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Old 28th January 2016, 22:30   #1
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Default #defineLife - A Week in the life of a Software Engineer

Disclaimer: The write up is a work of author's fiction, considering the variables & constants of many software professionals known to the author who enters or already are in the IT industry with big hopes and (∪) does not necessarily resembles anyone in particular including the author himself. Having said that, Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons(indeed living) ( ∩) which is (un)intentionally depicted as fiction, might or might not be entirely coincidental and may raise unhandled exceptions in the mind of readers while reading the string of characters of the article.
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'I always wanted to quit on 'Monday' Mornings....' - Day 1

It was 7.30 am in the morning when I was travelling Err... commuting to my office on a gloomy Monday morning. It was the month of March. While driving I was lost in one of my random thoughts - can't exactly tell what thought it was. Itís a bit too hard to remember each thing that your mind has manufactured out of some 50,000+ thoughts it processes in a day.

It was raining heavily. I parked my car at the nearest metro station to catch my office bus. Despite bad weather, the bus was on time. While everything else was bound to get late on a rainy morning, this particular bus was on time. Unaffected by water logging, by traffic or whatever. Looks like these office buses have some special privileges to not to be late ever. Like in the past - my school bus. Sigh!

Corporate life consists of routine and then more routine. Boarding the bus, inclining my seat, putting in ear plugs & listening to one of my coke studio's favorite track - that's all that appears to be life's ultimate goal. Looking on the outside of the window while ignoring the gaggles of co-workers sitting along with me, and with rain water lashing over the bus's glass window, I paused.

I felt stuck, poised in that moment. That day was something different. The aura of the weather, scenarios and imaginations coming to my mind were making me feel nostalgic. It was making me run away back to those the days when I was carefree; rather I wish I had been more carefree. In such a b-e-a-u-tiful weather, I would have just simply grabbed the keys of my bike, took my camera out of its bag and captured the rapt aura of the weather instead of commuting to office in this lovely weather.

Yes, you guessed it right. The white collar stuff. Though, 'White collar' is bit exaggerating for entry level IT guys. More on that later. As of now an IT Joe who works for a big IT company for the sake of having a job so that when I can be financially independent, satisfy the curiosity of my friendly neighborhood aunty and a couple of concerned relatives who have often asked my parents about my whereabouts during college placement season last year. Now there are some typical aunties who often look for prospective grooms for their daughters in the neighborhood only. Though I don't have a problem with their daughters anyways but that's not a part of the motto.

Itís been two months since I am commuting to the office and I cannot find words to express my dissatisfaction towards these IT companies. And During placement drives, I was the person who was most excited to be part of them. Now I often feel unemployment is not a bad thing if you are financially supported. But for my neighborhood aunties and long distance relatives, I have to keep continue working so that they can start sending suitable matrimonial proposals, and about these proposals, I am obviously not interested as of now.

The people you meet outside college life, the people you meet in the corporate world are so same yet so different. The smiling faces, the enthusiasm of youth is lost running behind meeting deadlines and filling time sheets each month to ensure timely credit of salary.
And with all these thoughts entering and leaving my mind, my bus entered in the office premises. Some guys were sleeping, some were not. Some were planning their day for work, some were thinking about the meaning of their lives.

I stepped out of the bus, headed straightaway to the canteen for a quick breakfast before I get late in marking the attendance. The day progresses at its own pace. Entering your bay, greet colleagues and starting your workstation. The usual stuff - marking attendance, filling time sheets, checking out emails, also checking out that pretty girl in the cubicle in front of you, finishing assigned tasks on time, and obviously searching for the meaning of life. Was that life all about? Monday throws questions and they cling in your mind to think about the answers all day and night...

'I always wanted to quit on 'Monday' Mornings....'


'But I quit on Tuesday instead' - Day 2


I have observed one immutable thing for Tuesdays. All the philosophy of life, goals and passions are lost in the wind as soon as you get to know that you have a schedule to keep and work that needs to be finished on time. And in IT industry, time is crucial. What they call is project violation date, service license agreement breaches, deadlines whatever. But the motto is to get the work finished in time.

