Insight

**Tere mere saath ki ghariyan jeevan mein sabse badi hain (the moments we’ve spent together are my biggest treasure)

Tum hanste ho to lagta hai, saamne khushiyan khadi hain! (whenever you smile, I feel as if this is where my happiness lies)

These lines have been playing in a loop in my mind from the past many days, maybe from the day I had actually heard them. So much so that I have actually been singing them non-stop each time I sing to Pari or hum while working out.

Though something happened very recently that actually made me reflect on these lines with a clearer mind and it brought a sunshine smile to my agitated self.

In the scorching heat with mercury soaring to intolerable temperatures right from eight in the morning, life has become pretty difficult with regular power cuts. I was busy getting Pari ready after breakfast when mum spotted an advertisement that mentioned a walk-in interview. The position sounded just right for me and we decided to give it a shot.

I had only fifteen minutes to shower, get ready and rush to the venue if I wanted to give the opportunity a try. I have faced many interviews in the past and surprisingly, I was not in the least panicked or nervous even though I had no time to get myself prepared for the possible questions.

While getting ready I made up my mind to face the situation for sake of experience, to get a feel of the prevalent work culture (for I have never worked in the my home town and I was pretty sure that the experience would be world apart from what I have been used to in the past many years).

Finally, I faced the interview. All was going OK, till the moment came to explain to me what would be expected of me to do. Though it entailed quite regular sounding profit-motivated efficient work requirements, but they slyly held deeper meanings to the kind of practice I was needed to do. I wanted to question back, but decided otherwise for I would always have the power to turn down their offer if things didn’t suit me.

Just then, I was randomly questioned whether I had any children. The mere mention of me being a mother of a ten month old was enough to make the interviewer give me a look that clearly read that my interview was over. They weren’t keen on anything more (including my work-experience) beyond that point.

After a few hasty irrelevant questions in the following thirty seconds I was asked to leave with the assurance that I will hear from them soon.

I didn’t lose anything in the whole experience but definitely gained insight about a lot of things.

I am pretty sure I won’t be hearing from the organisation anytime in the recent future. The vibes of restlessness from the fact, that I was openly being discriminated (for I have actually worked in fairer work-forces over the years) did hurt me, but I still hold no regrets for I did learn a thing or two from this bitter first hand experience.

The whole point of discussion (in my family) following my interview wasn’t the discriminatory attitude but something bigger and graver. The organisation ( a private institution) wasn’t looking for someone on the basis of their work experience or educational qualifications, but someone who was ready to work ruthlessly to earn them maximum profit. Before you jump on to say there’s nothing wrong in it, let me add it involved absolute unethical practice something which my conscience wouldn’t allow me to indulge in, no-matter what may come.

In other words, being discriminated saved me the effort of turning down any possible offers if they were (are) made to me. I understand I need to work. I totally agree to the need for me to step out of the house not only for financial reasons but also for my own emotional well-being. But, unethical practice is something I am not ready to do no-matter how lucrative the offer is. I sincerely hope to stick to this resolve forever.

In short, this opportunity wasn’t meant for me and being discriminated only helped me make my choice.

** Lines taken from the theme song of the TV serial Bade Achhe Lagte Hain

The song on my mind: Dil Hai ki Manta nahin ~ Dil hai ki manta nahin

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36 thoughts on “Insight

    1. I agree, the discrimination part is sad but unethical practice and that too being openly asked for right at the time of interview was a shocker for me.

  1. that’s an excellent resolve you hold on to.. any human with conscience will hesitate rather deny to take up work that involves unethical acts.. Nothing is a failure, everything is an experience in this world. Wishing you good luck with future searches..

    1. You are absolutely right Ani…nothing is a failure, everything is an experience. It is just a matter of perception.
      Thank you for the wishes :D

  2. Hmmm well it happens a lot .. and I have seen this attitude too, I was working for a software house , we took over a company in bangalore, I was sent over to assist with the interviews, i was shocked as I was told no women who had kids, well I walked out and spent my days with family , this is atrocious..

    I told my management here and they supported my decision to have walked away.

    1. You know Bikram, I have worked overseas for a while and that is why am quite accustomed to the usual fair workforce laws and rights practiced in those developed countries. I am slowly getting attuned to the work environment in our country. It’s going to be a difficult start, but I’ll get there :)

      Kudos to you for deciding to walk away.

  3. I think in some countries it would be be illegal to ask such questions (not just the recruiting people to do unethical stuff… even about family, plans to get pregnant etc.) Employers could just say, this is the job, this is what we would expect, these are the working hours, would you be up to it? Why the need to quiz about family? It is up to the employee to see if her personal life allows her the time to cope. Though this whole thing is a sticky area. Like I know when I hired my helper, I preferred to have someone who was older and who had children – the latter because she had experience looking after children and also the age thing because I knew she wouldn’t be going out partying on her day off and exhausted the next day. Some companies, including mine actually, required a health check-up before joining. Not sure of the ethics of that either.

    1. I agree Bride, it is unethical in quite a number of countries, but when it comes to our country, the law is what is practiced and not what is fair and should be.

      Like the example you quoted having a criteria of the type of person you are looking for if determined by the demand of the nature of work can be easily classified as requirement of experienced people for the position.

      But, when you refuse to look into my work experience or give credit to my educational qualifications just cause I have an infant to take care of, it is absolute, open, shameful discrimination.

      I refrain from talking openly about my field of work (due to many personal reasons) else this experience (interview) brought to fore something worth a Satyamev Jayte episode.

      As far health check, that was routinely done while I was overseas (mainly because the organisations there had policies of employee compensation due to work related injuries and infections caused by working in hazardous locations). It was usually done to cover the employer against false claims (which could be even in millions depending on the severity).

