Enlightened ones

Sunday, January 29, 2006

What's the story, morning glory?

I am not a morning person. I know people who love to get up bright and early. They love to hear the birds chirping, the cool breeze on their faces, the utter simplicity and calmness of the morning and the breathtaking sunrise that marks each new day. They love the smell of unadulterated, pollution-free (compared to the rest of the day) air and how the colors of nature seem so vivid and alive in the early hours of the day. Me, I'd rather stay in bed for 5 more minutes.

I am the last one to get up. My wife and son are ready by the time I am done brushing my teeth. My son is almost six now and has quite a vocabulary, Al Hamd O Lillah. Most of the words he learnt are from the many storybooks he loves reading...to me. (Yes, in my house, it's the other way round. My son reads to me at bedtime...but I still tuck him in! :) ) At this point he's saying, "Abu, don't make me late today. I don't like standing in the late line. I want to stand in my own class' line." And I am like "Don't worry...I'll get you to school on time, insha Allah." "But you said that yesterday too and we were late!", he insists. You just can't win with kids!

I drop them off at school, still rubbing sleep out of my eyes. Driving at a leisurly pace, I pick up a few of my collegues on my way to work. While the rest of my car is alive with conversation, I am busy figuring out the road network so I don't miss the office exit like yesterday. Finally we arrive at the office. We just made it from being late. The rest of my collegues head off to their respective offices and begin their days. I head on to the coffee machine. The caffine jolts me back to life. I can actually hear my mental machinery shift to a higher gear with each sip. Finally, I can begin my work.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

I hate Saturdays

I hate Saturdays. While people on the other side of the Pacific sleep in late and enjoy the break, we here in Saudi Arabia drag ourselves to work. From warm beds to cold offices. From sweet dreams to harsh reality. From comfort to near hysteria. From peaceful silence to utter chaos. From peace of mind to mind-numbing problems of everyday life.

For me, Saturday starts of with being 15 minutes late for everything. Dropping of my wife and son at school(He studies. She teaches. Sometimes, I believe it's the other way around.), picking a few collegues on my way to work and actually arriving at work. I spend then next 20 mintues figuring out where I was on Wednesday and where to begin. It takes me another 10 minutes to figure out where I left my brain. I then proceed to massage my brain to start the thoughts flowing. At this point a whole hour has gone by. With much failure and no results, I deduce the best way to jump-start my brain is by a hot cup of undiluted Java. A cup of Coffee usually results in a good half hour of "water-cooler conference". On Saturdays, it takes a good 45 minutes coz everyone has to take the groginess out of their systems. Back to my desk with a cold slush of what's left of my hot Java. I hate this bitter slush.

I log in to my computer, and stare at the screen for a good 10 mintues, thinking about what he guys at the water cooler said. This is the point were I get most of the jokes made at the water-cooler. My brain is THAT slow on Saturdays! At this point, my manager walks in and wants a weekly-report of all the team's activities for the last week. this task falls to the Team Lead. So I take my manager's message and look for the Team Lead. After 5 minutes of looking everywhere for him, I realize that I am the Team Lead!! So I sit down again and begin typing a vague report of what the team did last week. I consult with the team members and the vague report keeps getting vaguer and vaguer untill it's almost totally incomprehensible and if you DO happen to deduce the meanings of most vague terms sums up to "nothing". I hate weekly reports.

That's takes me upto lunch time. y this time my manager has asked for the report 3 times. He's already left for lunch so I can send him the report anytime from now to after lunch hour. I choose the latter and head on out for lunch. Lunch is some mulch the cook puts together. It tastes like socks. Damp socks. Damp with sweat. But that's all there is on the menu. I hate the Saturday's menu.

Back in to work. I quickly send off the report to my manager. He comes into my office 10 minutes later and complains about the spelling mistakes I made in the report and how vague it sounds. He further complains that according to the report, my team is not doing any real work. I try and calm him down. I say I'll do the report again and try and use terms which will convey the actual work done. He returns to his office grumbling. I hate managers.

I redo the report. It still doesn't make sense but looks better. I have blindly replaced most words with their Theasaurus counterparts. MS Word marks them in green. I have to redo most of the report with the old words so it makes sense to MS word. I hate the Theasaurus.

I resubmit the report. this time my manager doesn't come in with all guns blazing. This means he's happy with the report. One of my collegues walks in with a problem he needs help with. Uninvited he sits next to me and brings up his computer screen on my computer. He then proceeds to explain why he thinks the error is occuring and what exactly he needs done. We both stare at the screen for a good 10 minutes. I then tll him I have no idea why the error is occuring. He breaks down is problem into sub problems and asks me a solution to one of the smaller parts. After another 20 minutes of moving the mouse over his code and clicking random windows, we finally arrive to a solution...accidently. He praises me for my help(eh?) and knowledge (....eh?) and leaves the room satisfied. I hate collegues.

It's 4 o' clock. No sense in starting work now. Maybe I'll have better luck tomorrow. Before hading out home, I check to make sure the servers under my responsibility are up and running. One of the blasted servers is down. I look at the logs to see if I can find a quick fix to it. No such luck. I reboot the server. It takes a good 20 minutes to start up. I hate servers.

It's 5. I am the last to leave the office. My car is parked faaaar away from the building coz I came in late and late comers don't get choice parking spaces. I hate Saturdays.