After a couple of weeks of contemplation, I resigned from my job. It wasn't an end of anything, nor was it a new beginning. As usual I was in the cafe, browsing and checking mails. There was a mail from Vanila, Kochi. They were looking for some one like me, and asked me to appear for online exam. Good, I made a quick search and got no results for sample questions. Less than an hour, done! I signed off and left the cafe.
I got a call next day, I was asked to appear for an interview at Infopark Campus. Cool, I was happy. I had gone there once when I was a student, I caught an auto from Kakkanad to Vanila, opened the door, and seated in a big cushioned chair. A man with a thick beard came out from the cabin I was sitting square with and called me . Just a face to face interview, he asked why I left last employer and so and so questions. Once it seemed over, he said,
"You have to appear for another test here"
"Okay", I said, obviously they don't know who wrote it in the cafe.
I had a similar online test with few questions repeating. A smart young girl, looked she belong to HR dept. asked me to wait, I took the same chair where I've been. In a while, she opened the door and called 'Pman..?'
"Yeah..", I nodded.
I walked in, tensed a little, "You have an online technical round of interview, from T'puram", she directed me to a computer, yahoo messenger window was kept opened, I seated and saw the last guy was stopped with 'Have a nice time'. I begun with 'Hi, Pman here'. I think I said almost everything correctly. After I finished the test I had to wait again. Back in the same seat. The same girl called me to a cabin, she said.
"You're selected, you have to join coming Monday."
"Okay", I said.
"You have two options, you can join here, or T'puram."
"I prefer technopark", I said, the reason behind this was, my friends at T'puram play football every morning.
"Fine", she gave me some documents "You have to report there at 8:30 in the morning, next Monday."
"Okay", I collected the papers, said Thanks and left.
I called my friends, left for T'puram, joined them on Sunday. Everything is fine, its Monday morning now. I reached the office in time. Nobody was there to receive me, I saw some people inside. There were a few chairs in the reception, it was a cabin with no receptionist. After around half an hour I called the number I had. I forgot his name. He answered the call, I briefed I was asked to join here today.
"Okay, Can you just come to office at 10..?", he asked.
"I'm already here", I replied.
"Oh, I see.. Pman, just go and have your break fast, I'll get there in half an hour", he said.
"Okay", I hung up. That was the only thing I had to say, I already had break fast, so walked out to kill half an hour more. Around one hour passed, One person looked like a manager rushed in, I was in the chair. He spoke with someone and another guy called me inside. They created the basic necessary things for me.
I remember the HR lady called me and confirmed something, like address and so. I handed over the documents I had from, Kochi. Another person looked the senior most techie and his looks says he want to leave his 20's, assigned me another test. Let me call him Mr. TL. The same online test I already had twice! I was getting tired of these tests.
We had to discus something as every company has about their policies, quality assurance and so and so things. I had a nice run-through. First day is over. They didn't tell me anything about free transportation I was offered, I thought to ask the manager. I knocked opened the door, "May I come in?."
A couple of seconds later, he looked at me, "You can stay out or come in", he frowned. I got in and closed the door.
"Sir, I was offered with a free transportation, would like to know about that", I said.
"Yes, we provide free transportation, where are you staying?" he asked.
"Around one kilometer, this side, I'm staying with my friends", I was very new to T'puram, I pointed my finger that side.
"Okay, so you have to shift to somewhere X, Y, Z... because we don't have transportation to your side."
"I'm staying with my friends here, it will be great if I'd be able to get transportation..", I lowered my sound.
"Most of our employees are on this way and we can't give you transportation to your side, it will be okay if you want to shift to somewhere here", plain expression. I lost my hopes.
"Alright, let me see if I could... Thank you", I turned around and walked out. I spoke with Mr. TL, he said someone is coming from that area, he has a bike. My shift from tomorrow on was from 0600hrs to 1400hrs. I killed my dreams of having a free transportation.
Next day Mr. TL came to me and asked to do something, that was the same thing we always begun with any tutorial in the college days! I downloaded one of the strongest 'framework' I know and started my work. I started on it. It was cool that some guys called me when they left for lunch. I joined them. We were going to a restaurant outside the park, somebody burst jokes and laughed out. Quite sociable guys, they were friendly. We talked about past employers, technologies etc. One guy asked how much I was offered. He was surprised upon my answer and asked 'really?', like that was a bigger sum. It really was not.
That afternoon, Mr TL approached me, 'come' he said.
"You have to take one more test, okay?" he said while leaning over a computer.
"Okay.. what test is it?"
"Same as the previous one", he said. I was totally bored of the frequent tests, that I had no idea why. Somehow I finished it and moved back to my PC. Phewww...!!
That week passed, I was about to finish my work. It was just another morning when I came office, the HR lady called me to a small conference room. I noticed she had some papers in her hand. "How is your work going?", she asked.
"Its going fine.. about to finish", I said.
"Okay, hmm.. something is not fine.." she was smiling, though.
"regarding?" I was a little skeptical.
"Your work" she continued, "you are not performing good, up to our expectation."
"Yeah, I wasn't working a couple of weeks now, and my work is about to finish by today.." I kept myself cool.
"See.. its bit serious," the smile on her face has gone somewhere, "Wait, I'll be back." she left the room and came back with the manager. I was bewildered.
The manager asked me something, totally worthless to listen. He told me I used somebody's code which means I wasn't able to do it by myself. He was right, I used a very simple 'framework'. He was also boastful about they could track everything I did! Who doesn't know that? I doubt he ever had a computer engineering degree. I tried to explain to him and the the HR lady. I was hopeless because they already had the documents in their hands. All my efforts went in vein. I collected the documents, one of them titles 'THE LETTER OF TERMINATION'. I left the cabin.
I had to leave, I was confused what to do. I informed Mr.TL that I was terminated. I paused at door, took a deep breathe. Sigh.. I was telling to myself what the manger told me - "Nobody ever written the test like you did in the first. Comparing with the later one, they are miles apart" - with raised eyebrows. Some of the questions were confusing in the later test, but I did not report the ambiguity. There was something positive in what he said - fair enough! I walked out.
Everything is fine.
Disclaimer: All characters, corporates, organizations and places appearing in this post are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
I choose this title after Kaavya Viswanathan's debut work 'How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life'. I remembered the title, as everything happened all of a sudden, like her book pulled back and set on fire.