Data mining: when what you see is NOT what you get

I was in the four-member Singapore unit, testing internal processes at the bank. Our New York unit had a staff strength of about 25, a part of which was a dedicated data mining unit (DMU) that crunched various reports. One day, the Legal unit (global) head asked for a report that seemed simple enough: How…

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To give–or not to give–an honest reference?

Mala, about 24 years old, came to our firm for an interview. She was interviewed by Anil, the hiring manager in question. She had been referred by Anil’s neighbour’s friend’s friend, or something like that. Though Anil had initially made no promises, he was very impressed with her knowledge (she had excellent academic credentials too)…

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Are these people serious about selling?

A few days ago, we had a vendor (Mr. A) visit us for a networking job to be done around the office. I explained to him that we were already considering another vendor, so we’d need the quote real soon. He promised to send it over the following evening. Well, the following evening came and…

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Is your etiquette trainer fit to be one?

A few years ago, the management of our organization decided to put the staff of the entire Bangalore office through a two-day workshop on “etiquette training”. [They announced it as “Training in etiquettes, communication skills and mannerisms etc.” — I can find four grammar/ word usage errors right there.] Our office space was a two-bedroom…

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When I let my boss down

As a software developer, I was very proud of my “no bugs” record. My boss would readily allow me to take a day extra (if I needed it) to finish coding, confident that no rework would be needed. Our code used to be sent to our colleague in the US, where the client was. He…

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Sloppy helpdesk cost the ISP our account

Here we were, looking for an Internet connection for the office. I was already in touch with Airtel, but our sales guy suggested I get a quote from someone else as well, to be sure the rates were competitive. Another colleague said her friends were super-impressed by the Tatas; she suggested that we should go…

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