Mother Teresa’s sad demise and the blasting music from ‘SomePlace Else’
The Park made a hell lot of money during Mother Teresa’s death – since all reporters and journalists put up at The Park as it was closer to her residence / orphanage.
There was this Mr. Charles Hackworth from the Christian Society – he had become very pally with me – he took my snaps and showed me the pictures of his Grandson, daughter, wife etc. He even presented me The Holy Bible.
One day he came up to the Business Centre and said –Madam , your Hotel Management has no sense or what? – the funeral procession of The Mother is passing by and the entire state ..rather World mourns the death of Mother Teresa and the discotheque is playing loud rock music !!Thats an utterly shameless gesture I must say !!
I quickly went down – he even followed me – and I approached a Front Office Executive and told him that we must stop this loud music. To this he told me thusly :
Whats your salary Aparna?
Rs.3000/- – I said.
Oh! In that case tell the “SomePlaceElse” Manager that you will work for the next 4 months without pay – since in the morning hours this department makes around Rs. 12,000/- – so…will it be okay for you (voice full of acidic sarcasm)
Of course not – I said.
Bye.- was his crisp reply.
Mr. Hackworth was watching all this from behind – he also understood that I tried but without success – he then told me : oh! Its Okay Aparna – if the Management does not understand this – what can a puny little you do – well it’s the same story everywhere so do not bother about this anymore.
I worked at the PR Department
A new Lady had joined the PR Department – she was a nice Lady – some 3 years younger to me – I had told her about the Somnath affair – she was pretty amazed by hearing that!
Mr. Dewaan told her to make a Profit & Loss statement for any event that takes place – so that they come to know whether all this is worthwhile or not.
Just then there was this Strawberry Event – so she asked me to make the statement.
Since I was pally with all the Departments so I took the minutest detail of what happened , where , how – in each department regarding the Event and made the Statement.
The Profit was marginal but then Mr. Dewan quite appreciated it. When he entered to appreciate the PR Executive – she pointed towards me and said – its all her job – and he gave me an encouraging look.
Later I came back to the HR Dept. and the previous PR Executive – some Ms. Deepa – rejoined here at Kolkata The Park after having had a futile try for her marriage at Mumbai. In the mean time the PR Exec. I was working with – left with a huff (I still do not know the reason why !).
Then I heard from Madhumita (Asst. PR Executive) that she had torn apart the report to pieces as she felt it was a waste of time and energy !! Strange things happen here – I wondered – The Vice President’s suggestion is torn apart by a puny PR Executive !!
Trainer Mr. Arunesh Maiyer’s suggestions and the reactions:
Mr. Maiyer was a Trainer (Attitude Correction and what is expected from Corporate Executives etc.) – he is the one who taught us things like :
Not to wear danglers as its very irritating to the customer!
Not to say “have a seat’ or ‘take a seat’ as both the phrases are wrong but say – ‘please be seated’
To call everyone around by their first name !!…even your boss. So this was instantly tried out by the secretary of the PR Department – and gosh! What a reaction it was !! The PR Executive screamed her head off saying things like being non-respectful and blah-blah !!We all had a good laugh about it – saying Arunesh proposes, PR Disposes !!
A letter should be properly aligned and centered as it speaks of the Company you are working for.
A behenji kind of girl falls for the charms of a sahaab
There was another girl I was very pally with – I will not write her name as it will be unfair of me. This girl was a simple Marwari girl – very smiling and warm Restaurant Hostess – very slim but okay to look at.
She fell for this 6 feet tall,hefty – good looking (for her standards) fellow – me and another of my friend Kamolini – often told her that she is not his kind and nor is he her kind but she continued to give him love-lorn looks – He – I believe – gave in !!- much to our surprise !!
There was a vast change in her once he accepted her proposal. You see we all used to change in a Ladies common room and I used to see her undies – torn and faded – not much bothered about the undergarments ie.
