I was in the most boring conference call today – actually most conference calls are boring. You have a couple of people who do all the talking on lines that are unclear and you and a bunch of others attend the call just in case there are questions for you. And after 60 minutes you realize you could have as well not had to attend the call. The presentation shared during the call was all you needed and you could have gone through that in less than 10 minutes on your own. And people who organize the calls have the notion – the more the better (and merrier?). No one seems to do the maths – 60 minutes of 10 people on a call – 600 minutes of company time! I would not generalize and say that all conference calls are unnecessary – hence I used the word “most conference calls…” in the beginning of this paragraph.
Oh but you also have trainings on calls – especially people who think technical trainings on calls is possible. I remember initially I had to attend some training on SAP which is enterprise software for those of you who have not heard of this before. The training was to last for 3 hours and I remember after struggling to keep abreast of what was being said on the bad lines for 30 minutes, I lost track of what was being said. My mind drifted everywhere – from the fly on the wall, to the dinner I was to make that evening, to the colour of the shirt I thought suited my colleague. And finally when the training was over, I actually doubted my intellectual capability – was I stupid to not be able to follow only 3 hours of a training on phone with someone who was 3000 miles away in another time zone who was giving the training in English which did not sound anything like the English I was used to on a subject that I was unfamiliar with. Was that not the reason in the first place as to why I needed the training? Over the months and years I have met more and more people who understand my frustration – teleconferencing is just not our thing. We come in a category of people who are more used to interacting and being a passive listener – that too over a phone – just distracts us.
And while I am at it – while ‘attending’ today’s conference call, I was chatting with my friend, planning my business travel for next week, discussing an issue with my colleague on my desk and having my lunch sandwich. Now that is what I call productive and a good multi-tasker.
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
1 cup fine semolina
¾ cup grated pumpkin
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cups white sugar
1 cup whole milk
2 cups water
1 tablespoon cashew nuts, broken into bits
1 tablespoon almond slivers
½ teaspoon cardamom powder
Pinch saffron soaked in warm milk
- Roast the pumpkin gratings in 3 tablespoons butter on a moderate flame. Keep aside.
- In the same vessel roast the semolina and cashew nuts. Remove from the fire.
- Boil milk and water in a vessel and add the roasted semolina.
- Stir well and cook till the mixture becomes a lump.
- Add sugar, roasted pumpkin and soaked saffron. Cook for 5 minutes.
- Stir in between, add cardamom powder and a spoonful of butter.
- Transfer to a bowl and serve hot or cold garnished with almond slivers.