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The Vendor in the Waiting Room

Waiting and waiting

The Vendor in the waiting room
Rohit was wearing a tie that day; something to do with the belief that the customer would probably give more regard to someone wearing a tie. The shirt was creased, and pants ironed and a sparkling new pen.
He strode into the waiting room, the same old waiting room with three different kinds of couches - One blue, one red and the third one with black suede and white stripes. It did look gaudy, but he decided he’ll try a new seat. The black one it was for today! It had been a long one month of camping; for the ever elusive purchase order. His schedule was pretty much simple:
Wake up in the morning, eat a bowl of oats, listen to ‘Lost for Words’ by Floyd and head out to this company where the commercial manager, Kumar had been promising the PO for the last one month, wait till evening, send out numerous SMS’s, call once in a while and come back dejected again, have a drink and go to sleep.
Today, Rohit felt it was different; all loops were closed and the director resolution was through too. The internal approvals for the funding were also through. He usually made the partners run around, but not this time. This was strictly his team’s deal, and he was letting a partner make 5% margin out of his and his colleague’s efforts.
The day saw some activity; being called to the MD’s room getting numerous phone calls from friends and making plans for the weekend after the deal was through. It had to, after all it had come this far. Over 9 months of selling to the management, and one month of camping at their office for the purchase order.
He met a lot of interesting people in the waiting room over the month, like the builder who had to get his cheque payment of close to 50 lacs for the building lease and fresh graduates still waiting for their offer letters. Then there were also those waiting for the purchase order, much like him. Same old story. The same darn story!
He would often see the MD pacing up and down the corridor with a smoke; managing to stalk and shame him into the purchase order. It happened today as well; and the purchase order was promised. It was Thursday, an auspicious day for Sai Baba devotees. He tried to recollect all the Thursdays he had been through in his stint as a sales guy. He could not recollect one bad memory of a Thursday. The day was magical, he assured himself.
It was now 6PM and no sign of Kumar yet and was Rohit was steadily emptying his stash of fags as well. It was time to barge into the office, having had enough of the waiting room. Kumar was sitting reading a magazine. That sneaky bastard was sitting in office all the while!
“Sir, can we have the PO now?”
“I am waiting for the MD to sign on it”
“Give me the paper, I’ll get it done”
He got up now; clearly surprised with the aggression Rohit had not shown for over a month.
“Just wait here”, he said and went into the MD’s office. He came in 5 minutes with the MD.
“Sir, we were really expecting the PO today and hope we are not disappointed”, Rohit said crisply to the MD. It worked.
Kumar’s assistant quickly took print outs of the agreements and MD signed them. But an agreement is still only half as good as the PO. It was 10 PM that day when he left for home. Thursday had been a saving grace, the agreement at least assured the release of the PO.
Early morning, next day after a special puja and lighting the lamp with extra oil and reading one whole chapter of Sai Satcharitra, he head out again for the waiting room. The commercial guy had called his at 11 AM. Rohit, was there at 10. Soon, it was 11. He called at 11 sharp - no answer.
He called again at 1130 and then again at 12 noon. He finally returned the call at 2 PM saying he would be there in office in an hour’s time with absolutely no regret. Rohit, had had just enough of it; and he decided to act quickly. The assistant manager was well mapped and the PO kept ready on his computer. The whole PO was typed by Rohit, just to ensure it was there in place.
Kumar strode in at 5 in the evening with the print out neatly laid out on his table; and Rohit was standing right there to ensure it was signed. Today, he had not worn a tie, just rolled up his sleeves and wore the pair of jeans that were pending a wash for more than a month. That’s the respect he had chose to give Kumar.
Kumar signed reluctantly, more so because Rohit had comfortably avoided all hints by him to pass on a kick back for the PO.
Rohit, strode into the waiting room for the last time that evening at 7 PM that memorable Friday. Weekend was there, so was the PO and friends would be waiting. The sofas in the waiting room looked different; they were no longer inviting. He decided to sit on the blue one for one last time, and see the PO once again. It read, One Million Dollars Only. As Rohit, read it over and over again he could not help remember all the days, when the waiting room was his only friend in all this mayhem. What do you know - a million dollar baby right out of the waiting room!
And he was off to the temple.

Rohit was wearing a tie that day; something to do with the belief that the customer would probably give more regard to someone wearing a tie. The shirt was creased, and pants ironed and a sparkling new pen.

He strode into the waiting room, the same old waiting room with three different kinds of couches - One blue, one red and the third one with black suede and white stripes. It did look gaudy, but he decided he’ll try a new seat. The black one it was for today! It had been a long one month of camping; for the ever elusive purchase order. His schedule was pretty much simple:

Wake up in the morning, eat a bowl of oats, listen to ‘Lost for Words’ by Floyd and head out to this company where the commercial manager, Kumar had been promising the PO for the last one month, wait till evening, send out numerous SMS’s, call once in a while and come back dejected again, have a drink and go to sleep.

