Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Heights of Fraandship

Man is a social animal. So is a woman, for that matter. And he/she will do anything to socialize. Anything to make that extra friend, so that he/she can keep his/her "kewl YO!" quotient on the high side, always. Atleast for the men, that's the case. 

In this day and age, with more and more time spent in front of the computer or TV, and lesser time in actually mingling with the masses, what better way to do it than through the amazing invention that is facebook (Orkut, for beginners). Gosh, if I had a penny for every second that I was on facebook, I would have been a gazzillionaire by now!

I am sure there is no woman, who has ever been acquainted with orkut, who hasn't gotten the message "Will you be my fraaand!" from atleast one desperate male soul. A male disguised under a female profile may have suffered a similar fate too. Each and every female profile that I have seen has had that "fraandship" extended freely. (OK. You might now ask as to what I was doing checking out their profiles in the first place. My answer to that is, ummm, well, a lot of time on your hands makes you end up doing such stuff. Just plain, simple browsing! ;) )

As though this was not enough, people have started taking this fraandship thing to the next level. They now know that these women (or men in women profiles) are smart enough to just ignore and "report abuse" them. So how do they extend their fraandship?

Easy peasy.

Through the "Idiot Box"!! You heard it right! "How?", you may ask. "Brilliant question!", I would say. Ever notice certain music channels having a bar below, where people can sms messages that would be displayed on the screen? Well, a few enlightened individuals graciously decided to extend their friendship (alongwith their facebook/orkut ID, of course. The more the number of fraands you have, the more cooler you are. YO!) on TV! You get a ready audience (At 8:30 in the morning, that might not be much. But something is better than nothing!), and if anyone does respond, you can consider it a huge success. 

The only downside is that you are actually paying exorbitant premium sms rates to send that message through your phone. And with multiple channels having that facility, you can easily see a big proportion of your monthly salary going away in this. Not that I have actually tried this out, but the premium sms rate is what I assume from the * that all companies are always so accustomed to attaching to any offer or service they provide to the customer (CONDITIONS ATTACHED or PREMIUM RATES APPLY).

But, what the heck! Anything for a fraand!*

(Yes, the * is there. CONDITIONS APPLY!)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

If you really look at it....

Some random thoughts during this extremely "busy" week for me.....


Spiderman cannot fight crime in places other than metropolitan cities. Only in big metros do you see high rise buildings. And Spiderman needs those buildings in order to travel fast, by means of spewing webs from his hands, which glue onto the buildings. If the buildings were shorter, he would either not be able to get the leverage to fling himself forward, or would end up scrapping the road a whole lot of times, that he would be injured even before reaching his destination!

This was the result of a very interesting conversation that I had with one of my friends after we watched "ROBOT". Which reminds me....


If Rajnikant and Chuck Norris were to come together and have a bet/fight, who would win? That would be the most interesting duel of all time!

Let's see how this would pan out. On the one hand, you have CHUCK NORRIS!!! 
  • There are no weapons of mass distruction in Iraq because Chuck Norris lives in Oklahoma.
  • Chuck Norris doesn't make friends or enemies. He makes only victims. (YIKES!!)
  • Chuck Norris can slam a revolving door.
  • Lightning never strikes twice in the same place because Chuck Norris told it not to.
  • Chuck Norris stopped the ice age with a single match.

And on the other hand, we have our own, namma Thalaivar, RAJNIKANTH!!!
  • Rajnikanth does not know where you live, but he knows where you will die. (DOUBLE YIKES!!)
  • Rajnikanth can strangle you with a cordless phone!
  • Bullets dodge Rajnikanth.
  • Once a cobra bit Rajanikanth's leg. After five days of excruciating pain, the cobra died.
  • Ghosts are actually caused by Rajanikanth killing people faster than Death can process them.

(Yes. This has been directly taken from the site most widely used to search for anything and everything that you would ever need. Also, in namma Thalaivar's own words - "I will hit you so hard, even Google will not be able to find you!... MIND IT!!")

My God (Oops. Don't know whether even God would be able to survive this!), the rivalry between them would be INTENSE!

It took ten santros to first conquer Mt. Everest! ("Tenzing" Norgay.. get it?! Couldn't resist. Don't mind, pleeezzzz!)


There is only one programme that could stop people from watching Big Boss 4. And that has Amitabh Bachchan in it. Let my 9PM slot be locked, computerji! But, somehow, my roomies over here manage to see both the programmes at the same time. I think that the breaks have been scheduled by boththe channels in such a way that when one gets over, the other starts. That way, the audience do not lose out on either! But the problem with doing that is the breaks end up being ridiculously long, for those who watch only one programme. While the programme slot is 1 hour, the actual programme ends up being only for only half the time!!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Aiyo! Help Needed!

