Saturday, September 02, 2006

Bankers with a Heart

Ok you might say this is just another oxymoron (Investment Bankers involved in M&A, Sales and trading of securities are nothing more than savage animals who daily go in for the hunt that what some say)

Well though thats partially true, (making money and generating fees is the biggest, naah the only driving force here) the HR managers who had designed the Associate training program for the class of 2006 thought otherwise. They planned a community service day as a part of our training program. You might smirk and say whats the big deal and what would you change in a day, well if Beauty pageants say they are doing it for charity and say its beauty with a purspose, so should we when we do our bit for rest of the world.

Merrill Lynch supports philanthropy and supports many charities and in particular one of them in New York is the Public School 9 (PS9) in brooklyn.

Thus Last friday we were all taken there (160 of us) and divided into teams and each of us had a task to do, which would be useful to school, before it opened in fall after the summer vacation.

My team was supposed to paint a classroom. Some were painting the lines on the basketball court, tennis courts, external walls around the playgrounds, some were organizing and moving the books in the library and so on.

I know i am a clumsy guy, but just this simple act of helping out someone and thinking if we did a shoddy job, then some small kids would be spending the whole year in that room, made me put in some amount of effort.

It is surprising that though in tasks where you benefit yourself (like group assignments in business school) in any group you would find some slackers, but here every body was helping in their own way, I was painting the long walls and being one reaching out near the top wiht a brush attached at the end of the pole while some others where using smaller brushes and painting the corners. being a complete novice, i simply followed the directions of people who had actualy painted their houses (yep being in india where labour is cheap spoils you like crazy)

Painting the ceiling was a bit of a chore with the paint dripping down on your face and though i was wearing overalls and goggles it did get a little messy.
i did some kind of a messy job initially the painted wall looked like a patchwork but then with the help of others i did another coat and hopefully we did a great job and the children studying in class room 108 in PS9 in Brooklyn hopefully should be in a cheerful mood in the brightly coloured classroom this year when the school reopens.

Here is the pic of me in the overalls, clicked in the beginning, as after i finished with the job i was in some complete mess, with more paint on my body than on the walls.

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