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Posts Tagged ‘P&G’

2011

2011

Written – Summer of 2007

Karachi – Procter and Gamble Internship Program.

U – Unaiza. K – Kamil

 

U: Do you write?

K: Yes occasionally when the need arises. You can read them on my deviant art journal. The rest are on my PC at home and my old diaries.

U: You take pictures too? i didn’t know that.

K: Don’t call them pictures. Its photography.

U: Why don’t  you like the term “pictures”?

K: because it sounds so inconsequential.

U: Do your pictures have consequences?

K: To me? Yes. To the rest of the world. I frankly don’t care what they think. But it would be good to think that it makes some impact other then mere aesthetics.

U: They are mere aesthetics. That’s what art is no?

K: Yes among other things. But i don’t take pictures or paint a canvas so it looks on my mantle piece or sell it to some moron with money who thinks it looks good above his bed while he’s seducing some woman.

U: Then why do you do all that?

K: Self expression. Talking with my pictures or canvas as i do with my words.

U:You said u didn’t like the term pictures.

K: yes i said it for your sake.

U: U do things for other peoples sake?

K: No. People annoy me.

U: Do all people annoy you?

K: Yes. Em searching for Atlantis.

U: What is Atlantis?

K: A Place Where Only Heroes. because they carry the essence of Life within them.

U: who are heroes?

K: People who are original.

U: Is God Original?

K: No. They say He made man in his own image. I think he did a terrible job at it. Left us with the crap, and kept the good stuff for Angels.

U: Your envious of Angels?

K: Yes, they have wings. But we built planes.

U: Which would u rather have? Wings or Planes?

K: Wings. I wouldn’t be left at the mercy of other peoples whims.

U: Do you paint?

K: Yes, oil on canvas.

U: I didn’t take you for the artistic type.

K: I don’t like stereotypes.

Foot-Note: Thank you Uniaza for inspiring me to write my first dialogue 🙂

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Where does it all end?

Where does it all fucking end? Money, money money. Career, career, career. Corporates, designations, names on doors. Business cards, cellphones, cars, bigger cars. SUVs. The whole damn showroom. Houses, castles, compounds, plaza’s. Does the human greed know no bounds?

More then a year ago, I came to this city by the polluted sea, not expecting what it had instore for me. I came with an open mind, but little hopes. It was my first job, it was a big deal I got hired by anyone. Let alone Procter and ducking Gamble.

‘congratulations, your going to P&G! You must be excited’

‘Eer, yeah… I am just glad those four years of engineering didnt amount to nothing. I am not a waste.’

They did amount to something. Middle Management. Smack in the center of the world driven by greed. You work, day in day out. You get a promotion. You get a fatter pay cheque. You climb the ladder. You buy a bigger house, a bigger car, hell even someday a ducking boat with a hot tub. Hours turn into days, days merge with months, months crossover into years, you loose what you held dear once. All thats left is a hallowed shadow. You learn not to question. To doubt. You learn to believe. Believe that your making the world a better place. Believe that people want to buy your product. Believe that marketing is not you shoving something down their throats. Bamboozle them into making the choice. But people are smart. Mobs are smart. The collective conscience is indeed individual choice, and individual choice dictates that they buy.

Buy. Buy. Buy.

Buy so you have your job, buy that countless others like you, blessed to have the best edcation this wretched country has to offer, so you and countless others can be a vital part of the alien culture.

Yes sixteen years of education so I can be conidtioned to be numb.

Get a good education – move to a bad neighbourhood? No thank you. I like where I am just fine.

 

Wounded by *Rueme

Wounded by *Rueme

 

 

 

 

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Wont even pretend I was MIA from this blog a long time, and carry on like nothing ever happened.

Had to fly to Dubai on a very short notice, because the Arab bastard there was throwing a  tantrum over why the contract is Saudi has still not been signed. Anyway leaving the nitty gritty and the self praise – i.e. the glam of traveling (there is none but my dad seems very proud when I tell him, I am rushing to Dubai for a meeting – cute old man =) ) Someone in purchasing slept on the contract. 2 months later, everyone woke up, made noise about why the contract was NOT signed. I being the youngest and newest and recently moving to the assignment, was blamed. The standard line – You are the Owner. It is YOUR responsibility as the OWNER. Be more PROACTIVE and show LEADERSHIP. My standard response to this; stop bsing me and tell me what happened, I’ll tell you how to fix it. Of course when I imply these things in my emails to the big bosses, I am told I need to work on my communication skills. Has it ever occured to them, I donot WANT to talk sweet and stab people in the back. Rather be me. Like I am. Take it or leave it. I have made this speech a dozen times in my head. Just never had the balls to say it out loud.

So crazy 2 weeks it has been. Running here and there calling people, following up, emailing like crazy, as Rashid put it ‘You have to show them your on top of things’. Seven months, and I still dont see a point to my being here. At the end of the day, the people who work here are here for the money, the name, and the glam. Not just P&G, but all corporate. At the end of the day, I still go home, and forget about work, and think about my own idea’s. At the end of the day, I dont feel like I have spent my day doing something worth while. Rather do my time, do my work, so the pay cheque is halal money, an honest living.

