>Acronym Cronies

>MIS.QPR.KRA.MOM.Acronyms that govern my life at present.And no,MOM does not stand for mom,it’s Minutes of the Meeting.I’ve become corporatized.From a free wheeling,dreamy eyed time waster,I’ve morphed into an office goer.A corporate one at that.Don’t get me wrong,I love what I do at my job.I’m only amazed at this sudden transformation.It’s doing me good,by the way.

Every time I step into office,I’m reminded of Dilbert and his co-workers.Minus the cubicles,of course.The QPR mentioned above stands for Quarterly Performance Review,something which the employees have to present to their section heads for their appraisals.Having spent a year in the office and attended countless such meetings,here’s a lowdown on what actually happens.

If the meeting time reads “2 pm to 5 pm”,you can bet your life on the fact that it won’t start till until 2:45 pm.In-office mails are something nobody bothers to read.Therefore,nobody knows where to assemble for the meeting.If,in the past,a meeting has taken place in a particular room,we naturally assume that the next meeting will be held there itself.Once the discovery is made that there is no one in the room,apart from you and your similar minded colleagues,a frantic search is made for the mail announcing the venue of the meeting.It is found,people look at each other for a while,each trying to recall where the venue is.Somebody runs in breathlessly and admonishes the group for being so late and leads them to the venue.Once settled in,a hunt begins for the projector and laptop for the ensuing presentations.The IT section is called,requirements are specified over the phone and coffee is ordered for everybody.The HOD smiles at everyone genially.The wait for the IT guy begins.Note that the time on the wall clock reads somewhere close to 3 pm.The coffee arrives,duly poured and gulped down.The IT guy saunters in with a laptop,a projector and a mono expression.The process of setting the whole thing up takes anywhere between ten to twenty minutes.You doodle on your notepad,glance sideways at your colleague,who is stifling huge yawns.The IT guy emerges from the rigmarole,a jaunty expression on his face which seems to say,”There,the laptop is all fixed up.Enjoy the meeting.” He leaves and the meeting begins.

QPR.What you’ve done/achieved/managed in the last four months.To remember what you’ve done for the last four months,you need a MIS.Management Information System.A system designed to track your activities/non activities every month.To remember what to write in your MIS,you need a Weekly/Daily Log.An Excel sheet filled with what you did,at which hour of which day.And to be able to write a log,you need a KRA.Key Results Area.This defines the area of work you need to produce substantial results in.

A QPR presentation can be wildly entertaining or deathly boring,it all depends on the presenter.I’ve had the fortune to witness only the former ones.So,here we are.Settled in for a meeting scheduled to commence at 2pm,which finally starts at 3pm. It usually starts off with a round off about the previous meeting’s MOM.You know,Minutes of the Meeting.Agendas are discussed,lots and lots of random management jargon is thrown in at appropriate places,more coffee is served,several reams of paper are exhausted jotting down this meeting’s MOM,the energy levels in the room are on a constant high.The meeting finally ends half an hour past the scheduled time.Everyone glides out of the room,dazed,not sure what happened in the last two and a half hours.When they get back to their systems the next day,a cheery email from the section head reads,”‘PFA the MOM of yesterday’s meeting.”

(BTW,PFA=Please Find Attached.)

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>Funday Ka Funda

>April 05,2011.The LRC team goes for a much deserved and awaited outing at Leonia resort,located in the outskirts of Hyderabad.We board the bus,loaded with Lays,Pepsi/Thums Up and Himessss Nasal bhai Reshammiya welcomes us with his honeyed vocals,whom we fear will keep us company throughout the two hour journey.But thank the mighty Lord for Mohd. Rafi,who puts a stop to it,soothes and enthralls us with his magic. Here we are,at Leonia.It is breathtakingly clean,serene and a lush green canopy envelops the entire resort like some sort of a protective blanket.We can already anticipate the day ahead of us.

A visibly nervous but eager young aide to the manager explains our package to us.There are various games,including paint ball.I had a vague idea about the game (turns out I was badly and sadly mistaken) and was completely taken aback when the rules were explained.Two captains are elected who pick their teams.You wear the game outfit,an army-type ensemble,complete with a loaded gun.You are taken into a mock battleground set up with base camps,boulders,rocks,trenches et al.The objective of the game is to capture the enemy flag and bring it back to your base camp,and injuring as many enemy soldiers as possible.The weapon,a heavy metal gun filled with paint “bullets” is hoisted on to your shoulder.There are two referees who monitor your game through the thirty minute time limit.Here we are,gearing up for the battle.

Ah,sweet victory.I captained my team,The Green Battalion,to a resounding victory against the Black Commandos.We had our first taste of what it feels like to get roasted under an unforgiving sun in the middle of the afternoon,coupled with a heavy gun,straining to view the enemy position stealthily while trying to stage a surprise attack.We did not capture the flag, but managed to injure four soliders and also successfully invaded their terrain.That’s our team,standing by the enemy flag,while the losing team acknowledges our supremacy.Ha!

Too tired after all that war? No way. There were the pool and indoor games to be played next. (The pool pictures aren’t uploaded here for a reason.)We tried our hand at billiards and table tennis.A lot of group pictures followed this.

Foooood.After all that fighting and billiard-ing and photo sessions,we sat down to a delectable and excellent repast of the choicest buffet dishes.This is us,enjoying a steaming bowl of potato and cucumber soup.We did full justice to the desserts as well.No discrimination,you see.

On our way to the Go Karting rink.Tired,but fulfilled,we upheld the Indian tradition of Antakshari.Lacking any more energy,our songs were low decibel-ed but tuneful nonetheless.

The Go Karting Rink.

Each one of us got to do 4 laps around the rink.It’s a simple manoeveuring procedure,nothing rocket science-ish.If I could do it,so can anyone.The steering was a bit stiff,though in hindsight,I can see how that was a necessity.It effectively steers you in the right direction.You’re so busy concentrating on keeping yourself on track you don’t overspeed.Of course,experienced drivers,overconfident souls and nervous first timers almost always display speed symptoms. One poor girl pressed on the accelerator and forgot the existence of the steering wheel and promptly slammed into a wall of old tyres stacked in a corner.That was a stray incident,though. The rest of us managed quite well.

This is all of us at the EOD.End of the Day.

A wonderful day,great games,amazing food.Another set of memories.