Archive for the ‘Life at work’ Category

Working Woman

From those few rebels who were outlawed and were looked at with contempt and suspicion to the huge numbers that walk within the workplace today, a career woman has come a long way. The journey is, along with being a personal victory, a stepping stone for the rest of the generations to build on. Every woman who dared, created a rung of the ladder for others to step on and enabled them to create rungs higher up.

When Sudha Murthy who refused to be disqualified by Tata on grounds of being a woman, it opened up many more windows of opportunities for the others to partake in the fruit without even having to fight tooth and nail.

By slowly ascending into the upper echelons of the working world, the rules of the game are altered to accommodate the female species with a myriad of responsibilities. They make it easier for us and the next generation of daughters to come by, bringing a total level of normality with it. Even the current cynical woman who scoffs at a working counterpart labeling them as “works for need of money, which I have lots of ” will still find solace that the daughters she brings forth will have it easy in the workplace and the world in general.

And to every one of those women who were scorned for being a working woman but went on unfailingly, I pass on my gratitude. For every one of those who refused to bog down to the dictates of the society and rose high up from the image of just bearing and raising children, I salute silently. It’s not one or two of them at the top that made the difference. It’s the collective force that’s responsible for the wonderful respectable place a woman has at work today.


Awkward conversations

Have you been caught up where people just talk, not just talk, but talk passionately. Without even the slightest consideration that you may not be interested. The tone is usually gripe, I’ve started avoiding people who can go at lengths about issues with in-laws, maids and the like. Spouses, kids, household work! The list is endless. The issues are not even worth a rat’s ass, but making a mountain of a molehill and assuming the status of a victim tortured intensely by a cruel world around. And they assume you are genuinely interested just because your nervous smile of discomfort is misconstrued for a look of empathy.

What I’ve always wanted to say, but not done yet to scream aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh…..please no……not again…..I’m bored… OR
Dial the object of complaint or admiration as the case may be, and subject them to listen to the conversation. Whatever, but spare me.

Why we work….

There are some things in life so familiar and welcome.. Feels like the cold winter day you were sick in bed wrapped in a blanket with hot rasam and an Amar Chitra katha..

Was searching for this article from quite sometime. Thanks to google, I found it today..

This neatly sums up a lot of things.. It’s significance was not obvious to the aspiring graduate I was. As years got added to my career, it now makes oodles of sense.

Working is important, very important, not for the bank balance, growing technical prowess or the other obvious perks. It adds value to life in a way nothing else can. Shari Caudron has captured many aspects beautifully.

Oops.. I did it again..

I have this reputation for walking upto people chitchatting with friends, sorting out long pending matters with credit card companies, service centers of home appliances and telling them to move to a conference room. Well, in my defense, I walk up to them after giving a whole 10 to 15 minutes to avoid confrontations with single-time offenders.

But, I’ve seen increasingly that people are so often insensitive to everyone else around. The attitude is mainly – “I’m the only soul that matters in the universe, so I don’t give a damn to think how my actions affect those around me” And I have taken an avataar on the planet and sent by the Gods to annihilate this same gross callousness.

Today, I walk in and was subjected to akaashvaani of a meeting. This guy has put the phone on speaker and is attending the meeting. With all the echo, it is madness. After 10 minutes, I walked past his cube, made a mental note of his name and returned. Another 10 minutes passed while I debated if I should compose an etiquette mail on attending conference calls and send to the secretary to circulate among all or to go in person, give darshan and attack the enemy.

Slowly, tolerance grew inside me – the compassion I had while in my divine abode peeked into me and I opened a chat window and typed in a polite tone. The exact transcript went this way.

Moi :
9:21:46 AM Kindly move to conference room if meeting will go on for longer
Akaashvaani :
9:23:30 AM hm…no room is booked….
{At this point, he shows mercy and pulls it off speaker}
Moi :
9:23:57 AM ok. Volume is less now, so it’s cool. Thanks.
Akaashvaani :
9:24:06 AM where r u sitting?
Moi :
9:24:25 AM Parallel row to yours
Akaashvaani :
9:24:34 AM ok..thanks…
Akaashvaani :
9:25:23 AM moving to a room…

My job accomplished without bloodshed, I settle down to write this post before I begin my work.

