Tuesday, July 22, 2014

JOB HOPPING MANTRA

JOB HOPPING MANTRA
Ramblings of a Retired Mind
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Never change your job because you are fed up with your present job.

Quit your present job and change to a new job only if you are attracted to your new future job.

Your career change must be for growth, not as a means of escape from your present career.

You must shift to a new career due to “Pull” factors (attraction) and not due to “Push” factors (repulsion).

The motivation to change your job must come from the “Pull” of the new career (attraction) and not the “Push” from your present job (frustration).

Let me share my experience from my long military career in the navy.

Organizational objectives require that the armed forces (army, navy and air force) have a steep pyramidal hierarchical organizational structure.

As a consequence, vacancies diminish as you rise in rank, and this adversely affects promotion prospects.

It is an accepted fact that career prospects in the defence services are poor as compared to career prospects the civil services.

(From time to time, attempts have been made to tinker with the time tested steep pyramidal military hierarchical structure by way of “cadre reviews” but it has been realized that making the military too “top heavy” may be detrimental to the fighting efficiency of the forces, as senior ranks only add to the “tail” and create an imbalance in the “teeth to tail” ratio)

The “steep pyramid” entails stringent promotion percentages which results in a ruthless selection process.

This results in a large number of good officers getting passed over for promotion at young ages due to lack of vacancies.

“Supersession” is an accepted “occupational hazard” in the defence services.

If you join the armed forces must be prepared for this eventuality of supersession at an early age, sometimes as early as in your 30’s, when you are “written off” and it suddenly becomes the “end of the road” as far as your military career is concerned.

In the military, individuals react to supersession in different ways.

Some overreact as they feel “betrayed” by the service (army, navy or air force) and they quit their military career immediately (strong “push” factor).

They suddenly land up on the “Civvy Street” in a bitter state of mind and unprepared for the consequences, not knowing what to do, since they have made no plans for the unexpected career shift.

Many such officers quit in a huff before completing the mandatory 20 years pensionable service and land up in dire financial straits.

Some remain in service, become bitter, and sour the atmosphere around them.

Others enjoy their “passed over” state and keep serving till superannuation.

If you are feeling “bored” with your job, remember it is better to be “bored” than “broke”.

One of my friends, a naval officer, quit the navy because he felt “intellectually suffocated” and “bored” in the navy.

Like I said earlier, he quit because of the “push” factor.

He discovered that his new job in the civilian world was even more “intellectually suffocating” and “boring” than the navy.

He quit that job too, and after a few days he spent all his savings and was broke, so he was forced to accept an even more boring and “intellectually suffocating” job.

In contrast, I have observed that those who changed their careers due to “pull” factors are happy and have done well in their new careers.

Some were attracted by the “pull” of entrepreneurship and wanted to do their own thing, so the opened their own businesses/industries/start ups.

Others discovered their true métier and shifted careers due to the “pull” of the new vocation they wanted to pursue.

I know a bright officer, who was doing well in service, who discovered that enjoyed teaching immensely, and he changed careers to become a schoolteacher and is very happy with his new way of life.

Here is my “Job Hopping Mantra” in a nutshell:

1. Never change your job because you are frustrated in your present job (“push” factor).

2. Change to a new career only if you are attracted to your new future job (“pull” factor)

Career Shift must be motivated by “attraction” to the new career, and not due to “repulsion” from your present job.

Dear Reader: Do you agree ?

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
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Disclaimer:
1. These are my personal views. You must do your own due diligence.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 

Monday, July 21, 2014

MOVE ON - A ZEN STORY FOR MILITARY VETERANS WHO REFUSE TO “RETIRE”

A ZEN STORY FOR MILITARY VETERANS WHO REFUSE TO “RETIRE”
By
VIKRAM KARVE

This Zen story is for my ex “fauji” colleagues, retired military veterans, who cannot get the military out of their system even many years after retirement:

THE STORY OF THE CELIBATE MONKS AND THE BEAUTIFUL WOMAN

Two Monks were once travelling together on a long journey.

It was the monsoon season and it was raining heavily.

