Friday, March 26, 2010

Memories at work

I happened to come across some old emails at work today, and some memories came rushing back. It felt nice, so I thought I'd share.

This woman, who was shooting emails at 4 in the morning (her time), whom I asked she what was doing at that hour:
"Trying to trap a feral cat that I’ve been feeding for three years. But she’s not cooperating. Then again, who are you to speak of early/late hours?! You seem to work around the clock!"
What she doesn't know is that I suck at time management. I while away my time surfing and then have to make up for lost hours. But then, when it's required, I don't mind working round the clock. It's the closest we IT folks can come to doing "hard work."

A colleague who was visiting India for the first time; I'm pasting quite a bit of the email because I think it's cute and funny:
"I’m planning on doing some sightseeing and shopping this Saturday and Sunday. If you’d like to accompany me, feel free to do so. However, don’t feel obligated to “baby sit” me. With the help of rickshaws, I’ve navigated the city rather well and am very comfortable exploring Pune by myself. (Remember, I’m an American and I’m not just saying that to be polite.)
Shopping: I’d like to return to Laxmi road and do a little shopping for friends and family. On this leg of my adventure, I would like some company (i.e., protection from the vendors). I don’t mind paying 1 or 2 times the cost (i.e., the Westerner’s tax/surcharge). I just don’t want to pay 20 or 30 times the cost. Plus, then I’d have to get a second job upon my return to [his hometown]

A colleague on his last day in the current organization:
"Time flies on the wings of light and now I am here to say adieu to all of you. It was a short association of xx months. Somehow I can’t align myself with what [company name] offers so I had to take this decision."
I liked the way he stated the reason--genuine and formal.

A colleague appreciating a work-related email I sent to someone we needed to keep in-the-loop and happy:
"Your response is perfect; thank you very much. :>"
My response to her (who I look up to and adore):
"Did I say I love you? Ok, there, you heard it. Now all I need is a hug. I’ve begun to have a headache juggling between blah-blah-blah."
She replies:
"Well, thank you! What a lovely way to start my day. :>
I’m sending you a virtual hug. Your day sounds like it was hectic; I hope you have a great weekend and get to relax!"
We frequently exchange such cross-continental energy hugs :) I'm truly blessed to know someone like her.

A senior manager who was about to move on from her current organization:
"I was hoping to have something wonderfully witty and wise to send to all of you, but, that has eluded me! Must have something to do with the aging process!"
Although I interacted with her for all of one hour, she came across as a very warm person. Also, she made time for nice activities besides work and regular life. Appreciated that.

From a US-based colleague who was visiting the local office:
"It’s movie time. I brought in all of the movies I have with me. If there is one in this list that you want to borrow, come see me."
Titled, "Get the popcorn," and she carried a good mix (La Vie En Rose, Capote, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Shrek The Third, The Illusionist, Sweeney Todd, The Man Who Cried, Prime Suspect 3, The Namesake) that she shared with anyone who wanted... even the ones whom she didn't know well. It was pretty sweet of her.

A manager, asking us to keep in touch with another manager who was not keeping well:
"If you haven’t sent an email or note to Robin recently, she would really enjoy hearing from you. Just a note to say hi and that you’re thinking of her and miss her would be great."
This was very thoughtful and nice of her. And I'm really a jerk for not acting immediately on this reminder. I could have talked to "her" one last time! :(

And the last and most goose-bump-inducing, from Robin, when she was trying to diagnose what was ailing her:
"I expect our working relationship to remain the same and I continue to be here for what you need. I don’t expect you to require less of me."
That's how great she was!

Monday, March 08, 2010

On International Women's Day

... I only wish that in a century or less we do not feel the need to celebrate such days. (Why a century? 'Cuz, ya'know, I'm am an optimist, but not completely insane. Yet.) I'll be thrashed for saying this, but it feels like mass hysteria to me. Like those Hallmark holidays.

Why has human civilization come to this point of polarization? Millions of years of evolution and men still cannot resist their animal instincts? If you folks could suppress that one trait of yours, the whole species would be achieving greater things. I'll not even get started about war. Suppressing the urge to thwack people's heads off to grab their possessions is a higher level of behavioral sophistication that would require you all another million years of refining. And I'm not talking about all men here. I know there are some really awesome apples in the basket, but they're few and far between the rotten ones. I guess we need to stop procreating like rats, and focus on producing quality offspring. Not focusing on physical attributes like the Spartans, but on bringing up "humane" humans.

