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Archive for the ‘work’ Category

Today is a very important day !!  The man who is paying for the services of consultants like me, is back from his vacation. Now, when I say he is paying for our services, what I really mean is he is the Global Director, Project Sponsor ….Executive Board et al. He is the client !!

The timing of his “time off” could not have been better. We were in a critical phase as far as the project deliverables and decisions were concerned. Sort of along the same lines of when Arjun and Krishna were tweeting on Koffee with Kauravas. Now imagine, just before Krishna begins, Arjun decides to take a month-long vacation. You know to explore the hills of Gangtok I am sure that would sit really well in the Pandava camp – “dude just go….. have fun !! ….and bring us back some yak milk cheese.”.

History repeats itself is proof, when our Local Arjun brought back some candies from Zurich. Based on inputs from my intra office contacts I have established, that these are the ones which are always on sale in the Duty Free stores. And I digress. At this point, it would be rather insignificant for the reader to note that our Local Arjun is of Bengali descent. It would also be negligent of me, if I forgot to mention that Local Arjun believes – being a fellow Bengali, it is my moral duty to kiss his Bengali paachha (buttocks)…. especially since it has client written all over it !!

Now that is where things get a little hairy. Let me explain briefly with an example!!

So, Local Arjun cruised in this morning, sporting his Sree Leathers shoes and wearing his cheap cologneof the 80’s man who badly needs a wardrobe makeover”. And then he embarked on his Vijay Yatra (raucous walk through the cubicles). As the decibel on the periodic  “haoo are yoooo”’ s amplified –  I knew it was just a matter of time, before I would have to strike a subordinated posture and enquire  – “Boss kemon ghurlen?” (how was your trip, Boss ?).  

I have to admit, this was not the best question !! Local Arjun took the cue and promptly filled up the air with details on how “vaery beeootifull Vaeneece (Venice) was !!  He slurped on the memories of a “deeleeshush” duck in Paris. And almost mourned the loss of his lugg – age (including his wife) at the Munich airport. Four weeks of relaxations has its effects, and at that point he just wanted to get back home to some dal bhaat (lentil and rice). The “vaery” vocal travelogue continued,without any consideration for those that were on conference calls or any other business related activities.

As everywhere, there were some dedicated schmoozers who posed some challenging questions – “ how were the hotels ? “. Local Arjun believes in – always explain briefly with examples. (now you know why I am how I am). He did not disappoint the listener. “ Oh they were so vaery costtlee”  he said and concluded the ten minute monologue with – “I had to spend $40,000 just on hotels itself !! It was horr-aybell, you know !!

Like so many others, this is another bone dry IT project. One which is supported by a group of under paid technocrats. Those who have had a really rough June. The client sliced and diced us with inane accusations and rolled off some key resources without any specific reason (read : because someone needed to be blamed). One of the guys lost his father before he could reach India. He was not allowed to leave sooner. And yet our Local Arjun finds in himself the “right” to flaunt bleat about his pleasures pains to those that held fort during his totally deserving holiday.    

It is likely that working “14 hour” days has pushed my head, so far up my behind, that my thinking has got all muddy. Ladies and gentlemen, this is the part where I question the Gurus of the Service Industry. When they say “the client is always right !!”  how “always” is that ? ?

While you reflect on that, I shall now get back to comforting him with my sincere concerns – “You look tired Boss. I think you should take it easy for a couple of days !”.

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Ricky Gervais’s .gif courtesy: google images

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It just so happens, that I never worked in India…that is for a living. I was on a full scholarship from the Parents Foundation !!  Things were going really well… no complains !! And then I took the GRE,TOEFL,ECLAIRS…etc etc. Before I knew it,  I had graduated from a phoren University. And then I joined the American workforce !! And that is where, I met Brutus…. every day ….at every job that I held.!!

Brutus shall lead; and we will grace his heels
With the most boldest and best hearts of Rome.

If you are as old as I am and if you soaked up on Julius Caesar (part of syllabus) as I did…..you might just remember this.There is also a possibility that you are not as old….. rather older !!  Either ways, if you know what ” to read between the lines” means, ……you probably do not wear glasses …(huh) !!

If  you love Brutus as much as I do … you will know what I am talking about !!

Ironic : around the same time last year, I was talking about something similar !! Here is a link to that vent !!

For more on how to talk the talk … here is a  link to what Anirban said …. !!