Suddenly they reached a flooded stream.

They saw a beautiful woman standing near the banks of the stream.

She wanted to cross the stream.

But the beautiful woman was very scared of crossing the stream because she was afraid of the strong current and she could not swim.

On seeing the two monks, the beautiful woman asked them if they could help her cross the stream.

The first monk hesitated.

But the second monk quickly picked up the beautiful woman onto his shoulders and carried her across the water, and then he put her down on the other side.

The beautiful woman thanked him and departed.

As the monks continued on their way, the first monk was brooding and preoccupied.

After a while, the first monk could restrain himself no longer, and he was unable to hold his silence, so he admonished the second monk who had carried the woman, “Brother, our spiritual training teaches us to avoid any contact with women. We have to strictly observe the vows of celibacy. We monks do not go near females, especially young and lovely ones. But you picked up that beautiful woman on your shoulders and carried her all the way. It is sacrilege!”


“Brother,” the second monk replied, “I left the woman back there. Why are you are still carrying her?


VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. This story is a spoof, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Humor in Uniform - THE STORY OF “SEMAPHORE SIGNAL”

HUMOUR IN AND OUT OF UNIFORM

Here is a fiction story I wrote a few years ago, from my “Navy Yarn” archives, once more, for you to enjoy and have a laugh...

THE FLEET AUXILIARY CALLED SEMAPHORE SIGNAL
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer:
1. Please read this apocryphal story only if you have a sense of humor. This yarn is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh. And yes, this story is for mature adults only, so if you are a kid, or an overly gender sensitive type, please skip this post.
2.  This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)


PROLOGUE

I close my eyes and, in my mind’s eye, I mentally go back in time, almost 36 years back in time, to the late 1970s, and reminisce about my halcyon navy days, the happiest days of my life, and let delightful memories of those glorious navy days perambulate in my brain.

This morning, as I delved into my halcyon navy days, floating over my time line, I suddenly remembered that unforgettable episode about the “Fleet Auxiliary” who I had nicknamed “Semaphore Signal”.

Let me tell you about it. 

Please read the yarn and do tell me if you enjoyed reading the story, and I shall spin some more yarns for you.

I enjoy spinning yarns, some true, spiced up with lots of salt and pepper, and some apocryphal.

Like I said, I am going to spin a few naval yarns for you.

Now, Dear Reader, you’ve got to remember one thing. 

36 years ago, in the 1970s, it was an all-male navy, where bawdy jokes, ribaldry and profane language was the order of the day, and concepts like gender-sensitivity were unheard of, and this story is written in that spirit.

So let me reminisce and spin a few yarns for you to enjoy, no offence meant to anybody.

I just want to make you laugh and drive away your blues, and mine too. 

I am sure you have a good sense of humour and you will enjoy these yarns in the right spirit and take it with a pinch of salt.


THE FLEET AUXILIARY CALLED SEMAPHORE SIGNAL - a story by Vikram Karve

“FLEET AUXILIARIES”

We had returned to port after a long sailing and in the evening I decided to visit my course-mate Horny on his ship which was parked just ahead of us. 

Unlike mine, his was a small ship, and the atmosphere was totally informal, with just a Snotty and a sailor leisurely manning the gangway.

I identified myself, told them who I wanted to meet and started walking inside when the Snotty said, “Sir, just a moment, he is busy right now, someone is there with him in his cabin.”

“Busy? Okay. I’ll come later. Just tell him I had come,” I said, and started to walk away.

“Sir, why don’t you speak to him?” the Snotty said and dialled Horny in his cabin and held out the phone to me.

“Hey, don’t go,” Horny said, “just come down to my cabin.”

Horny was waiting for me outside his cabin, and I could see that he was genuinely happy to see me.

“So nice to see you after so many days. Come inside,” he said, opening the door of his cabin.

I was taken aback by what I saw in his cabin.

A woman was lying on his bunk.

On the side-table there was a bottle of my favourite Premium Scotch Whisky.

I was not surprised at seeing the girl.

Horny was a known Casanova famous for his peccadilloes.

