Nothing? What about the guy who you went out for dinner with? What! What!! Doesn’t news travel fast? Now who is gossiping about me?
Peals of laughter in the room.
Hey I am still curious, who is doing me this big favor by circulating this news around and tarnishing my image. It was not as it sounds like. We just went out to eat together with emphasis on “eat” and not on “together”. He is married forgodsake!
So what! Do you think people care these days about such factors?
I care! And I know lot of people… no.. most people do care about these factors. And care or no care, this was not a “date” or something like what it has been made to sound like.
Ok if you say so? But how did this happen? I mean he called just you, he could have called us too right! Hey relax guys! What “happen”ed. His company pays for his food. He is allowed to take a business co-worker out for food and he is new at this place. He asked me for some good places, I suggested, he asked directions, I gave him the directions, he asked if I could join him, and I declined. No thoughts, I had too much work that day. He offered the next day, and I agreed. He was looking for company, and I also could do with one.
Oh since when are you his “business” co-worker? Come on guys! We share the same work place, his office is next to mine. He asks me a thousand questions about whats and wheres of the office building. I can’t believe I am answering these questions.
Ok relax! We were just pulling your leg. I know but just three people knew I was going out for dinner. Now many more know and all are pulling my leg. My leg will come out of the socket.
Some more laughter. Ok lets talk about something else. So what are the plans for Christmas everyone? Good question! Nothing so far. Let us plan some real fun! I am going to see some friends in NYC and around. Please lets plan for some other time. I don’t want to miss out on fun. You guys just do.. .. meet some friends? Does he stay in NYC? Oh please! Just shut up! Hey I am sorry! Could not resist but go there again just this last time.
Hunh! Hey plan something for new years, what do you all say! Yeah, lets plan out something. Apparently there is some party at one of the restaurants here. Should be fun…or.. hmm.. or may be not! Why? I am not sure but I think only couple entry allowed. Oh, then lets go somewhere else. .. try calling him, he may just agree! Roars of laughter. I swing the door open, and thwaaarrrrt close it behind me. I hear a pin drop silence behind in the room. And then giggle and finally another loud uproar. I hate them all!
Ok so I am working at the client location. It has its own advantages and disadvantages and it is an endless debate that which one outweighs the other. I choose not to take a stand, not because I am diplomatic, but because I really don’t know. All I know is I learned how to “work hard and party harder” here. Some people like me sometimes when get into this mode, they forget that along with work hard and party harder, there is one more thing that is absolutely essential, and that is "sleeping". Of late there was a lot to do at work and then there was Christmas holiday that was packed-planned from start till the end, and that also didn’t feature “rest” as an action item. So in this action packed schedule, after slogging like a dog, and then holidaying quite well too, there was a need to take a break. And the day I felt the need to do so, as I was planning to take it easy at work, we uncovered that due to some trouble in one of the financial applications, a monster of an error was spotted. Who caused that error? Well..no not exactly me.. but I was part of the elite fraternity. And because of this problem, the system was heading to pay out double salary to 1400 employees.
It was 29th of December when we spotted this sweet little indecent problem. But that day I kept trying to prove it to myself and to everyone else that it was not a problem and that nothing will go wrong. I did that successfully too. But on 30th morning, I saw it written in big and bold, 1400 extra payouts were on their way in just over 24 hours time. And let me also tell you, 31st December happens to be the closing of financial year as well in this country. So basically if you have still not understood, it was an awfully colossal piece of crap I found myself into. This was not all. We charge money to keep the application clean and safe, so it was not the fault of the organization that would have made this huge payment (roughly just over a million dollars.. and I am not kidding and for a change I am not exaggerating either). Ok so as I mentioned I was a part of this fraternity who created this mess. Out of these people, one was a non-technical person, so there was no way he could contribute to fixing this mess. Half of the remaining fraternity confessed to have overwritten all the files that could have saved some grace. And also, this half holds no direct responsibility towards the application and hence while contributed almost 50% towards creation of the mess, would not have faced the music even half as much as the other half that was left. Ok so time for some disclosure. This fraternity comprised of three people – one non-technical genius, one free genius soul who could murder and say sorry, and the last not-so-genius-and-in-terribly-sorry-state. You guessed it right. That was me! I started wheezing the moment I heard that things were so wrong and it was just “me” all eyes were set to. This looked like an impossible mission and I felt like a helpless kid in the wild woods. I so badly wanted to go back home that very moment, and get house arrested for months. I was missing my parents. Well at this moment I was missing my family, extended family, friends, neighbors, everybody. I could be kept here for years without salary and still I would not have coughed up that kind of money. My