Friday, December 19, 2008

The missing slice of the cheese

-By Swetha Amit
It was her first day at work. Nervousness and excitement both surged into her otherwise confident persona seemingly battling for their upmanship within her. Wanting to do well like any other career-oriented woman; she prepared herself for a rather long day ahead. She finally reached the elite building which was soon to become her second home away from home. Many seem to be spend longer hours at work than at their residence anyway. And if she needs to climb up the competitive ladder, competence needs to be on a high alert. Even if it meant leaving your domestic side dormant for a while.

Approaching the top floor, she took a deep breath and entered the plush interiors of her work place. After a brief meeting with her superior, she was given an orientation for a while. Her team consisted of about 7 members whom she had to coordinate and work with. Her mind took note of the fact of the need to build a good rapport with her fellow mates. One thing was being efficient with your profession and the other was to use your soft & social skills to avoid the air of animosity.

Heads turned as she walked in with a confident gait into her cubicle. She could hear murmurs and scrutinizing eyes of her team as they seized up this 'new entrant'. Not missing the opportunity, she walked up to them and introduced herself in the friendliest manner possible. She was glad that the response had been warm enough but not exactly with the right note of exuberance. The positive streak in her didn't deter her determination of adopting a quick ice breaking technique. After all it was only a matter of time when she would be in sync with the corporate drone in more than one way.

Couple of months had gone by with immense amount of perseverance in not just her work. Expectations were failed to be met and the atmosphere of cohesiveness seemed lacking. True she had taken efforts to smooth things out. But no trick in the magic box seemed to work and went up in smoke instead. Was it such an arduous task to achieve minimum level of cordiality? To top it all, her boss didn't exactly seem pleased with her so called 'mediocre' results. Or was she trying too hard? She knew it was no piece of cake, but certainly didn't expect it to be a tough nut to crack. Everything appeared to have an adverse effect on the other. She had miles to go before she slept; numerous rungs to climb and she hadn't even set her foot firmly on the first rung yet.

She couldn't exactly ignore the discomfort surmounting in the air of her office space. Team work looked to be a distant dream along with the rest of her aspirations. She felt like a missing slice of the cheese which irrespective of fulfilling its criteria somehow never managed to fit in with the rest. Drop in her levels of confidence were soon apparent. It almost reached a point of calling it quits if not for a certain intervention that came about unexpectedly. Call it a divine intervention or a certain division program that decided to organize a sensitivity training for a week. Nevertheless the gut feel in her spelt nothing but positivism as she began to look at it as a silver lining amidst the dark clouds.

Indeed, the clouds in the minds of others soon were penetrated with rays of clarity as they began to perceive this 'newcomer' in different light. The misinterpretation of that of a cocky, too sure of herself, arrogant persona was soon replaced with one with immense determination, focused and one with the right attitude eager to go a long way. How wrong they were as they swallowed their guilt of having kept their shutters of their cognitive mode closed tightly. If only had they let their minds open as that of lush green fields, the last two months would have been a different picture altogether. The lesson learnt was more than that inculcated into only ones professional lives. It was that tool that one would used to cleanse the polluted reflections of a faulty mirror.

It was happier times ahead for her as she lapped up the acceptance with immense poise and grace. After starting on the wrong foot, she was more than pleased with her new beginning. Going by the philosophy that at times: all endings are also beginnings only that one doesn't realize it all the time. It was a moment to climb the ladder and hopefully not encounter too many vicious serpents on the way to her goal. A satisfied smile appeared on her face which depicted that of being in sync with the organizational climate after weathering a few storms. She was relieved of no longer being the missing slice of the cheese out in the lurch but now in firm conjoint with the rest of the mould.

Sometimes due to past experiences or distorted ideas, our minds overrule our rationale by forming bizarre impressions which are often baseless. Such results in the failure of giving a chance to others before opinions are under furious construction. It is important to open out minds and hearts before sizing up others which could result in our behaviour baffling the poor individual completely. What may seem as something to our prejudiced eye may turn out to be the missing piece to anything which often fails to reach our raw senses without utilizing our judgment call or instincts. All it takes is a sole misunderstanding in not being able to break the iceberg as in the above case.

Written for



Blogger Ayesha Parveen said...

Very well-written article on the need on both sides to break the ice. Nice line of thought, Swetha.

9:16 PM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Thanks Ayesha.:-)

12:41 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Comments on MSN:

Venkat - Dar on 12/19/2008 4:43:19 PM
A very good one Swetha. A slice of your writing skills brought out with positive contributions about positivity!

4:43 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Ramesh Padmanabhan - Chennai on 12/19/2008 4:50:13 PM
Good writing and keep it up. Regards RP

4:43 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

KP - Chennai on 12/19/2008 6:43:42 PM
In her inimitable style,Sweta has articulated her thoughts well to produce a 'must learn'for every new aspirant in corporate world

5:41 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

ayesha parveen - kolkata on 12/19/2008 7:10:31 PM
Beautiful thought presented in a confident style of writing. You are right, Swetha; if both sides try to break the ice, it usually happens and both sides gain. Best wishes.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

sharmishtha basu - kolkata on 12/19/2008 9:06:31 PM
lovely piece of writing.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Rajesh - Hyderabad on 12/20/2008 6:46:03 PM
Very well written, shows the importance of becoming part of a team, such a lot of pains experienced due to some distorted impressions, shows how much of perception performance is hard work and committment of course being an essential assumption here.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Whirlwind said...

Chitra - Navi Mumbai on 12/21/2008 9:12:22 AM
a well written experience. Very often, even before you repeort at your place of work, your team members welcome you with a prejudiced mind and you have to really work hard to show your real self. It really requires perseverance and patience to overcome the temporary blocks in your path of progress. ALL THE BEST

8:03 PM  

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