What surprised me was the bottle of whisky, for Horny was a strict teetotaller. 

Horny introduced me.

The girl made no effort to get up.

She continued to lie down on the bunk in her supine position and smiled at me.

I smiled back.

Then Horny pointed outside and said to me, “Why don’t you sit in the wardroom for some time? We’ll finish off our business and join you in a few minutes. The bar, the fridge, everything is open, so just help yourself to a drink and whatever you want.”

It was just six in the evening, so I poured myself a beer, switched on the TV and relaxed in the wardroom waiting for Horny and his consort.

I was two beers down by the time Horny joined me in the wardroom.

“Girlfriend?” I asked him.

“No,” he said, “She’s just a fleet auxiliary.”


AN EXPLANATORY DIGRESSION... 

Let me digress a bit and tell you the difference between Fleet Auxiliary and “Fleet Auxiliary”

Fleet Auxiliary  

The former Fleet Auxiliary is a support ship, like an oil tanker, a supply vessel, a depot ship, or a hospital ship, which supports the main fleet. 

“Fleet Auxiliary” (in quotation marks)

The latter “Fleet Auxiliary” is a moniker, a nickname given to a girl who “supports” the men who man the fleet by having a good time with them and help them quench their carnal passions. 

This story is about this second type of “Fleet Auxiliary”.

With a “Fleet Auxiliary” it is a no-strings-attached relationship. 

Of course, there may have been be a bit of “barter” sometimes where she gets to drink the best booze and gets some gifts like an expensive perfume or some exquisite Swiss chocolates. 

Let me tell you that in those golden days of the License, Quota, Permit Raj, when prized and coveted foreign goodies were was not available in the domestic market and we got them duty-free on board, a naval officer was quite high up on the social ladder. 

Regrettably, the advent of liberalization and globalization changed everything, and nowadays, a naval officer is no longer the crème de la crème of society anymore, because today, money determines your status, and businessmen, entrepreneurs and celebrities are the new role models. 

And as far as “fleet auxiliaries” are concerned, it looks like they have disappeared from the fleet and found greener pastures, because when I asked a young Subbie about it a few days ago, he seemed totally clueless...

Digression Over, Story Continues ...


WHY THE FLEET AUXILIARY WAS CALLED SEMAPHORE SIGNAL

“Oh. So she is your latest Fleet Auxiliary? But she looks quite a Plain Jane,” I remarked.

“Never a judge a chick by her looks,” Horny said, “I can tell you from my own experience. Most of those gorgeous chic beauties who look like sex bombs turn out to be damp squibs, but these prosaic looking Plain-Jane types are terrific. Like this one. She’s real great. Just three drinks and she’s ready for action.”

“Three drinks?” I asked.

“Yes, just three large pegs of neat whisky and she is all primed up – ready for action.”

“Really?” I said, incredulous.

“The first drink, she lies horizontal. The second one, she puts her legs up by 45 degrees. And the moment she has her third drink, her legs go straight up to vertical position and she is ready for action.”

“Like a Semaphore Signal,” I said.

“Semaphore Signal? You mean the flags?”

“No. No. Not Naval Semaphore Signalling. I am talking about Railway Semaphore Signalling,” I said.

“Railway Semaphore Signalling?” he asked, confused.

“Yes. Railway Semaphore Signalling. To be precise your passionate “fleet auxiliary” can be described as a three position Multiple Aspect Upper Quadrant (or MAUQ) Semaphore Signal.”

“Hey, stop the mumbo jumbo and explain to me in simple language,” Horny said.

Now, I am no great raconteur, so I picked up a pencil and piece a paper, drew some pictures and explained the salient aspects of Semaphore Signalling. 

If you want to know what I told Horny, have a look at the picture below:








                Multiple Aspect Upper Quadrant (MAUQ) Semaphore Signalling

The images above are from the Indian Railways Fan Club (IRFCA) Website Post on Signalling Systems. Indian Railways Fan Club (IRFCA) is a hobby group for discussing all aspects of railways in India. You may read the post on semaphore signals by clicking the url link http://www.irfca.org/faq/faq-signal2.html 


SEMAPHORE SIGNALLING

Let’s look at the red coloured signal first.