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Dear Birthday Boy

This is an email of apology. You should be able to recognize me. I am your co-worker, the one who scheduled the fake meeting this afternoon. I did it, because we  absolutely did not need to discuss the status of the development  for the bank interface. Why would we, especially since we have been working on that for a whole week now. But I had to do it. I had to send you the invite, and ensure that you and I walked to Conference Room A…. two – gether !!

If you recall …on Monday (this week),  you and I, and everyone else received an email, that we should  meet up in Conference Room A around 4 pm…. to surprise the portal guy. And then again on Tuesday (also this week)… there was another email …. this time it was Conference Room B and we had to surprise the data warehousing guy. Knowing you, (some one who solves intricate coding issues in minutes), and drawing from the history of surprises in the last year or so and especially from this week, I am positive that you could not have guessed that we would want to surprise you today. I am ashamed that I was part of this stupidity conspiracy theory !!

I am especially regretting, how I walked you to Conference Room A, pretending not to understand why everyone else followed us in the same direction. My understanding was …this was a surprise…just like the others.My sincere apologies about my poor acting skills which failed to display any true emotions of complete disbelief. I should have been inspired by aides (to previous surprise victims) and how they managed to perform with exceptional finesse !!

Please believe me, when I say that I had no clue (even though I had seen it for the last 25 surprises) that the surprise would be  the same cake….from the same store….that we all have been digging into …at these …(for lack of better definition) ….clandestine rendezvous. Unfortunately I was wrong !!

But most of all, my sincere apologies that I could not bring myself to sing along with the rest of the team when they did …. the  “Happy Birthday to You” . My lack of immaturity is deplorable. I cannot understand, what came over me that I did not  wipe the cake all over your face like so many others from the team did. How rude of me?  The fact that the cake is not even worth wasting had nothing to do with it. And I did not stop there. My diminishing team spirit was obvious, when I did not laugh when they called you Balakrishna  of coding !!

I hope that you can pardon my inefficiency and get back to work ……on the bank interface !!  ASAP !!

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This prolonged leave of absence can be quickly blamed on the incorrigible real life situation, which most would refer to as “work”. Whoever said – Work is Worship was just not too far-sighted or completely managed to miss the prison I am at. All said and done this move to WP was long due (which by the way is not the only move I am going to talk about) and from this point on I should be more regular…..before you cover your noses, I am referring to my “blogattendance”.

So if you could please begin by posting comments on how much you missed me…. it will be greatly appreciated. How arrogant of me. For all I know, this post would never be read by anyone who has any form of  “incorrigible real life situation”.

But still …..

Here are some of the situations of deep impact ……which has kept me busy …. I know you did not ask for this …. but I feel an explanation is necessary …to populate this post …

  1. we moved from the first floor (read : spacious cubicles where 2 or more people can talk about non work related topics without being overheard from other spacious cubicles) !!
  2. we moved to the second floor (read : cubicles the size of …..32 inch Samsonite suitcases that NRI’s are reputed for …..times two … ….weight limit approx. 200 pounds or less….) !!
  3. to my left …..animated conversations of the  guy from the support team……in Kannada about his “just anytime expected baby” with his family in Bangalore !!
  4. to my right ….movie reviews of  Aayirathil Oruvan ….in Tamil …. from the enthusiastic analyst who brought Pongal on the day of Pongal in the yellow lunch box … for all !!
  5. discounts details …. from the developer…. in Telugu occasionally interrupted by Parle G biscuits over tasteless coffee !!
  6. frequent updates from the QA guy …. in Bengali  … Buffalo maach(fish) is on sale !!
  7. invites to the cafeteria ….”chai peene chale”….(lets get some tea) …in Hindi …. by whoever !!

If you have not figured it out yet …. my desire is to paint a picture of the national integration that I am amidst…every day ..(courtesy : impossible timeline IT project…..high efficiency desired .. .low cost available ….recession … you get the picture).

But somewhere in the middle of all this debacle…as I  fiercly fight …to stay away from the afternoon siesta …..and then eventually fail ….. I can hear the Vividh Bharati theme tune and I see Balamurali Krishna singing …Mile Sur Mera Tumhara. ……and bam….!!

Out of nowhere Lady Gaga winks at me … saying ….”chal jhoothe” (you liar)…..Poker Face…. “kahin kaa” (from N.D.Tiwari Land)  !!