This is how, my friends, mythology was written and code of good conduct was documented for posterity.

Om.. hreem…kleem…

[An update]
Ever since I wrote this post, this guy in unusually silent. He stopped all his phone conversations, meetings from cube. Not sure if he read this.

Why engineering and process is important

I wanted a footrest. I bypassed all the design, estimation and measurements I do for work and just went to pull a chair from the breakout area. As simple as that!….

The chair refused to go under the desk as the bottom support of the desk clashed against the full bottom support of the fancy chair.

Pulling the table out, placing chair in horizontal position, pushing more to pull it up worked. But table did not go back in there because the arm rest of the chair clashed against the table’s back panel support.

Puffing and panting with all furniture in weird positions, I resigned and called for help from the furniture staff to get me out of the mess. 😦

All this, when a little stepping back and engineering with measurements would have saved all the trouble.

What to do? What to do?

Search for a co-worker : When people come searching for your neighbour and ask you if you know where he/she is, get up seriously, go over to the cube, look under the table and announce – “Your game is over. They’ve come for you”

Hide people’s footwear
: Go sneak behind somebody who has their feet up and relaxing, grab one footwear and hide it. When they go to search it, sing jhoota ho ya chappal, aakhir kho hi jaata hai..

Ask if the phone line is working:
and do this loudly. Announce aloud – phone line is not ok. It’s not connecting any calls and wait to listen to a bunch of people around you checking their phone. 🙂

Name the objects in your cube
: Did you know that your phone is happier when you call it Tringa, laptop, keyboard all need names. Come on, how else would you differentiate between yours and somebody else’s when there is a dispute. clear your throat and say – my headphones respond to the name – sangeetha. And have everyone roll their eyes over when Sangeetha hops onto your head and dispute is settled. Of course, in your favour, silly.

Sort your cupboard with emotions: Look at the unwanted papers like looking at an era gone by, clutch it closely before deciding to toss it out. Shake your head, close your eyes and toss it in the bin. Full authentic.

Count your square feet of space
: Do you know how much space you inhabit? And if you didn’t know, you inhabit this space for 1/3rd of your life. You ought to know.

Warn thy neighbor!!!

To whomever that comes in the vicinity of my cubicle:


  1. Read the instructions carefully. Do not blame me for unforeseeable consequences that result from your negligence.
  2. Do NOT chatter constantly. I hate to sound like a primary school teacher who goes on with – ‘Pin drop silence, children’ but learn to behave yourself. You have an internal chat application to share your ideas and views on anything on earth. If I hear you again, you would be lifted off your chair, hanged to a nail by your collar outside the window where I can’t hear you.
  3. Always use headphones or earphones. Whatever gave you the impression that you are in a tea shop on a highway. Listen to all the crap songs you want to listen to alone. Else I’ll have it arranged to put you away in a deserted God-forsaken place where trucks carrying goats stop by to scream at you in the middle of the night for tea.
  4. Do NOT whine for things that don’t work. ‘This is not working. I’m not able to login. How do you do this?’ And all this from your seat. What do you think? Everybody on earth wants to know how stupidly inefficient and dumb you are!!! Try it again and I’ll throw you out the door. Sometimes, it’s so surprising that people as dumb as you are actually inside.
  5. Do NOT keep opening and closing your cupboards. Man! Keep it closed or keep it open. Do NOT do it incessantly. I’ll fold you in three, put you inside the same cupboard and lock you up.
  6. Do NOT use the office phone for all your personal conversations. I don’t want to hear you tell your aunt proudly that you got a laptop and details of your salary.
  7. Do NOT hum or sing along while the song is playing. You may not hear yourself, but to me, it sounds like a cacophony resulting from the conversation between a crow and a donkey.
  8. Like the old adage, ‘Children must be seen, not heard’ go through your day silently and in a disciplined way.
  9. If you are totally jobless and don’t know what to do with all the time at hand, go to the cafeteria or anywhere out of my earshot.


