July 06, 2011

My first job is now my former job

And my first job comes to an abrupt end. A beautiful chapter comes to a fugly end. I'm gonna miss that place like, dunno what to say, gonna miss it to so much. For past year and a half, I had no aim other than becoming a better sub-editor. Tried my best to give headlines with a zing, sometimes succeeded too. The Economist stylebook was my Bible. Used to read it, re-read and then re-read it again. I wanted to be flawless, perfect. Used to go through the book of idioms, phrases and allusions so affectionately as if it was a collection of the love letters from my girlfriend.

I have no girlfriend. For the past year and a half, work was my only love. Just how much I loved working! Used to come to work even on my weekly offs, voluntarily. Past year during monsoon, used to end up getting drenched almost every other day while coming to office but still worked full shift, cheerfully, shivering under the fan, only because I absolutely loved my work. Didn't take any casual leave, ever. And until my road accident five months ago, took just two sick leaves altogether, that too when I was sick as a dog.

Talking of accident, that too happened because I chose work over family. My cousin was getting married in my hometown. I hadn't been to home for one and a half years. I had asked for leave, once. Didn't ask twice because there was severe shortage of people in my department. I got my flight tickets cancelled and chose to stay back, for sake of work. And it's during this period that I met with an road accident, while returning from work :-|

I didn't mind being underpaid and overworked (Rs 13,500 a month in a city like Bangalore, give me a break!). Just because I loved my work. But sooner or later, every lover in a one-sided love one day wakes up to reality. Even after increment, my salary is less than that of freshers! Whoa, can't take it, dude.

However, one bitter episode can't make me bitter. Nothing can, in fact. I had loads of fun working here. No other newspaper office, I presume, has such a work atmosphere where employees have so much fun. I'm attached to this job, to 'my' computer, to my colleagues, to my 'Press' pass, to that office. Maybe that's why I turned down all those job offers that came my way during my tenure with the company.

It was my first job. First job, man! Do you realise how special it is! To me it is as special as my first love, first zero in physics, first bike and first accident (minor). I absolutely loved my work. I loved the people I worked with. Feels sad to leave.

But know what? A job that you love but doesn't pay well is like being attracted to a shemale: it seems nice, but fails you at the most crucial spot. Likewise, a job that pays well but doesn't excite you is like an ugly lady you'd date just because she's rich. I choose neither. That is why I, yesterday, walked out of my under-paying job. And that is why I, just a week ago, turned down the job offer from the world's biggest news agency — established in 1799, mind you — even though it was offering me more than twice of what I was getting from my then-current job. (No disrespect intended to the company whose offer I turned down. Utmost disrespect intended to the decision makers of the company I quit.)

I have quit the company. Of course, they will get a new sub-editor, who will sit on 'my' system, will replace me. But know what? I am irreplaceable. I cannot be replaced. No one else can be like Hemant Gairola.

Before ending, I want to tell my friends in reporting department that whenever I got to edit a byline story of any of you, I always strived to edit it as nicely as possible, make it look as good as I could. However, there must have been times when my editing might have disappointed you. I apologise for that. My friends on desk (well, there's hardly anyone left on desk now), I'm gonna miss you all a lot. Missing you already :( Love you guys a lot. I'll give you all free front-row passes of my concerts when I become rock star.

Ah, dunno how to end this piece I'm writing. As a sub-editor I've always taken pride in keeping text as short as possible. But it's alrite. I've left my first job (actually I haven't left, didn't want to leave, the job has left me), I'm a bit senti and need to tell all of it. But it's ok. You guys must be having stories to file, to edit and finish pages on time. All the very best to all of you. Lots of love...



“Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.

— Confucius