Office “Loudspeaker” Galore

Every office has an office loudspeaker. There is at least one, if not many. By “loudspeaker” I mean by the virtue of their loud voice/muscular throat or attitude they keep on speaking loudly on the phone from time to time. No, no, why should they bother that you are being disturbed, after all they are doing their job and you are idling your time coming to office every day. You should mind your own Business and let them not mind their tongue.

I think, speaking clearly on the phone so that you are audible is definitely understood but shouting at the top of your voice to attract attention is totally uncool. I mean others are working too and you as a coworker need to respect others “Right to Work”. I agree you are not our Constitution to respect that but don’t you have any mercy?

I personally have a lot to thank these Loudspeakers. As a student of TISS HRM & LR (To those perplexed by the acronym: Tata Institute of Social Sciences Master’s in Human Resource Management & Labor Relations), I got the opportunity to Intern in 5 Organizations. I am currently Interning in my Fifth Fieldwork Organization so I do believe I have some authority to talk on the topic. By their “virtue” I often get accidentally entertained. I get to know what is happening in their Personal /Professional lives even if I do not know their name. Because out of the five offices that I Interned in; “Loudspeakers” were present in three. The reason why these people are nonchalant to the nuisance caused to other people can be many. But some which I can think of are summarized as below:

1. Their Vocal Chords are Muscular

In this case I have nothing to complain against. In fact I offer my sympathy to you because I know I might not be the first person to point it out and hey, who likes being mocked for something one doesn’t have any control over?

2. They are genuinely dedicated

Yes, and that shows. Or hears should I say?

3. They want to showoff

(Hearing) Seeing is believing right? So I might show all those concerned before they announce my mid-year performance appraisal.

4. They just don’t care

5 Blame it on the office setup

In the era of space crunching and time crunching, people have no space to waste. And that leads us to one of the two things:

· Stare uncomfortably at the person sitting in front of the desk (Or pretend you are engrossed in work despite being distracted by those eyes and that Dimple) and/or

· Listen to what they were doing on the weekend being narrated to their friend.

6 Attention seeking behavior

I really want to see that sweet lady sitting in the corner cubicle to be impressed by my impeccable knowledge in Marketing which comes directly from one of windows that I hide behind my so called Excel sheet. So what do I do? Yes, Loudspeaker off course! When she seems unimpressed by my intelligence, I assume that she is the extrovert type. So I shift my gears to the wild night I had in the Andaman’s and the Scuba Diving in Pattaya. The only outcome is that she shifts her desk.

Love them or hate them, you just can’t ignore them.

About the Author

Anuya Thorat is a Dentist by Training and a HR professional by sheer luck. She enjoys singing while cooking. And yes she does cook up a lot of things. Everything except Tarot.

The Great HR Dieting Dissonance – Learn To Diet The HR Way – Office Diaries

One of the perks of being an HR from TISS (Tissian) is that you get to experience at least 4 Organisations as a Fieldwork Intern. Besides getting technical know-how of Human Resource Management (HRM), Fieldwork is also an interesting case-study of Human Behavior. We are taught Organizational Behavior in detail across the 4 Semesters and if you ask me that is the most interesting part of being an HR student. So welcome to the curious case of the dieting HR fraternity.

Today is the birthday of one of the HR ladies and we have a cake cutting session. The cake is big but the contenders are unwilling. “I had my share of sweetness, sugar!” they say and instead of eating/feeding cake, they hug her. Welcome to the diet conscious HR fraternity who manage their diet despite working in a leading company.

We are faced with many dualities in life which ultimately lead to Cognitive Dissonance but nothing like those the HR face in a leading Snacks Corporation. I mean publicly you have to promote chocolates, Biscuits, toffees even if you personally follow a Gluten free diet. It’s not good to eavesdrop on your Mentor, but I really can’t help it when she is sitting right next to me instructing her maid the recipe of Beetroot soup.

