Hired or Fired?

Friday, October 10, 2008 18:09

“You’re fired !! “

“You’re hired !!”

Do these phrases sound familiar? If the answer is yes, then you are most likely one of the two:

  1. A fan of Donald Trump‘s The Apprentice.
  2. Related to finance industry.

Donald Trump made these words (hired and fired) somewhat common in my life, but at the end of it all, its a competition and only one will win. So its fine – I was assured in some sense that real life is not that dynamic and risky. But, finance industry surely defies that.

As a “child”, I always thought of a full-time job as a secure, constant and satisfying source of income. I was wrong. These two words are more commonplace around me than they ever were, and I guess are for many of my friends. Unlike most of my classmates at IIT, I had opted against higher studies after my Bachelors so that I get a “feel” of the corporate world. I think I have got much more than what I was looking for!! (Yeah, trust me, I work(ed) with Lehman Brothers)

The idea of writing this post is the amazement – the words “hired” and “fired” have become so common that any emotional attachment to a financial firm is impossible. Till few months back, I used to attach immense emotion to these two phrases. But the finance industry in the last few weeks has changed all that. Perhaps, this is what they call “growing up”. Things just change too rapidly. I need not say a word about what happened on the wall street in the last month, because either it will be news, or speculation – either of which will be unnecessary. Firms having history of tens and hundreds of years collapsed in days, managements got restructured like crazy, businesses got shut, thousands went jobless, stock markets tumbled etc. Too much for a mortal to swallow.

I touched upon the emotional attachment aspect because I was involved in a big project which was used by almost every person in my team. One fine Monday morning, I find that all my work will be just a piece of code in a few days. On a personal note, I was going to part with a work on which I spent an year, and I was emotionally attached to. On a practical note, I was one of many thousands whose hard work of years was about to fall flat. Thankfully, now that Lehman’s assets have been bought by Barclays and Nomura, I am sure that my work will not go waste, even if I am no longer associated with any of these entities. Not that I do not want to, but anyway, that’s another discussion.

The post may feel incomplete, but I do not have anything else to say. Too many things going on in mind. I got to finish some critial tasks before I get to hear “You’re fired.”

You never know, it could be tomorrow !

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