The word “eventful” throws up “exciting”, “action-packed”, “lively”, and “hectic” as synonyms in Bill’s MSWORD, but none of these come close to describing the last 4 months of my life. As I was being cajoled, requested and even scolded by all my goody goody friends to write (read blog) frequently ( isn’t once a year good enough??? 😉 ), I had to admit there was a helluva lot to write about. But, as usual, there was the starting problem. How do I structure all this crap, and worse still, how do I make it attention-grabbing? Chronology, screamed the logical (yeah, it does exist) part of my brain (yeah, this exists too!!!). Naah, that’d be so bloody boring, exactly like those travelogues where the only interesting things are the pictures (foreign material esp. ). And, just like my new manager mentioned the other day, I do prefer a bit of chaos, though not too much.
So, while trying to structure the chaos happening around me, I decided to group the events based on any underlying common trait shared by them and this is the first of (hopefully!!) many more to come.
Quit number 1
The second half of 2006 saw me quitting a couple of things, the first of which was increasingly becoming an unbearable torture to put up with day in and day out. Yes, you got it right, I quit my 28 month old job with India’s Pride in IT (no name-calling, I hate lawyers!!).
I’ve been brought up on the belief that there’s only one kind of luck and that’s bad. There haven’t been too many instances in my 24-year 5-month existence to suggest otherwise either. As a result, I’ve never banked on my luck for anything because of the innate (mis?)trust in its ability to come good when it matters. Yet, when it comes to digging me out of hell-holes like the ones I fell into on Mysore Road (my first tryst with a bike accident, the 3-inch long scar’s still visible when u part the hair leftover on my head), or the clash with the unarmed cow (my 2nd tryst when on a bike), Lady Luck has always had a crush on me J. So, it was that Lovely Lady once again who came to my rescue when I was stuck in a living hell-hole, this time not on the road but inside the cubicles of a building by the same road where cows graze casually.
My work was challenging for the first 8-10 months, but then incessant calls about some godforsaken deal getting rejected everyday and softwares hanging in suspended animation with the omnipresent hourglass indicating something’s up in the backyard, do make u mad soon, if not immediately. Add to that a vengeful manager who’s always ready to nail ur ass down, and I had the perfect recipe for a professional disaster. Living to deal with a cell phone that bawls anytime during the day and/or night with irate bankers on the verge of tearing their larynx to shreds and the image of a tyrant boss wielding a threatening “How can you do something so irresponsible??” look was getting a bit too much to handle and besides, I wasn’t even getting something worthy of being called a salary for taking all this shit. So I decided to look beyond the walls of the esteemed image of my world-conquering organization.
It was precisely at this time that I got in touch with a couple of batchmates with whom I’d lost contact since my college days (can’t believe that was more than 3 years ago, man am i THAT OLD???) and they were working for the company which takes in almost everyone who go out of mine. The pace at which events unfolded after that reunion confirmed my faith in Lady Luck’s love for me. I mean, how often do u suddenly get back in touch with a friend working in the company u wanna get into, at exactly the time u r desperately looking for a change and that person actually sits next to a team looking for people who’ve got some knowledge in the domain u’ve spent the last two years in?
The disappointing aspect about this quit was that it did not have the desired effect on my boss. I was half expecting her to jump out of her seat in shock and surprise, but she took the news with such poise that I doubt she knew this was coming. I later learnt that she was actually playing the waiting game. It is a GARP (Generally Accepted Relieving Principle) that once u put in ur papers, the notice period is ur second honeymoon (training period being the first) but no, it turned out to be more like the battle period which usually follows the honeymoon. After trying to thrust every piece of irritating work towards me in an attempt at making my last few days horrible, if not memorable, and fighting tooth and nail over glitches in those pieces, she relented to let go 2 weeks later than my intended date of release. Thus I quit what I’d endured for 2 years and the primary feeling was not joy, but relief when the HR representative who took my exit interview babbled “What you’ve written as reasons for your resignation in this form are pretty descriptive indeed. Is there anything else you’d like to say?”
Quit number 2
This post is becoming longer than I’d anticipated and is also increasingly sounding like the serial Govinda movies (I seriously dunno what’s with the number 1 and number 2… the creative part of my brain’s well… as usual, on leave today… sorry). Before u decide to click that cross at the top of the window, lemme get to the point. The second thing I quit recently was something I’ve been practicing diligently for the past 3 years, notwithstanding multiple attempts, sometimes serious, sometimes not so serious, at sabotaging its regularity. Smoking. Ok, I can see that “Smokers quit every day” look crossing your face and I do agree that abstaining for 3 months doesn’t guarantee that I’ll never turn back to that 74 mm of paper rolled with cancer. So, what is it that makes me so bloody confident about not returning to the easy habit of giving in to temptation that I’m actually writing about it in my workshop?
My very close friend has told me many times that he would quit puffing away if only he can get himself addicted to some other habit which doesn’t puncture your lungs, or kidney for that matter. Whenever I’ve declared that I’m gonna stop this fast track to death, I’ve always tried to find some reason to overcome the addiction to tobacco, and that’s precisely why I haven’t been successful. This time I realized, thankfully, that it is not about the tobacco, or the nicotine. It’s about the habit itself. And that friend of mine guided me unknowingly towards the solution to this predicament. I made “Non-smoking” a habit and am in the process of getting addicted to it. Sounds outright funny and absurd, isn’t it? If u’ve never been overpowered by any habit ever, u might already have rubbished what I’m saying but those who’ve tried to kick some habit or the other desperately might see some sense in what I’m trying to say.
Everyone who knows me well enough will vouch for the fact that I have a big bloated ego. In trying to use that to my advantage, I took this as a personal challenge to my self control and decided to fight the urge to go for the puff after every meal with an equal and opposite urge to satiate my ego. Being in a new place where nobody knows whether I smoke or not was a plus too, as I can very well decline that I’m an addict whenever I’m offered a puff. But, I’m a very poor liar and I end up saying “No thanks, I’ve quit.” which evokes a “Ha, lets see how many days u hold on” or a “Who’s the girl?” response. I use this to fuel the challenge to my ego. “Yes boss, lets see how long I’m able to hold myself back, and I don’t need a girl to tell me my lungs r on fire!!”
PS: I jus hope my parents never get to this site…