As time passes through this relatively free period, I find myself with a whole lot of stuff to do, and a whole lot of time in which to do that stuff. I myself am surprised at the huge spurt of movies that I have been watching at the theaters over the past couple of weeks, ranging from namma Thalaivar's "Robot" ( I am actually tempted to watch the Tamil version too!), to "My name is Emran Hashmi, and I have to smooch (and do a lot more) atleast one actress in every movie that I act in" 's "Crook". Yes, huge amounts of money spent in random acts of charity. I strongly believe that each person who watches "Crook" needs to be given a tax rebate on the money spent for the movie. Same goes for "Anjaana Anjaani". I think that's the only way more people would come to watch those two movies!

I probably may have had other better stuff to do, if it were not for the international football weekend in Europe. This world is truly global! If only the EPL were on, I would have saved myself the embarrassment of going to the ticket counter and seeing the smirk on the ticket counter guy's face as I bought tickets to watch the movie whose name actually had no relation to what the movie was about. ("Crook", if you din't guess the movie name.

But then, during the little time that I was in my room, I realised that I was getting severe burns on my lap, while using my laptop. I had suddenly found the solution to all my "Ironing" problems!! Why pay the ironing man, when you can use your own laptop to press your clothes!!
It was time to do the right thing.... to go and watch Sachin score 14,000 test cricket runs on TV!!

Sorry, they were showing the repeat on TV just now... had to rush over.

Yeah. It was time to do the right thing. To get my hands on a new laptop, and to bid farewell to my 4 years old (which would be about 120 human years) laptop.

First up, the research. Between the millions of brands available, I get a gazzillion replies as to which one to take. It's amazing how no one goes absolutely crazy while trying to find out a suitable laptop for yourself. You hear a "Hey this ABC laptop is absolutely ammmmaaaaazzzzzziiiinnnngggggggg man!! I have had absolutely no problems at all with it, and the servicing is top class!" only to hear a "OMG!! Why are you going for ABC laptop man??!!? The service just sucks... BIG TIME!!" before you could even take a breath of the highly polluted air of Mumbai.

But then, lots of Internetting (what we managers like to call IR - Intense Researching) and shop hopping later, I have managed to reduce it to a couple of brands - The Sony Waio VPCEB36(or 35)FG and the Dell Studio 15. Both have almost the same price, for the almost same configuration.

CLAP CLAP CLAP!!! What an achievement!

But now, the real problem starts. Like they always say, it's easy to reduce your choices to two, but it's the most difficult to reduce it from two to one. (They have always said it, no? If not, then I am saying it now.) And here is where you, my dear friend/pal/buddy, come in.

WHICH ONE SHOULD I TAKE?!!?!?!?!!? Please please please please please help me out here. Pretty please, for all you women out there. All your views will be taken into consideration! Any thoughts on the brands themselves would also help this poor soul in making his decision.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Trainings, unravelled.

In my very short corporate career of two years and three months, I have had the privilege of attending a whole lot of training sessions. Some were useful, while others informative, but most were just a way to while away your time when you did not have anything else to do in terms of actual work. Having being through quite a lot of them (I guess most of you would have understood that I have quite a lot of time on my hands, from the frequency of posts), I have learnt (through the various "messages" in the dreams that I have had while sleeping during these sessions), that there are certain classifications of training, depending on various factors, like the situation in the industry, mood of the trainer, the sex of the trainer, and so on. 

They are as follows....

The I have no job to give you benchers now. So go for this training - very prevalent in the IT industry, where three-fourth of the working population are on the bench. Training sessions include basics of programming in a language that you will never ever use in your IT career, either because you would either be on the bench the whole time, or give your CAT so many times that you will end up getting in some B-School or the other, eventually.

The Ooh! The trainer is hot! Let me go for that training - Usually seen in organizations that have a very skewed gender ratio. Ends up having a huge audience. Precautions need to be taken by the employees to make sure that they see the PHOTO of the trainer before going for the session. You do not want to have your hopes high only for it to be dashed AND then having to attend the session too! The lesser the knowledge of the trainer, the better it is for the trainees (Not that they would be listening to the trainer in the first place.).

The Let's keep giving the lot something to do in life till we get all the people in the programme some profile! training - This is prevalent in organizations that recruit people to a certain programme. This programme is a way to give the employees potential access to the higher management in the organization. Only problem is, if they do not have sufficient jobs for the employees, they keep on giving them some training session or the other to "indulge" them. Those with confirmed profiles will have to just go along with the ride.

The Yes! We know you did not learn anything in college. So go through this! training - Training will be given in everything that you learnt in college. What you learnt in 4 years of engineering and 2 years of MBA, will be given to you in a couple of days. Makes you wonder "WHAT DID WE DO FOR SO LONG IN OUR COLLEGE!??!?!!!"

The All other training sessions are over and done with, and still these people do not have any profile, so let's give them this training - The most dangerous of them all. The contents of the training may be made on the spot too. And, the thing is, whatever it is they say on the spot, you have to do. This tests the trainer's "Strategic" ability. And the trainee's ability to withstand the "Strategic" things being thrown at them left, right and center. Usually happens when more people have been recruited to an organization than needed.

The Oh we never learnt this! training - Usually given when someone in the team does something really wrong, and a meeting is called to ascertain the actual reason for the failure. Provides an easy answer for the employees to give their manager, and the manager to give his/her manager, and so on.

