SO, ladies and gentlemen, its the day I have to start my new life! 14th of June it is, and Bosch is the place. I have to report at work at 8 am, and I estimated a one hour journey in the worst case scenario!
I got up at 5 am, not necessarily to start tooooo early, but to follow an NBA game. I did all the early-morning-formalities during the time-outs and the end-of-period breaks. And then during the half time I took bath and then dressed up in the formals. (what dress code is it going to be in the company? Do they want us to be in complete full-formals? Tie? Casuals? Whats it going to be???? ) Well, I was in good formal dressing, which shouldn't seem out of the world from any angle.
Not able to see my team continually lag the arch rivals, I finally shrugged the sad thought off and left for my bus stop, as directed by the watchman of my apartment. Not more than 30 seconds after I reached my bus stop, a bus arrived. Luckily, it was the one that'd take me to the first point of my travel en route (err, not exactly en-route, but lets say its one of the easiest way) to Bosch. It was a comfortable bus, and for the first time in the day I had some time to pay some attention to the weather. It was as calm as you would like, clouds up over you, not wanting to rain, cool breeze to lift your mood up and a few birds chirping around (7 am). So, I got the ticket to "Gandhipuram" bus stand and took a seat in the bus and took out my mobile to check the score in the match. Sad, yet again, Lakers were still trailing, in the middle of the fourth quarter :-( . For some reason, I wasn't too sad about it. I was sad, but not as sad or angry as I would usually be when Lakers are trailing, especially to Boston Celtics. wushhhhhhhhhh... Back to Coimbatore. Mobile still updating the sad news (scores), but I was looking out of the window like a kid in a zoo. Nice clean roads, walls being beautified for a conference which'll be held in a few days' time, it all looked nice for a newbie.
So, I reach this bus stand I mentioned, I inquired about which bus I had to next take to go to "Saravanampatti" (I'll refer to this place as SP now on, if I have to). And I found it there, right besides me, and happily I climbed in, got the ticket and requested the conductor to let me know when the bus reaches that place. And now, I was going through another new road. The road by which I came to the bus stand (most of the route) and the road by which I was going to SP were both highways. While the former was three-laned, clean, beautified one, this one was a rugged, not well maintained, stereotype Indian road. But more of hustle-bustle, more shops, more bakeries, more than one inter-city bus terminuses and many friendly people. After some twenty-five thirty minutes (during which Lakers had lost game 4 to Celtics :-( ), I reached SP!!!
Just like some described it, its not a big place or something. As far as I know, its a junction. 4 roads - one with shops, one with more shops (and bakeries of course), one I think takes you to the village and to a place called "Sathi", and one takes you to the STPI (Software Technological Park of India). Its a campus, which also hosts Dell, Cognizant and also a college (KGiSL) which I think owns the place/"park".
i enter the place, only to be confronted by the gatekeeper who gave me a gate pass. I was thinking, "today, he is giving me a visitor's pass today, and maybe saluting me tomorrow onwards". ha ha! Then the reality kicked in - Move on, grumpy fellow, you aren't even an employee yet!So, I asked directions for the building, and after a few zig-zag roads, I reached this building which was sporting a huge logo of the company (armature of a magneto) along with the name "BOSCH", in red. And some twenty of us waiting outside the building near the green lawn, and the crowd was building up. No signs of anyone from my college yet! After a few mins, we were beckoned inside the building. And thus, I set foot "in" Bosch! We were made to sit in the little lobby. Thanks to the lack of chairs, I got to sit in huge comfortable sofas and face a big LCD screen at the other end of the lobby. The TV was playing tapes of the company, one of which had bharatanatyam dancers and Bosch products playing one after the other. Seemed funny, but the video, if you paid attention to, had much more info about the company's expansion in India.
After some time, we were shifted to another campus, an SEZ one, which was 4 km away from this one. This portion of land in the SEZ was owned by Bosch, and I learnt that there were a couple of phases yet to be built, so, in 5 years time, this place would look picturesque!