That's life. But this all has its own fun too to be honest. The thing is that before you reach a point where you get to do what you love, youíve got to learn to love what you do.
The given task is done, the access card is flashed on the ODC's door, Ďcappuccinoí button pressed on the coffee dispenser machine and viola - you begin to appreciate what freedom is all about. Even though, only for a short while.

While sipping your favorite coffee and watching peers displaying their extraordinary table tennis skills in the entertainment room, one often wish to have some TT playing skills - unlike the technical skills, they donít pay much but it is good to know how to service a TT ball successfully over the table as it is important to know how interfaces replaces multiple inheritance concept in c#. TT and IT will have always a strong & inseparable bond.

'Yay' 'ye'(ye karke dikhao, aisi service karke dikhao) was all around when the guys from another project won a TT game mercilessly beating guys of my project. As if they have got an 'onsite' opportunity.
Finished coffee, shared few greetings with fellow peers, flashed access card and entered the bay - all prepared to take on the smash from the team lead. 'Smash' unlike in table tennis is lot different when it comes to actual IT job.
Sometimes the work you do actually appears a lot shoddier to many including the one who do it. But it has to be done for the sake of meeting the deadline.

Sitting on your chair, often looking at that girl sitting a couple of bays behind yours and working on the assigned tasks makes the 9-5 time go well. It makes you think of the reasons why you spent those days in college just like that when they could have been utilized in more productive way. Thinking of quitting on your dreams or your job or to pursue higher education. I feel these all are just common routes to escape, and escaping just like that will not be a very good idea. Especially at this point in life.

So I decided to quit the idea of running away from life, running away from reality to illusions...

'But I quit on Tuesday instead'


'Because Wednesday gives you hope that weekend......
..................... is not that too far' - Day 3

1. "abay wo baju wale project me nai ladki aayi h sahi si, uska naam pata laga?"
2. "Wo java wala onsite jaa rha h aur hum yaha jhak maar rhe hai"
3. "Usne flipkart se 7% discount pe joote mangwaye hai. Apan bi mangwate h"
4. "Abay ye uska bnda , ye onsite jaa rha h aur hum yaha jhak maar rhe h"
5. "Yr wo iski nail polish aur sandals kitni cheap lag rhi hai."
6. "Wo wala mehendi ka design zyada better hai, us ladki ne jo lagai hui h jo mehendi"

I was looking intensively on my computer's screen...
I was drinking coffee at the office cafe but all I was hearing was gossiping...
I was in the office lift. I was in the office bus. Where ever I was, all I could hear was gossip.

Most of the time, all the time, while my ears were trying to ignore 'people' talks, gossips was all I was hearing and constantly increase my general knowledge & awareness about people's whereabouts. What he/she is doing, how weird dress someone wears, how someone distinctively walks, whose bf is in which project and how he undeservingly got that girl and that onsite opportunity.

Wise people say that girls and onsite opportunities are like Delhi metro train at Rajiv chowk metro station - one goes, another comes. And if you miss your queue donít worry, because the next metro might be of 8 coaches instead of 6. So you might just get lucky to at least board that metro (being fraandzoned by the girl/being assured of future onsite by the manager).
But the 'Wisest' of Wise people say that there is still only 0.1% chance of getting a 'seat' and getting to 'sit' in a metro from Rajiv chowk metro station, though..."

I wonder how discussing some oneís personal life instead of focusing on their own has become so essential for people. Out of the 4 basic needs - food, water, and shelter - discussing other people's lives is the 5th basic need these days. ... Typical gossiping mentality.

Keeping your mind at peace amidst of the chaos around you is one of the arts I have learned around all this. The way your mind is receiving so much garbage input than sensible meaningful data from the world around you - it is too difficult to not to forget who you really are. While all this eats up a lot of your peace of mind, the only way, you can be yourself is by simply recalling your dream and constantly working towards it irrespective of what x, y or z people thinks about you. Consider people as variables which are temporary and they will disappear as soon as the program execution will finish.

With a mug of coffee in my hand, flashed my access card at the ODC gate, I entered my bay and started on my assigned tasks. And soon enough, the clocks says, it lunch time.

