Tuesday, 1 May 2012

The first statistic that they give you in business school is " Majority of you will leave your first jobs after one year of starting it" and all of us looked at each other and said - how stupid can one be, that's definitely not going to happen to me !!
But then,the other day I spent 2 hours of my life resizing logos of companies since my VP wanted them to be re positioned and then another 20 minutes manually updating page numbers of a 70 page presentation. Now there were 2 thoughts running through my head - " I guess they were right " and second was " I paid a 100k for an MBA ". I mean we learnt things like strategy, international business, corporate finance, ethics and values, operations, marketing, accounting etc - the useless stuff. Actually, the course curriculum should have looked something as follows -

  1. Term 1 - Headers and foot notes, page numbers and table of content slide
  2. Term 2 - colors and learning how to change mustard yellow into light yellow (yes, apparently this was so important for one MD - that the night before a presentation was to go out he made the analyst change the colors because he didnt " like " the mustard yellow) 
  3. Term 3 - Powerpoint and MS excel/Advanced excel - waterfall charts, bubble charts, pie charts, all sorts of chart magic that you can weave that will add that special something in your life 
  4. Term 4 - How to deal with and give bull-shit. It will be split into electives - banker talk and consultant talk. The people who go to industry will just have to learn how to communicate normally -  now that cant be helped, hazards of doing a normal job you know. 
See - now this kind of MBA would have been cheaper and would have helped me MUCH more in my current job profile. Instead, I was actually made to believe I would be out there in the real world creating Value and Making a Difference- completely wrong expectation setting. As much as I crib about my work,it seems that its the same across the consulting world as well - so I've been told. Of course, I don't know anything about consulting having never worked in a consulting firm but I always wonder what kind of sales pitch was made to those guys.

It must have gone something like this - Ok guys, we will pay you less money, you will travel 28 days a month, live in shitty hotels, not have a routine, eat unhealthy food, not have a social life, rarely will you stay in one place long enough, you will see flight attendants more often than your family BUT we will do LOTS of team dinners and drinks (to make you feel like you have friends) and we will constantly tell you that U are the bright star shining in the sky. How does that sound?
And all these students dying to get into consulting would have said - yes please, take me, hire me, I ll do this, this sounds so great. 

Whereas the pitch to the bankers was - Ok, you people, we pay you some money and then you are our slaves. Comprende?  
And all the wannabe bankers - just shrugged their shoulders and said - ya, sure, watever. Some of the wannabe consultants would have heard this and said - hey, the money part sounded good,I'm going over to THAT side. 

But the funny part is - my consulting friends seem less frustrated about their jobs than us I-bankers. So - the question I ask is  - Why is that bankers on an average seem more bitter than their consulting counterparts or have I just been meeting the happy campers? It just cant be team dinners and it cannot be the fact there are not enough Type A personalities. Is it because they are all deluded into thinking that their work actually matters OR the fact they get to sleep more and get their weekends free. An inside source who has provided me a sneak peek into consulting life confirms it to be the latter - it seems as long as you can predict your schedule and have some sense of certainty about there being light at the end of the tunnel - apparently you can live with being treated like crap - Go figure!

I was supposed to put up a post on key protagonists in my Comedy of Errors. However, I will have to wait until I am safely tucked away under some mountain rock or when I never have to work for money again. 

Till then, 


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