Articles

Hard Day's Night

It's been a hard day's night, and I been working like a dog
It's been a hard day's night, I should be sleeping like a log
Beatles\

Peter Wilkinson is not supposed to be late today. Despite a tiring late night work in the office yesterday, where he stayed until midnight, he has to report to his boss by 8 'o' clock morning. Two more days to week-end, well weekends dont matter these days as he is slowly loosing his capability to differentiate between saturday, sunday and other days. He got up lazily, took his bath and started walking towards the bus-stop. The office bus arrives usually by 7:05 am, missing it isnt a crime but then he has to use the subway, a train and then a shuttle bus - which means it might take until noon till he reaches the office. Never has transport been so bad in New York.

Max Sanders, a young man, recently married to a beautiful wife Alisa, was cursing himself for having to toil day and night on this project, which may not bring him much recognition or even money, also was up quiet early today. He didnt go for his usual jogging, he was very tired from working until midnight yesterday. Oh boy, work until midnight, come back home and a few hours of sleep and you are ready to go for the next day. He thought whether he is spending as much joules per day as a typical farmer does. Would Peter, Sam and Cynthy be up by now, he wondered. He also cursed his boss, whom we will meet shortly, for making him work like this. Damn you dont get paid for overtime dont you?

Sam Anderson, about whom Max was thinking in the previous paragrah, is an eligible bachelor, not as smart as he portrays himself, but good enough to raise to circumstances of utmost emergency. He has come all the way to New York from Arizona, where his parents and his sister still reside, never mind the city. Arizona is a like a mini-Universe, it looks same from which-ever point you look at it. Anyway you arent going to look up the map and find out where the city is in Arizona, are you? His sister is beautiful, works in a local departmental store and dates a local guy. He has got two other brothers - one is in college and one is loafing around, besides two other sisters - both married, one settled in Seattle and another in New York itself, whom he visits once in a festival mood. Sam is an early bird, so he doesnt mind getting up early. He locked his apartment, off he started walking down the street on a chilly foggy December morning in New York towards the nearest bus-stop.

Now I would like to introduce you to the last distinguishable member of the project - Cynthia McNeal. Though I mention her last, no sexism being implied, she is a very important member of the project and people admire her knowledge and zest. She had to get up early and started walking towards the busstop along with some of her friends - Julie, Maggie and Sasha.

And there is the bus finally arriving at 7:06 am. It starts from the Brooklyn End around 6:30 am. Those who live there would be having a tougher time getting up earlier than our mentioned heroes. About 25 people get into the bus - this is a popular and cheap residential area and many guys who work for our company stay here.

By the time our bus reaches the office, which is located in Parsipanny, NJ, several other buses also have arrived. Our company Milli-Billi-Zilly Trends Inc. now owns around 15 buses, carrying from all around New York, New Jersey and there is even one from Philadelphia.

Everyday morning, just before they goto breakfast, our heroes and 20 other members of the project gather at the office place and crowd over a computer at the corner. They pet named it "post box". It actually is an email center. There is one project email id, through which they communicate with their friends and foes throughout the world. All the 25 members of the this mega huge project (excluding the boss but including their own janitor - hired specially for this project) one day swore to secrecy of their business associates of their adventures on email. Jokes will be shared but the resumes wont be. Initially there were only 5 members but as the project grew and new members were added, they had to undergo the same procedure too. It is sort of like members of Ku Klux Klan taking an oath to protect their identity from others and if possible from themselves.

And then the bosses arrive in the cars provided by the company. They always arrive either too early or too late. There is no boss who arrives like a normal office-goer does.

Peter started continue on the problem that he left at midnight. While Sam was busy debugging his Visual Basic code. Cynthia was in a meeting with the users. This is the second meeting for her. Lets peek into her room and find out what they are talking about.

User #1 Good morning Ms McNeal. The weather is very cold out here.
Cynthia Good evening everyone, Its been a great morning out here. I hope you got the fax of the agenda I sent you yesterday.
User #2 Er.. Actually we did not receive the fax because of a communication failure in this region.
Cynthia Ok, I will dictate it from my copy and I have a few questions to ask.
User #1 Sure, we will be glad to help you.
Cynthia with a smile), Thanks. The first question is When the Busines Partners are blah blah blah
User #1 That should be taken care by the Associates Department. Though I am not sure about it. User #3 is not in today, he may not be able to join us today as he has gone fishing.
Cynthia Ok, I will assume your answer is good for now and proceed with the coding.
Cynthia Thanks for the meeting! Hope you have nice time hunting Walrus.
User #1,#2 Thank you and bye bye

Meanwhile, Sam was going mad with his problem. And suddenly the application was taking forever to run. Soon it reported a 'Network Connection Error: Error #0F89A921. Please consult online documentation' whatever that means to you, never mind. Sam stood up and shouted across the hall "Hey what happened? The Network is down!". He had a loud voice that was heard distinctly from other noises over the hall. "What?", "Yep! The networks down", "Mines not working too!" were some of other noises that succeeded Sam's shout. Soon the decibel level in the hall slowly raised and a trained ear could hear sentences like "What did you cook last night?", "Did you sleep with Bob last night?", "Where are you going for vacation?", "How is Camela in bed?", "Come lets go to Central Perks" etc. The noise grew and grew soon it looked like an Indian Bazaar. Hey, do I spot someone selling cows there?....

Thanks for imagining this story along with me. I know you would kinda felt a deja-vu reading this story. You might have even felt strange about the characters and their behaviour since it challenges conventional wisdom. Now go back to the beginning and substitute our heroes' names by Indian names, cities by Indian cities, streets by Indian streets and voila! - you have a perfectly legitimate Indian story.