Author – Sharmila Devi

Indian-Working-woman
Image – fumigraphik

When I look back into my yesteryears, as a fresher, struggling for a job, lacking knowledge about MNCs, I remember it was from a friend that I came to know about a reputed firm which had started its operation in Chennai. I’m a Chennaite, but I have never visited the ECR nor travelled in an MRTS train beyond a certain point. The interview was scheduled in one of the topmost IT Parks and confirming the routes with my sister, I managed to reach the railway station. The moment I alighted, I was petrified as the place turned out to be modern and professional. I  rang up another friend immediately to enquire about the location , but all that he told me was to turn right and I would find a green building.

Hurray!!! I saw a green building and also a watchman. Entering, I saw a wall separating the watchman and the green building. I stood like an idiot and asked him    how to enter the green building. He responded that it’s the next building..

As instructed by the watchman, I finally spotted the building and also a big queue. The laptops and lunch bags of those in line were being scanned by the security. At that point of time, I was unaware of their being  Security guards, because until then anyone who stood at the door was a watchman and all the ladies who did cleaning jobs were “aiyamas”; “House keeping”, was a new word added to my dictionary. As I joined the queue, the security asked me to display my ID card. Handing over my college ID, he understood that I was a fresher and had come for an interview. He asked me to enter a few details for him on the computer, in order to issue a gate pass. I felt agitated as I was already late for my interview.

The auto-sensor doors welcomed me. The doors were closed and I started searching for a door knob to open and later waited for someone with a valid ID. Fortunately, a girl passed by and I followed her. To my surprise the doors opened automatically without her pushing or pulling, I stood awestruck like a baby, finding everything curious. Next was the access door near the lift. All my life I knew that there is something called an ID card and I have also heard my sister saying terms like “Access card” but I didn’t know that it should be  used to open doors. I tried to barge in at the access point and the beeping sound attracted the security. I could only mutter “I have come for an interview “. Immediately a visitor’s pass was issued and a security guard accompanied me till the main door of the Company.

Completely shaken by all the things that happened, I sat in the reception area, where the temperature was about 16o Celsius. I’m a weak person who is prone to colds and immediate headaches when the temperature is low. I had to use the washroom immediately, due to the chillness that prevailed. The receptionist swiped her access card and directed me towards a board with the bold letters “Restroom” on it. Nearing the board I was perplexed to see images on the door. Both the pictures looked similar and I thought to myself why can’t they use the words MEN and WOMEN instead of pictures? Washing my hands after using the toilet, I stood baffled on how to use the tissue roller. Everything was new to me. As I stood there  trying to pull  hard,  a girl with a smiling face helped me  tear the tissue, She   must have realised  that I’m a fresher, ignorant of using the roller. Next I tried to imitate her, to use  the blower  but it was in vain After trying  repeatedly,  I succeeded at one point, feeling warm after all the quivering.

Bewildered, I hurried back to the reception, only to be noticed by the interviewer who had a pleasing smile and who enquired whether I was alright. He passed on a water bottle and requested me to drink some water and relax for a while; then he left the room so that I could calm down. I gathered up all my strength in those five precious minutes and gave my best in the interview. I wasn’t up to the mark in terms of confidence, so I had my doubts on being selected. Fortunately, the interviewer, my manager, was a life saver. Without him, my life would not have seen such a drastic change.

On the way back home, thoughts were haunting me, of having been so primitive. Only upon reaching home, did I breath normally and I had a hearty laugh sharing the incidents with my sister. Today, when I watch little kids walking in malls through sensor doors and using toilets with ease, I gape at them in awe.

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