We're supposed to evolve and not roll in the same muck over and over again. And then they say history repeats itself. We're the ones who write history. And while the men folk try not to harass women at whim, we women could do with toning down our nagging and making more time to do stuff we like. And cut down on the gossiping and bitching. It sounds hypocritical coming from me, but I'm trying, you know. Rant over.

Oh, well. I forgot about the whole issue of societal acceptance of LGBTs. If we can't tolerate innate, natural preferences that do not intrude upon others' lives in any way, how can we consider ourselves capable of "reason?" Could we please stop classifying people as men, women, or other poorly-defined genders, and focus on the human aspect? Celebrate individuals for their good qualities and attempt to curb the not-so-good ones? What happened to live and let live? Argh!

Rant forcibly closed.

I'll miss you, Robin

My manager had been battling ALS since the past few months. She fought bravely and refused to quit working and supporting her team. It was inspiring to see her. One of my regrets in life will be not getting to speak to her before she passed away.

I'll miss you, Robin, your leadership, your courage, your quick decision-making ability, your insights, your appreciation, all that made you such a wonderful manager. I guess it stems from being such a good person inside. I'm glad to have been associated with you. May your soul be in peace.

I remember feeling down in the dumps on a morning this weekend. It was soon after the unfortunate event. I'd like to believe it's the cosmic connection. Adios, brave woman.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Multitasking gets to you at times

One of the reasons I'm grateful for being born as a member of the female species is the awesome multitasking feature that's programmed into our brains through a million years of evolution. I usually put it to great use, but sometimes, when the wrong process accesses the wrong memory location (couldn't help the computing jargon!), it has comical results. It kinda makes me feel absent-minded or stupid least that's what it would appear like to an onlooker when I'm:
  • Picking leafy vegetables or peeling peas and I throw the roots or pods into the "clean" bowl instead of the "dispose" bowl
  • Closing multiple jars and match a tiny lid with an extra-large jar and the darned thing falls into the oil/ paste/ gooey stuff inside
  • Cooking and my mother calls and I answer but tell her to hold on because I was looking for my phone
  • Eating biscuits and feeding my dogs and the wrong biscuit ends up in my mouth
  • Getting dressed in multiple rooms--clothes here, moisturizer there, the comb in a third room--in a hurry to go to work, only to realize in the office lift I'm still in my somewhat-wet bathroom slippers
  • Opening the toilet door after I'm finished and use my ID card to 'swipe' out
It also doesn't help that the keyboards for the office workstation, my personal desktop, and my laptop all have DiFfErEnT layouts!

It's also not fun when you're busy with activities in the marital bed (like RNM puts it) and your brain's planning the breakfast menu for next morning and setting a mental reminder to boil the milk and walk the dogs before you leave for the movie the day after. At such times it's a downright curse.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Working for money like selling our free time to buy the freedom of buying things we won't have time to use!

And, oh, I do exactly that. Not that I have an option. :P

In response to Unmana's lost freedom.

Cleaning the sprouts

In response to Noor's tooth update.

Firstly, don't those finger brushes look sinisterly like something that would have prevented the kids from 'being'? Just sayin'. Actually I think of getting them too, for my wolf-descendants.

Wouldn't these scare you?

(Drags her dirty mind out of the gutter.)

I know precisely what they mean by shark-teeth. The smaller and newer the teeth, the sharper they are. Also, mostly they'd open their mouths eagerly to try and gobble up the biggest of objects--like basketballs, for example--but YOU attempt to put something suspicious in their mouths, and they'll... well, calm up. No better word.

I have to pry 'em jaws open!

I'm glad I don't have to brush my monsters' everyday. Once a few weeks is enough. Surprisingly there's no dog breath unless you decide to wedge your nose between their open jaws and take a deep one.

Or, sometimes, as they sleep in all kinds of weird positions, their lip-flaps (what else do you call them?) sag in the wrong direction, and their canines are accidentally bared.

One would think the bugger is so smugly a-sleepin'.