A memoir that asserts why Cisco is The World’s Best Workplace!
Is Globalization a good thing or a bad thing? I wondered about this over the last 10 years and I am yet to arrive at an answer. All the previous generations in India lived as a single large family (extended family). Everyone got a chance to spend time with their grandparents and other family members. Come globalization, people started moving out of their home towns in search of jobs and better opportunities. This meant that as a kid, I would visit my grandparents only during festivals like Diwali or my summer vacation. And when I grew up and started working, this time was even more reduced to the leaves that company gave me.
I have very fond memories of my childhood in my native place every summer. We all used to sit around my grandmother while she was telling us stories of her childhood, and while feeding us lunch and dinners. We would sit in the “Kirana store” and help my grandfather manage the customers at the counter. He would narrate us his stories about how life was under the Nizam and British, about the influence of Urdu in his life and about all the businesses that he tried during his lifetime. I grew up with all these fond memories and the love from them.
And then came the time when my grandfather fell severely ill. He was 81 years old last year and had a brain stroke while in sleep. I was at work that morning at Cisco’s Bangalore office when I got a call from my dad asking me to come immediately. He said that my grandfather’s health has deteriorated and he wished all of us to be there around him. A sudden flash of all the memories I had with my grandfather started rolling in front of my eyes. Almost teary eyed, I went to my manager to ask for a leave to go back to Hyderabad to spend time with my grandfather. My manager readily agreed and I immediately left office.
My grandfather survived another week and then his soul left the body. It was a very difficult time for my family. This was the time my family needed me the most. To talk everyone out of the situation and to move on with life. I spent a good three weeks with them and thanked Cisco for this every moment. All this because Cisco has an Emergency Time Off quota that employees can use during such situations.
And what is best – Until the time I came back to work, my team handled all the work that I had, and the manager was completely supportive. All I got was empathy from my team the company. Cisco is one of the best things that happened to me in my career. I get to work with all the flexibility and spend time with my family when needed.
PS: We were recently named the #1 Best Place to Work in the World