The woman sitting next to me who is otherwise a part of Talent Management is nowadays more concerned about weight management. She eats boiled cabbage and is often seen explaining the 70-20-10 model to weight management. Yes, you read that right 70% of your daily intake should be taken before 12 pm and essentially as a part of your Breakfast. From 12 to 5 pm take up a lighter meal which should be 20% of your intake and the rest 10 % should be eaten before 7 pm (i.e. before your digestion becomes sluggish).I am so impressed by this woman’s ability to practically implement HR Jargon’s to non-related field. And people say HR is no longer necessary or relevant. If something is true, it’s the opposite.
As a former Dentist, I have much to thank these MNCs which ensure a continuous flow of patients to my fellow ex- fraternity. I haven’t seen one fat lady in this office (Alright there are 2, but I am an Intern and the other one is on a contract basis). Most of them are frequently sipping green tea and if you ask me that tantamount to the betrayal of the company they work for. Though they promote the newly launched calorie-rich products, you will never see them popping it in their mouths. Looking at the anti-cavity awareness that goes on various media, I wonder if they might be loading their kids with all the complimentary samples they receive frequently.

I might not know much about HR or even about myself, but I definitely know that Dieting is just not my cup of tea. Nor is a cup of green tea. It has just occurred to me that there are only two people who eat from the jar of cream biscuits in the lounge; a super fat guy at the other end of the office and me of course. I thought maybe people are fed up with them but the second week into this office I know that real strategy is to look good while performing better. With a surge in the aesthetic realm, HR can’t afford to stay behind. There have been enough articles on how important HR is when it comes to management by being a support function just as a housewife is to the house (!?!). Realizing that People don’t take fat wives (or fat HR) seriously (except if you are a rich big-shot) I jot down my strategy for weight reduction:

Learn Strategic “Lean” Management from the HR

· The weight loss goal should be SMART i.e. Simple, Measurable, Accountable, Realistic and Time-bound. So I googled “Diet” and got a list of numerous Diets I can choose from. I also got to know that the word “Diet” comes from Old French “diete” and Medieval Latin “dieta” meaning a “daily food allowance”. The “die” in the Diet has never appealed to me but hey, aren’t the corporate allowances decided by the HR?

· Your competency to lose weight depends on your skill sets namely CDWH (Consistency, discipline, will and hard work).

· Then you take a 360-degree feedback from people and inanimate objects. Some people disguise their utter horror under compliments like “looks like the weather is suiting you!” whereas your favorite 10-year-old pants convey it to you subtly that you no longer fit in.

· The journey to weight loss can be a Single looped or Double loop…..the difference between them is as follows:

1. Single loop: You get motivated to lose weight only when someone nudges you.

2. Double loop: When you actively maintain your weight and monitor every bite you eat.

· Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is a change management approach that focuses on identifying what is working well, analyzing why it is working well and then doing more of it. The basic tenet of AI is that an organisation will grow (or not grow fat) in whichever direction that people in the organisation focus their attention to.

Enough of warming up my desk (laptop does it quite literally) and off to the daily grind.

KPMG (Knowledge & People to Manage Growth) – Anuya’s Internship Experience – TISS Mumbai

With due respect to Piet Klinjveld, I would like to describe my experience in KPMG as a beautiful association of Knowledge and People who help each other grow. So my internship started on the 4th of April,2016 in the Mumbai office of KPMG. I must admit that I was nervous as this was my first job. On the first day I was greeted by my mentor who then introduced me to the rest of the team. That same day I met another intern from XLRI (Let’s call him V) who was my partner in crime for the next two months.

My First project was about formulating a Technical Assessment Questionnaire for a middle east utilities player.I was given a presentation detailing about the Focus areas to be kept in mind while designing the Questions for four Proficiency Levels. I was asked to formulate questions for various sections like Customer Services,Internal Audit, Marketing & Corporate Communication and Human Resources. The Questionnaire were frequently reassessed to bridge loopholes if any.

