that it is ok to copy as long as you acknowledge original author.
She: chalo, at least he had that much respect for the original.
He: Hmmm… yes. I also had one thought… suppose I want to write a novel in the future and if some line I write happens to match exactly from some other novel, which I never read or read years ago, would that be plagiarism too?
She: You and Novel????????? :D
He: Didn’t I say suppose?
She: Ok, Ok… But why will it match?
He: Why not? Come on… If not millions, there are at least thousands of novels get published every year and it is definitely possible that in two of those books a situation and sentence may match by coincidence.
She: Well, though it seems almost impossible, but I don’t think I can argue against that.
He: So, what do you think?
She: It might not be the case that you have done plagiarism but I guess if somebody notices it or author wants to sue you; you won’t be spared.
He: I guess so, I am filling very bad for myself. Life is unfair and unfortunately it is never unfair in favour of me:(
She: Hmmm… hey, you are acting like you have really written the novel and got sued. By the way, I think you just got inspired by Calvin and Hobbs.
He: yeah, I thought you would notice it. Hey, I just got another weird thought; what is if I copy something from an extremely good novel written in some other language and especially from a language, where rarely people read English literature. Even if somebody notices it, fat chance that they would be able to prove anything.
She: Looks like you are in a nasty mood today.
He: Not really, but thoughts on this topic are endless, especially if you happen to go through engineering or management curriculum or doing some software development, you know how important Ctrl+c, Ctrl+v and google is in our life.
She: Hey, I guess we should stop you have started going into your philosophical type discussions. He: Ok, as you say.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
I just stopped whatever I was doing and sat for around 45 minutes in the gallery enjoying the wind. Suddenly, a flurry of thoughts started coming to my mind, how nice would it be if these winds could also bring about winds of change in my life.
How wonderful it would be if one day some wind comes up and blows away all the trouble in life, alas! Fortunately or unfortunately such things never happen in life.
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Probably the most annoying question I face is, which platform do I work on? I feel like answering "hey, I don't beg like you."; I know it might sound rude, but why always assume that an engineer in an IT company must always be doing coding or testing.
Success in an IT company is measured by number of times you have been onsite, normally parents who have their children in IT company and IT people who have been onsite, will always ask this question "So, when are you going abroad?" or "How many times have you been abroad?" following with remarks like "what? not even once?", "what, you don't have chance, what work you do there?" (here they really don't want to ask me what work I do, they are just doubting the fact that I work in an IT company). It starts getting funny, when they start telling stories of how well their son or daughter were doing and how many times and how different places they have been. Now, being in an IT company I know how exactly people live there, but I still have to say yes, yes etc.
One question that always left me speechless is "what exactly is the work you do?". In fact, after my futile attempts to explain satirically my work; one of my cousins simply concluded that I don't work (well, it might be different issue that she might not be that far from reality). Being part of an IT company everyone expects me to be doing something in some programming language and I not doing anything like that just shocks them. On top of that saying something like working in research group ends up in a disaster leading to questions like, "Oh!!! so you develop some technology?" then I try to explain something related to modeling. Unfortunately nobody has yet mistaken it as modeling as in 'fashion modeling' (probably my physique is too good to believe something like that for somebody), and one who doesn't understand modeling give me the look 'what the heck is that?". I have always avoided telling something about 'systems thinking'; anticipating that might prove to be last thorn in the flesh.
Another of those dreaded question is, "So, what are your next plans?", an annoying version of the same question is, " So, when are you switching?" (for ignorants and unfamiliers, switching here means switching the jobs and the frequency with which most IT people change jobs I think you can't find more appropriate term for changing jobs by IT people) . And what is really the most fascinating is the look these quizmasters give when I say "No, I don't have any plans for switching?" and that look is nothing when I say " Well, I want to do PhD, let's see how it goes?". Except my very close friends and my family who know me very well, I haven't yet seen anybody who is familiar with IT scenario and able to digest that statement. The obvious questions follow, "what the heck, why do you want to leave field like IT which is full of money and do something like PhD, do you want to become lecturer or what?" Going into deep, just worsens the situation, so I normally stop by answering "You know, how crazy I am?" to which nobody argues, afterall I have earned this reputation by hardwork of so many years.
