Monday, June 28, 2010

Yes! I Quit my Job and No! I’m Not with Child

I haven’t been blogging much recently. In fact, apart from writing my daily news articles on steel and raw materials and my freelance business stories, I really haven’t done any ‘writing for myself’ (as I call it) for the past couple of months or so. Life on the work front and home front has been hectic-and at times choc-a-bloc full. I’m not complaining.

Although, every time I take these intermittent breaks from blogging, I get cranky. And this time, the break lasted a couple of months at least and crankiness had begun leaking out of my ears and fingertips to say the least. Added to that, was the added pressure of keeping the home machinery chugging along smoothly, not to mention the various ‘consequences of unhealthy living’ banging away at my body and mind. “This has to stop,” I told myself. “I need a break.”

So I took the decision in late May and very bravely tendered my resignation. Even as I was handing in my papers to my surprised superiors, I realized just how much I’d miss my job and the wonderful people I had the privilege to serve with since January 2008, when I had first joined the company.

It was a fledgling firm then and I witnessed the little thing jump by leaps and bounds from a 5 – person venture to a full-fledged 11 – person wing ding since – and growing. In fact, we just moved from a 9-seater office space with a conference room cum video studio to a luxurious 20-seater office space with two meeting rooms, a conference room, a stocked up pantry and a dedicated AV studio. If those aren’t the signs of prosperity, then my wholesome ideas of the blessings of Hotei’s (Happy Buddha) big belly and Ru-Yi Bowl of Plenty are sadly misplaced.

In spite of the promising nature of my work and the company, the responsibilities I had and the professional growth guaranteed at this job, I decided to do what some people would call ‘throwing it away’ and what I would call ‘taking a break’. What I didn’t realize was that since a beautiful, smart, young, promising, business journalist such as myself (erm….) in the prime of my career (erm… again) is quitting her job, it naturally means only one of two things – She’s secured employment elsewhere or she’s pregnant.

I’m not – really! But people have unabashedly jumped to the conclusion that since I’m quitting a job for no apparent reason whatsoever, it must either be because I have managed to land a better, more well-paying offer someplace else or (hold your breath) because I’m with child. Hm.

I have a rather large address book, with nearly 300 contacts, who have me helped cover the south Asian steel territory in many small but educational steps. Not only are they business contacts, but some of them have become very close friends. (I know its unbelievable, but sharing personal details with people about rebar, scrap and hot rolled coil markets daily for two and a half years, friendships are bound to mushroom.)
And sometimes, said friends also get on one’s nerves.

Here are excerpts from some of the farewell conversations I had with a few close trader friends:

1) Friend: Hi Shreyasi, what’s news on billet prices this week?

   Me: Grim. I hear they’ve been dropping all through last week. Speaking of grim, I wanted to tell you, I resigned my commission at battleground SBB.

 Friend: WATTTTT??? Where are you going???? How come you didn’t tell me earlier???? Which company have you joined???? When did you resign??? When’s your last day there????
Me: (Clearly touched with the concern and interest in my life) Breathe man breathe. I’m not going to any company. I resigned end May. Will be working here till the end of July.
Friend: Wat? You’re not joining another company? Then what….(lightbulb flashes!) ohhhhhh now I get it…is there some good news you want to break to me? Hmmmmm (I could literally see the eyebrows dancing even though it was a telephonic conversation)
Me: (smirking) I just did bro. I’m leaving. That’s the good news…and as for what you’re thinking…no chance right now.

2) Me: Hey what’s up? Long time no see.
Friend: Yeah was wondering where you’d disappeared. Thought you’d left the company.
Me: Well, actually now that you mention it, I did. I resigned end May.
Friend: You don’t say!!! Why? You got a job elsewhere? (this seems to be the big favourite.)
Me: Nah. Just wanted to take a break.
Friend: Really? Nine-month break is it? Hyuk hyuk hyuk
Me: (Silence)