Lunch time is the savior in a day of an IT professional. It is the time to cool it off. This one hour is the motivation at work on some days. After a delicious lunch, itís time for a walk on the road outside the office with ample of chaaaai walaaahs, cigarette, pann masaalas. All around. Chai & cigarette are two mandatory affairs after lunch for many. For many, itís a minimum of 5 cigarettes a day that keeps them going (but I wonder for how long). Standing with one of the office mates, unintentionally passively smoking, I saw people discussing Narendra Modi and Arvind Kejriwal.

I guess people know more about these guys than what they must know about themselves. And after finishing that last sip of my chai, I had a glance at my watch and itís time to move on.... Back to the cubicle.

'Because Wednesday gives you hope that weekend is not that too far'


'Thursday' appears to be an extended 'weak'day - Day 4


The second half is a very crucial part of any office day. First you need to make sure that you donít doze off after the lunch while sitting at your seat, second you need to make sure all assigned tasks are on the track before you wind up for the day. Staying after 5.30 is a common culture in IT industry, luckily I had to be part of this only once - the experience was good anyways, rather I pretended it to be good. The excitement levels in the second half are at their peaks when the hour hand of the clock is only half an hour shy from the finishing time of the office. The excitement is such like a person would break free from the shackles and live a life of freedom and achieve all his dreams. But the excitement fades away as soon as your cab is stuck in the traffic jam before reaching the metro station and every little hope inside you kind of dies when you hear 'There will be a short delay in this service, inconvenience is regretted' after you have boarded the Delhi metro train. To top it all, that aunty who just boarded the metro from Kashmiri gate, keeps staring at you with high hopes of making you understand to give up your seat for her. That's the way it is. Unless you are not sitting in the compartment next to ladies coach, there is not much fun inside metro train either.

Knocked the door and you enter your home. Now this is strange enough. If you are in IT, you ought to spend more time of your day at the office rather than the home. Coming home, having tea and snacks then the dinner. Kind of routine as it seems. I recall those school days when coming to home at 3 pm in a school bus was damn late by then standards! Watching 'Toon Tamasha' on cartoon network till 5 pm. Waiting for dad to come home till 7 pm. Finishing homework or rather planning to finish homework from someone else's copy in school next day!... Hahaha. That amazing feeling when I deliberately didnít do the homework and so that I just could borrow the copy of my crush in that VI standard. As I am writing this text, I am receiving WhatsApp pings from my friends and at the same time I am recalling those days when we used to establish the dial-up connection from our MTNL telephone line just to chat on yahoo messenger with one of your friend who also had a computer and MTNL telephone connection those days. Ah! Sigh!

That 15-minute conversation on yahoo messenger still can't beat the non-stop 24*7 WhatsApp conversation with anyone. Also that time in #Pre2000Era when we used to dial up our friend's landline telephone number and when on the other side of the call his mom used to pick up the phone and I used to say 'Aunty mohit hai?, Mohit se baat kara do' and often she used to say either of these things 'Beta mohit tution gaya hai, Mohit so rha hai, abi bulati hun, wo apne room me hai'! I also recall that time when I got to know my crush's telephone number after reaching the school in the early morning and finding the number by stealing the attendance register from the HOD's room, noting the number on a paper chit, putting the register to the place where it belong and I now realise how amazing that day was. By the time I am thinking all about my past glorious days, it's already past 12 am. I have some 6 hours and 30 minutes to catch up some sleep! As I switch off the lights and turn off my phone's wifi, I doze off.

'The day was long, the night is short. 'Thursday' appears to be an extended 'weak'day'

'But the Friday turns into your favor as itís the weekend knocking the doors!' - Day 5


'I am already driving over 100 miles per hour and the 4400 cc engine of BMW X5 wants me to push further. I down shifted, rammed the accelerator pedal to the metal and there it is. I am cutting the corners of one of the most amazing highways of the world - the Autobahn. The twist and turns are so amazing, the straights are butter smooth. Life seems to be good. While listening to the lovely turbo spooling of the gigantic 4400 cc BMW engine, I tap on and on, I feel that's all what I ever wanted from life. Life is indeed good' Errrr...I guess someone is honking from behind, someone is flashing uninterruptedly and wants to overtake my car, I canít believe who after all wants to catch up with me moving at a pace of 250 km per hour. The honking is making me irritated and suddenly my eyes are opened to see my phone flashing and ringing - it's a damn alarm tone. Its 6.15 am and I realize how beautiful dreams can be broken so effortlessly by an alarm app of an android phone. So the BMWs, the turbo spool, the curves and straights of the Autobahn were not here to stay, they were mere figments of imagination, my dreams. Itís time to get out of the bed, get out in the real world. Last working day of this week. Enough reason and motivation to get ready.