  4. Gosh! isnt that wrong…you are a very positive person ME..and that makes you special..I would have been cribbing like crazy…big hugs..and I am sure you have something better in store for you

    1. You are absolutely right Visha. I am trying to see the positive out of this episode for I atleast got a first hand experience of what’s going on in the workforce. Interviews can be priceless experiences in our career on many occasions.
      Hugs dear

  5. Its good that this opportunity skipped. I see it from the same point as you are ME. Brought back memories from an interview that I took 2 years back.. for one of the most reputed and high end software firms in Chennai.. I got rejected. No hard feelings, I just learnt that even if they had selected me – I would not have managed to work for more than a month. Their practice and work culture is something I couldn’t approve of. Everyone of us need money and we work for it, as you said. But unethical ways of getting the work done – not my cup of tea. One example – During the interview, we were asked to shift to a bigger room. On the way, I saw a lady employee using abusive lang towards a guy, scolding him badly for not getting something up in the way she wanted. May be she was the manager and he is her employee. But what happened to professionalism? With around 50 of us present for the interview, this is not how she should have behaved.

    1. Now that is indeed shocking behavior and I’d be seriously worried if I were to work under that kind of a boss who doesn’t hesitate to behave so arrogantly and rudely before such a massive audience.

  6. Kudos to you for looking at the situation with such clarity, ME. As you say, it is good you got to know beforehand that the opportunity was not for you. You will definitely find something that suits you, soon. All the very best. :)

    As for the discrimination, that is very unfair – not allowing a lady to work just because she has a 10-month old kid is like… a hopeless thing to do!! I too have worked with organisations that were concerned only with the number of hours you put in, not with you as a human being, an employee. Such organisations are best avoided.

    1. I know TGND, no-matter how frustrating it may sound but it happens to be the bitter reality of the workforce. The day I will be divorced I am sure that label too shall deter my prospects of finding work in our kind of society. But the good news is, it’s better to told on face that the employers have such sick attitudes and mentalities rather than discovering it as you join work.

      Just the two sides of the coin I guess.

      Thank you dear for the much needed wishes :)

  7. I totally agree that this was not meant for you but I also feel good that you went for an interview. At least it was a test run :)
    Sad about the discrimination but then that says a lot about the kind of organisation it is.

    1. You are right Smita about it being test run. I actually have your words of “keep testing the waters” ringing in my mind all the time whenever I am thinking about my professional life.
      Thanks a ton for the motivation you’ve always given me whenever I have been low about this issue.

  8. Oh you’re better off without such jobs, ME, that ask of you to compromise on your principles. Glad you were able learn from the bitter experience. I hope it helps you find a job that truly deserves you and vice versa :)

    Good luck!

  9. I faced something similar where people were wary of making an offer because my husband was doing an MBA course. They’d say “but you’ll go off in an year.” But “jo hota hai achche ke liye hota hai.” I finally landed with a much better job and company. Keep going ME!

    1. I can totally understand what you are saying MoRS for I too have faced similar times and replies while I was staying with my husband. I know getting a job is just a matter of time and once you start working all these struggle days will hold not much importance :D

  10. I have said it before and I say it again, our country has terrible work-life balance (and ethics, amongst others). Many of my colleagues (particularly woman) were questioned at the time of their interview…whether they are married, or about to marry, and were actually told in their face, that being married would be difficult since our job (its consulting) includes a lot of travel, long working hours etc. :-|

  11. I have been asked too if I have kids and if not when am I planning to! I did get a job but god knows what will be their attitude when I do conceive.

    1. It’s very commonly asked in India and because of absence of any fair work rights laws in our country, employers actually get away despite discriminating on so many levels.
      I hope things go fine for you :)

  12. Not sure if this mentality comes with the organisation or with people..But , this attitude is prevalent..I still remember the day when I announed to the team I was working with that I was engaged , we happened to work late that evening to complete deliverables for an upcoming release..Thats when the team lead then happened to comment “I thought of offering you on-site opportunities and recommend you for promotion etc..now, you come and say, you are getting married..” I still dont understand what that guy meant when he said this..I replied back asking what if I get married, I would consider the career opportunities that come in my way, for which he blabbered some non-sese as before , which I dont remember..People with such attitudes are quite annoying to work with.Much better offers are in store for you ME, for the kind of open-minded person you are.All the Best!

    1. No-matter from where the mentality originally crops from but it’s high prevalence is itself an indicator that these so called highly educated people own no work ethics and are nothing but biased by the personal lives of the employees and interview candidates.
      I can imagine how very angry you must have felt then :(
      Thank you for the wishes Ramya :)

  13. ERA…I am back… How are you and how is Pari doing…?? This post reminds me of my own story. I was denied Promotion as i was Pregnant. Then post delivery when i joined back, all the important work was given to someone else. I was just given few accounts and simple ones. Again the same year my promotion was kept on hold and the organization said i was performing less.

    I fought with the management team. I said,I am not given work, then how will i perform…but all this only led to tension and weight loss and emotional imbalance.
    So Ileft the Job, took a break of 4 months…and there I got a good oppurtunity.

    My current boss is a Gem of a person, a supportive guy and the work I do here is what I love the most, research…report writing, analyzing stuff. I simply love the atmosphere here.

    You will definitely get a better offer. All the best to you!!
    Take care
    Gayu

    1. Welcome back dear, we are doing good and hope the same for you :D
      People can be shocking, rude and absurd all in one go. I can imagine how upset and stressed you must have been in your previous job. Am glad the new workplace has co-operative staff and employers who actually have good will and work ethics :D
      Thank you :)
      Hugs!!

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