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January 17, 2016

Miscellaneous Journey

I had been working in Voltas as Service Supervisor for couple of years. My work involved travelling extensively across Gujarat, from Surat to Surendranagar, Bardoli to Bhuj, Palanpur to Porbandar. Even in Ahmedabad my day started at our warehouse outside octroi check post at Aslali and every noon under the harsh Ahmedabad sun, I had to travel to our office in Navrangpura. It was arduous thank less work, but I was quite good at it. However what upset me the most was the incessant verbal abuse of our branch head. It seemed like my boss was oblivious to all my effort and continued to shower me with choicest of Shudd Hindi slangs. Being from a middle class Marathi family, taking such things in our stride is part of the upbringing, it’s DNA. It was in such a living hell of a work place, I observed my 21st birthday.
As my boss ways of working was unlikely to change, the only alternative was to hunt for another job. But Voltas, part of Tata group had extraordinary reputation & brand equity in the market and leaving such a prestigious brand that too at the start of my career would be quite foolish.
Those days looking for a job involved eagerly waiting for the weekly jobs supplement listing all the advertised job openings, it was called Times Ascent, and it used to be distributed along with TOI every Wednesday. That supplement was the only lifeline to opportunities and all subsequent correspondence in case you found an opportunity – application, interview call, etc. was through post. But I persevered , kept applying, gave interviews wherever invited
One evening as I reached back to my Uncle's home in Maninagar, with whom I lived, while in Ahmedabad, there on the front porch of house, was an A4 size envelope, with the unmistakable blue Philips logo on it. With my heart pounding like a drum, I opened the envelope; read it atleast 3-4 times to convince myself that it was for real. The letter read, ‘Dear Samir, We are delighted to offer you the position of Sales Officer in Philips India Limited’. That was in October 1996, almost 20 years ago!

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