Heart beating, pulse racing, nerves ticking I entered the threshold of what would be my first day at work, on passing out from a premium management institute at Patna.
Patna, in those days, about a decade and a half back was a still a small fledgling town on the throes of experiencing the fruits of globalization. The pall of fear and uncertainty looming over it on account of the crime-political nexus made the big corporates wary of setting up their base in this city. L.G, which provided me the first breakthrough, was a pioneer, in terms of being the MNC which dared to venture into this hinterland.
Fresh out of college, I was buoyant with my dreams and aspirations of making it big as I was about to start a new innings. The opportunity that my first job provided held immense significance to someone from my kind of tight financial background, brought up as I was by a mother who single-handedly managed to rear up her two children and provide them with promising education at immense personal cost.
The day held a lot of promise as I realised I was going to be the first woman employee in the company’s payroll, since its inception two years back. In this all – male domain, I was the singular woman in my entire tenure of work period. Holding fort my opinions, my voice, my outlook was hence going to test a lotof my fortitude, resilience and perseverance in the quest to mark my presence. From the first day onwards, I had to set the record straight that my being a novice in this corporate jungle noway undermined my potential, my talent and my skills to mark a substantial contribution in this one person, that too a woman, led H.R department. My clear perception, sound knowledge of H.R norms and systems made some of the insecure, arrogant, weight throwing members of the Sales and Marketing team, play on the back foot and act hostile.
This did not however daunt me to the extent that there was no provision for a separate washroom for the female employees since they had never envisaged a woman to join and retain her position in this company, for very long. Unwaveringly, however I made sure this was but a temporary setback as I went ahead to make friends with some very genial counterparts in the opposite door branch office of a private sector bank whose generosity opened the doors to their fully equipped wash cubicle , for the entire length of time , I worked over there.
The hostility of few was however offset by the magnanimity and open heartedness of the men in the Customer Service department, who welcomed my presence with open arms, made me feel like family and offered me all the support and know-how they could muster, in a bid to help me settle .
Truly said, when a woman sets out to conquer the demons, there is no dearth of challenges waiting to rein her in. The days ahead were going to be demanding, challenging and extremely daunting and the first day in the office had just offered a sneak preview to it.