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Goodbye to all that

It’s been such a wonderful day. I was scarcely out of bed before I got another job offer, the fifth in three months. Only this one is different, they’re giving me a fat signing-on bonus, writes Manas Chakravarty.

india Updated: Dec 20, 2008 21:10 IST

20 December 2007
Dear Diary,

It’s been such a wonderful day. I was scarcely out of bed before I got another job offer, the fifth in three months. Only this one is different, they’re giving me a fat signing-on bonus. Of course, that’s in addition to the usual things like a 50 per cent raise and stock options and the standard perks. So I was sorely tempted. Trouble is, I’ve already changed three jobs this year and it won’t look good on my CV.

So I called my boss and told him I'm quitting. The poor guy was absolutely stricken, I felt sorry for the sod — it’s really tough to retain people these days. As expected, he gave me the usual spiel about how important I was to the organisation and all that and I hemmed and hawed and pretended to reconsider. After 10 minutes, the upshot was a 60 per cent raise and my staying back. What’s more, I get that junket to Paris in January.

Obviously I was on cloud nine after this. I fooled around in office for a while and checked my portfolio. Guess what? All those stocks I had bought just a week back are up 20 per cent already, so naturally I bought some more. I also applied online for an IPO, I have no idea what the company makes, but so what? It’s sure to be listed at a fat premium and I’ll make a tidy sum selling my allotment.

I then called my wife to tell her the good news — she’s just got a new job with a foreign investment bank and doubled her salary. We immediately decided to make that down payment for a new three-bedroom flat in South Mumbai. The EMIs will be huge and we also have to pay for the new car. But what the heck. We can afford it, what with the Sensex sure to go to 30,000 next year and the job market so good. True, the building will be ready only three years later. But I could easily make a killing by selling off my flat even before the construction work starts. Which reminds me, we’re off to Bali next week for some rest and recreation.

I have to rush. They’re having an office party at the Taj and I have to put on my dancing shoes. Hope the wine is good.

20 December 2008

Dear Diary,

This vada pav is horrible. It’s cold and greasy. But that’s all you can get in this area at this time of the night. I knew it would be difficult to adjust when the office decided to shift from downtown to this godforsaken suburb to cut costs. But I never imagined I would have to survive on street food. But I suppose it’ll save me some money.

These days I make it a point to stick around in the office working till late at night.

The company is deep in the red and lots of guys have been sacked and there are absolutely no jobs in the market. They have already cut back on perks and the boss is giving broad hints that salary cuts will follow. The last break I took was during Diwali, when we went to the temple at Shirdi.

The less said about stocks the better, these days I’m scared to even look at my demat account, it’s so depressing. So far I’ve comforted myself by pretending I’m a long-term investor so all this doesn’t affect me. But I’m up to my neck in debt and might have to sell some shares at a huge loss. Also, construction work on my new flat has stopped because the builder says he doesn't have any money. Worse, that hotshot investment bank my wife worked in has shut shop.

Anyway, look on the bright side. The good thing about going home so late is that the trains are empty. Guess I’ll turn out the lights — cost saving, you know — and say good night to the watchman.

Manas Chakravarty is Consulting Editor, Mint