I was sitting in the office of Armpit capital. Armpit capital was an investment bank which boasted to have global ambitions. But to my mind, all they had was local intellect.
I was waiting for my interviewer. After a few minutes of waiting, one of the senior guys came, shook hands, introduced himself and sat down.
“Hey. Let’s start. What I would like to do is to give you a bit of color about ourselves – what we are doing, since when we have been doing, how are we doing, why are we doing, shall we be able to do it or not. Once I am done with that, I would like you to give a bit of color about yourself. Does that sound okay?” he said with a colorful smile.
“Yeah, sounds great. I love rainbows.” I said expecting a really colorful time.
He started talking. He talked, and talked, and talked. All I could understand was that he worked for some investment bank in UK. That bank, couple of years back, had sent him to India to set up their business. If you read between the lines, it’s plain and simple case of “Either you get fired or take an asylum in your motherland”.
Once he stopped, he threw the ball in my court “So why don’t you give me some colors about yourself.”
In front of his digital quality picture, VFX enabled, DTS Dolby, 3D movie, I looked like Alam Ara ().
“Tell me something. In your last job, you changed from one industry to another. Did you do your homework before making this change? Did you enquire about the industry you were moving in, I mean this industry?”
“How did you do it?”
“I asked a few friends working in this industry”
“Okay. But don’t you think that wouldn’t have been the best way.”
“Why is that so?”
“If you ask a frog, he will only tell you about the well because that is his well. He won’t be able to tell you about the world outside that well”
“But if you are outside the well, you know all about the world outside. Frog can enlighten you about the world inside the well. That completes the portfolio, isn’t it?” I replied.
He changed the topic, “You have such an impressive profile. Why do you want to be in this business? You can do whole lot of things.”
“Well, I am in this industry because I like it”
“Yeah but you can do a world of things other than this kind of job. You have such a good profile”
“As I said, among all those world of things, I like this profile”
This went on and on. He kept asking me why I was and where. I kept telling him why I was where.
Finally I asked him, “Why are you in this industry?”
“Well, I have been in this industry for quite some time”
“The way you said it, looks like you want to move out”
“Why don’t you move out?” I asked before he could complete.
“What do you think?”
“You may not like my answer” I warned him.
“Shoot” he sounded confident.
“All I can say is that either you don’t think that your profile is good enough or you think that you cannot do anything else” I said with a smile. I was looking like two colors which never make an entry in a rainbow – black and white. But it was red that started to take control.
Thankfully, he changed the topic and asked me “Have you done CFA?”
“Have you registered for it?”
“Neither have I registered for it not I intend to do so” I said in a rude tone.
“But why?” he asked while looking a bit shocked.
“I don’t think that the certification will add any value to me.”
“To be fair, I know very little about the course structure. But what I know is that the course structure has very high US flavor in it whereas I am working in Indian markets. So I see no relevance of the certification to the skill set I should be building upon. If I have to do it for a CV point, I don’t think after more than six years in job-life, I need a certification as a CV point” I tried to be logical.
“But I don’t think you have even seen the course structure. How can you say so?”
“I consulted my friends” I replied.
“Tell me something. If you have to buy a stock, will you do your own research or you will consult your friends”
“Well, there are 5,000 stocks listed in BSE. If I go researching each and every stock, I may not get a chance to buy anything, at least in this life. So I will have to consult my friends and then, do my own research”
“So you apply the same logic to certifications”
“I don’t know. Your logic doesn’t sound convincing enough” he looked a bit pissed off. By now, it was clearly evident that he himself had done CFA.
“Okay. Let me explain. If I do CFA affiliated with US, you would say – why have you done US affiliated CFA when you are working in Indian markets? If I do Indian version of CFA, you would say – US CFA is like Pink Floyd and Indian CFA is like Altaf Raja. If I do both, you would say – why haven’t you done FRM? If I do everything, you would say – why you keep doing all these certifications, you are either zero confidence in your experience or you are totally confused. Hence I have decided that I won’t even touch any of these certifications” I was pissed off.
By now, only color left in the room was red with maroon tinge in it – resembling blood, real bad blood. Both of us had developed a strong disliking for each other. Before the disliking turned into hatred, we needed to end it. End it we did.
He stood up, shook hands with me, thanked me for coming, and said a few more formal words. But he didn’t say what I was waiting for.
Like every life has to end with death, like every Anshan done by someone other than Anna Hazare has to end with Police Lathi Charge, like every Hollywood movie has to end with a kiss, like every Ajit Agarkar over has to end with a boundary, every interview has to end with a particular sentence. Yes, THAT sentence.
While he was continuing with his monologue, that sentence was still awaited. I was getting impatient. I was about to ask, “So will you get back to me or not?” before he said it “We will get back to you”
Back I was, with loads of colors.