3) Me: Hello there. Was researching iron ore prices today so thought I’d give you a tinkle. Were there any transactions last week?
Friend: Yeah a couple. Hey did you know that abc illegally sold xyz’s material to lmnop (*for want of better names) on a fake LC? (We just love gossip, don't we?)
Me: Really! Geez. Talk about wildness in the market. Hey btw, I also wanted to tell you, I resigned. Will be leaving end July.
Friend: Really? Goodness! Did cdef (read: rival company) finally see sense and hire you?
Me: (Laffing) no no. I’m just taking a six-month break. Doctor’s orders (oops that was my mistake. Shouldn’t have mentioned the doctor)
Friend: aaaahhh ok ok…expanding the family eh? Good good about time.
Me: er…no the only thing expanding is me and I need to get back into shape. Family will consist of me, hubby and dog for a long time now.
Friend: ah ok ok. Well don’t worry…I won’t tell anyone you’re leaving. This is strictly between you and me. My lips are sealed. ZZZip.
(The next morning, every one knew)

4) Friend: Hi. Sent you an e-mail earlier. Did you receive it?
Me: Yes yes, sorry I couldn’t reply right away, was drowning in videoing and handing-over stuff.
Friend: Handing over? Why? Where r u going?
Me: oh you didn’t know? I had sent you a mail informing you that I’m leaving the company. I resigned in May.
Friend: Why? Were they brutal to you? (the lesser known ‘were they brutal to you' question)
Me: Oh no no! they’ve been lovely. In fact I’m really going to miss them.
Friend: Oh so you’ve joined another company…. (was wondering when that was coming)
Me: Nope. (succinct)
Friend: Ohhh I know I know I know!!! You’re pregnant! (I think he was high on sugar that day...could have been ganja too...I'll never know)
Me: (Testily) No I’m not pregnant. I have no wish to be pregnant. I never was pregnant and I don’t hope to be pregnant for quite some time at least (read forever). I’m clumsy with babies and clueless with kids. I have enough on my hands to bother about without adding on a helpless child to the jing bang. So NO I’M NOT PREGNANT. I JUST NEED A BREAK.
Friend: Gee. Why so irritable? Hormones huh? tee hee hee....
Me: sigh.

5) Me: Hi, you busy?
Friend: For you? Never! (he’s a chivalrous guy…or at least pretends to be one)
Me: Just wanted to tell you that I resigned and will be out of here by end July.
Friend: Whaa??? Have you…
Me: (Cutting him short) No I have not joined some other company.
Friend: so did they…
Me: fire me? Were mean to me? Subject me to abject humiliation and mental & emotional agony? No. they were lovely. Always have been.
Friend: But then, why? Are you…
Me: No I’m not. I don’t have anything growing inside of me. I’m not with child. I’m not craving for a baby. I'm not looking to pass on the family name. I’m not expanding my family. I’m not pregnant.
Friend: oh … uh… why …? Then?
Me: (smiling to myself…I had finally conquered the conventional thought process) I’m on a break.

For some reason, people seem incapable of thinking beyond these things as possible reasons for a tired individual to want to leave his/her job. In fact quitting for any reason other than those mentioned above can be downright sacrilegious to most people except for the derelict few who accord greater priorities to other things.

But, quitting a job can entail so much more - such as  (but not limited to) wanting to spend time with one’s family,attempting to improve oneself personally, mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually or simply directing one's attention to searching for that one avenue which one wants to follow with wholehearted passion and thrill.

I hope I'm not coming down too hard on my friends. I really don't mean to. They're really a swell bunch of people and I'm very grateful to have known them in the course of these few years. In fact I hope I can stay in touch with them post SBB too.

They’re good people and spurred by a set, smooth running society which despises too much change– they too are driven by conventional thought. This is not a character judgment. I respect them and their opinions and truly care for them – no matter how much I abhor convention as a rule.

It’s true. I abhor blind convention of any sort. And sometimes, unknowingly I fall prey to it myself. But then again, I am a contradiction in person. I love some traditions and rituals, which do not necessarily hurt willful thinking or anyone else for that matter.

You, see, it’s all about the balance. I balance. Therefore, I am.

Cheerfully yours,

Shreyasi (Twinky)


  1. A horrible Haiku:

    I did not ask
    I did not know
    Wish u all miracles
    Now, Let magic glow.

  2. Its not horrible at all....though I doubt its a haiku :-)

    thanks a lot :-)ping when ur online sometime!

  3. That was nice.. and some not too nice.. but gud reading all the same.

    Cheers to freedom..


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