A private medical college, spread over 25-acres ran an advertisement for the post of “Project Director”. A candidate went for the farcical interview and noticed an absence of minimum standards of professionalism and hygiene
It was a scene straight out of the Bollywood movie—3 Idiots. The only difference was that in the movie, Boman Irani portrayed the arrogant, ill-mannered, egotistic, insensitive director of the engineering college. In this case, it was the chairman of an educational conglomerate located at the Southern end of Bangalore. The board runs an engineering college, a management college, a medical college and a hospital that supposedly gives free treatment to the poor. Named after a goddess, the medical college-cum-hospital is spread on a sprawling campus of 25 acres.
Niranjan Kelkar (not his real name) recounts his experience with bewilderment. An experienced professional with 24 years industry experience behind him, Niranjan applied for a job in the medical college that had been advertised in the newspapers. The post: “Project Director”. Niranjan had the skill sets and the experience mentioned in the advertisement.
Trudging from CV Raman Nagar to the outskirts of the city in order to reach the medical college took close to two hours. The lady who coordinated the meeting spoke broken English and better Kannada, but forunately gave him the correct time and venue for the meeting. Kelkar says, “I reached at 2pm for the interview scheduled at 2.15pm. There were 10 candidates who were directed to a huge auditorium. The interviews commenced an hour later. Some of us took a stroll around the campus and were shocked at the lack of hygiene. The washrooms were worse than public toilets.”
He continues, “There were just a few students roaming around in the campus in their white coats. Next to the auditorium was an anatomy department which prominently displayed the names of all faculty members but all rooms were locked. Opposite the auditorium was the anatomy lab where the college sub-staff was busy relishing an afternoon snack of onion fries. Barring a stretcher, the anatomy lab was barren”.
Niranjan was called in at 3.30pm. Just like the hangers-on with politicians, there were three to four men standing outside the chairman’s cabin sorting the profiles at the last minute.
Niranjan says, “When I entered the chamber, I saw a dhoti-clad man (the chairman) sitting on a chair and what looked like a personal assistant next to him. I was dumbfounded to see a frail old man wipe the chairman's face with a towel, press his legs, arrange his dhoti and rearrange the cushion on the chair. No, the chairman wasn’t a paraplegic. He was as fit as a fiddle. As the frail man was doing these tasks, the chairman started firing questions at me. The annoying part was that he did not allow me to complete a single answer even as he kept on scribbling something on the resume.”
Then came the question of salary. The assistant, told me in broken English, “We look only at salary”. Niranjan wondered whether both these gentleman had even read his resume or understood his background. They were not interested. They finished their interview in 10 minutes saying, “We will have a second round of discussion depending on salary. Please note that though the designation is Project Director, it is an Admin Officer’s role. Since you have not worked in a medical college before, we will treat you as a fresh candidate”.
Niranjan says that he lost his cool after the way the duo behaved when he asked for their names. The chairman retorted, “Why you ask unnecessary questions? It is the chairman’s chamber and chairman sits in it”. Niranjan recalls, “They refused to shake hands. I told them that they had not understood my profile and were commenting on it without reading it”.
On his way out, he met the lady who had called him to co-ordinate the interview. She apologised profusely saying that the chairman had already appointed a person and this entire tamasha was conducted to convince the board that the selection was based on merit. But more than anything, the arrogance of the chairman was astounding. Readers—if this is how he behaved at the time of the interview, imagine the plight of those working under him.
Also, the amenities in this private medical college leave a lot to be desired. If this is the state of affairs in this private college, imagine the quality of medical talent graduating from this institute. No wonder that there is no much anger and frustration with doctors.