So, if you happen to be one of such quizmasters, please don't ask me these questions.
I guess I should be happy writing some normal stuff like this, but couldn't help keeping my desire down for writing good blogs; especially when no one seems to read my blogs.
Some other options are like writing on social issues or writing fictional stories. Writing on social issues is not an easy taks, as it always some or the other way gets related to politicians and whenever it comes to politicians, I get psyched out and feel like using lots of bad words.
Writing consistent good blogs is huge challenge, of course at this time I think I should worry about wrting good blogs then I will worry about being consistent.
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
I saw "shawshank redemption" some 2-3 days ago. It's a great movie, the way last twenty minutes change your whole perception about the movie and impression it makes is just amazing. However I don't know it was the right kind of movie for me, it teaches one to keep hopes alive and work towards it. That's exactly what I am trying to do with my work, of course I don't know how well or whether at all I am working towards my hopes. I know practically, that what I am doing is not going to help me much except on the knowledge side or my reaserch mind and one can not survive just on knowledge or thinking. Only hope is some miracle that can sore my chances of survival and spirit. And obviously I am hoping for such miracle though I don't believe in miracle.
I don't know what is that makes me believe that a miracle can happen... Is it my passion for research? or Is it my hate for the routine IT or manufacturing jobs ? or Is it my faith in my superboss? or Is it my arrogant belief in myself that I can survive in any situation? or Is it combination of all of these? Whatever it is it's amazing how I am able to survive myself before survive the world.
Reality bites and it bites hard!
Tuesday, April 18, 2006
Another thing is when you try to preach suddenly you realize that what you just preached is rewording of some saying you learnt somewhere in third or four standards. It just struck me how those ‘sayings’ I learnt out of fascination (some of them are extremely funny) hold so true in the real life. It is just amazing how the simple things conveyed through these saying can make our life much easier if we are able to follow them. Hmm… that’s the catch, ‘if’, when will this ‘if’ go out of everything?
Thursday, April 13, 2006
There is one arrangement called 'creamy-layer' certificate which stops rich OBCs to take admission through the quota. Why not make economic terms as the basis for quota rather than castes?
Lastly one of the funniest things is if you are meritorious student who is capable of getting the seat based solely on merit but belong to the caste which comes in the quota you have to take admission in the open category and not through quota. So, not just the percentage of quota but the whole system itself is completely biased against the open category. Where shall people in the open category must go? I think after some time only people who need reservation quotas; will be the open category.
For example, in Maharshtra if you born as a boy in a poor or middle class family which does not come under any of these quotas, you are extremely unfortunate. Why? for engineering colleges (and I think in all kind of degree colleges) in Maharashtra, there is total 52% reservation based on castes and 33% for women.; so you must be good enough to be in the best 15%.
At one end we want to end these caste based discrimination and at other end things like quotas made it more explicit and strengthen the discrimination.
Meanwhile greatbong has come up with post on reservation. I wonder how he can keep writing quality posts all the time?
Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Let's go back to the time, when all this started that is the time when Dr. Ambedkar suggested it though the constitution I suppose. At that time caste being a major differentiator (it might be so in some areas even today) it was very important to give these socially deprived people opportunities to better themselves and raise their level to come neck to neck with upper caste ones. But, how long opportunities should be given and is today it is relevant to discriminate based on caste?
Dr. Ambedkar himself has proposed this reservation only for a limited period and if I remember correctly this limited period was something like 7 years. Now, how then this reservation continued? The answer is probably very simple, the great caste politics which has started with the independence itself.