As Sadaf put it yesterday, ‘Most people will be happy with the job and the money and the stamp on their ass’s, but your not. Your complicated’.

I disagree. I am not complicated. I ask very little of life and people. But somehow, with the way the world works, it’s alot to ask for that.

It begs the question. Am I asking for more then I can get?

Fountainhead - Ayn Rand

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First Moment of Truth (FMOT)

So here it how it goes. Here in P&G Sales, they have a concept. First moment of truth. From the time when the shopper enters the shop, glances at the shelf. To the moment, he picks up P&G product. The moment of truth for the shopper. What one must the company do to induce such a response? Shelf it a certain way, add strips and colors and brands. Add all the frills and whistles to seduce the customer to to pick up your thing off the shelf.

At P&G the company, there’s also a first moment of truth. The moment when you get the call, and hear your starting pay. To the first day at work and your first interaction with the people.

For some it may come later. For others it may not come at all, for me, it came the first week. But I decided to see how things man out. It’s only been a month. How can I possibly know what I want?

I don’t. But I know this isn’t it. Living in an alien city, living alone. Doing managerial BS, when I am an engineer with four years at GIKI to look back on. The projects I did as an undergrad. Watching it all come together. Watching graphs and numbers take shape. That was gratifying. That was satisfaction. That was using my brain to construct and conceive possibilities.

When I was younger, my idea of a perfect job was the one in which I would make lots of money and travel alot. Its amazing how things change. With time. I will travel on business trips if I stick around. Already I had a trip to turkey planned that got canceled. Another one to Dubai. Soon Europe.

But again, does the travel and the money really compensate me losing my dignity and self respect. Corporations seem to be no better then bonded slavery.

I haven’t made a decision yet. But the gears have started turning.

I haven’t made a decision yet. But the gears have started turning.

Fresh and Prime BS

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Although, when i said to my self, let me try and write something meaningfull, i had a few idea’s in my head. Mainly after a conversation with Wad, i thought i’d write something pertaining to it. In either case Wad, this is dedicated to you. And to you Dad, coz you told me. Write something. This maybe not be published in the TFT, but i am making a sincere effort. And you; Dad, never asked for more. No matter what i churn out of my Medula Oblangatas, this post is dedicated to the both of you.

21 guns-Green Day to fuel my creative juices.

He asked me if i was happy. Moving to another city, miles from my home, family, living in an apartment with a stranger. I said i am content. I guess the answer is not that simple.

If i track back on the other posts i have written, on this blog, I start by ranting on about how i dont have a career or a job or no direction blah blah. Now i have all of those things. I have a job at a very good company. I am getting paid enough to keep a good lifestyle, and i am living on my own. Independent to make my own desicions. All that one could ask for? Or is it? Is it right for me?

Yes. It is. When i ask myself, ‘what would I be doing back home’. The answer, inevitably is i would be either thinking about all those things mentioned above. Sitting in the window ledge, wondering, and slowly killing my air bags in the process. Then i would eat, lay infront of the tv. Or sit on the internet. Nothing productive. So yes compared to that, this is a much better deal . Specially now since i got a good place to live in, and that gives me a peace of mind. I have a decent, no wait, an excellent place to come back to after a long days work.

Ofcourse then, the exercise of this blog is not to let the corporate world drown out the tiny voice in my head. The voice that drives me to question social norms, status quo, in short, that gives me that individuality that i pride myself so much for. My ego. The stack of books on my bed are to keep me grounded. I am not comfortable with money or power. They corrupt people. They are the eccense of the consumerism that is killing out society and our minds. A slow creeping death. The irony. I am part of  the machine that is driving that culture. The catch. I wont let it get to me. I think it was in some Islamic reference that i heard, ‘Life is a constant struggle’. And so it is. No one said its going to be easy.

I stayed at PC and Avari, all expenses paid when i first arrived in The City by the Sea. My first reaction when i arrived at the hotel, PC, was utter discomfort and conflict. I cant do this, i told myself. I dont deserve it, I dont feel comfartable with people running around me, picking up after me. Its inhumane. Its below human dignity to be a servant to another man. But i realized after a couple of days, thats their job. They might not have chosen to have smiles pasted on their faces and fullfill every ridiciolous demand that the guest makes. But it’s their job. It fills their stomach, and their wives and childrens. In the end, all that we should/ even maybe are judged for is if we made an honest living. With our head held up high. Even though these poor bastards cant hold their head high. They do make an honest living. For the sake of their families they bear it all. All i can do is make it easier for them. Hence I humbly passed my time at both the hotels. Always being polite. Always greeting the staff with a pleasant smile. Always being grounded and not forgetting, this is not my place. It is only but passing. I was hazed and disoriented but i managed to keep my head straight. That has been how i have been brought up.