Image Courtesy: here

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For those of you…. who know about the Mile Road system in Detroit …good for you !!! For those who do not …. I have used the hyper link feature effectively. Now that we are clear on that … Ford Road …. really is zero mile road …and it runs east to west or the reverse (depends on which way you are driving really…or maybe working on your reverse gear)….!!!

several years ago ……

We would finish working at our respective menial assignments and then, like a cattle herding individual, one of the ever so ambitious students, would drive down Ford Road …. picking up the (extremely low) hourly wage workers from varied sites of exhaustion. It was that ride back to the University ……which would find, the tall ones trying, not to hit their heads on their knees and the short one ….try to designate …in the order of best to worst … the medley of several body odors. Looking back … I believe that Geo Metro is probably not the brightest of picks (no pun intended), when it comes to an automobile ….especially one which has to fit …..four relatively modest sized (just kidding) adult males and one pudgy geek (very adult …..me). Ours was cobalt blue in color and that is all I can remember about it …. wait ..also … that it smelt of what it consumed …. several million gallons of gasoline….this was in the days before retirement packages went insane !!

Somewhere in those days… was the first time … that I got introduced to Dr.Patron. We hit it off …almost immediately. We had so much in common…that it had a staggering effect on me for several years …even to this day ……each time I meet him. In so little time and within such limited perimeters……, he had so much to offer…. and I was ready to absorb …as much as I could afford from within the holes in the wallet, the one which I was still carrying from my bargain on Ranganathan Street. But I digress. That first meeting happened at the Beck’s family reunion and boy was it fun. We partied in the patio, of this (favorite of all) American hang out (which I later deciphered on the way to the blue smelly tin can) …..was to celebrate the end of a work week …!!

a few years later ……

this Friday….. the 13th…was horrifying !! I was trembling …first cold and then warm (I know… totally does not make sense). …and then at some point, ….was shaken into disbelief,at the depth of incidence, that I could write about (my life from behind the firewall).


for now… just that …these two pieces of genuine artistry called for a bigger audience…..

at around 8:43 am …local time ….. this very sumptuous email was spread out for all …..



which….. a few minutes later was duly consummated by this disarray …..(sigh..).







clearly …. the red ink and the prompts are courtesy : me, myself and sarcasm….

So many years later …… and for reasons like the ones I shared with you …. I do not look forward to Fridays anymore !! The reader should not start being judgemental at this point. Because you have had several other posts and (for crying out loud) the whole of this one (before right now) to do that !!

Photo Courtesy: here

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My prolonged absence from my this space is attributed to several reasons of mundane or zero significance. Ramesh, a gentleman and loving friend as he is … did not leave me alone … (thankfully!!). He checked on me and myself ….and one of us …..asked him to do a guest post. We “had made no offers that he could refuse” (watch Godfather ….please) ….so here we are !! Thank you Ramesh for your brilliant handwriting !!

You may have noticed that our good friend le embrouille blogueur has disappeared for a while now. If you recall, he was last “in prison” in a company that had outsourced its IT to the Great Firewall of China and being subjected to sleep deprivation torture (otherwise called midnight conference calls). So when he asked me to write a guest post on work life balance, I jumped at the idea. But this being a Sunday post, I took the liberty of altering the title , just ever so slightly.

In the good old days, life was very simple. The man went to work and earned the daily bread. The wife kept the house and looked after the kids. Simple. Uncomplicated. OK, if you want jargon, role clarity. Then came the concept – you must achieve work wife balance. Here’s a primer for those still struggling with this idea.

The central premise is that merely working hard and earning a good income is not enough. You must “take care” of the significant other. Here’s how.

The minute you enter the house (before you take off the shoes), you must ask the lady as to how the maid was today. That’s an essential safety valve to release. A tirade will follow – she bunked, she dawdled, she was rude, she answered back, You have to cluck your tongue at the correct intervals, shake your head resignedly on the irresponsibility of that species, listen sympathetically, nod the head, etc etc.

Once the maid has been sufficiently dealt with, then you should proceed to implement this strange notion of equality – that the man must do some housework, instead of resting his tired butt on the sofa and fiddling with the remote. Don’t sigh (that’ll kill it). Just set off for the kitchen – do the dishes, or vacuum the house, or take the garbage out, or whatever.