Let's see whether the reservation helps. To be honest with my observation reservation helps to the individuals in the reservation quota while it does not help the society. One of the reasons why reservation makes a difference is that in country like India where there are so less quality institutions and such huge talent pool, if you are above some cadre only thing you need is to get noticed and that's what happens when you are quality institution. So, if Mr. A is more intelligent and hardworking than mr. B but due to reservation Mr. B could go to some great Institute like IIT while Mr. A had to settle on normal engineering college then at least for 10 years Mr. B or even for whole life will be at much better position than Mr. B, because of getting very good first opportunity than Mr. A. On the other hand all the companies, government etc lose simple because they have a less capable person for the job than they can have because it is easy to trusts an institution than an individual. I am sure people who have gine through the struggle of engineering, medical and management admissions will see the point I am trying to make.
Now, if reservation helps people in those category, why shouldn't it be done. First at foremost because we as a society and nation is losing because of it, second it is shaking the faith of younger generation in India. What we are doing through reservation is going to create a chain of new problems, bulk of which already exist. This rediff article to some extent explains different problems coming out of it.
Also more importantly, while you can have reservation for good degree and higher education for getting good primary and secondary education you need to pay thousands of rupees of donation and thousands of rupees fees, how ridiculous is that? So basically the people who are suffering are the poor people and it has nothing to do with the caste.
"Then, would the Indian government have played games with reservations in the
complex world of jobs and educational institutions? No - it would have been
forced to invest in good quality primary and secondary education for the
poor and nipped the rhetorical use of reservations in the bud."
This is extract from a mumbai mirror article and something like gives the more sound solution than a myopic fix like reservation quotas. The article is really about something else but related to this issue perfectly.
In the end also do read this post. It gives a different way of looking at the whole issue.
Thursday, April 06, 2006
How does this act of media different from some person distributing some private photos or clips? Don't mistake me, I am not saying that it is ethical to distribute, my point is just that shouldn't we be more responsible towards media or media should be more responsible? Just because nobody could do anything to media people, do they have rights to do anything they want? Is this the way we want to shape our media?
There is something horribly going wrong with we the humans. The people distributing private photos/clips or news channels publicizing such things more than the real social issues, these are just the symptoms, the real problem is something else; it lies between the way we are, the way the global culture is developing. We are very good at blaming others, we all will conviniently blame technology or older genrations will blame young generations and so on... but we all have to change ourselves
Note: It does not mean, that the guilty should not be punished, they must be.
Monday, March 20, 2006
I am also being one of them suffering from this appraisalomnia. As I am suffering from it, I though let me write about it and let others also share it (of course, if somebody reads it).
Goal settings and appraisals is one among several dreadful procedures followed in IT industry and not just IT industry but also employees from several other industries are victim of this. Now, I know, those who always get good ratings are going red with anger, but just read on...
Basically, if you are able to set your specific targets, then since you yourself (of course, along with your boss) set them and you will be rewarded based on them, you are supposed to get motivated and perform better or at your best level. So let's analyze all the fallacies one by one.
Step 1: Setting the goals
You discuss with your boss and then with agreement of both, your boss sets goals for you for the quarter or the half year. Nice and clean you say... Let me ask, have you ever been able to follow your plans as you laid out the first time? It never happens isn't it? Mr. Murphy is one of the most powerful people in the world, and he does strike. If Murphy doesn't strike, wise people know that there are enough tricks in the bag so that your boss can set goals such that even if you outperform all your goals, you won't go much beyond 3 or at the most 4, never 5. One can see the goals and say that whether you can get 5 or not.
Step 2: Self-Assessment
I am skipping some small steps in between. After you have set your goals then end of the quarter or the half-year (well, not exactly end, just before the end, so that your boss can appraise you till the end and the reason why he has to finish appraisals just before the end is these so called fast communication IT companies need 2-3 months to process these ratings finally in order to decide compensation for employees. For a benchmark this time taken for processing is more than what thousand of papers of engineering students are checked and results are declared in Mumbai University. That should give you an idea, how fast these IT companies themselves are.)
Coming back to the main point, here the poor soul must decide what rating he would give for himself, he gives full, the boss will definitely cut it down and if he gives less, boss can say well you yourself given it how can I give you more than that? This is really important step as the comments you write must be tricky enough to justify whatever rating you give to yourself.
I guess you are understanding that things are not as simple and straight forward as they look to be.
