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14 July 2007


Former management trainees

A batch of brilliance
Image source: Kalyani Vaidya

“SNAP!” WAS written on the subject line on the e-mail that carried the picture above. Sent by Kalyani (the woman in red standing at extreme right), the group shot included me with her and the rest of her fellow managers at Shoppers' Stop—and they might as well remember me as SNAP! See, I used to snap at them when they were all training as department managers in the stores. And boy, did they love snapping back in glee!

“Did we not agree to display these westerns according to collection?” “Uh, yes, but they weren't selling that way in this store.”

“Please get those ties on those suits and jackets in one color, like I told you three hours ago.” “Well, they are! One is purple, the others are pink.” “And pink and purple are two different colors.” “Maybe purple is a darker pink, and pink is a lighter purple. They're very attractive, yes? And they sell well.” (That shut me up.)

“Why the heck are these waterfall hangers moved over there?” “Paul, the customers kept bumping on the hangers, so I gave them space.” “But there's no more space for the hangers.” “Yeah, but there's now a lot more space for the customers!”

“That's how we do it elsewhere.” “But we're not Mango, are we, Paul?”

“May I remind you that you're not supposed to own that round table for your department? It's meant for the whole store.” “I don't exactly own it. I just reserve it for my regular use!”

I so loved training these 17 men and women who buzzed with intellectual courage and youthful energy. My tasks were so much easier with them, as they made me pause, think back, and evaluate the training process. They were also amongst the most stylish crowd in Shoppers' Stop.

Months after they left the stores to become managers in the head office, I posed with them in the picture above. What joyful honor to be snapped with this batch before I leave the company!


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