Disclaimer: This piece has shades of arrogance and boasting! And it’s deliberate :)
For the uninitiated, I freelance for few days in a month as a corporate trainer. The trainings are in various areas of finance for different set of learners, right from inductees to market professionals. For one such training, I happened to go to Kanpur last week. The training was on derivatives and structured products, a concept I love. The audience was members of the Kanpur Chartered Accountants’ Society (KCAS).
Now, Kanpur is not well connected by flights. So I had to take a flight to Lucknow, and then travel to Kanpur by road – a journey of about two hours. Again, Lucknow is not well connected by flights too, just relatively better than Kanpur. The person I am, caution and preparedness is in my genes, thanks to my ever-hyper tensed dad! So I left about 3 hours before the scheduled flight time from home to reach airport on time. Still, the first of the two firsts in my life happened – I missed the flight!
My first miss – and what a flight to miss... one which is the only one to Lucknow for the day! A journey from home to airport that should have taken about an hour and half, took more than 3 hours. The Eastern-express highway was all messed up due to some road repair works. The silver lining in the entire episode was that I was extremely relaxed even when I was sure that I am not going to reach the airport on time. I was joking with the driver about few things. That’s quite uncharacteristic of me actually... I surprised myself!
So yaa, I missed the flight and was clueless for few minutes after I reached the airport. There was no flight to Lucknow/Kanpur for the day. Then after some discussion with the company on whose behalf I was doing the training, I went to Delhi, stayed there overnight and then took an early morning flight to Lucknow the next morning. For the session that was to begin at 9.30am, I reached the venue at 8.45am. And as they say, all’s well that ends well.
The registrations and formalities were to begin at 9am, followed by breakfast. And the session to start at 9.30am. But the quorum arrived at 9.20am, and the majority of the 60 enrolled participants by 9.40am! My students would tell you about my obsession about punctuality. Still, I had to wait till 10am to start off the session.
Though the crowd was all CAs, most of them were FCAs and had cleared years and decades back. Most were, hence, clueless about derivatives. And that is my breeding ground, literally. The session went off well. The crowd was cool... interactive and inquisitive. A super combination for any batch. With a lunch break of an hour in between, the session went off till 4.30pm. Quite a grueling session indeed and many were sloshed by the end of it.
Then, the second of the two firsts of my life happened. I got a standing ovation for the session! Yipppiiieee…. It was quite an amazing moment. Senior CAs acknowledging the efforts, and how! It was not really overwhelming nor did I have any goose-bumps, but yet the feeling was great.
To be fair, I had done the same program for a MNC bank a week back and was more satisfied with my efforts. Still, I am not the one to complain, hehe... Actually, it’s the small-town syndrome where things are a tad less ‘professional’ and they get a little too friendly with these things. The way they treat you, their hospitality is quite different from the Mumbai circuit. I have experienced it many times as a part of my role in my ex-organisation.
The two firsts obviously are quite different in terms of magnitude and importance, still they are the firsts and hence notable.