One day while changing Kamolini nudged me and said – watch her undies – they were shiny white and lacy. I asked her suddenly (much to Kamolini’s disapproval) about the transition in her ‘chaddies and baniyan’ (undergarments) – she started telling me that she has caught hold of a lady who tailors undies and so the body looks more shapely since it is tailored to ones own shape – and even offered to give me her address !
Later when she left – another friend asked me what I understood of the entire scenario – I said she has become conscious of herself ! To this she called me a ‘daft and dumb’ and said that when a girl takes extra care of her undies – it means she is going the ‘extra mile’ with her boyfriend !!
This came to me as a shock !! This Behenji – you mean gives access to her private parts as well I wondered ! I was totally taken aback by this revelation !
Anyways after I left The Park – I heard that they had broken off and that she had tried to commit suicide by having Rat Poison !! Gosh! Why don’t people fall in love in their own category and avoid such stupid steps !! He – I believe , had fallen for the charms of a new comer who was a devastating looking ‘bomb shell’ and kinda ‘game’ too…! Well – why not !?
A good looking but foolish Bengali (who else) fellow chose a rotten tomato as his wife
Yet another case I saw – this time the opposite happened – a more or less decent , good looking – slim & tall Bengali fellow fell for a sexy looking, smoker, alcoholic, sleeping around kinda girl !She was dark and sensual to look at – actually and she was even caught doing a quickie session with the same fellow – they tied the knot.
After leaving The Park – I happened to meet one of my colleagues and while generally exchanging news – she said that their marriage fell apart as she was non – adjusting ! – so foolish these men are I tell you ! once a woman /man gets the taste of ‘variety entertainment’ – would he/ she like to remain tied down for long !?
Another amazing case here was of another good looking Bengali Brahmin fellow – who had fallen in love with a ‘sweepress’ looking girl – well I found her very dark and ugly !
She left him because she found him very boring and utterly unromantic as he tried to introduce her to intellectual topics of discussions !! How men are such stupids I really fail to understand !! Her very looks were of the kinds who wants to ‘have sex’ all the 24 hours of the day…and he tried to teach her literature !!
A non-veg joke episode
One day a Front Office Lady Executive asked me “you know whats the height of laziness?”
What ? I said.
We were all in the EDR and there were men also who were listening to the joke.
She replied : a man waiting for an earthquake for a shake!
Well honestly folks – I didn’t understand what ‘shake’ meant – so when all others smiled slyly – I asked ‘What is the meaning of shake?’
The entire EDR burst out laughing and the Lady who told me the joke said “really Aparna – I take an oath today never to tell you a joke’ – she later told me what it meant and I was shocked at the fact that how she could say such a joke in presence of males !!
The ‘lust state’ spread like wild fire.
In a certain department , a certain lady employee had bent down and was doing the ‘needful’ for her boss during late office hours when no one was around. BUT – the waiter saw just the glimpse of it…and by morning it spread like forest fire.
Later she was having chicken in the EDR – and other men were commenting – pray what is she sucking now….?such utterly disgusting is their life style – its worst than Page 3 personalities I think – at least the Page 3 people have no qualms about telling it around but these hypocrites are horrible I must say !!
Regional Manager (HR) – Promotional treat at The Grand Oberoi
Mrs Das was promoted to the rank of Regional Manager so she took us all at the Oberoi Grand for a treat.
Well, it so happened that we often used to go the Peeping Restaurant for Chinese Food and used to share the Bill amongst ourselves (not with the Department Head ofcourse).
So when we all returned from the Grand, Rahul , one of the mischievious HR Executives, told me that each one of us will have to pay Rs.100/ to Madam as the bill came to around Rs.1100/-.
I was a bit surprised – but the seriousness on Rahul’s face seemed genuine – so I took the money and searched a while for a blank envelop (as I could not give it in Office Envelop) and approached Mrs. Das with the money.
She looked at me surprised and then looking behind me – she smiled and said “Rahul, don’t bully Aparna like that” – Rahul had made this plan to make fun at my expense !! It was really an embarrassing moment for me !
