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Rajinder kumar Pawa



Rajinder kumar Pawa


My First Day At Work

My First Day At Work

4 mins 198 4 mins 198

Soon after having graduated in mechanical engineering with distinction from IIT Bombay, I had opted to join National Engineering Industries Ltd. at Jaipur.

It was one of the most reputed factories of the BM Birla Group of Industries in the early nineteen sixties. And was the only Unit in South East Asia at that time producing Ball Bearings?

India was getting industrialized. Many new industrial units were being set up and old ones were being modernized. There always had been a dearth of engineering professionals in the country. That year B M Birla Group was hiring about sixty executive engineers for their seven engineering organizations located in various parts of the country from different Engineering Institutions of repute. We were ten engineers recruited for the Ball Bearings factory at Jaipur. How difficult it had been for me to get Jaipur is another story for another day.

All the recruited engineers were initially trained for six months at Hindustan Motors in Calcutta, the automobile unit of the Group, before sending them to their respective factories in different parts of the country.

After our training in Hindustan Motors we were sent to Jaipur to join N E I Ltd. We were rotated in various sections of the factory for about two weeks and later assigned to the departments of our choice.

I had all along preferred to work on the Shop Floor. I had chosen Manufacturing as my career. I was assigned to work in Machine Shop Department, initially in shifts.

The factories in those days were not very eco-friendly. The buildings were neither air-conditioned nor fitted with coolers to beat the hot oily perfumed atmosphere during the hot summer days. The only rescue was pedestal fans. Similarly, there was no provision of heating arrangement to beat the cold during the winter season.

As I remember, it was a cold January day. The winter was at its peak. It was freezing cold outside. It was my first day of joining my duty as shift supervisor to take charge of the Machine Shop Department independently. The shift was to start at 6:00 AM. I had reached my office well before time. I was very apprehensive about future events. Exactly at 6:00, the siren sounded. With great curiosity, I came out on the Shop Floor to meet my Workforce but to my utter surprise, I did not find a single worker on their respective machines.

I looked around and to my dismay found all the workers huddled together in a corner enjoying the warmth of a bonfire to beat the cold. I reached to them, stood there in front of them hoping they would be courteous enough to get up and move to their respective machines. But none moved. I in my early twenties was facing an arrogant labour force who was experienced and much older though not technically qualified.

I could sense a thorny road ahead. I tried to enlighten the atmosphere by talking about the cold weather but reminding them politely that having a bonfire on the Shop floor was not permitted. There was a pin drop silence without any response.

With courage in both hands, I requested the group to get up and go to their respective machines. But my appeal fell on deaf ears and there was no movement.

I looked at the faces of each worker. and suddenly I heard myself telling a worker, who had a very innocent and docile face, sternly, to get up. As he stood bewildered I lost no time to tell him in the same stern tone to go to his workplace. As he moved, surprisingly all others followed. The deadlock had been broken. I heaved a sigh of relief. Soon the shop was buzzing with activity.

Soon after I took a round of the Shop Floor, went to every machine, talked to each worker about the job he was doing. I tried to build trust which was very necessary to enlighten the atmosphere. The day passed off peacefully.

My first day at work had been successful and rewarding.

I had learnt the first lesson to deal with contemptuous labour.

You have to be very polite, humble and courteous while dealing with workers in a labour-oriented environment. But if arrogance prevails you have to be tactful and assertive. I had proven myself to be administratively strong. This incident helped me to develop the best possible human relationship with my team.

The lesson learnt went a long way to help me in my future administrative duties.

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