All Night Long

Cubicle

I entered my workplace at around 4 pm. I knew it was IT. IT as in my first breakthrough performance to see the other side of the night right throughout the entire time. There have been prior occasions when I have seen the sun rise from the dark and even times when I have just sat in my room and witnessed the night take a descent. But most of those times were under heavy influence of alcohol (read vodka), Pink Floyd and a fair amount of mad engineers going gaga over either the hottie in the circuit or even discussing career plans at length. And trust me, alcohol helps. (I am in no way promoting alcoholism, it’s just that it has had a deep influence in letting my expressions ventilate more smoothly). And here was I. Staring at the cubicles painted in white and sky blue with tubes glowing above the desks. The AC must be set at almost 18 degrees and the walk to my seat was through the long corridor where I take left after the second sectioned opening. The long corridor led to the Toilet, and to the left of it was the Pantry. Nobody dared to ask what was at the right of the end of the corridor. What was troubling me more than anything else was the sheer magnitude of the number of hours I had to spend until I was to be set FREE. Yes, it was a sort of a prison for me, and I had no companions to console me- no alcohol, no Pink Floyd. Yes, the Engineers are here also, but in no way am I discussing my career plans with them. So how do I resist all of this? CAFFEINE!!

I gulped down my first cup of Latte’ of the evening. The war had been declared. So why was I here again? Lemme get the premise in as short words as possible without being much technical. It is month end and the number of SIM numbers queued up for activation just reaches an astronomical figure. Well, not that huge, but yes, something that makes the Server handling the application get hit by not only diarrhoea, dengue and stomach upset, but also cough to death with acute Memory deficiency syndrome- which in technical terms is stated to be- Server Crash needs reboot. We were to ensure the whole process went as smooth as possible.But here was I, totally not interested, not caring and certainly pissed off at the Business Managers who approved such poor infrastructure. Without being much technical, lemme say that the hardware provided to handle the application is capable enough to handle an application of a tenth of the size of the existing one. And what does that mean? It means I have to keep on gulping down my cup of Latte’ .

By the 6th cup of coffee, which I finally noticed when my trash bin was almost choked up, I felt like my stomach couldn’t handle anymore. It felt like coffee was running in my veins and I would even burp out some beans. Hadn’t even peed in a long time and I was already due after the 4th cup. But no, I couldn’t leave. My manager’s sitting next to me, and the Business Lead were discussing why such an issue really happens. I wanted to shout at the top of my voice into the ears directly-” This is the friggin’ time to DISCUSS all of that? You dicuss about the friggin solution when it is month end and when the peak is being hit every friggin hour of the 48 hour window. And bloody, it is WE who stay up not late till the early hours ensuring that it all works just FINE. So just shut the F up or I might just throw up some coffee beans on your face.”No, I didn’t do that. Things you got to swallow to ensure that you keep paying your Credit Card Bills. And yes, it was 10 pm. ALREADY???

Dinner time I thought. No meals sorry. Pizzas are here. 2 pieces a person. Domino’s veggie delights. Yumm. I consider them as useless as salads. Veggies aren’t meant to be considered as food. They come with the food. It’s like a promissory note that food is coming soon. Had to take ’em down with another cup of coffee and had to settle down in my cubicle and keep staring at that black screen with white fonts scrolling down down down. I had no music being played. I could feel my upper eyelid being affected deeply by GRAVITY. And when I was just about to …a voice descended with a hand shaking me “Sujoy, just check the Memory utilization…Hmm 4 GB free, so how much is that in percentage?”. It’s my Manager. I replied with what he wanted. And slowly, as they left the war-zone, it was almost 1 am in the morning, and the activation procedure had no signs of waning. Even the coffee machine was completely OUT. I pressed the milk button and all it ejected was White Steam. UGH!!! Not a nice time to go for the No.2. But I had to. A look at the Toilet and I realised , oops, we have run out of Tissue Papers as well. A look in the mirror and I could see the vein of panic pop out of nowhere on my face.

I ran to the pantry (with utmost care) and managed to get a bunch. And when you are in trouble, the release is as satisfying as the ..umm..let’s not go there. It is 2 am almost. My team members were still on calls. And as I went it, I realised that I just couldn’t even take a power nap of 15 minutes. And why? Coz the guy next to me had just opened up his socks which by the smell that I was getting, was at least a good five hundred and twenty three years old since it’s last wash. I have to check with the forensics department to exactly get down to the details (as in months, days, and hours). Another hour gone by, and I could sense myself enveloped by the zombie groove. It felt like my senses were dying one by one. On the other hand, if it were 3 am at my home, I would be probably watching a Naruto Shippuden episode or perhaps blogging. What is it about this place? Is it the reflecting tubelights? Oh, they have been switched off, except for the only few above the desks of those who are working. Cost cutting meets Power conservation ! The AC is also switched off it seems. Because I can feel my perspiration go south. The zombie groove doesn’t allow me to even wipe off the sweat on my forehead. And I can hardly follow anything and do anything that I have been told. I feel like I haven’t slept in ages, and my thirst for caffeine calls me again. But the machine is out. All I have left is hot water. I sip it as I would sip a Hot cup of Espresso.

And somehow, by 5 am in the morning, when I could hear the world waking up, me and my infamous-sock bearing teammate managed to conclude things. I had nothing more to do but just rush to the nearest phone and call for the cab to drop me home. I walked to the lift, went to the ground floor and sat down in the front seat. And I said, “Chalo”. It was already 5:30 and I could see middle-aged, pot-bellied uncles in an endless attempt to stay fit, jogging down the streets of Pune. A little distance further, I could also see a popular eating joint being thronged by similar uncles and aunts and their dogs n bitches. Doing what? Reaping the benefits of their mehnat. Reached home, opened the door, threw the shoes, opened my socks, and I could feel gravity do the rest of the part. Didn’t know what happened next. Oh yes, at 4 pm I woke up to another call. It’s my bloody Mgr. “Sujoy, the system is down. You need to be here by 8pm.” And no, this wasn’t a nightmare. I was going in for Round 2.

Why am I writing this? Because I want to keep my anger alive. Every time I feel that my anger for this entire incident is about to fade away, I’d read this.And then what Sujoy? And then I’d mumble my best abuses to my Mgr. Happy !!!That’s how it goes, right?

Pic courtesy: swissmiss

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2 thoughts to “All Night Long”

  1. Keep my anger alive… yeah, thats what exactly i did throughout two years of my life with sleepless nights, sticking the receiver to my ear, trying to convince the bloody dumb firangs, staring at the pixels with bloodshot eyes trying to make things work somehow… feeling myself being wasted every single moment. Dude, couldn’t help myself from leaving a reply. keep your anger alive… but put it to good use. 🙂 Great post.

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