Friday, March 06, 2015

"My 1 Year anniversary at Aon"

I'm here on my workstation with my eyes hooked to the monitor. The other day, some of my colleagues got their appraisal letters and today the atmosphere here is simply great, or is it just the celebratory moods with the impending Holi on Friday? I'm happy for them and also I'm happy for myself as I will be completing 1 year with AonHewitt by the end of the day. Although it is not big milestone but it gives me a great sense of satisfaction. And the fact is that I really enjoy working here and I really love my responsibilities.

Looking at my cubicle, it is kind of funny that I haven't replace the pictures of two Gods(Krishna and Buddha) as well as Swami Vivekananda right in front of me. The pictures have been there for nearly 8 months since I moved here. I don't have anything to do with it nor do I need to be worried. After watching the movie, P.K., I have decided that I will not let religion define me as a person. Maybe P.K. is just a movie but whatever it is said on the movie about religion felts right. Anyway, I'm not preacher so I don't need to go further on this religion thing.

On my left side cubicle, I put up a quote from Martin Luther King Jr, i.e., "If you can't fly, then run, if you can't run, then walk, if you can't walk, then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward." I read the quote every day as soon as I sat on my chair, and it may be because the words are in bold letters and kind of large...  There is also another quote right below the pictures of the two Gods, and it is, "The time is always right to do what is right." The good things about quotes are immensely inspiring. It is kind of like echoes in your head that can keep you going. Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the most influential leaders in United States during the Civil rights movement in the 1960s. He was an inspiring leader for all the Black Americans during the movement. And he is my inspiration since the day I saw the "I have a dream...." speech on YouTube. I'd recommend everyone to watch the speech.

When I first joined Aon, I was kind of anxious whether I am going to have a smooth transition or not. Everything was new even though I had two years of work experience. I believe school and office are similar in many ways. It is because either you get along with the new people you meet or you stay alone. The first month was kind of tough for me because most of my colleagues were tenured staff and they were all busy with their own work. Anyway, I started gelling up with the guys. And especially after we had our lunch, we always sat together in a particular spot as if it belongs to us...  It is from here where I get to know about office rumors of this and that or who is going to be promoted. It is kind of fun although the rumors may be fact or baseless. The irony about rumors is that 50-60 percent of the time it comes out to be true. I'm not sure if everyone would agree on this but I have noticed this trend here in my workplace.

The thing about corporate culture is that most of the time, you are not real you. In certain circumstances, you may hold yourself back because certain elements can bring you down. Trust me, I'm not simply writing this. It has made me realize that there is a situation known as "right time at the right place" where you can be yourself completely. I have always believed that 'listen first' and then 'speak' is sensible. On Wednesday, we had a meeting where my manager was speaking about some of his feedback he got from the team. As I'm not allowed to share details on the internal meeting, I won't divulge it all. But there was one particular situation which I felt it is right for me to share and write it here.

One of my colleague shared a feedback to our manager like this, if a female staff comes up to your desk for leave request, you just approve it after listening her reasons. And when we (male) come up to you for leave, you asked us "why do you need the leave?" At that moment, I felt it is kind of lame to share the feedback with the whole team present. Of course, it was a gutsy feedback but it was not raised at the right time or the right place. Therefore, I had to counter my colleague in front of all the team and said this, "what our manager did was a gentlemen approach" and "the reality is that most of the female staff explained the reason first before requesting a leave whereas we usually start with an arrogant approach". We just asked straight, "I need a leave for tomorrow, please approve". Obviously, the manager will have to ask us "why do you need the leave?”

I pretty sure not all the male office-goers would request a leave like it is mentioned above. And I thought there are many things that we can do it in a humble way with the right approach and attitude, and also at the right time and right place. I hope my colleague have understood the points I've addressed in the meeting. 

 Thank you for reading my blog.

N.B. Actually I completed this blog at my office at around 12:30 PM but I forgot to post it on time. Sorry about this....  and Happy Holi to all.

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