Being in USA for one’s Masters, one does worry a lot about the rupee to dollar conversion. I hear my roomies constantly discuss how the rupee value has gone really down and how much it is affecting the education loan they’ve taken. This reminds me of a little conversion someone showed me a year ago.
Before I made it here for my masters, I worked for a year at a few different institutions. Though, I admit I do not have a lot of work experience, I must say I’ve seen my share of weird bosses. This one in particular was the dean of the medical college and hospital I worked in. It was the day of my interview. I was fresh out of training from a reputed institution and frankly, this institution didn’t even have a full fledged bio-medical employee before me. So the dean took it upon himself to interview me. I was doing my best at the interview with my shiny shoes, neat tie and fantastic lies (in fluent English of course!). He was quite impressed. Then came the topic about the salary. He just asked me how much I expected. I said anywhere near Rs 10,000, as I did not want to sound greedy. Also, a fresher bio-medical engineer only gets paid that much in other institutions. The dean thought for a while and offered me Rs 5000. I was taken aback. I showed a slight frown. The dean saw this and this is where it got interesting.
He got up from his chair and went to a board nearby. He took a marker and wrote two bold words “CHENNAI” and “PONDICHERRY”. He looked at me and said, “My dear chap, there is a conversion rate for Pondy and Chennai rupee”. He started writing again and said,” The conversion rate is Re 1 in Pondy is equal to 2 rupees in Chennai. Take a look at all the commodities available here. Considerably cheaper than Chennai. So, the Rs 5000 I am offering you is equal to you earning Rs 10,000 in Chennai”. He then looked at me with a matter of fact face, expecting my reply for this. I was just too amazed at this guy. At that time, a lot of funny questions were flying in my head. I just suppressed my laughter and took the job. Why? Well, I knew I wasn’t going to stay for long in this job, since I had a plan to do masters soon. Also, I expected a few more laughs from this guy, which I did get in my remaining days there.
But more about that next time….