Rahul had the database of all ‘lochas’ going around The Park
One day Rahul was telling me ‘who is going around with whom’ – & ‘who proposed who’ – ‘who slept & left’, ‘who slept and tied the knot’ etc. when I suddenly asked him – ‘Rahul – no one shows any interest in me – no one wants to go around with me.. has anyone asked for me?’
To this he had said that people (boys /men) think that I am raving mad and moreover since I have direct access to Mrs. Das and spend all the time in her cabin so people are afraid to approach me!
Mrs. Das let me watch ‘Sholay’ at EDR
The fact that people used to call me the blue eyed girl of Mrs. Das were’nt wrong afterall as one day while having lunch – the movie ‘Sholay’ was being shown – I finished lunch – washed my hands – came back to the EDR and continued watching Sholay – gradually the entire EDR was more or less empty and people had resumed working but I kept on watching the movie (which I had seen some several times before) – Mrs. Das just came in once and said “Oh! Surely Sholay is ever new, ever green – look at Aparna – she cannot take her eyes off the screen!’
Later, many others told me that since I am Her pet – I can get away with anything!!…but then I think I had won her heart by completing her tasks before time – so she let me watch the movie….
My experiences with the Advertising Agency –Ogilvy & Matther (O&M)
After I had finished editing the HR Manual in MS Office, people from an ace Advertising agency were called and given the brief of what has to be done & how.
The entire discussion took place in front of me and they said that the entire thing has to be done in Pagemaker and .doc file is not good enough for printing in large scale purposes.
So they were given the font type, size etc. according to the Corporate manual.
This guy – the Executive representing O&M gave the minutes of discussion via couriers saying things like according to discussion the Head of the page will have :
Font type : Garamond and size :14 and the sub heading will have….all that blah-.
Well I was impressed ! So many records are being maintained – so impeccable is their system of Client Handling…..but my appreciation was short lived – he came in with the first printout – All wrong – the print out was looking worse than the Word document ! two topics on the same page – ridiculously placed sub heads and heads – ALL WRONG!
I rejected it myself. I lost my cool on seeing that and if it had reached Mrs. Das , she would have had the entire O&M team thrown out of the system! Later that evening Mrs. Das came and asked me whether the Agency fellows had came or not – I told her that I have sent them for re-editing – she looked at me with a bit of a surprise – kind of ‘who gave me the authority’ but then I told her if she had seen it – her blood would have boiled to some 500 degrees Fahrenheit !Actually I knew her ‘eye for detail’ and the kind of a perfectionist she was – I had been handling the Project till that time.
The second time he came again – AGAIN the same errors !! This time I showed it to Mrs. Das She was shocked beyond limits. She first had a row with the PR Department for keeping such utterly dumb Advertising Agency and recommending her the same.
She blasted the fellow and asked him to make the corrections. He went back – did not forget – by the way – to sent the client discussion minutes – I filed it as usual . He came again – with the mistakes INTACT !
This was the last straw – Mrs. Das wanted to throw them all out – but the first installment had already been paid. She then asked to bring the person working on PageMaker to her office and that she will load the software on her machine and make the corrections seated right in front of him.
He came with the person. A short, thin dark looking fellow – could not speak a word of English – had barely managed to pass 8th standard – and he was the one who had been doing our work till now!! NO wonder !! We both (madam & me exchanged glances)!!
This guy was a local computer operator- who knew PageMaker – but that’s all! So obviously he did not know the difference between heading and sub heading – all that he was doing was – making a margin – giving a sub-heading and cut-pasting from the word document !
I sat in Mrs. Das’s cabin with him – he began from scratch – I corrected each and every head , sub heading – I knew the pages by heart by now – after all I had been on it for the last 4-5 months !
So generally I got talking with this fellow – asked him how much must he be earning in his local Computer Centre doing DTP – he said a minimum of 8000 to 9000/- per month ! This came to me as a shock ! This 8th class failed fella is drawing more than me !!I saw the ease with which he was making different designs in PageMaker and I found it pretty easy too – unlike the logic, stacking and arrays and pointers of Programming ! I even tried to learn a little bit of PageMaker but the guy was hesitant in teaching me the software saying that I might grab away his USP!….it was during this time in fact that seeds of ‘Multimedia as a cushy job’ was sown on my mind !One just has to sit in an AC room – no going around in the sun as in Marketing – no making photocopies and typing letters and booking tickets like a dumb secretary – just design a concept and sell – good !
