I joined CVS Caremark project at TCS-Noida in November after a successful stint at Aviva in TCS-Bangalore, where I had worked as a trainee. I had always wanted to go back to my hometown and live with my parents and when I got a transfer to Delhi I didn’t waste a single moment in saying yes to the new project and heading towards Delhi. Many of my friends were also moving out from Bangalore at the same time which only made my decision easier. I felt that Caremark offered better career prospects, as it was a new project and we were offered to work on the current technologies that were in demand in the market. I was sure I would excel in my new position at Caremark, just as I had done in my old job at Aviva.
I joined as Assistant Systems Engineer at Caremark, with a handsome pay hike for becoming a confirmed employee of the company. Caremark also had international operations and there was more than a slim chance that I would be sent to USA or the UK on a project. Knowing that this would give me a lot of exposure, besides looking good on my resume, I was quite excited about the new job.
I joined Ashish Mehta's five-member team at Caremark. I had met Ashish during the interview sessions, and was looking forward to working under him. My team members seemed warm and friendly, and comfortable with their work. I introduced myself to the team members and got to know more about each of them.
Wanting to know more about my boss, I casually asked Shobha, one of the team members, about Ashish. Shobha said, "Ashish does not interfere with our work. In fact, you could even say that he tries to ignore us as much as he can." I was surprised by the comment but decided that Ashish was probably leaving them alone to do their work without any guidance, in order to allow them to realize their full potential.
At Aviva, I had worked under Sudhir Reddy and had looked up to him as a guide and mentor - always guiding, but never interfering. Sudhir had let me make my own mistakes and learn from them. He had always encouraged individual ideas, and let the team discover the flaws, if any, through discussion and experience. He rarely held an individual member of his team responsible if the team as a whole failedto deliver - for him the responsibility for any failure was collective. I remembered tellingmy colleagues at Aviva that the ideal boss would be someone who did not interfere withhis/her subordinate's work. I wanted to believe that Ashish too was the non-interfering type. If that was the case, surely his non-interference would only help me to grow.
In my first week at work, I found the atmosphere at the office a bit dull. However, I wasquite excited. The team had been assigned a new project and was facing a few glitcheswith the new software. I thought about the problem till late in the night and had come upwith several possible solutions. I could not wait to discuss them with the team and Ashish. I smiled to myself when I thought of how Ashish would react when I told him that I had come up with several possible solutions to the problem. I was sure he would be happy with me having put in so much effort into the project, right from day one.
I was daydreaming about all the praise that I was going to get when Ashish walked into the office. I waited for him to go into his workplace, and after five minutes, called him up, asking to see him.
He asked me to come in after ten minutes. When I went in, he looked at me blankly and asked, "Yes?" Not sure whether he had recognized me, I introduced myself. He said, "Ok, but why did you want to meet me?"
I started to tell him about the problems we were having with the software. But before I could even finish, he told me that he was busy with other things, and that he would send an email with the solution to all the members of the team by the end of the day, and that we could then implement it immediately.
I was somewhat taken aback. However, ever the optimist, I...