Step 3: Ratings by the appraiser (immediate boss)
Question number 1 is are you in the good books of your boss? Well, if you are not, no matter how well you have done, you can't get a good rating. The world is fascinating, no matter what rating your boss gives you, he can always have an argument for it. Sometimes you do good work and still get 3 , he can always say " well, 3 is not a bad rating". The rating can be absolute or relative based on his convenience. This is not the only tricky part, remember you have to prove, that you have done so and so work, now depending on the goal that have been set for you (oops! sorry that have been set BY you) this can be very difficult. Come on, one of my friends have one of his goal set as based on customer appreciation, now just think how many times is customer going to appreciate you, and if he does are you going to keep log, that Mr. So and so called/written/told me that I am doing good work, and even if you keep, who is going to believe you? You can't prove intangible results, can you? but they are often part of the goals.
There are more steps, but this post is already getting too long, and anyways next steps are mostly formalities so leave it here.
Now, there are two final ticks in this trade called "Curve Fitting" and "Rationalization or Normalization" to ensure that your ratings can be scaled down even if they first look good. Curve fitting is like relative grading, so if there is some superperformer in the group and even if you do magnificent work but not as good as him, you can't get 5. All team members must be fit on the curve from 3 to 5, so if you have excellent team, all of them performing very well, don't be hopeful of good ratings. The other trick is that even if you have got 4 and on the center level depending upon the distribution of ratings, at center level your rating can be reduced (unfortunately here, it's not your boss' fault, so you can't blame him) so that compensation can be distributed well (don't ask me what does distributing well means, meaning changes accordingly)
I remember one of very senior members argued on my comments on goal setting that; so many people getting rating of 4 (that means performing better than 100%) , isn't it good? (Well, first thing, if that is the scenario, our company must be super-effcient and benchmark for productivity, but it, in fact scores less in productivity compared to some of the similar companies. So, there must be something terribly wrong with the system, isn't it. It shows that we are super-efficient, but reality is something else)
Conclusion: Percentage of people getting demotivated exceeds many times the people who get motivated. Hence the system results in exactly opposite behaviour to what it supposed to do. so the system sucks and ...........
(Ha ha ha ha, for these two lines, I told you the whole story)
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Just now, I read a forward giving message " don't look for people you love... Look for people who love you"
Love does not just mean the boy and girl love, includes family, friends also.
However the boy and girl love (the other combinations are also implied, so don't get offended if you belong to them) is the hot discussion everywhere (it always is, whole of Bollywood and Hollywood runs on it) and let's just continue with it.
Well, can you really predict that so and so will fall in love with so and so, impossible! isn't it?
Well, I am so stupid that I can not understand what exactly this love is what but at the same time I am not stupid enough to call physical attraction as love. However, if you are great fan of hollywood and bollywood movies it might prove to be very hard to argue against the fact that in many cases(well! I am just being diplomatic or rather politically correct) physical attraction is trigger to this so called love.
In most situations (which I have seen), it starts when the two characters of the story meet each other for some or the other reason and then start talking with each other and they first like each other's talk (my god! I just discovered the first road block in my love journey or rather why I don't have any girlfriend, I am very poor in conversational skills). And, then they start meeting each other often and realise that they like each other's presence (most often they get blinded and not able to see each other's annoying habits which afterwards becomes huge problem) and then they realise that they love each other. Now, the trick here is that what causes this realisation that I love her and things like that. Well, to be honest, I am clueless, do you know it?
I have one friend who exactly like me had opinions about love and used to ridicule things like love at first sight (Well, I ridicule it even today) and then hopelessly fell in love with a girl.
So, again what does it mean? Does it mean that when you get emotionally very close to someone, you have fallen in love?
Anyway, is there anything called true love, isn't it just a moment when we decide to commit ourselves emotionally, physically,.... to someone for life?
When the relationships break, was there any love between the two or love is just flexible enough :) to change over time?
I am not trying to give any answers, I don't know any.