I have a very peculiar case of being punctual. I like to be always on time except for unhandled exceptions caused beyond the scope of my soft wired schedule. Though getting late has its own share of fun but I am just that punctual guy. I am all set for the day. My bag in my hand, access card attached to my belt holder. I am all decked up. A smart bachelor software engineer. No exaggerations about the smart part. I like to stay true to myself.

As I commute to the office, I realize what I have learned in all these 5 days. How I spent 5 precious days of my life. In these 5 days, I have gone through the highs and lows, experienced good and bad. Expected the unexpected and hoped for the best. Its 9 am and I am in my office, walking towards my workstation, waving hi and good morning to fellow co-workers. I have an unusual smile on my face for no apparent reason. The gloominess that I was wearing on Monday is washed down. How did that happen? I have no idea. I am just going on. I have my heart filled with kind of silent enthusiasm. To keep on doing what all I always wanted to do.

Friday is usually the day when I try to wind up most of my work by first half. I love to spend the second half doing something that is otherwise of my usual routine work. I am questioning myself. Rhetorical questions that actually don't need an answer. How I am able to be peaceful amidst of all the chaos. How the restlessness has been channelized to the calmness. I question intensively the whole day. I am smiling throughout the day. Though I tried answering all these questions to myself, I somehow realized that the answer to the state of constant bliss is deep within me.

And when I look within, listen to that silence I realize what I am doing in this world. How a BMW cannot give me happiness unless I start enjoying running. How driving at 200 miles per hour on the world's best roads wonít give me the satisfaction unless I just start enjoying the joy of catching that last minute metro station at rajiv chowk.

How being a chief technology officer of a billion-dollar company will not able to make me happy unless I start being happy with whatever I have. And more importantly, feel blessed to have everything in his life that is actually the dreams of millions. How being famous and known will not able to give me that self-satisfaction unless I become famous in my own eyes and start loving myself to the core.

With the clock ticking past 5.30, it's time to call off the day. Had a quick coffee, packed my bag, switched off my workstation and voila! The sense of weekend is all set. All my philosophy related to life that encapsulated me the whole day subsided a bit. Though positive thoughts once entered in your heart are meant to stay, at least for a while. So I planned my weekend. I decided to do what I was not able to do for many days. Unlike Bollywood movies, things canít change overnight. In real life, you have to go bit by bit. Step by step. Before I crashed the bed for a complete 8 hours sleep instead of routine 5 hours and full fill my sleep deprivation, I called a couple of my friends and planned out a meet up for tomorrow. After a good night sleep. Itís Saturday. Very important to utilize Saturday to its fullest. I went to a nearby place for photography, met friends and made a short movie. I donít care if the short movie I just made with my friends is blurry or motion is shaky. I donít want to become the next Imtiaz Ali right away. Neither do I want to be the next big thing, All I want is to keep doing what I always love to do from deep inside my heart; While doing all this, how the day winded up, I couldnít even realize. I am in my room with my laptop on and I am working on the next task planned for Sunday. To work on that, I am wide awake till late night. Writing, watching movies and reading. I am all set for a good night's sleep. Switched off all alarms on my phone. The night turned into day and here I am awake at good 10 am on a Sunday morning. Ready, steady for the Sunday day out with friends. Writing a short movie script, shooting some of its scenes, laughing with each other, reminding each other of our potential, discussing life's disparity and converting it to faith. And all this while sitting outdoors, we see the dusk is setting in. The evening sky is full of glory. I am standing with my mates and watching the flocks of birds swaying around, kind of conveying how they are enjoying life. How life is full of happiness amidst of all the gloominess. How all we need to have is just a little hope.

