Detail is the devil. That’s my big problem in life. I’m fundamentally clumsy and prone to errors, and don’t have much of an eye for details. I tend to make a lot of silly mistakes. So whenever I’ve to do some task that requires precision, it requires me to put in way too much energy, so that I don’t commit any mistakes. This is why I have a problem with “routine” tasks. Routine tasks being routine, you are expected to complete them with one hundred per cent accuracy. Ninety five percent won’t do. That transformation from ninety five percent to hundred, though, takes up a lot of energy, and I tend to get stressed out.
Essentially, for a routine task to be done with one hundred percent accuracy, the mental energy I spend is far more than what the average person does. This means that if I do even a small bunch of routine tasks, all my mental energy is exhausted and I have nothing in store for anything else I’ve to do. This is the reason I’ve had an indifferent corporate career so far. Essentially, I face a competitive disadvantage in performing routine tasks.
This is something most people don’t appreciate. Most people assume that it doesn’t take much effort to perform routine tasks, and if you don’t do them well, you’re a good for nothing. And I must admit I’ve also not played to my strengths so far, routinely getting into situations where I’ve to show “detail” and “one hundred percent accuracy”, and not saving my energy for things I’m actually good at. Detail has been the devil.
PS: The motivation for this post was some small form I’d to fill (by hand). The space was limited and I knew I’d to write carefully without any mistakes, and that drove me completely nuts!
So you have suits and you have geeks. The problem with me is that I’m neither. I lie somewhere in between. So when I’m in the company of suits, I look like a geek, and in the company of geeks I look like a suit.
Problem is that suits don’t understand geeky stuff, or tend to get intimidated, or expect me to do magic. Geeks are usually dismissive of suity stuff, saying it’s all “globe” or “pfaff”. They think they are the masters of the universe and suits are dumb.
So. Suits to the left of me, and geeks to my right. Here I am, stuck in the middle with you
Ok so my hypothesis is that a consulting firm is a good place to work at if and only if the partners are involved in day-t0-day business.
Once the partners move on from doing day-to-day work into purely managerial roles – where they only manage their teams and interact with clients, they are no longer concerned about the quality of work, or the career development of their employees. All they are concerned about is the billing, and as long as they can sell their team to the client, and keep the client happy, that is all they care for.
Sooner or later, I hope to start a consulting firm. The basic idea has taken seed in my head, and once it’s firmed up enough I’ll let people know. However, at this point in time, I want to assure whoever will be my future employees that I don’t intend to grow the firm too large. I don’t have that much of a passion for managing people, so the thrill for me will be in doing the work that I want my consulting firm to do. And that way, the proud and arrogant man that I am, I’ll ensure that the quality of work at my firm doesn’t dip.
So earlier today I was reading this profile of a Harvard professor that Chan had shared on Google Reader, and I came across this name called Iqbal Dhaliwal. The name immediately rang a bell, and I realized I’d come across this name long long ago in the Competition Success Review (yes, I admit I used to read that ) when he topped the civil services exam.
So one of my hobbies is to try find out about a person’s origins and ethnicity given his/her name. Like I once figured that this colleague is of Danish descent because his surname ends with -sen while the more common spelling of that name is -son. And so I was trying to figure out where Iqbal Dhaliwal came from. It was clear from the first name that he’s Muslim. And the last name, I thought, sounded Punjabi.
And then my thought process went something like this:
First name Muslim, last name Punjabi-sounding… So is he a Punjabi Muslim? But then, I don’t know any Punjabi Muslims. Do there exist any Punjabi Muslims at all? Hey, wait a minute, I remember reading somewhere that the majority of people in Pakistan speak Punjabi. So there must exist Punjabi Muslims. But I don’t know any.. I don’t know any Punjabi Muslims but there are lots of them in Pakistan. Yeah, I don’t know any because all of them are in Pakistan. Yes, all of them are in Pakistan, most of them at least!
I know Kannadiga Muslims, Bengali Muslims, Gujarati Muslims, Kashmiri Muslims and Muslims from UP. But I don’t know any Punjabi Muslims. Because there are no Punjabi Muslims in India. Because ALL of them went to Pakistan. Tells you how much of an impact partition had in the Punjab, compared to anywhere else in India.