Well, just when I thought I will finish this blog, I remembered one observation. There is one peculiar thing that people who go to some other country where similar people are much less, they normally fall in love or commit to marriage easier. In fact, the friend, I mentioned few paragraphs ago, fell in love with the girl in foreign country. So is the loneliness (or emptiness, which I use to term extreme loneliness) one of the factors here? Is it that when you are away from your family or people you love or you don't have anyone who loves you; you start looking for someone who will and when you see a possibility you fall in love?
I guess my thoughts are too random, but I guess that's the way they should be.
congratulations! if you are reading upto this very last line.
Well, being Objective thinker does not automatically make me an Objective decision maker but what the heck! If an objective thinker struggles to be an objective decision maker, what does that supposed to mean?
However the description given by the website includes 'Objective Thinkers often combine intuitive information with the facts they have gathered'; so I guess that explains some part of it.
Tuesday, March 14, 2006
Its 3 PM and only thing I can clearly think of is an hour of sleep. Instead of writing documents to support my self-assessment ratings, I am reading book for my work. Though reading book might be more important from work point of view, writing documents is more important from apppraisl point of view, on which depends my performance pay.
Oh! heck! life is full of unfair tradeoffs....
Monday, March 13, 2006
Think of it carefully... Isn't it true; most times answer is ready with us; it just comes out of our mind and afterwards, we try to defend it by giving some nice logic or theory. This is especially evident when the decision is somehow relating to the people we already know. If somebody we don't like make a very valid point,most times we would find an excuse why that something won't work and go ahead. Though this is just an obvious example, most of our life is full of such kind of non-obvious decisions.
I don't know, how to analyze further on this isssue. It is just nearly impossible. I have just put it from my own experience and my observations of people around me.
One of the great persons in formalizing thinking and inventor of 'lateral thinking' Mr. Edward DeBono has included emotions a red hat in his methodology 'six hats thinking' for the exact same reason.
There is something called "emotional intelligence" which is supposed to help us in life, but I don't know. I confess I have never really read about it but I just be another nice theory. For me, I always think that being conscious about something is more important than reading theory. You read theory and forget it but if you are conscious about something it remains at the back of your mind and after some time becomes part of your emotions.
Wednesday, March 08, 2006
I guess too much on my plate to worry about... I hope my life also doesn't get mixed up. I have to look forward to complete all the four blogs pretty soon....
Monday, March 06, 2006
Great! so many topics to write about let's see how it goes!
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Girl1: (refering to the quiet guy) he is so quiet, yaar!
Girl2: yeah he is.
Quiet Guy: (Oops!, what do I do, I am not really that quiet, oh! may be I am but then it is not considered good, and then insanity strikes him) Well, I have to be quiet sometimes..
[all the group gets stunned, some guys smile quietly, Girl1 is absoultely speechless, but manages to say...]
Girl1: ?????????? No Comments!
Quiet guy: (well, what the heck did I say? How idiot I am?)
Some more episodes to follow later....
Fortunately have some training tommorrow, so I can officially bunk my work. Corporate trainigs are opportunities where professionals pretend to learn; ask qustions more relating to their experience than the training and then go back to work and repeat the same mistakes.
Ofcourse, you can't blame the professional really. You ask me why? If it is a management type workshop it will claim to be the best way to solve the problems, and since all the participants gone through various trainings of best ways, they get confused that which methodology is really the best, so they don't apply any one of them. Well, come on they have to take some trainings, otherwise how will they complete their targets for the appraisals.
Time to go and complete my targets....
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
What is that we look for in our life? Happiness?
What is this thing called happiness after all?
What happens when I am happy? Does my life stop? Whatever work I do is towards happiness, so if I am happy do I stop working?
Well, I know, all these silly questions I am asking. But all of these coming in to my mind due to the current two opposite side stretching of my life . One side is my interest which is not paying off and not even able to nurture it properly and other side something called money (generally regarded as success, by most people) or rather than money career prospects. For me money, is not success. Money has never been objective function for me, but because of it being necessary evil, it is definitely a constraint.
What is happiness after all?