The This is very important for your career in the company training - The most widely given reason for having a training session. Also, the most HRically sound reason to give. Can range from simple stuff, like "Advanced Excel", to the more complex things, like "saying strategic stuff in your workplace to make you sound more corporate" (Mind you. Acting "strategic" is an art!).

These are the types that I could come up with. Your careers would have definitely thrown up a lot more types of training sessions. Can you come up with any more classifications? Do comment your answers!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Six Sigma - More common than you think.

FACT : Statistically, Six Sigma means 2 defects per billion opportunities. Read The statistical definition of Six Sigma for more. This is what I have used as the "standard" here.

Six Sigma. Yes, the two words that force companies to spend millions to achieve. A green/black belt in Six Sigma is a sure shot way to reach the higher echelons of corporate life (which is inversely proportional to how your real life would go). It enhances your CV value so much, that recruits won't even listen to what you have to say. All your strategizing will be done with those words written in your CV.

But, if you really look at it, Six Sigma is being used by more people than you can think of. It's as though we were being groomed to be error free. The only problem was that we never knew that we were using it. THANK GOD FOR THAT! I can only imagine the amount of strategizing and analysis we would have had to do all throughout our lives (as opposed to only when you are trying to work, get a new job, or a girlfriend), had we actually known that we were trying to follow Six Sigma!

For instance, when we were REALLY REALLY young, your main focus was on how to run away from all the "daants" you were getting from your parents. Hence, at that time, your Six Sigma Process (SSP) would have been :

To actually get only 2 daants for a billion times your parents tried to daantofy you. 

Then, of course, there were those exams. Your main aim was to somehow pass them. You had no idea why you wrote them. All you knew then was that if you did NOT pass them, you would get daantofied by your parents. Hence, your SSP would have been :

To fail in 2 exams for every billion exams written - Looking back, I think I failed badly on this one, with the failed CAT attempts (before finally FINALLY getting through), the IIT tests, the learners licence test, and what not.

Then, you become a teenager. Puberty kicks in. And with that, your "emotional" quotient skyrockets. You find a girl in every nook and corner cute. Which, in Kerala, was literally every nook and corner! (Just the numbers). Your SSP would then change to :

Getting 2 slaps/shoe or chappal marks on your face for every billion times you propose - I am still single. Go figure.
Next up, college and then B-School. You start staying in a hostel. You meet a lot of new people. Your perspectives also change a bit. And so would your SSPs :

To sleep in 2 classes out of a billion attended - I failed in this one very VERY badly. I would have reached a thousand sigma if my SSP had been "To stay awake in only 1 class out of a billion attended"!

To go to the library (for the right reasons) twice out of a billion times I pass by it - Passed. With flying colours. It was like a repelling machine, the library. The only time I think I did go was during the summer in Gurgaon, whilst trying to save myself from melting down, when the Air Conditioning was on.

To puke 2 times out of a billion times I have a lot of alcohol - I don't remember. Hence, I cannot comment.

Hence, as you can see, all throughout your life, you encounter processes. And in all those processes, you try to achieve Six Sigma. In fact, it's interesting to note that your whole life itself is one big SSP.

To be successfull twice out of a billion attempts at it.

This could be termed as a lot of other stuff. Like long term ambition, vision, the answer to "Where do you see yourself when you are fifty years old?" or "Where do you see yourself when you are retired?". Things become so much easier to answer when you realize that it's all a process.

To further prove how common Six Sigma is in the lives of people, let me put forward some of the SSPs that were very clearly followed by some of the famous personalities in this world.

George W Bush

People of this world, do not blame him for what he has done during his tenure as the President of the United States of America. For, he was actually following his SSP :

Make 2 right decision for every billion he makes.

Yes! He was bang on correct with this SSP.
But Wait! I never DID make a billion decisions. Hence, I never even got the chance to make ONE RIGHT decision!
He also had a smaller SSP that he perfected in :

Getting hit by only 2 shoes for a billion thrown at him at press conferences.

HA HA! Missed me! AGAIN! HA HA!
Harvard Business School graciously "felicitated" Bush by actually changing its SSP to :

To churn out only 2 George W Bush's out of a billion who pass out.

(Yes, I know. Organizations CANNOT be Six Sigma certified. But, if HBS were a person, he/she would definitely have felicitated so.)

Suresh Kalmadi

Oh yes. Who can ever forget the guy on whose shoulders lay the weight of the nation. And we all know what happens when you give responsibility to him.

But WAIT!! He did not do anything wrong! Spare him of all the criticisms!! For he too has followed his SSP perfectly :

Making sure that only 2 bricks are standing in its original position for every billion bricks used to build the CWG venues.

LISTEN PEOPLE! I have done what I have come here to do. Now let me go Scot free! To Scotland, to organize the 2014 Commonwealth Games, of course! HA!

Hence, as you can so clearly see, Six Sigma is present in all our lives. It is way more common than you can ever think. All it takes is a bit of imagination, and some practice. And that goes a long way to you being a self proclaimed Six Sigma certified person!