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October 12, 2017

CBIT - Those were the days, when innocence still reigned! - Ethiopian Journey - Blog Post no - 3.

Old CBIT Canteen!
Our CBIT MBA girls were a very bright lot. They were shocked at the way the canteen was run. They were particularly pained at the way the tea was being made. They exclaimed “oh my my, the cloth that they are straining the tea is very old. It might be carrying many germs”. Being MBA students they counseled the tea guy. They explained the process of making hygienic tea. The Tea guy was all ears. He appeared to be a very enthusiastic student to my eager beaver wannabee MBAs. Impressed by their own convincing skills and articulation of thoughts they gifted the tea person a new stainless steel tea strainer.

They were confident that hence forth only clean tea would be served and that the tea guy would be humble, grateful and appreciate their efforts. Next day They had the shock of their life. The tea boy was still using the old dirty cloth for straining tea. Indignant they demanded an answer “Oh madams, this is how it is done here. I can’t use the steel strainer”. Our MBA girl students learnt a valuable lesson. Change is very difficult and it is very difficult to convince people  to do what they don’t want to.

CBIT faculty was a gregarious lot. They came from varied backgrounds that included basic sciences, English, arts, engineering and management professionals like us. We were a closely bonded group that rooted for each other. We played many friendly cricket matches on Saturdays when there was no scheduled class work. The sheer number of faculty colleagues was a blessing in disguise and could be a pain in the back side too!

I remember talking to a colleague who was upset “what is the matter?” I enquired. “Oh nothing Anil Sir, I bought new footwear and my departmental colleagues demanded a party. And I gave a party” “So what” I exclaimed “you should be happy, you have done shanti (feeding the colleagues was politely called shanti)”  “what happiness” he retorted angrily “The footwear costed me Rs 300/- and the party set me back Rs 450/-“

During the summer vacation it is a rule in CBIT that at least one faculty from each department stay back so that skeletal staff is always available and to see that regular work is not hampered. It was my duty to man the station at the School of Management Studies (SMS). I received a phone call. It was Shyam Mohan Reddy, the Physical Director. He sounded harassed “Anil Sir, I received a communication from the principal's office. It is an invitation for a seminar on ‘Game Theory’. I simply don’t understand head or tail of ‘Game theory’; can you help me, please?”

I almost fell off the chair. I was roaring with laughter. I calmed down Shyam Mohan Reddy. I told him that Game theory is a part of Operations Management and told him not to worry. The Boy scouts from management department were coming to the rescue. I saved the day for the Physical Director who was at his wits end not knowing what to do with this mambo Jumbo called Game theory. 

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