Is it getting whatever you want? or is it able to do things you want to do? It means different things for different people, some people want to have latest gadgets, some want to walk on beaches, some enjoy hill-stations. Everybody, is so different. The most interesting thing is that for most normal people, money is only the means to the destinations, but everyone ends up caring more about the means than the destination itself. It rather seems all about; what one wants to do rather than one wants to achieve. Well, I am going round and round and still not able to find out what exactly it means. More and higher the wishes one has, less likely it is to be happy for him. It sounds little bit stupid, but definitely not anything abnormal. I think it is a perfect possibility, that an extremely successful CEO of a big conglomerate is an extremely unhappy guy and on the other hand one of the sweepers in his company is a very happy person.
Then, why do we run behind all these things?
Well, I guess I should stop here, let some philosophical guru think about it, I am just an ordinary guy. Let me do my own work, make my work interesting, get some money to survive, go out with friends, spend some time with family, and... (oops!, the line is already getting to long)
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
It was close to a horrible experience, all the students wore the same bored looks on their faces, which I used to for so may teacher and professors of mine. I had some consolation, when finally 2-3 students asked some questions, and at least to some extent I could answer them. I was wondering what they could be doing, remembering me as as student....
Were they counting number of times I pronounced some word?
or they saying in their mind, "kya bore mar raha hai yaar, kab band karega yeh lecture?" (how boring the lecture is? When is it going to finish?)?
were they drawing some wonderful or funny drawing on their notebooks?
Fortunately nobody threw chalks or paper planes, probably out of respect for my boss, who normally takes the lectures....
When I remembered all this, well I myself had a good laugh at it, and have to agree teaching is really an art. I really cherish memories of some professors, who taught me so well, today I can even argue with tremendously more experienced people on those topics....
It is funny how things fire back on you...
It was a nice experience overall, something I will remember for quite a long time and I hope soon I will be able to do well in this art of teaching.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
I have lots of things to share.
Today, was something weird, I hope it finishes soon.
started morning at 5.30 with my roommate telling me that, he had some accident yesterday and his foot is paining a lot.... I went with him to hospital and surprisingly things moved with good pace, with x-ray being ready within half an hour we entered the hospital. Well, but that's it, things came to a halt here, the general practitioner could not tell whether it is hairline fracture or not, he could just say that it is not major fracture. We have to wait till 10.00 for the orthopedic doctor, fortunately for my roomie it's not hairline fracture but still its bad ligament tear and he has to rest for three weeks.
I came to office late and saw that all big people of my group having meeting, my heartbeat missed, knowing yesterday only I expressed some concernes about my work to my superboss. Well, to my relief my superboss has actually done some good things for me in the meeting, and I am saved from being pushed into another work which I am not keen on doing....
Then well I started the day with the way any IT guy starts, you guessed it right!! that is checking mails. I found the Gmail chat has been activated and one of my friend is online, so I started chatting with him (I hope my boss doesn't read this), and he told me that yesterday he was chatting with one of my seniors at IIT and that senior was wondering why I am wasting my career doing general research in an IT company (Research in Indian IT company? that too by a fresh non-CS, post graduate, that's weird, but that's what I do) on a meager salary (heck! What I do is pretty much most people in my group except the tools team do, and I am the lowest salary getter, me the poor soul!). Well, if you know Hindi, this discussion with my friend was exactly "Jale par namak chhidakana".
Well, that's it till now, I hope the rest of the day goes well. And, if you think this day was not at all weird, well let me tell you I was actually going to write philosophical blog ( :) he he! I am enjoying philosophy these days) and ended up writing this.
I hope someday I write good blogs...
Friday, February 03, 2006
I want to write, not because I am good at it, not because I can write funny but to relax myself of my emotions on various things.
I am really impressed with the numerous blogs I read and thought why don't I try myself, sometimes I also think some good stuff :)
Not a good time to blog, just finished my work in the office. (Well, it's pretty hard to agree, but let's assume it to be true for the time being) Like my personality, my work also has some contradictory aspects. I try to research with the world of coders, testers, etc. etc.
Hope to have a good time blogging.....