Friday, 2 November 2012

The moment of epiphany

- by Rohin Kumar

As the last student stepped out of the room, I looked down at my watch , it was 9.00 pm. I has spent the past 12 hours with our hospitality students. It was the placement-day and things had not gone as expected. I had just got done with the mock interviews for our students to help them feel more confident. As I stepped out, the lights in the hallway of our training center in Aurangabad were dim. I got a call from my mother and throughout the conversation my frustration & irritation was quite evident, as I kept on reiterating to her that I had been working for 12 hrs and things didn’t seem pretty. After my conversation with her, I was thinking of different ways to motivate myself and the students, when lights from the admin room drew my attention. It was Avinash, our admin guy (actually our one man army), who takes care of many ground-level things in the centre, from collating data to reaching out to the students.

I wondered what he was doing so late in the night, as he had started his day at the same time as me. On enquiry he told me with a smile that he had some important work and deadlines to meet. The surprising part for me was that it was 9 o’clock in the night and he still had a smile on his face and the enthusiasm of a child. As I wished him good night, I thought about how I was left tired & frustrated after working for 12 hours at a stretch and how Avinash was so full of smiles and positivity.
The next morning, he was there again catering to his work. As we spoke, he told me that he had been blessed with a baby girl. After congratulating him, I asked him if the baby resembled him or his wife. The answer to that is something that stunned me to the core. He said he hadn’t seen his baby as he was busy with work. It had been seven days since his baby’s birth and all this time all he did was work irrespective of the numerous times he had been told by the center to take time off and go home. Perhaps this is what (the great) Steve Jobs defined as passion for work. I thought to myself - here is a person who probably earns less than half of what I do but puts double the effort. He was the inspiration that our students and I were looking for.

In the end, we placed each  of our students across all the various five-star properties (placement partners). Avinash took leave for two days and went to see his baby girl after which he was back in the centre working ,with a smile (as always)!

- Rohin works in the Placement team

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