Stories about office

The life of a business reporter

“Journalism is writing,” columnist Aakar Patel once told me, saying I should write more to justifiably be called a journalist. I was then a sub-editor on the Op-Ed desk of The News. After spending four years on that job, I knew I had become lazy, self-satisfied and highly opinionated – characteristics of a typical sub-editor. So I decided to become a business reporter after coming back from a one-year break that I took to do a Master’s degree in Journalism. If you think a business reporter’s job is a piece of cake, try having a direct conversation with a businessman. Ask him about his ...

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The president’s immunity

The question of whether President Asif Ali Zardari enjoys immunity against criminal or civil proceedings requires an analysis of Article 248 of the Constitution. This states that: Article 248 (1) : The president shall not be answerable to any court….for any act done or purported to be done in the exercise of those powers and performance of those functions. The article goes on to state that: Article 248 (2): No criminal proceedings whatsoever shall be instituted or continued against the president or a governor in any court during his term of office. Article 248(3): No process for the arrest or imprisonment of the ...

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Paying taxes shouldn’t be this hard

Since my BBA program finished, I’ve been spending a lot of time at home. Taking advantage of the situation, my dad asked me to go and pay the car tax a few days ago. Attempt # 1 Still in vacation mode, I dragged myself to the nearest National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) tax-payable branch at 12:45pm. Here, I was welcomed by a long line out in the sun. I was to be number 12 in the line. Not having much planned for the day, I waited for my turn admiring a stray cat that seemed to be in heat as it ...

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What you need to know about Hina Rabbani Khar

After keeping the slot of Foreign Minister vacant for more than five months, the government has finally woken up and decided to appoint Hina Rabbani Khar as the next Foreign Minister of Pakistan. It will not be an alien territory for Ms Khar, as she has been performing her duties as the Junior State Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs till now. But, there will be an additional set of responsibilities that will come with the promotion. Even though she is familiar with the portfolio, it will be very difficult to speculate, at this stage, how much she would ...

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10 things I learnt as an intern

At some companies ‘intern’ is just a word for ‘sastay mazdoor’ or cheap labour. So  interns, you should be glad if you’re given some decent work to do. Or else, you might have to go pick up pastries from the bakery for a newly promoted employee. Here are a few facts I learned during my internship 1. The photocopier is your best friend. 2. Cafeteria food will always taste bland and yet there will be a mad dash for biryani every Friday. 3. While interning, nine to five will be the only time you will get to do your home work, assignments and ...

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De-meriting the merit system

Pakistan is notorious for multiple reasons – ranging from terrorism to illiteracy and poverty. Recently, however, I feel that our merit system has seen a bit of a downturn. It seems that in the professional world, it’s all about who you know, not what you know. And for fresh graduates like myself, that is indeed quite demotivating. My friends and acquaintances will start with the: “my dad knows the head of HR at company XYZ so I’m going to be starting there from next month.” And i’ll wonder what relevance a social sciences degree will have in the finance department. Aah, ...

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No laptop? No job!

How would you react if you received a call from your favourite organisation telling you that you have been selected to join them as an intern? It would make you ecstatic and jump with joy. But what if, the next minute, they put in the condition: Only if you have a laptop. What would your reaction be then? Many may be fine with this sort of condition – every organisation has its own set of rules and regulations and if they have a certain requirement, there is nothing wrong with it. I, for one, was really taken aback however, especially because it was coming ...

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What really happens in a newsroom

Red, white and black with sub-editors crawling around, The Express Tribune newsroom is like an animal farm coming to life. Enter anytime before 12:00 pm and the place will be dead. You’ll probably notice dust balls rolling around or a thick layer of dust on the keyboards. After 3:00 pm, the subbers start arriving. With a flash of pink or a dash of some other eye-blinding colour, and the clink clonk of the keyboard, the newsroom slowly starts coming to life. By 4:00 pm everyone is trying to finalise their slug sheet. (A slug sheet is a sheet (duh!) with a rough idea ...

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The customer is always right…but is he happy?

During uncertain times, the customer becomes the lifeblood of any business. But today the brand team is struggling with which existing and prospective customers to target with their current offers via multiple channels of interaction. Many established corporations are aligning their resources towards BRIC countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China, for growth opportunities and are aiming to hone in on the rise in disposable income within these economies – notably China, whose new five-year plan aims at a growth strategy fuelled by domestic consumption instead of the trillion-dollar generating strategy of exports maximisation. What they are finding is the difficulty to ...

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Five must-haves for the urban professional

I recently came across a list of ‘essential gifts for a surgeon’ and decided to make a list of my own. However, I expanded it to cater to all professions and not just doctors. 1. Sony Vaio 14/15 inch and a laptop bag An absolutely gorgeous laptop which combines aesthetic beauty with functionality. Now, you may go for a cheaper brand but there is no replacement for the beauty of this gadget. Also, the keyboard and the touchpad on this machine are simply brilliant to use. The 14 inch, or the 15 inch for that matter, is not very heavy and gives ...

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