Let me describe this place for you... On one side you see plain, empty lands, peppered with some trees here and there, and on one side there is a range of hills (the ones I saw the previous day, now much close) which had a green carpet and covered by clouds. The hill had a cap of cloud on it! The sun was playing hide and seek with the clouds in the direction opposite to where the hills lie. The temperature was a moderate 22-23 deg C. Facing the East, to my left was a wonderfully constructed state-of-art company workplace, and to the right was an equally beautiful looking canteen (they have pretty good food too, will come to that point soon). And this, my folks, is going to be my working environment! But seriously, seeing is believing, his place is beautiful, I am just lost for words to describe this (I am usually good at doing so, sadly but not now :-( )
So, we (some 70 odd, with presumably 30+ from the other side of the TN-Kerala border from what my ears could sense) entered the building and trudged to the Atrium in 2nd floor. Of course we were looking around at every piece of the building like as if it was a monument with artifacts! The large hall with plenty of comfortable push-back chairs, some columns dropping from the ceiling echoed the "huge" factor. Many well arranged lights and other gadgets dotted the ceiling of the semi circular atrium. There is a mini-stage too, with a dais and a digi clock which showed IST and British time. The two were out of sync by approximately 23 seconds!!! And yeah, there was some music being played. It was a male voice, a German's maybe, perfect for opera singing, and he was singing some verses about the company. It was nice for the first time, ok for the second, monotonous for the third, boring for the fourth and irritating for the fifth, sixth and seventh time. And finally all the seniors arrived and put a stop to this torture, by which time a group was ready to sing it out if they promised to stop it. Thankfully enough, we didn't have to ink a deal for that :-P .
We gave our introduction, then the unit head gave an introduction from the company's side and then we were quickly into the induction process. A brush of all the rules to be followed while being in the company, and we were set for the paper work! And within two minutes, all the chairs were re arranged to have four rows facing four different points on the perimeter of the hall. Each point had a computer and an associate from the HR department to assist us with the process. I was put under "group-2" for this process, and I recognized the name of the lady who was on the HR team for the group - the same lady whom I had been calling up for the past two weeks, asking doubts, and more doubts and kept compounding doubts on top of her head! She must've hung the phone once and said " A fool can ask more questions than a wise (wo)man can answer!". Ours eyes met, but she didn't make a fuss, phew! Then, someone else replaced her for the rest of the day, and soon the paper work was done! After a superb lunch (I don't remember what the dessert was...) we were back to the atrium! I made a couple of new friends. I guess if I knew Malayalam, I would've made a few more, but that wasn't the point, was it? There were quite a lot of people in the hall, and the language wasn't the barrier! Well, I was shy, yes... Well, many were like that. Made a few friends, hope to make a few more.
So, the afternoon session was a continuation of the formalities saga - some more paper work, and then photograph for ID card and a medical check up! Well, by the time its evening I have my ID card!!! :-)
P. Bharathram, a Boschite!
It was the end of the first day at Bosch, and it was time to get back home! This time, I will go to Gandhipuram in the company's bus :-) . The bus retraced the same path I had traversed in the morning. And from Gandhipuram bus stop, I took a local bus to my neighbourhood's bus stop. And I went to the same bakery I went to the previous night and had a burger with lemon soda this time (calorie count? well, the calorie-meter gave way). I returned to room, shared most of this experience to parents and friends and then sat down to fill in some more forms to be given to them the next day, and prepared to sleep!
It was a tough day... A lively, new, interesting, exciting, but tough day! And now, I was another member of this pan-world company, without which you might not have been able to drive cars! This is how I had my first day in Bosch. Lets see how good things go in here :-)
Thanks for sticking around for another looooong post. Some, I hope, enjoyed the ride of my corporate day-1 from my eyes.
Comments and suggestions welcome :-)
Until my next post, bubbyeee :-)