Don’t believe it? Ask anyone who worked with me. They would confirm that I was a stickler to 5 day week rule and office timings.
Ask Shailendra and he would confirm how an HRD consultant from Canada-Rob Nelson had to reschedule his visit to Bangalore when I was the regional head. Friday as a working day was ok, but Saturday and Sunday- no, no, nope. And that’s what led to change in their program.
But in June 1990 I was back in Anand. This time to handle MIO that had already earned the reputation of being a 24×7 job. During the first month, when I was still getting oriented on this assignment and it’s weird working hours, I felt that unless I did something really drastic, this job would literally kill me.
So, I got into the serious mode and started to think on how to first get into the office timings. My shop too, like all other departments must open at 9.30 am and close at 6.pm. It was hard but within a month I somehow achieved it.
My next target was to get to 5 day week schedule. But there was a technical problem. Oil markets kept open for all six days-actually 5 and a half days. That meant that we had to have a small group responsible for bulk trading operate on Saturdays afternoons as well. Being inevitable, I accepted this reality and allowed the oil trading group to operate till 2 pm on Saturdays.
But for the rest, we managed to get back to 9.30-6.0 pm schedule. That wasn’t bad at all. We had time for our families. I think we achieved it by the third month of my taking over MIO.
It was during that period, that one day I ran into Rob Nelson ( Rob and Carol Nelson were Consultants in Human Resource Development assigned to NDDB in late eighties early nineties from the Canadian International Development Agency) as I was heading home for lunch. And we had one of the most hilarious conversations.
I recall below the conversation Rob and I had that day.
Alas, Rob is no more with us but his memories remain.
Rob: “Hi Nagar, good to see you. I learn that now your are
handling MIO and that is 24x7 job”. He said this with a twinkle in his eyes.
Me: “Yes Rob, I am now handling MIO, but it is still 5 days a week”.
Rob: “I don’t believe it. But if it is true, your nose must be on the grind all the time!”.Me: “Oh no, I have a lot of free time”.
Rob: “Free time? Ok, then tell me what do you do during this ‘free’ time”.
Me: “I think”.
Me: “How to make it a 4 day week”.
Rob: (Grinning) “ok, suppose you succeed in making it a 4 day week, you still have to come to work for 5 days. So, what will you do on the fifth day?”
Me: “I will think”.
Rob: “ Think on what?”
Me: “How to make it a 3 day week”.
Poor Rob, he nearly fainted.
Don’t you think I deserve a thumbs up for my ‘serious’ side??..