Monday, August 31, 2009

Memories of Dxb-part II

Thought for the day: "One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important."…- Bertrand Russell

Continuing further from where I left off, in memories of Dubai, specially now that Baroda beckons, here goes:

Let’s see now- I had ended the last post at how weekends would go in learning the ropes at work. I spent only @ three months in Engineering. The market was somewhat dull at that time(Now that I’d arrived, I knew things would pick up, since God has decreed that I’m not supposed to get idle breaks in my life. LOL), but there were some interesting challenges that the then Contracts Manager (a Brit) had in the pipeline for me.

One of them was a project that is a Dubai landmark- a project the Co was not able to handover due to the local authorities saying that drainage water (from drainage pipes running along the walls) coming on the pavement, which spoiled the beauty of this landmark. Nor were they willing to let these pipes be connected to the storm water mains underground.

So, Mr. Analytical(yours truly) asked for a supervisor and two helpers to find out the source of the problem(since it never used to rain more than 3-4 days a year at that time). Armed with cameras and doing day-night duty, the three people soon came up with the real cause of the water- the maintenance people would have their food on the roof and then wash their hands, etc there. And, the other source was excess water poured on potted plants and the drain connected to the storm water(wrongly). Voila! Problem solved.

That was the first indication to me that in this market, as in any other, the sixth sense(common sense..hehe) was more important than engineering degrees.

Two or three similar problems solved and the Co boss decided that I should try my hand at procurement(purchase) using my engineering(and common sense?LOL) background. So, out I shifted from engg(Thank God, again- as you’ll see at the end of these memories) into a field I had little experience with.

In the first meetings with Boss in my new assignment, my GK about working life in the Gulf began increasing. One of his first comments to me:

‘ Don’t smile. I don’t consider people who smile to be sincere.’
(Now, I was an engineering guy for 14.5 years in my previous co, and, had been feeling that smiles can solve a lot of problems. LOL). Anyway, I took his suggestion seriously, and from that day(till the day I left), I stopped smiling when in front of him. Try as he might by cracking jokes, et al, he couldn’t make me smile.(though I’d be grinning inwardly)

Another gem from him, and you need to look at this one, seriously, too, coz I’m sure you unconsciously do the same thing many times:

‘Are you agreeing or disagreeing?’ What would happen is, he would say something, and, I’d say ‘Yes’ and sway my head left-right-left, instead of nodding, as if saying no.
Think over it- do you do the same thing when listening to someone, specially the boss? Well, after that, I began nodding my head whenever I was agreeing with him or anyone. And, also, observing others who say no when they mean to say yes.

More memories coming up very soon.

Joke for the day:
A young blonde woman walks into a drugstore and asks the pharmacist if he sells cond*ms.
He replies, "Yes we do. What size would you like?"
The blonde responds, "Oh, just mix them up, I am not going steady with
anyone right now."

5 comments:

Lazy Pineapple said...

Swaying head from left to right instead of nodding is Indian speciality :) all of us do that.

Media Junkie said...

i try not to do the head swaying thing - i get my butt kicked for that...

didn't really find the blonde joke funny :p

Media Junkie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
austere said...

Interesting insight... That drain pipe issue would have flummoxed a lot of people.

shooting star said...

hmm..i was wondering where were u..since u are missing from ym blog a considerable time.....shifting to baroda...well thats great!!!....