Saturday, September 22, 2007

My first call

I was not particularly interested in the field of sales and marketing. Yet, I found myself in my first full time job -- in sales, with the impressive and misleading designation of 'Consultant - Internet Services' in a small marketing company. It was my first sales 'call' (The word Consultant at that stage, i think was a gimmick but one that worked like a charm). The company / gentleman I was to call on was a kind of one-man show and located somewhere off Cenotaph road in Chennai.

Things against me:
1. I did not know THAT much about the Internet services I was selling.
2. It was my first sales call alone so i was a bit nervous.
3. I was prone to a chronic cough that came on suddenly in irritant spells and would not go away when you wanted it to no matter what -- water, fresh air, you name it.

So, i reach the address and survey the building apprehensively because not a soul was about. Then I learn that the 'company' was situated above the man's house, right on top of the building - 3rd floor or so. So I started to climb. Slowly, because we all know how embarrassing it is to arrive at any interview or appointment panting like a dog and with a stitch in your know, first impressions and all that!

Climbing past the first floor, I heard some pattering of feet behind me and turned around to see this big dog, a retriever-cross, who even LOOKED cross, or should I say a dog that looked 'no-nonsense'. Being a dog lover you would think I was thrilled to see him. But I was NOT. This dog was eerily quiet and watchful. I was nervous and I knew the dog could smell it. I started panicking. But it was a one-way, spiral staircase and there was still not a soul in sight. Screaming out meant I WANTED a dog bite. So I uncertainly continued to climb, keeping a watchful eye over my shoulder on this stern fellow who kept following me at the same distance but the control he exercised was more unnerving than anything else. On and on I went until suddenly, I just came upon a door. I then understood what the term 'standing between the DEVIL and the DEEP SEA actually meant!

I let the Devil out of my thoughts and knocked on the Deep Sea's door. The 'come in' was so prompt I pushed the door and stumbled into the room wheezing and panic stricken. So much for 1st impressions! Why put a step at a doorway. Annoying habit some builders have I tell you!! The man (just some years older than I was)looked surprised but before he could exhibit his hiding of any amusment at my ungainly entrance, the coughing bout came on...and how. It was HIS turn to panic -- what if this crazy sales woman died of a coughing fit in his office?He offered me water at once which I wheezed, coughed at and waved away. Finally when the damn bout left me, I started to blubber about my company and its products. Turned out, he was better informed than I was and was not going to buy anything, so i gave it up quickly as a lost cause. My mind was on how to descend that what i call Rapunzel staircase (it may as well not have been there for all the steep and spirally design, HMPH) without encountering the dog again. I asked him that and he assured me that the dog was friendly.

Needless to say, my flight down the stairs was quick and painless unlike the damage to my ego!!

A song and dance about nothing!

What is it with these singing and dancing competitions on channels like vijay TV? The 'super singer junior' or whatever it is called, is absurd. Simply because, you are testing CHILDREN on their singing skills based on FILM songs. If this alone were not bad enough, you have these parents of the contenders CRYING with the stress of waiting to find out whether their child made it; acting as though their lives depended on the outcome.

I am all for singing competitions. But this is going too far. I blame the parents for their immaturity and for what? For a film song! At least if it were Classical or Folk music, it is understandable because we are culture-oriented people. This is complete dilution of our rich culture. Call me conservative but kids ought to be guided the right way and this is not it. Especially because, many of the film songs have inappropriate words for a ten year old to be belting out (although, I have to say, these kids are immensely talented with the actual singing) and the songs also have unsuitable vibes like romance and even lust. Even now, as an adult, I would cringe with embarrasment if I had to sing some of the songs those kids sang from the films.

Why can't people see this?

Today I happened to be flipping channels and came across this dancing competiton (thankfully for adults) -- Jodi No.1 or something on Vijay TV. Again, so frivolous -- dancing to film songs. As if it is not enough that the filmstars even, look a tad foolish doing the actual song sequence in the movies but that at least is part of what they DO in a film besides acting. Sure they want to put 'any which' talent out there. But, where is all the importance classical music and dance deserve? Dancing to a Vijay or Simbu number, HMPH. But even that in itself is Ok. For fun...'chumma'. But then getting emotional and hyper about the 'judges' decision is atrocious. Tears of joy or sadness / disappointment are also quick to follow. Hello, THIS REAL TALENT?

Where is all this going?

To the dogs, where else? !

Jaya TV's SPB show is rather better. And all those on Sun TV , etc. (the ones you get Sunday mornings) are also acceptable - but just about. Sure, classical can get heavy and is not as glamourous or 'fun' as the film songs but there is also an in between that's almost dead and gone and which deserves a mention - folk music. Folk music is part of the rich Indian culture too and anyday better than the ridiculously worded songs of today's films. Please, bring it back -- better than the sicko film songs being churned out.

I am sure the Americal Idol kickstarted this trend in India. But we must remember that those were not CHILDREN who competed and withstood those judges' (one judge in particular) caustic tongue. We are teaching our kids rubbish again and again. Er, no, what do I mean by 'we'? I mean 'YOU', the parents of those children in that competition who had to face some super-smug one-song-is-my-claim-to-filmy-fame judges.

Besides, what IS the actual caliber of these judges anyway? ARGH. Let me not get into THAT now. Enough said ...I think;)

Hey, some one has said I am caustic in my blog. I not like that word. Are my complaints not genuine?? But the comment has set me my fervour to get some cribs out of my system, I have forgotten some funny anecdotes and some interesting ones as well that I should also definitely share...coming up then... next time.