fingers started behaving like my brain – JAMMED! My respiration was forming different patterns and all could be heard till the next room. Freaky it was! This anxiety lasted a couple of minutes. And then was time for the next step. I started preparing myself for the mission. I tried to calm myself, picked up the phone to speak to the application owner, to inform that I would be seizing the application for the rest of the day (note the time of this conversation please – it was 11.30 in the morning on the 30th December). He was made aware of the plausible hazard too. But his answer shook my lungs, liver, kidney, churned my stomach – “oh no this can not be true. Please ensure this does not happen. And hope you also understand that it is the end of the financial year, so it is a busy time. People can’t be asked to stay away from the application at this point. I might be able to give it to you a little early though, say at about 5 in the evening.” He sounded cool as cucumber. 5 – Early in the evening? “Please ensure this does not happen” – my head was spinning. I was not supposed to get on this work till 5 and I was not in the state to concentrate on anything else. I was thinking in all directions and that’s when I recollected a lesson imparted to me by my previous technical manager – if you create a mess and you are the only person who can correct it, no matter how bad it is, just remember that you are the ONLY one in the world who can correct this. So know your value. Don’t panic, calm yourself, and straighten it up! I suddenly felt better upon being hit by the thought that I was the ONLY person in the world who could fix this. So what was I waiting for! I started to work on the strategy to deal with the problem. After the application was given to me at 5, there was a close to an hour activity that the free genius soul needed to carry out. And then I could do whatever I could do till 6 in the morning. I went to meet the free genius soul after formulating what looked like a plan. Free genius soul, actually a nice guy, agreed to carry out the activity I wanted him to. The only problem was he had an important appointment till 7 and he could get on the system only after that. Some days are like that! So we decided that he gets the system till 8, there would be a buffer of half an hour with him, and at 8.30 I will start the remediation. I was about to leave when he said - "hey Anu! all the best! don't worry you will be fine! You have blessings of 1400 people". We burst out laughing. I could not believe we were laughing. But it actually relaxed me a little. :)
I reached home at about 5.30. Changed in three minutes, ate, and went to sleep with the alarm set for 8.20. I got up at 8.20, checked my mail. Yes, he had done his work. And then I started. The grand strategy that finally came out of my analysis earlier in the day had suggested that I would need to update these 1400 records manually in two different places. I was prepared for it. Ok there was no genius required any more. It was donkey work, endless donkey work. I could feel migraine building up by the time it was 11. I was feeling exhausted, but my work was far from done. Well I was done at about 3 in the morning. Did a round of testing on the system, sent out a mail and then slept off.
Pay went out, there was no big problem reported. Alright there were a small few, there were some people who did not get salary, but there was no account that got extra salary. There can still be news out even tomorrow about something not working, but is surely not as bad as it could have been. Phew! Wonderful experience, once in a lifetime experience. And for all I care, I am done with one for my lifetime now. I don’t want anything even half as close any more. As a result of this activity, my body decided not to cope with me and kind of gave up completely for not one not two but five days. I slept like 17 hours a day on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd of Jan. 4th Jan was loose and swayed. This all begun on the 31st evening itself. And now you know how exciting the climax of the last year was for me and how i I brought in my new year. :)
This post is dedicated to Ria, who is perhaps occupied, perhaps just procrastinating, but surely is not indifferent, as i know she still cares, as she did once upon a time, just doesnt express it that often, or may be doesnt express it at all any more! But she cares.. she does.. i know she does!
Ria remembers everything Is just a little caught in the game of life Like each one of us But she does remember everything She remembers the daily doses of giggle, chuckle, laugh-laugh And the bickering and the gossips The quizzes and the vivas And the results days too She remembers the daily tea cups With each cup facing a different direction And the free lunches at the favorite hang out Which came with a chocolate day after day each day The terrace between the two speed breakers And the no show from there Still the disappointment backed by some hope Of someday seeing a view better than the sunset That she did catch at times from there She remembers the woofs and the oinks And there pictorial representations too She remembers the green horse that galloped In every street she knew She remembers listening to lobo and bryan adams She remembers “do hemm” and “do pro” And she can clearly recall the honk of 0844 She remembers the coiled staircase And the red phone planted in between The pizza and the coffee The rainy day that threw her under fits of laughter Upon hearing – “sab kudrat ki den hai” Ria remembers a lot more Is just a little caught in the game of life Like each one of us But she does remember everything...
For most of you my people, this will not make sense, but this is meant to make sense to Ria alone, who is a little forgetful, and a little busy, but still as loving as she was..!