One lonely moonlit night, I was aimlessly browsing the internet. Clueless as to what I really want, I continued surfing the net. However, deep inside I was eager to do something: something big, something that would make a difference. As ambitious as I was in that thought, I still remained oblivious as to what that amazing thing would be.
The Outlook on my computer beeped bringing me back to my reality. I received an email from a Eurostar representative. It was a reminder for a video submission. As that day was the last day for submissions, I realized that I had just a few hours to make a difference, to do something big. Since I had the knack to make fun videos, I decided that I should make the best video I can. Due to lack of confidence, negativity crept in as I browsed the internet for some ideas. However, no videos attracted me causing me to despair even more.
Like a bolt of lightning, an idea hit me. I am an active athlete and I know something about teamwork. ‘Why can’t I make a video about teamwork for the IT community?’ It would be a wonderful idea to share the principles of teamwork and collaboration with the testing community. My main focus has to be on how important teamwork and how difficult it could be at times when working as a team.
Soon I collected a few cartoons related to teamwork story line and charted out the sequences. With adrenaline kicking in, my thoughts were racing and sure enough, I came up with a decent video after a couple of hours. As I hit the ‘Send’ button, my mind finally was at ease. Quite satisfied with my hard work, I went to bed with a smile on my face.
The smile seemed to be permanently plastered to my face as I stepped into my office the following morning. A few of my colleagues noticed and smiled back at me. ‘What a great day!’ I thought to myself as a sense of accomplishment seems to overwhelm me. During the course of the day, I realized that I still have a bigger challenge to face regarding my submission: my video needs votes and lots of them by the testing community to receive a nomination. How am I going to convince people to vote for me? That was quite a predicament.
Initially, I informed my closest friends, old friends and family about the video and requested them to vote for my video. Despite their excitement, the number of votes was not enough to receive any nomination. Since the submission of video was out of my personal interest, I did not wish to bother my organization. More than this competition being a personal interest, it was my self-consciousness that caused me to not to approach the company. I didn’t want people to think that I am a failure and show sympathy if I fail.
I came upon the news that the reputed company Wipro had taken an interest in this competition and was supporting one if its employees who happened to climb up in the poll numbers. It was an eye-opener for me. So I gathered my courage, locked away my fears and approached the L & D team. I asked them if they would be interested in supporting me in this life-changing competition. I put the icing on the cake saying that this exposure would be good for our company. They jumped on board right away. This made me wonder: how silly I was trying to do it all by myself, when all along I was trying to sell teamwork? Even little help goes a long way, I thought immensely pleased that I overcame the fear and shyness.
The following mid-day was the closing time for all polling. So I sent in another request to share the video and about the voting to all my colleagues and pleaded with them to forward it to their friends. By the end of the day, my mailbox was flooded with congratulatory notes and best wishes. I received an overwhelming response from US, UK, China and India from folks known and unknown. This is truly a team effort, I thought as I kept going through the many emails. It felt more like a global effort: the entire planet rooting for me. What a feeling that was!
Of course, something bad has to shoot up somewhere. It is not so much as bad but it did affect my daily life. I was frequently checking my poll numbers. I couldn’t focus on my work at office nor at home. I was completely engrossed in this competition and the nomination. As expected, the polling closed and soon I received an email from one of the representatives. He requested me to eliminate duplicate or irregular votes as he was sifting through the votes with a fine toothcomb. After I obeyed his request, I received a congratulatory note from the same representative that I was leading in the polls. He further requested my telephone number so that they would call me if I won. As I was sitting on nails during the entire process, my telephone rang. I approached it and picked it up with shaking hands.
I do not even remember if I said ‘hello’ but the caller at the other end of the line did say something that would change my life forever. “Congratulations! You won the videoStar title.” After that, everything seemed like a dream. I was overwhelmed beyond words about this experience. Soon I flew to Manchester, England for presenting a paper where it was widely appreciated.
My heartfelt gratitude to all my friends, family and colleagues for their encouragement, support and wishes. Yes, I admit that neither this video nor my paper might make a huge impact, but for now, as I bask in the glory of this new title, I believe, it did make a difference. A big difference on one soul on this planet: me. I sincerely hope that teamwork prevails and brings closer different people. Be it just the testing community in the IT industry, I feel my work is done and I made a difference.