If Ali had been in my place, and he was talking to you, Wad, he would suggest Islam as a source of comfort for your troubled self. So would my sister, Gol. I would too for that matter. Although there is much lacking from me in that front myself. I am yet to get a prayer mat in my new room. I dont believe in traditional religion and rituals maybe. But i have a strong belief in God. It is an utterly personal thing for me. Not to be worn on your sleeve or displayed in your beard and piousness in wearing your shalwar above your ankles. It comes as all forms of respect and love must. From the core of your existence. It is very personal.

When i first got the call for the job, i remember sitting infront of the tv, watching, horrified, the news of a bomb blast in Peshawer. This was the second time some close had been so close in proximity to the destruction. Rabia’s windows and doors were shattered by the blast. Before this, Feryal’s parents were inside Marriot when it blew up. I asked my self, my country is drowning in blood, and i am going to go and work in a comfartable office, with people who live in a different country. Their worlds are not touched by such things. Mine has been. Or i choose to make it a point to register such things. I cannot live in a comfartable bubble and pretend my world ends where the rest begins. Politics is something every person must have a say in. It touches us all. But my justification, right or wrong, time will be a judge of it, was that at that stage, a fresh gaduate with no job experience, no money of his own. What can i do? I know, this is the question that we all must learn to answer to make a difference. I was writing those days. And i wrote a piece on the carnage of the current civil war that i saw myself at Malakand, ‘Damage Control’. I strongly believe in the written word, and its power to bring about change. But my part is not done yet.

What do all these seemingly random threads of thoughts come down to? I strongly believe i am made for things that are beyond working in an office, day in and day out. I strongly believe there must be more to life, then simply the nihilistic circle of making and consuming. We are, by God, or my evolution, in possesion of a brain. Rather a mind, the abstract concept of the slobby organ on top. The abstract which learns to say ‘I’, ‘Me’, ‘Why’, ‘How’  ‘When’, and all those questions. We are after all the only animal to ask questions about our own origins and look into science and spirituality for answers. For me, i believe it is writing. The power of language to express complex human thought and emotion in a way that others perceive  it and comprehend it is just fascinating. Must’nt we all have a higher purpose? That is a void, that can be filled with religion or science or art or any other thing of your choosing. Or let your intellect sink into a ocean of numbness and debauchery untill the tiny voice in your head is silenced.  Stop waiting for someone to show you the way. Make your own path. Think of Chris Columbus, or Alexandar, or Amstrong and his team at NASA, or Watson and Crick, or closer to my own heart and home, Abdus Salaam. There are many battles out there waiting to be fought. Pick one and get on with it.

I have a strong temptation to send this to TFT now that is has crossed the thousand words mark.

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So after much worrying, and delibration and again a little bit of worrying, i have finally moved into my own apartment. My own in the every sense of the word. I co inhabit this place. Which draws a thick line right down the rent and other costs. Hence making living a little bit easier. Yes it seems i have stepped out of shell and into my own. Flown from the nest so to speak. First staying at hotels, on my own, sponsered by the company ofcourse. But me. Not piggy back with my dad on one of his trips, but me! It’s all in digestion.

About the place. Well its furnished. It has a view of the sea and the sprawling city that is karachi. And its clean and has a lot of potential to become one of those living spaces one admires on tv. That requires work and commitment. My flatmate and I have already decided to paint the walls and jazz up the place. Right now as i am writing this, there’s a constant beat of the trance that blaring from the speakers in the next room in my ears. Not my taste, but its not vulgar. There is worse music people listen to out there.

I think i need to reaccess my blogging and writing, seems like it’s come down to chronicling my time here. Well maybe its just that newness of all of this that leads to this feeling like another ‘Dear Diary’ sob story.

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What you would ask does a man who is living at Pearl Continental have to complain about? Well to kick things off, i’ll start with my car ride, from the Karachi airport to the hotel.  The driver was a local. Myself not being used to the idea of being driven around by a driver, specifically for myself. I being a noob, started polite conversation. That apparently showed me as some rich snob who was staying at the pc on his own money. Now that never goes down well. He starting expecting a generous tip. I ignored it. If i have committed some unspeakable sin in doing so, amongst the elite culture of those who are used being driven around by chauffeurs then i humbly apologize.

I should however mention. This is me excercising the muscles of my mind to keep them from idling. After two online trainings at P&G about their brand equity and company values, (read brain washing), i felt the creeping fear in my bones that i was going to become one of them. This blog shall now serve the purpose of reminding me. This is just passing. I should not get used to it.

 

Driving past security, and a sniffer dog, a beagle if i am not mistaken. Used by the english in their famous fox hunts. A passing thought passed my mind, yes the irony.Why does not the islamabad police, in their vain attempt to hunt for bombs. Anyhow. Moving on, I entered through the huge glass doors. My luggage being catered to by men in uniform. The PC staff ofcourse, not the rangers stationed outside. I could’nt help but feel that this is what the Americans must feel like in the green zone, in Iraq and Afghanistan. A safe sancutuary, a world seperate then the one outside. Right in the soft lap of luxury.

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