A break from the monotony of work.. after you’re tired jamming the keys on the keyboard.. This is a perfect place to take a break and unwind. Choose from the exciting range of coffee, tea, hot water, cold water and normal water. If not any of these, just choose to sit back and relax. Put work out of your mind and soak in the pleasant ambience.

This overlooks the plush gardens outside and the magnificent architectural wonders of the buildings around. The pathways in the garden with exocit variety of flora are welcoming to the eyes that are accustomed to glaring at the monitor.

What is more, this is just 1 minute walk from your cubicle, but an entire world altogether where you can just be,  chat, have fun or contemplate.

Take a break. Visit the cafeteria..

Busy hoon yaar..

Yawn.. Yawn.. Stifle the yawn… A lazy Tuesday evening (or shall I say late afternoon in IT parlance).. I find this close to the time where I can pack up and leave. Am just sitting here totally bored. I’m just wondering of techniques of how to look busy when you have absolutely nothing to do. How to look so convincingly busy and have a great time too?

1. Open the IDE, a couple of documents that you can stare deeply into and analyse if an unforeseen event occurs. Now open blog sites that you want to read. Maintain a very serious expression on your face. Move closer to the screen and look into the roof on and off with a serious expression as if trying to analyse something.

2. After reading blogs and doing timepass, take breaks every 2 hours. Go for a cup of coffee or tea. Or just leave the place. When you meet friends at the cafeteria, talk of too much work and the need of break in between..blah..blah…

3. Put on your headphones and listen to movies, friends….stretch your imagination. If there’s something funny where you have to laugh, cover your mouth with your palms and laugh silently.

4. Occasionally look into some technical stuff, initiate a few discussions and retire in your seat peacefully.

5. Open source code, have an analytical expression and daydream..

6. Doodle on the notepad and stare into the roof alternatively..

People in technical trainings..

1.      The Excited electron : Not attained valency (you’ve forgotten high school chemistry if you don’t know this term)and full of high energy. Frequency is high and contents delivered. Is very excited about the project and everything related to it. Gets flabbergasted once in a while, but does a neat job most times.

2.      The Enthu batani : I have done a great deal of studying. I want to use this training very effectively and get all my doubts clarified. Well, that is what these are meant for –aren’t they? What is this? What is that? … (after some time) Okay… Now I understood, I got confused earlier.

3.      A walk in the clouds: I seriously have no clue why these trainings are organised. Anyways, I can go to my dreamland. Put on a dreamy expression and go to some wonderland and if possible, also sing a song in the dream. When the trainer looks at this person and asks a question, this person nods vigorously to convince the speaker he’s on on his side and things will go smoothly. If this trick does not work – jolt out of the reverie, address the issue in broken sentences (say a statement with some technical words ), shake your head twice more and the job is done.

4.      The first bencher : Is full attention. Listens carefully, understands everything and can explain back everything. ‘No – what I thought was..’ is the favourite phrase. After the understanding is complete, there is a time delay where this person tilts the head to the side and looks into the air and afterwards declares – okay.. okay and again ends with ‘what I thought was..’

5.      Volcano : Is silent. Completely silent. Ppl cannot make out if this person is concentrating or not. No answers for most simple questions. Then when required will suddenly erupt with the right answer and stun everybody.

6.      Unglimaala: Has had a great time in school. Been every teacher’s pet. Very polite and always raises hand before speaking anything. (The parliament would be much better if it follows this person) Does a lot of groundwork before attending any presentation. Has idea of the minutest data structure details and is interested to know everything. Will bombard the trainer with questions at a steady rate of one doubt per second only.

7.      Happy-funny : Has a lot of enthu. Has a lot of wisecrack comments. Laughs at his own jokes. Lives life to the fullest. Thorough about everything.

8.      Blinker : When having anything to say, the strategy followed is blank look and then blink blink blink till the trainer stops and asks what is the matter. Then this person states the issue, gets clarified and then goes to enlightened mode. When the trainers have doubt, this person teaches them too.

9.      Lightning – Will remain quiet till a brainwave occurs. Then like thunder will narrate the technical issues and go back to dormant mode till the next lightning.