Thanks to the generosity of my mentor, my second project was a crucial project which people generally shy away from giving to novices. In it, I was participating in a month long activity mapping of various businesses in a Large Indian Conglomerate. A 3 day workshop was also arranged to map the feasibility of HR Shared Services for the various businesses of that Conglomerate where we couldn’t visit due to the paucity of time. I am thankful for the opportunities I had in visiting the different client locations and hogging eye appealing and taste bud enticing food. Not to forget my 3 day stay at a fabulous Learning and Development training centre where we used to strum Guitar, paint and read books sipping coffee after a long day of work. At the workshop, I was handling the Payroll and exit management process mapping . I was overwhelmed as well as honoured by the kind of exposure I had during the whole workshop as I slowly started to understand the importance of my project on a Global level policy change. Meeting who’s who of HR fraternity of both KPMG and that Indian Conglomerate was too much to digest for a mere mortal like me who has switched from Dentistry to HR just a year ago.Now let me tell you what were my main takeaways from KPMG.

1)There is no compromise on technical know-how. You can only consult if you have an in depth knowledge about what you do and why you do it.
2)Keeping yourself updated with the recent happenings both related and unrelated to the business will add in richer content to your project.

3)People are more important that processes. It is pertinent to be a good human being, who speaks well and talks with respect to everyone. What you are as a person is an asset in Consulting.

Regarding final placement, KPMG gives a PPO or a PPI depending on the requirement, qualifications and your performance during the internship.

I have to admit that my internship experience was much better than what I had anticipated .I am much grateful for that.Though I couldn’t divulge many details I hope that my experience motivates young interns who want to work hard and party harder to join KPMG.

How To Prepare General Knowledge For TISSNET

Well, the title is self-explanatory but before I get into the details let me give you my background so that you would trust what I have to say next. I was always interested in General Knowledge which helped me to secure a place in Human Resource Management in TISS, Mumbai. So this article is specifically directed towards TISS Aspirants but I think anyone who likes to benefit from the larger pool of “Knowledge” that is available to humankind can use it.

The TISSNET has three sections, namely:

· General Knowledge

· Analytical Ability

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· Logical Reasoning and English Proficiency
There are 35 questions in the General Knowledge section accounting for 35% of the total weightage of the paper and it is generally tougher than the rest of Questions. So it goes without saying that you cannot afford to take this section lightly. This article is aimed to incite a genuine interest in General Knowledge. Before you begin your preparation analyse the trend of Questions asked in TISSNET. You can easily refer to the analysis done of previous year papers online.

Current General Knowledge

There are very less questions on current affairs but their difficulty level makes them crucial. Reading a National Newspaper is necessary to be a well-informed as it will help you develop a well-rounded personality and directly help in the Interview. I recommend reading “The Hindu” or “The Indian Express”. Try to form your opinion on important news Taglines.

Some of the important topics that I can think for TISSNET 2017 are:

· Demonetization

· Indians in news this year

· Nobel Prizes in 2016

· Cultural Festivals across India

· Winners of Olympics and Para Olympics

· Delhi Pollution Issue

· Major merger and acquisitions (specially Indians)

· World Sports (specially Tennis& badminton)

· Cricket

· Various awards given and to whom

· Syrian Refugees

· New Heads of State

· Ramon Magsaysay Award (Indians who won it)

· Current heads of major Global / Indian companies

· Information on brands and companies

· Information about Indian companies

· Major books released & authors

· Business related books and business biographies

The above list is just to get an idea. Please don’t blame me if nothing comes from it.

Static General Knowledge

Importance to questions based on Indian History, International organisations, Economics, Polity and Science & Tech is seen to be given. Most of the static part can be prepared from Manorama Year book or any other GK reckoner. You can also Google these topics but unless you make written notes of everything, it will be a futile exercise. GK booklets of various coaching institutes like T.I.M.E, Insights on India and Career Launcher are easily available in the market. Those can also form a good source to cover up major topics quickly. Lucent’s General Knowledge is also a good book for static GK.

Having said that, I am not the paper setter to tell you exactly how to prepare and from what. There is no substitute to hard work and making it a habit to be updated with the recent developments goes a long way in life. I think many things in life are like Cooking. You need to have the required ingredients, necessary temperament and the grit to work hard which should be combined in adequate proportion to come up with the desired result. Anything less and you miss out on the final list and end up wasting a precious year. So let’s begin to cook our way to TISS!