A chauffeur was waiting at the airport. This was the first training stint after joining this conglomerate; my first-ever work experience.
The driver stopped in front of a bungalow; this is where I was going to stay!
There were other luxuries beyond imagination. To reach the plant which was hardly a KM, I had a chauffeur-driven car.
Later, I landed up in another group company for my second stint—a growing fashion brand in a metro, full of buzz and energy.
The experience at the plant had created a mental benchmark of how important I was.
But here, I found out that there were fewer seats than people. People had to cling on to a chair and stayed seated. I laughed at this and asked my fellow trainees; they must have an identified a special place for us, right?
It was their turn to laugh. I felt undervalued.
For my third stint, I landed up in the corporate office of the group, working with the most impactful executives of their times. I did have a seat, but the average competence levels were like wow. Felt like I did not even exist.
Here is what I learned: The context changes, and it will always be beyond our circle of influence.
The only thing in our circle is who we are and who we become as a person.
COVID has just reinforced this.