Monday, 18 May 2015

The Three Employees

11. PERT
The phone rang. They thought that it was the angry Boss and argued whose turn it was to answer and finally decided to answer on speaker mode.
Employee One: Hello...?
Caller: Hello, is this...
Employee One: No, he’s not in office right now. What is it you want to discuss with him? Do you want an appointment?
Caller: Nothing never mind, actually when he was in practice as a Chartered Accountant I used to be an article under him. I just called to tell him that I am going to attempt the final for the first time tomorrow.
Employee One: Oh, Best of Luck! We’ll tell him you called when he’s back.
Caller: We?
Employee One: You are on speaker phone. Sorry, we thought you were someone else.
Employee Two: So are you full prepared and confident about tomorrow?
Caller: Can’t say I am. Tomorrow’s paper isn’t an easy one. It’s AMA. I haven’t understood all the concepts in it. And it is just my first attempt. I considered the worst case scenario and I believe the worst that can happen is that I see the question paper not recognise any of the questions in it, sit blankly for one and a half hours and leave after that. Of course that’s the worst case I’m sure I would be able to answer at least one question.
Employee One: No-no it will never do to be depressed and under confident. You should never think of such a worst case scenario. Life is what you make it to be. In your case the exam is what you make it to be. Think positive. Think of the best things that can happen. It’s all in your mind. Imagine you get an easy paper. Think of how happy you’d be if you manage to answer it all very well in the first one and a half hours. You know the psychology, if you aim for the stars you reach at least the sky. If you think the exam is going to be really easy at least seventy percent of it will be easy.
Employee Two: Now don’t be silly. If he thinks of such a best case scenario he will get overconfident. Overconfidence gets you nowhere. He’s not writing a BA Economics exam of a private university like you did. It would never do for him to be thinking of the best or the worst case. The proper level of confidence should be somewhere in the middle. Let me tell you whether the exam is of a private university or of ICAI for a person who has studied sufficiently forty percent of it will be easy. This is a proven statistic. You can check for yourself in any question paper. What you should do when you get the question paper is find questions you are sure about and use the first one and a half hours to answer them. After that there would be time for other questions just make sure you attempt everything. Best of Luck.
Caller: Thank you...
Employee Three: Wait! As you guys are discussing different scenarios let me tell you there is also an extreme case scenario.
Caller: Extreme Case? What’s that?
Employee Three: Everything about it is extreme. Imagine you are too tensed to sleep tonight. So you sit up and study all night. Suddenly you look at the watch and realise that it is no longer night but there are just a few minutes for the exam to start. So you run as fast as you can to the centre and arrive huffing and puffing.
Employee Two: And he is unable to answer the exam properly. What are you trying to do, destroy any little confidence he may have?
Employee Three: No, the Extreme Case doesn’t have such a sad ending!
Caller: Thank goodness!
Employee Three: It gets worse! You get the question paper and you find that it’s really-really easy! Yes, Easy! You read the questions and are unable to believe it. You think of all the tension you took unnecessarily. You read the questions again and again and you just love the question paper. But then you realise that you have just been looking at the question paper and even after one and a half hours you haven’t answered a single question!
Caller: So I don’t complete the paper?
Employee Three: Of course you do! It’s an easy paper and you have studied well and revised all night. You complete it in one and a half hours. When you come out of the hall you are so excited at having completed such an easy paper but you are also tired after sitting up all night. In your excitement to get home and celebrate you don’t see where you’re going and get hit by a bus!
Employee Two: What?! Get hit by a bus! That has got nothing to do with...
Employee Three: This is the extreme Case scenario anything can happen!
Caller: So I die in the extreme case? That is too silly.
Employee Three: No you don’t! Death is not extreme enough!
Caller: What can be worse than death?
Employee Three: Life! You survive the accident but wake up only four days later in a hospital bed. To make things even worse all your friends are there. They tell you that you missed the other papers and even show you the question papers. You find that these too were easy and you would have passed and perhaps even been on the rank list if you had attended. But all you can do is cry!
Employee One: I feel like crying now! Your theory is so bad I feel I should either cry or hit you on the head!
Employee Three: What do you get to learn from the extreme case scenario?
Employee Two: Nothing! Absolutely nothing, other than that you are a fool which we already know!
Employee Three: What you should have learnt was that you should neither stay up all night before an exam nor be too excited by an easy question paper. You may laugh at me but let me tell you I speak from experience!

-Ashok Sri Krishna