On March 8, 2016, is the first time I saw her. A vibrant looking woman with a pleasant beam wearing a red saree. She was amazing. As I was admiring her, she walked towards me and called me to the interview room. That is when I realized she is the manager who is supposed to interview me. Her name is Mrs. Elsan John.
The interview went well. I was confirmed on the offer and joined the team as a Senior associate in the L&D department. During probation, I was learning about a new role, a new environment, new people, and a new culture. It was interesting.
The time came, and I got my first assignment from my manager. I had to prepare training material for a session on business presentations. I was like, “it’s a snap thing for me”; also, I did complete it on time. We had our first review meet post when I was brain-fried. Almost every slide had some corrections to be done.
I was anxious as I haven’t encountered such a failure before. Furiously I did all the corrections and went for another review. Review after review and version after version. One good thing was no. of errors got decreased after every attempt.
But if I think wisely, without entangling me to the situation, every single correction was about
- Given this material, will it help us serve the purpose?
- Does this material suffice to meet the objective?
- Will this help the participant in their learning?
That’s thought-provoking, isn’t it? The way she analyses everything, her perspective, and her valid points were fascinating. I admit that I took some time to gain this acumen. But the moment I did, I decided that she was going to be my mentor for that phase of my life.
From then on, I started mirroring, observing, and learning from her. Adding more to it, I was admiring her for what she was. When she was at her cabin, she was a strict manager. When she walks around and chats with people, she played the role of a cool colleague. The time with her at the cafeteria, oh my god, I enjoyed her spoof. The other senior people called her ‘The Protocol women’ For me, she is the ‘Iron lady’ I knew. I would also like to refer her to this character ‘Ms. Cat Grant’ from the series ‘Supergirl’. She is ‘Mis Perfectionist’.
A year later, I was able to read her gestures, guess her frequently used words, and even read her emotions based on her tone of voice. I also realized that she built trust in me as I showed my true self to her. There are days when my HR called me Junior Elsan and I had goosebumps.
Not just professional life, we were also able to connect personally. All the events and outings we were together were blissful moments. I missed her on my two important days, my last working day and at my wedding reception.
There was one day, I was fuming on my family issues, she called me, asked me what was wrong, and spent time with me. That eased me and made me come out of that agony. She had no necessity, nor part of her role. This action of her’s shows how compassionate a person she is. How much she cares for her employees.
A week ago, when I started preparing this script, I realized the whole 3 years all that she did was creating opportunities to develop my skill and to prove myself that got me experience, knowledge, rewards & recognition. She also showed me how to play multiple roles with confidence, love, and integrity. She also taught me to ‘forgive & forget’ ‘there is always another way’ She gave me a chisel and made me GO CHIP CHIP CHIP and the person I am today is the sculpture out of it.