A typical day at work

Here’s how life was in early 2008:

It’s 10am and I saunter in to work (early by my standards), filled with enthusiasm and a desire to sieze the day and achieve great things. I pick a cup of hot chocolate on my way to my room, which I will slowly sip while I read one useless mail after another. By noon, I’m done with the brain-numbing work of reading loads and loads of unnecessary mail. By now, I am sapped of my desire to sieze the day, and I want revenge! So I shoot off a few brainless replies to equally brainless mails from equally brainless people. That done, my stomach reminds me what a pain it can be when it chooses to. So I sigh and get up from my seat, round up a few equally jobless people and go to the cafeteria for a ritual we call “lunch”. (Note: Please do not confuse this with the mid-day meal called lunch that people normally have)

So let me explain this ritual called lunch: We stand in a queue (and no, we’re not geeks enough to discuss if the queue will grow beyond capacity and if a faster processor will be needed to serve the queue elements, but I’ve heard certain others do it : ) and pay Rs.35 to look at some stuff that drives our hunger away, and we beg to be set free so that we can go back to our rooms and work ourselves to death for the rest of our miserable lives. Just kidding – the effect only lasts a day. We need to go and look at that stuff around noon everyday. Some people try to avoid this usual lunch ritual of ours by actually bringing food from home. Such people don’t realize that doing so is futile – they don’t get to even catch a faint whiff of their lunch; it would’ve been devoured by hungry hordes, who will move on to fresher pastures (read: the next box) in the twinkling of an eye.

This ritual usually takes around an hour, after which we return to our rooms to do whatever we want. I usually plan to use this time to read mail – before you conclude I’m crazy, I am talking about the mail from college friends; a whopping number of forwards that will make you swoon on just seeing the number. So I open my gmail account, and what do I see? Nothing!!! No forwards from my friends. My mailbox is devoid of new mail! I start to feel lost and lonely. Thankfully, some nameless, faceless guys of various companies have decided to keep me company. They show that they’ve thought of me by sending me mail after mail of utter nonsense (man, they even know that by this time of the day, nonsense is the only thing that makes sense to me!!)

I curse gmail for having marked these mails spam – I wanted to do that myself! So I delete these mails and thank the spammers for having given some purpose to my logging in. Now its time for something else. It’s already 3 in the afternoon, and I’ve managed to while away the time so far. So I walk around, fishing for people who are ready to play a game of TT with me. I usually succeed in finding a few people as jobless as me. Sadly, when the game starts, I forget that it is table tennis we’re playing and not cricket, and start smashing a lot of sixers. That’s usually when whoever is playing as my team-mate starts tearing his hair out and starts yelling at me. I usually don’t realize I’m playing the wrong game until it is over and we’ve lost – not that it takes long, you know, its just that the game gets over so quickly… So after playing a few hundred games, I’ll think “Man, it must be time to go home now” and then I’ll see that it is still just 4. Of course, I’m the guy who never lets a game last long, right? So I curse myself and trudge back to my room. I religiously avoid the cafeteria on the way back – they have something they call “snacks” that they serve for free. This seems like a continuation of the lunch effort, just in case someone needs it by chance – man, they take care of everything over here!

By now I realize that I’ve not attended any meetings so far in the day and that I’m feeling tired after playing cricket on the TT table, so I decide to go and sit in some random meeting as long as they don’t kick me out. Anything to avoid work, I say! I prefer meetings which drag on and on, since that way I get a long undisturbed nap. There is nothing decided in that time anyway! Someone once said meetings are “geek parties”, a kind of gathering where all those geeks who would never get to socialize otherwise meet to socialize. I disagree – meetings are where clueless individuals socialize and the ones who actually know stuff either sleep through or avoid altogether. Thankfully, no decisions are ever taken in meetings – everything somehow magically requires more investigation – and people like me who sleep through are never found out.

When I wake up, it is already six and they are still socializing. I yawn, stretch and walk out. Wow, what a day of accomplishments! Time to go home and rest – I mean, I have to do more or less the same stuff tomorrow, and I need my energy for that!


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