Well ultimately – somehow after 14-20 more days of slogging after the PageMaker software – it was decided that only 10-12 HR Manuals will be printed as of now since only the HR & Administrative Department Heads of The Park chain of hotels will be given the Manual – therefore :
No large scale printing required
No Binding or spiraling required
What was required was taking plain printouts – punch it and file it in the usual manner!! So ultimately the print outs were taken in the Hotel itself – our Printer ; our ink – the PageMaker scenario need’nt have come in the first place as such printouts could have been taken out through Word document itself – (deep sigh!) – well I had a cushy job of sitting Inhouse and editing the HR Manual – sitting in an AC environment – getting sumptuous meals , occasional tea , coffee, lime juice…what else could I have asked for ……
I was offered the position of a Time Keeper
I was completing one year at the Park as I had to do so for getting the Professional Practice Certificate from NIIT.
In fact I had stuck on to The Park for this reason only as the job here that was given to me was that of a ‘Peon’ – well that’s what I felt – but then I had heard cases of people sitting at home for 8-10 months waiting for a PP call – and well that would have been nightmarish for me ! So I thought that at least I should get my PP certificate from here since around 1 lakh of my retired father’s money had already been spent on this.
But then I was in two minds – I thought that if Park really offers me a good designation then I might as well stay back – I had ‘Training Manager’ position on mind where I would train the new comers on grooming and attitude correction etc. as taught by Mr. Arunesh Maiyar – and I felt that I was good at it.
But unfortunately there was a Training Manager already working and who was from the Hotel Management background. So at most I could get the position of Asst. to Training Manager whose job is to distribute Function Sheet to various department Employees – well I was too educated for that dumb job I thought – (was I not right?).
Moreover the new recruits – much younger to me were getting on my nerves – I had address them as madams – gosh! Such utterly dumb they were and I could not tolerate their mannerisms and ‘slut syndrome’ – I was speedily losing interest and the bomb shell arrived – I was offered the position of a ‘Time Keeper’ – the same position which was till date handled by a ‘8th class failed’ fellow !! – the job demanded my swiping in the card – as and when people will arrive and leave – which also meant dealing with Security Personnel , F& B Assistants, Housekeeping Assistants…and their kinds…smiling and generally being pally with them – not a welcome thought at all!!
Gosh! This is what The Park understood of my capabilities !! Amazing ! Well I immediately decided to leave – it was a boon for me in fact – this ‘bolt from the blue’ had to hit me or else I would have continued like a fool at The Park as a shuttle cock – a filler : whenever someone from any Department was absent – I was sent there ! Jokingly I used to call myself ‘The Omnipresent’.. little did I know that it will be so……..
I left The Park in March 1998 and decided to join some Multimedia Institute. I read in a newspaper about a local Computer institute (CFAC) teaching Multimedia. I rang up the number and was asked to come down at an office in Chowringhee area.
An interview with Pepsi
While at The Park when I was speedily losing interest I went for an interview at the Pepsi Office in Park Street. It was a cold looking, dark & damp office and people around were wearing uniforms like the ones seen in Jails ! I disliked the idea instantly !
Anyways they said that they will shift to Sonarpur which is some 1 million miles away from New Barrackpore ! But then , since they were rich people, I was given the understanding that they pay around 16 – 15 thousand to their secretary. SO I thought that why not give it a try – with so much money , I can use my car (we hadn’t sold our car then).
A strange Dream :
That night I had a strange dream. I saw Somnath as a bus conductor and he is asking me whether I want to climb the bus or not. I asked where it was going – to this he said ‘Sonarpur’ – I said ‘No’. He climbed up and left with the bus. The next morning I knew I will not get the job at Pepsi – and I did not get it also !