Saturday, August 20, 2005

When Cornered, Confuse

This punch line, which is one of my favourites- was something, that occured to me during one of my numerous timepass sessions with junta in IDLyfarm (my wing) in IIM Calcutta - but then, it's probably something that all of us have seen happening but havent really realized. Let me explain..

When, in doubt, Fart, and Fart long - that's a lesson learnt early in school, when teachers evaluate you not by the quality but the number of lines, of text you write. My brother, told me about the number of pages he wrote, for his state board economics paper. We used to have a Tamil teacher in school who supposedly scored answers based on "jaan kanakku" :)

If possible, Complicate
Jargon- One of the strongest pillars, that supports the IT industry, Consulting, Financial Services, .. is one of the best examples of this. Most industries have their own jargon. For instance -Engineers have their own jargon. There is a "file" which one encounters in most Engineering workshop courses, which is called "bastard file" - and my teacher took offense, when I chuckled, thinking about its origins. There are joints, called male and female - easily recognizable by their shapes and we weren't supposed to joke about that either.
Anyway, "If possible, complicate" probably has more to do with being confusing in general, rather than when cornered, but it is still relevant..

Check out this bit on Jargon- from the
"...Avoid, above all,the kind of jargon that tries either to dignify nonsense with seriousness (The appointee...should have a proven track record of operating at a senior level within a multi-site international business, preferably within a service- or brand-oriented environment , declared an advertisement for a financial controller for The Economist Group) or to obscure the truth (We shall not launch the ground offensive until we have attrited the Republican Guard to the point when they no longer have an effective offensive capacity —the Pentagon's way of saying that the allies would not fight on the ground until they had killed so many Iraqis that the others would not attack). What was meant by the Israeli defence ministry when it issued the following press release remains unclear: The United States and Israel now possess the capability to conduct real-time simulations with man in the loop for full-scale theatre missile defence architectures for the Middle East.."

Anyways, in b-school, you realize the importance of jargon - as a tool, by which you separate, the insiders from the outsiders. All elite communities have their own jargon - For instance -when you are in a company of IITians - you dont say that the food tastes bad. You say the food is arbit

When cornered, confuse
The less you know, and the more you have to talk about what you dont know, the brighter your chances of screwing up. So, the easy way out when you are posed with an uncomfortable question is to talk about something else. Wax eloquent about the same. Follow it up, with a did I answer your question? Most likely, you will not be challenged. If you are, well, you can always offer to take the discussion offline. And that should kill the thread. This is something, a lot of speakers do with polish. In some classes, I've been, I've seen this charade repeated often. One finance professor actually dictated a story (he called it a case) about an enterprising mango seller in Malda and his accounting pains. He also told us about a man who dropped dead while his wife was making a dosa.
There were a few more like him...

Call centre people have a variant of this. When cornered, repeat. I used to use reliance's r-connect facility to access the internet. For some reason- it refused to work for a week. I could get connected- and then no bytes were sent or received.
The customer care officer, insisted that the connection was fine, and that I get off the call, connect, try to access echh tee tee pee colon slash slash w w w dot google dot com count the number of bytes sent and received, and tell him the same -
I did this. They recorded my complaint. Nothing happened. After a few days, I called up to find out - they said the connection is fine. And asked me to repeat the entire process. This time, I gave up.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Pucci's two minute IIM-L interview

Pucci's tryst with IIMs in 2003 had an inauspicious beginning. He walked into his IIM L interview room to face a hostile interview panel that recognized him, as that geek from last year
Panel>> Do you remember us?
Pucci>> NO
Panel>> We met last year
Pucci>> feigns (?) amnesia, shrugs and offers certificates
Panel>> NO ..NO.. we've seen them before.
Pucci>> I'd like to refresh your memory .. (or smthg to that effect)
Panel>> NO.. NO.. We Remember.. you havent really done anything earth shattering, since then have you?
Pucci>> .. thinks..
Panel>> Thank you..

I dont know what transpired in the previous year's interview- but certainly IIM L's loss was IIM C's gain.
Coming up next.. Pucci and Zuk

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Pucci, Pucci...Who the Pucc is Pucci

Pucci - spelt Poo- Chh-ee like Gucci is what you call an insect in Tamil.

It was my first day in Time in TNagar. Having managed to get out of office (CTS then) early, to attend GD PI classes in T Nagar, I found myself seated in the first GD of my life. The topic was something to do with the United Nations, and its performance or the lack of the same. As with most quiet people ( ;) ) I found myself unwilling to participate and was content with my seeming lack of content. And then I saw this creature -- a Lean, Mean stick-like creature with legs too long for his trousers, seated at the edge of his seat, aggressive look on his face talking animatedly. I tuned off. Something about this guy was just not right. And with every swing of the fan, he appeared to be getting closer to falling off his seat.
I have this (irritating to some) habit, of associating most people with animals/birds/non human thing-dings - I call that animal instinct and basically it consists of doing a mental morph of the person to do a match with mental morphs of non human thing-dings - will probably elaborate on it, some time later.
For reasons quite obvious (if you know him / have seen him walk the walk and talk the talk), this guy reminded me of an insect, at that point, I reckoned he was a praying mantis - and I decided I'd call him Pucci.
The name Pucci has caught on since then and has acquired decent brand value of its own - with the 39-41st Batchers at IIMC but then I think, I'll elaborate on that a tad later.

The GD ended, and I resolved to shift to the Adyar centre of Time, where I'd meet more of IIT M junta, who'd be more passive, less agrro and basically more of my sort.
And shift I did, and found myself with a PGDCM call in IIM C.

New Hostel, IIM C, June 2003

After an eventful first day when we were taken for a ride by the porters and station master at Howrah, Mayur and I settled down in our rooms, and then went over to the common room to check out the magazines. And there I saw Pucci. Quick memories of an irritating character flooded my brain - and I tuned off to him. Interestingly, that was Mayur's first perception of him as well, and we figured -this was some one, best avoided. At that point, Pucci decided to wax eloquent about the Virtues of Tam Food, Filter Coffee and Tamil and crib about his deprived state, which did not really go down that well with us - adding to the eccentric evil image, we already had of him.

And little did both of us know, that this character would go on, to become one of our best friends.

And so I've decided to write about Pucci - and the memorable incidents involving Pucci in Joka. There are a lot of them, and I'm sure that as I continue to write, I'll remember a lot more.

The Pucci Chronicles

Pucci's 2 minute IIM L interview
Pucci and the Heat source
Pucci and the Beat up yellow taxi
Pucci's jewelery shopping
One bug bugs another -Pucci and ISG
Pucci's rousing reception on a girl's birthday
Pucci's first dink
Pucci shivers in Pizza hut
Zuk and Pucci