Progress on to the third step. Parenthood is supposed to be equally shared (your earning the keep does not count as a contribution). Get on to changing the nappies, or rocking the baby, or reading a story. At least 2 hours of this, so that the lady can go online and blog . And don’t call time exactly at the end of 2 hours.

A very critical part of the process is to have a conversation after the baby has gone to sleep. The definition of conversation is that she will talk and you will listen. You have to let her talk about the gorgeous new dress that the neighbour was wearing, how she has no good outfit at all (don’t risk getting killed by rolling your eyes), or how that b*@#$ behaved so badly at yesterday’s kitty. You must ensure that your share of the talking is exactly between 8.46 and 9.32 % of the total words spoken. Any less and you will be charged with being no better than the bedpost. Any more and you will be accused of not listening.

Then there are some weekly chores. Like taking her out. Allow the process to happen patiently. Like the question of what was she to wear (that question should never be answered with “whatever you like”). Allow at least three outfits to be changed and for each, complement on the radiance and the beauty. Accept that you’ll be delayed by at least 1 hour in the process. And you should accept that she’ll tell four other ladies that you are bum, don’t help with the house at all, etc etc and you should grin stupidly at the suggestion that men will be men.

Now here are the don’ts – these are cardinal don’t’s – never ever do them

Plonking on the sofa and watching TV (that’s a red rag), saying that you are tired (how can you be tired when all you have done is go to the office), not noticing the subtle change in her (like new hairdo, new outfit, new shoes, new handbag – look hard my friend, there will be something), not making bed tea for her in the morning (that will count as sacrilege), …………

If you do all the dos and don’t do the don’ts, then you’ll achieve work wife balance.

Got it ?

Image Courtesy:here

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the "sick" sense…..!!


the fore”ward” :

The balcony was her favorite place. Ever since, the day that ….they got locked “inside” their own apartment and he jumped out, to get to his meeting. It was a little cold for a summer morning.She waved to his back and then the smell of chemical fertilizer brought a smile on her face. This could only mean one thing……the maintenance guys are out working and so a call should get them “out” of the apartment. She was happy and in the process …… she threw up ……again….just for the heck of it. She was 5 weeks pregnant and loving it. They say , it is from this time …..when the protagonist (Her Highness in this case)….start to get a feel (kinda like a trailer) of how life (the real movie) will turn out to be in the next few weeks…..!!

the coup”late” :

A suicide is waiting to happen ….at the “prison” ……anytime……..he(the prisoner) may finally give in to the need of “negative” sustenance …and ….for several reasons…..

  • early mornings : conference calls…. during which Mammal Koomar keeps screaming ……from inside …his only Vimal® printed shirt ……”I does’nt knows about this new requirements“. …..and he thinks ……”He does not know about the Spoken English Refresher Course either” ….sigh
  • mid mornings: meetings with PJ Farty ……which feel like, walking down the produce aisle of Whole Foods® ……accompanied by….. a very hungry cow….. and he thinks ….”how can someone eat fruits all day??”…..damn
  • early afternoons : sudden wake up jolts (after a heavy lunch from outside of the prison)…… when Bandita Boondaram creeps up from behind ……without warning …. and whispers …..”the prosays ees vayree seem-pale, ….let me eggsplain” ……and he thinks “end of that nap” …f$%^
  • late afternoons: soul incineration (read: almost time to “break free” from the prison) due to pure mustard oil rage…… as Fakeer Gayak croaks down his shoulder …..and he thinks …”wonder how many anxious workers …..from the “spit” factory ….just landed all over the keyboard” …..disgusting
  • any time of the day (every quarter of an hour) : walks to the water filter, when Free Knee stops him with his hairy arms and asks….”house going, man ??” …. and he thinks…..”whose …..where …. wait ..did he mean …..hows it going man?“.
  • also any time of the day (every “other” quarter of an hour): coffee breaks, during which 2016 Olympics Figure (Skating) Gold Medalist – Jiyo Ji Nomore…..opens her “mouth” (read: gateway to olfactory hell) …. and he thinks …. “should have stopped breathing two seconds ago” ….puke

the in”site”:

I hit, the end of my fifth week …. at the “prison” today. And needless to say …there is a “not so great” feeling ….when I think about the next few weeks …… calls for an involuntary throw up … and I do not think …. that I may be pregnant !!

Photo Courtesy:here

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