Today, Rohit felt it was different; all loops were closed and the director resolution was through too. The internal approvals for the funding were also through. He usually made the partners run around, but not this time. This was strictly his team’s deal, and he was letting a partner make 5% margin out of his and his colleague’s efforts.

The day saw some activity; being called to the MD’s room getting numerous phone calls from friends and making plans for the weekend after the deal was through. It had to, after all it had come this far. Over 9 months of selling to the management, and one month of camping at their office for the purchase order.

He met a lot of interesting people in the waiting room over the month, like the builder who had to get his cheque payment of close to 50 lacs for the building lease and fresh graduates still waiting for their offer letters. Then there were also those waiting for the purchase order, much like him. Same old story. The same darn story!

He would often see the MD pacing up and down the corridor with a smoke; managing to stalk and shame him into the purchase order. It happened today as well; and the purchase order was promised. It was Thursday, an auspicious day for Sai Baba devotees. He tried to recollect all the Thursdays he had been through in his stint as a sales guy. He could not recollect one bad memory of a Thursday. The day was magical, he assured himself.

It was now 6PM and no sign of Kumar yet and was Rohit was steadily emptying his stash of fags as well. It was time to barge into the office, having had enough of the waiting room. Kumar was sitting reading a magazine. That sneaky bastard was sitting in office all the while!

“Sir, can we have the PO now?”

“I am waiting for the MD to sign on it”

“Give me the paper, I’ll get it done”

He got up now; clearly surprised with the aggression Rohit had not shown for over a month.

“Just wait here”, he said and went into the MD’s office. He came in 5 minutes with the MD.

“Sir, we were really expecting the PO today and hope we are not disappointed”, Rohit said crisply to the MD. It worked.

Kumar’s assistant quickly took print outs of the agreements and MD signed them. But an agreement is still only half as good as the PO. It was 10 PM that day when he left for home. Thursday had been a saving grace, the agreement at least assured the release of the PO.

Early morning, next day after a special puja and lighting the lamp with extra oil and reading one whole chapter of Sai Satcharitra, he head out again for the waiting room. The commercial guy had called his at 11 AM. Rohit, was there at 10. Soon, it was 11. He called at 11 sharp - no answer.

He called again at 1130 and then again at 12 noon. He finally returned the call at 2 PM saying he would be there in office in an hour’s time with absolutely no regret. Rohit, had had just enough of it; and he decided to act quickly. The assistant manager was well mapped and the PO kept ready on his computer. The whole PO was typed by Rohit, just to ensure it was there in place.

Kumar strode in at 5 in the evening with the print out neatly laid out on his table; and Rohit was standing right there to ensure it was signed. Today, he had not worn a tie, just rolled up his sleeves and wore the pair of jeans that were pending a wash for more than a month. That’s the respect he had chose to give Kumar.

Kumar signed reluctantly, more so because Rohit had comfortably avoided all hints by him to pass on a kick back for the PO.

Rohit, strode into the waiting room for the last time that evening at 7 PM that memorable Friday. Weekend was there, so was the PO and friends would be waiting. The sofas in the waiting room looked different; they were no longer inviting. He decided to sit on the blue one for one last time, and see the PO once again. It read, One Million Dollars Only. As Rohit, read it over and over again he could not help remember all the days, when the waiting room was his only friend in all this mayhem. What do you know - a million dollar baby right out of the waiting room!

And he was off to the temple.

No more waiting!
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The Open Door

Sometimes I think its pushing things too far. Heard about this thing called the open door? Its one thing I really like here in HP. There are no doors, none except other than the main entrance door where we flash our dog collars. What else do you call them?

Life’s an open book here; you should have nothing to hide. You have open cubicles, so does the boss. You walk up to whom ever you want and chew their brains out. It’s allowed and encouraged. That’s the way sales offices should work.

But you know, what’s pushing it too far? Toilets! You walk into ‘Pakistan’ and here too for some reason; they feel we should have nothing to hide. Come on! Can’t a man have his privacy while having the pee? There are no separators. So you have to really shove yourself into the urinal to ensure some privacy.

The shit pots for some reason have half height doors. So you know exactly who is farting in the loo. And some of the oldies here, are really nasty farters.

The usual day is a lot of expletives and curses on failed orders and jubilations on orders won. ‘What behanchods man!’ ‘That SOB just had a kid, so the order has to wait. Can’t they time their sex better?’ ‘I am going to make that bugger bend down and shove it down like Hara Kiri’

Open

And after all this, I come back home and switch on the TV. Make myself a glass of whiskey and light a smoke. And as I gulp down the drops of heaven, I just think to myself and embrace the HP way.

Disclaimer: I hope I did not violate the Standards of Business Conduct. Long live the open door, it really works. I really meant that, and that is NOT the HP way.

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Untitled.

Untitled

Life plays as a mystery
I thought I knew it all
The ride was going to be smooth
It fooled me again, that’s all

Memories of a distant place,
Tender love in my heart
I dream of tomorrow,
But I am scared of another fall

Beginning of a new day,
Made stronger by the failure
I will try again
Only to fly even higher

Written by Preeti Sharma, and proudly published on Life in 360

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