Monday, September 24, 2012

Go green. Take the stairs.


It's a huge office and the probability to seeing someone you know is Nil. Well, I thought so.

You know there are some managers who yell, overburden their subordinates with work, set unachievable deadlines and are unfriendly? Santhosh wasn't any of that. It is just that I bumped into him after a really long time, in an elevator, first thing in the morning and my immediate reaction was 'Ulp'. 

Although him getting into the elevator from the basement and me from the ground floor cannot be made into a three hour movie like Alaipyuthey, there is still some hope for a movie like the Titanic(with no elevators) or the Star wars(with no.. Ok. I confess, I have not watched it yet). Genre - Horror, Thriller, Bollywood

Two years ago I got caught for having locked one of the Not-So-NASA and Not-Even-a-TNPD level important user ID and shot to fame in a matter of two hours. So, when everybody was busy using sniffer dogs to hunt me down, I was in the cafeteria ranting about how life at work was getting uninteresting and monotonous and how I needed to spice it up. And some angel from above said 'Tathastu'. I walk back into my office with this manager waiting to 'have a word with me'.

Now : First floor. Ting.

There!, he said  running some stats on the server, not waiting for me to go 'But..' when he popped the very obvious 'So, it was you?' question.

Silence, for the next few awkward minutes and a couple of more days. I finally made it to the 'Lessons learnt' document of the project manual. I couldn't run back to my mom beaming 'Aatha naa pass ayitten' because I live in a city and we don't really have farms in my area. Yeah, that is why.

Now : Second floor. Ting.

So, where was he all these days and where is he coming now? Did he notice me? Should I wish him a good morning ? Am I being rude? But what if he doesn't recognize me? (Ok THAT -- is not going to happen. Pfft.)

Now : Third floor. Ting.

Time for me to get out of this small, inconvenient, insignificant, anti-green, anti-friendly scientific invention to just carry people between floors when there is stairs instead!.

Ten minutes into checking my mails, chatting up with friends I finally relax and my colleague calls out. 'Abi, I want you to meet somebody'.

Santhosh it is.

Me - Hi SsanTthoSsh. What a pleasant surprise!. How have you been?

Santhosh - I'm good. I saw you in the elevator and thought of saying hi but you looked lost.*Smiles*

Me - Oh. Really? Sorry, I didn't notice you. (Hand me the Oscar already!). *Smiles* *Smiles more* *Contemplates jumping off the building*

It's a small world. Don't believe me ? Get into an elevator.


And next time, I'm just taking the stairs.


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Hello Who?

Skipping the insanely long story of how I got to the U.S, I wanted to tell you how it felt when I actually met the people that I had imagined had a face of a CISCO landline phone tagged to a ten digit number unique for each one of them.

The first week was lost in cursing my colleagues who made me come to office during my MY night time. The second week was lost in complaining to my friend that he was driving on the wrong side of the road. The third week on.. Well, I need to make things clear at this point of time. I did work during the first two weeks (although I had to fight to get paid during that tenure) No, really!.

So, the third week started with an American calling me 'Abby' in spite of me helping him with the world's easiest name. In my street all the babies tell my name before they tell 'Amma', you know?

A day later I dialed into a team meeting that already had a couple of Americans in the line. A show of hands was expected.

Caller1 - Hey, this is Sen.

Caller2 - Hey, this is Phil.

Caller3 - Brad here.

Caller4 - Sid.

Caller5 - It was me and I had no clue if I was on the correct bridge line. I didn't know any of them. I shut my mouth. Dropped from the call silently. A ping on the chat window on my laptop - 'Announce yourself' said the lead. I confessed that I wasn't on the call.

I was excused for the moment. But the hearing was scheduled post-lunch. I assumed I was going to turn out to be the clown for the day. What did they know!

I could hear myself laugh out loud in front of the entire team when I came to know that

Caller 1 is Senthil.

Caller 2 is Pillai

Caller 3 - Bharathan

Caller 4 - Sudharvel

I yelled, 'Are you guys out of your minds?' More giggling, stifling, giggling.

It is only to help the Americans be comfortable with our otherwise tongue twisting names, they said. But we try our best to tell 'Emma', don't we?. Not fair? Okay.

I got used to it eventually. But not when some desis call me Abby. Like they'll consider their accent to give them a green card.

I'm glad that after a year the caller5 still calls herself Abi.

Love,
Abby.(Just kidding)