The arm at horizontal position means “stop”, inclined upwards at 45 degrees means “caution” and the arm in the vertical position means “all clear” and the train can proceed.

Now look at the yellow coloured semaphore signal.

I think, that in the context of this story, the yellow coloured signal seems more apt:

STOPATTENTIONPROCEED.

Now just imagine that the legs of the girl (our “fleet auxiliary”) in place of the arm of the signal.

First Drink – Legs Horizontal – STOP

Second Drink – Legs inclined upwards by 45 degrees – ATTENTION

Third Drink – Legs Vertical – PROCEED

On hearing my explanation, Horny burst out laughing and we both laughed for a long time.

We were still laughing when “Semaphore Signal” joined us in the wardroom. 

She had freshened up. 

We talked. 

I liked her. 

Though she was quite chubby and ordinary looking, she had a very friendly smile and she exuded a sort of affable charm.

Life moved on, Horny moved on, I moved on.

And, of course, the “fleet auxiliary” called “Semaphore Signal” moved on, though I did see her a few times circulating around in the fleet.

Many years passed, and I had forgotten all about this episode when I unexpectedly ran into “Semaphore Signal” while browsing in a bookstore located in a mall.

I recognized her at once.

She was the very same “fleet auxiliary” I had nicknamed “Semaphore Signal”.

Now, so many years later, she had turned a bit plump, but otherwise she looked the same chubby girl with a sincere, friendly smile which radiated the same charming warmth.

I smiled at her.

She did not smile back.

In fact, she totally ignored me, showing absolutely no trace of recognition, and then she turned and walked towards the exit of the bookstore.

She walked out of the bookstore and stood in the foyer.

I followed her with my eyes and positioned myself so that I could clearly see her.

She took out her mobile phone from her purse, dialled a number, held the cell-phone near her ear and spoke briefly.

Then she walked into the food court of the mall and sat down on a vacant table.

I kept down the book I was browsing, walked out of the bookstore, into the spacious food court and sat down on a table from where I could see her clearly.

She knew that I was stalking her but she avoided looking directly in my direction.   

Suddenly a small girl came running and ran into her arms. 

The girl was followed by a man who smiled at her and sat down opposite her.

They were talking, maybe deciding what to eat – mother, father and daughter – a happy family.

I noticed that “Semaphore Signal” exuded the bliss of domesticity.

I felt happy for her – a “fleet auxiliary” so happily settled down in family life.

It was time for me to leave.

I got up, looked at her for the last time and started to turn away.

Just as I was turning away, “Semaphore Signal” looked in my direction, gave me a fleeting glance, a brief smile of recognition.

Then she looked down at her daughter and started talking to her.


EPILOGUE

As I walked away after the encounter I felt happy for “Semaphore Signal”.

She was one of the fortunate “fleet auxiliaries” who had put her past behind, moved on into a new world and settled down into a happy married life – the bliss of domesticity.

Others were not so lucky.

Some could not move on in life and persisted with their ways till age overcame them and the only future the could look forward to was to live a life of a lonely spinster, an old maid, with only reminisces to think about. 

A few managed to “trap” a gullible naval officer into marriage.

Some marriages succeeded, but many such marriages ended in disaster, since they remained in the same environment and did not escape to a new world. 

Much as they tried, they could not prevent the shadow of their past life from haunting their present lives.

I don’t know why, but whenever I see a woman drinking whisky, I remember “Semaphore Signal” and a smile comes to my lips.

I really don’t know if there is a connection between alcohol and promiscuity, but then as my friend Romeo would boast: “Give me a woman who drinks and I can get her into bed”.

And he proved his theory, time and again.

But that is another story, one more yarn I will spin some day.

Till then, let me hark back with nostalgia to the story of The Fleet Auxiliary called Semaphore Signal.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. This story is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 

Did you like this story?
I am sure you will like the 27 short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL
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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
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Email: vikramkarve@hotmail.com
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 

Posted earlier in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/10/a-fleet-auxiliary-called-semaphore.html