Consider the following:
- A University topper takes up the first job she sees and starts work just four days after her final exams end.
- She starts work at a salary much lower than what the rest of the department makes. Works alone on a bi-weekly supplement, heads a team of over 25 people, produces good issues consistently, doesn't take holidays and constantly learns. Her editor is happy with her, the department's VP says that DK+ is the best of all the Response supplements and that the editorial coordinator (me) is doing a commendable job. All this for Rs 8,000. And she still finds reasons to smile.
- Then she begins looking for jobs because sitting at the desk, rewriting others' copies and producing issues is not really what she's cut out for. So she quits the exalted Times Group and sits at home.
- A month later, she finds employment with Mid Day. She is assigned the medical beat at a salary of Rs 12,000. She has no clue what she's supposed to do, has a very bad self-image and thinks that she'll be asked to quit within a month.
- 11 months later, she quits because she's sick of always looking at the small stuff. She quits in the same month that she may have got a pay hike in. But she quits with some solid reporting experience and finds that investing in the right people at the right time reaps good dividends. She makes some good friends who love her unconditionally. She finds the love of her life, who she loves unconditionally.
- Two months after sitting pretty at home, she lands a job at a Pune-based paper. After four months of mounting frustration, she suddenly finds her rhythm. She is signed on at a salary of Rs 19,000.
- Six months of working later, her probation period ends in a blaze of glory. She is given a hike of 2k and is officially recognised as a good reporter by those who matter. So she now has a happy editor and a great senior to work with. The great senior, by the way, is a fount of information on everything and also keeps her amused from time to time with spirited mimicry of all and sundry.
- 2005 to 2007, from Rs 8k to Rs 20k, from shy and reticent to confident and reasonably talented, from angry little girl to spirited fighter with a sense of humour, from a girl who scoffed true love to the girl who eventually found it...this is the story of my life.
June 12, 2007. I love me.