Hamish Joy, Researcher

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He said “Let there be light”

And there was light

He said “Let there be life”

And there was life

He said “Let there be large companies with lots of money”

And there were large companies with lots of money

He said “Let Hamish Joy get a job”

And there was silence

“Come on… Anybody??”

“(sigh) What am I going to do about you, Hammy?”

Far too often has it been speculated that Hamish Joy is a jobless twit with dried bread crumbs for brain. This is an absolutely baseless accusation spawned from the depths of hell by the devil himself. He’s always up to no good, spreading lies like that.

Hamish Joy, I assure you, is a fully employed twit of the highest order. Yeah, that’s right, and has been, for the past 10 months. 10 months is a long time. Many specie of insects live through half a dozen generations in that time frame. Well, ok, so in human terms it may not be impressive to YOU, but it CERTAINLY is to me.

Many of you who know me well; the ones who are close enough to slap me on the back on a crowded bar and yell “Hammy! (hic) Wadda u doinere? Lemme buy you a fewdrings!! (hic)”, are probably brushing this off as a joke. “Ah, that Hamish. What a kidder. 10 months. Jeez.”, they would probably be saying.

Now I wouldn’t blame these guys. If I had a rupee for every time someone told me I wouldn’t fit in the corporate world… well, I wouldn’t have needed to fit in the corporate world. But I did get through… and in a good company at that.

So what do I do, exactly? I’m a qualitative researcher. I have trouble explaining this to my friends. Whenever they hear ‘researcher’, they readily picture grey haired fatsos in long white coats, carrying heavy notepads, mostly frowning at laboratory rats while noting stuff like “Repeated experiments have yielded consistent results: Sleeping rats wake up startled when electricity is passed through their skulls” often throwing about terms like ‘ergo’, ‘hitherfore’, and ‘howdy’.

But that is a different kind of researcher altogether; the kind that requires training in Biology, Chemistry, First Aid, and Standing Around Looking Serious. Stringent educational requirements have been put in place for entering this field, after an incident in 1932 when some zealous researchers on the quest to find a cure for cancer confused the cathode with the anode and came up with a recipe for pureed hamster.

But on the other hand, as a qualitative market research executive, my chief competency measures revolve around –

a. Am I willing to travel around the country at short notice?

b. Can I talk in Hindi?

The biggest trouble with traveling is… you can’t do it sitting in one place. The Hamish persona, if you remember, used to be confined to a single place for hours on the end without perceptible motion, often prompting onlookers to consider scheduling a proper burial. The strongest of chairs used to be left with ‘the Hamish seal of approval’. Yes, even the wooden ones. Now, of course this has changed, and I have to wander off from time to time. My chairs must be overjoyed.

The other big trouble with moving around is the changes in climate. Nobody in their right mind would label me as ‘healthy’, unless they are drunk, insane, or John Goodman. A visit from the common cold is a fairly regular feature of my daily itinerary, usually making its appearance around 7ish, staying through dinner and hanging on until I sneeze myself to sleep. The sudden changes in climate when I rush off to different states don’t really help the matter.

But aside from these minor setbacks, it’s all smooth sailing. The sheer pleasure of getting bamboozled by different auto drivers from across the nation makes it all worth the while. The good part about this is that having lived in Bangalore for the past three years now without absorbing the major geographical landmarks, I am no stranger to the auto driver and his tricks. Bangalore has probably the craftiest of the lot. The bad part is that stranger or no stranger, I still can’t do much about it.

But all things considered, I’m enjoying my stint as a researcher now. Some of you may feel that this article is outdated; that I should probably have written about my job back when I actually GOT the job, but that just wouldn’t have been the same. For one thing, if I had written back then, I couldn’t have used some critical sentences like “I have been working for the past 10 months”




[DISCLAIMER: For those devout Christians who might have got offended at the opening sequence… Come on… I don’t believe in a vengeful God. I don’t believe in a spiteful God. I believe God has a sense of humor. Chillax]

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7 Responses

  1. Bharath says:

    As much as I am Hamish’s colleague, I can surely take the liberty to say that I am more than that: I can be a true bugger. Having bugged Hamish on more than one count, I take the liberty to freely express my views on Hamish’ views (Researchers need to get a life, huh?).

    Well, this bloke writes as if he just “rode the wave” the last 10 months of his life. Point is, for those of you who are his good friends, please do not change your opinion of Research based on his article.

    Researchers are not about White coats and rat experiments; they are about informal/casual wear and being rats themselves (yes, the clients experiment with us).

    Researchers are not about traveling all the time and knowing languages; they are about shuttling between MS-Office, meetings and endless tele-conversations.

    But these are part of any job. So, what’s the big deal, you ask.

    My answer: You never know what research teaches you. The first few months of your life in research may be hell. It’s part of any job.

    The point is, 15 years into the industry, you will know what hell is.

  2. Hammy says:

    Ahoy, Bharath… This seems to be the second time you have taken my blog seriously. I didn’t think it was humanly possible, especially since you have given up drinking… Very surprising. You make it sound as if I was crusading against the Research industry on the whole; chopping at the branch I’m sitting on, so to speak…

    Anyways, thanks for the comments. Keep them rolling.

  3. .::[ Mani Karthik ]::. says:

    Hami what is the frustration all about? About changing your habits or is it the ..what?

    Good read that was anyway!

  4. Hammy says:

    Hmmm… I don’t seem to be getting my point across… Me not frustrated. Me just want to write. Sheeeesh!!!

  5. Arun Jose says:

    buddy… you did it again. I had a very good laugh outta this one… keep it flying…

  6. Bharath says:

    If you read my post, you will realise its as much an expression and free speech as your original post….Read it, and you will know that I am taking a dig at my own industry.

  7. Hammy says:


    aye aye, captain

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