'I always wanted to quit on Monday mornings..'


'But instead, I started, living to the fullest.'


This is not the end of the story, but a start of something new...
Day 1/Week 2 - To be continued...

Last edited by bluevolt : 30th January 2016 at 16:39. Reason: Corrected few language errors and couple of indirect abusive words used in the article.
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Old 29th January 2016, 12:30   #2
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Default Re: #defineLife - A Week in the life of a Software Engineer

This is so specific while still being so generic.....
Thanks for the misery!!

Loved it!
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Old 29th January 2016, 16:06   #3
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Awesome bluevolt. Loved every bit of it. I am sure all the IT guys will have a short movie running in their mind while they read it and most of them can relate to it
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Old 29th January 2016, 19:40   #4
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^ Terrific!

Very, very well written.
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Old 29th January 2016, 20:06   #5
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Default Re: #defineLife - A Week in the life of a Software Engineer

Most of what you penned down there applies to almost every office goer, not limited to the IT industry.

Loved what you wrote so well.
Waiting for the next installment - on a Friday shutdown time @ office
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Old 30th January 2016, 00:04   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinit.merchant View Post
Most of what you penned down there applies to almost every office goer, not limited to the IT industry.

Loved what you wrote so well.
Waiting for the next installment - on a Friday shutdown time @ office
Quote:
Originally Posted by FINTAIL View Post
^ Terrific!

Very, very well written.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Srinidhi View Post
Awesome bluevolt. Loved every bit of it. I am sure all the IT guys will have a short movie running in their mind while they read it and most of them can relate to it
Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
This is so specific while still being so generic.....
Thanks for the misery!!

Loved it!
Thanks guys. I am glad that you liked the write up.

This was ready to be shared last month only, but I when I shared it first with my couple of friends, they suggested to not to post it as its not quite good.

One month later, I decided to share whatever it is - no matter bad or ok, at least better than what could have left unshared and untold.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 5th February 2016 at 09:19. Reason: Removing unwanted spacing.
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Old 31st January 2016, 19:48   #7
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Default Re: #defineLife - A Week in the life of a Software Engineer

Thread moved to Shifting Gears - thanks for sharing!
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Old 31st January 2016, 21:19   #8
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Default Re: #defineLife - A Week in the life of a Software Engineer

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluevolt View Post
'But instead, I started, living to the fullest.'
Lovely narration, with just the right sprinkling of humour and home grown philosophy.

Looking forward to the next part.

Cheers,
Vikram
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Old 1st February 2016, 23:27   #9
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Very well narrated! Loved reading every bit of it. Waiting for the next part.
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Old 5th February 2016, 00:02   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
Very well narrated! Loved reading every bit of it. Waiting for the next part.
Quote:
Originally Posted by comfortablynumb View Post
Lovely narration, with just the right sprinkling of humour and home grown philosophy.

Looking forward to the next part.

Cheers,
Vikram
Thanks guys. I am really ecstatic to know that you liked reading it.
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Old 29th March 2016, 13:42   #11
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Default Re: #defineLife - A Week in the life of a Software Engineer

Great write up. reminded me of the time I too was a coder / developer! Check out "the ba$tard operator from hell" series for fun things to do as inspiration maybe!! http://bofh.bjash.com/
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Old 22nd April 2016, 11:37   #12
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Originally Posted by rmonie View Post
Great write up. reminded me of the time I too was a coder / developer! Check out "the ba$tard operator from hell" series for fun things to do as inspiration maybe!! http://bofh.bjash.com/
Thanks rmonie, Gone through the link. Amazing
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Old 9th May 2016, 23:43   #13
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Default Re: #defineLife - A Week in the life of a Software Engineer

Recently we had our annual appraisals, all the dedication, sincerity, discipline whatever you were putting in your work had to get reflected in your last month's salary increase.

Being my first appraisal in IT industry, I learnt a lot about how things in appraisal system actually work and may not be directly proportional to the amount of hard work you were putting in your work.

Planning to start writing some thing on this specific part soon.
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Old 11th June 2016, 06:47   #14
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After being in this industry for close to a decade, I can only tell you only one thing, the more the things they change, the more they remain the same.

Excellent stuff BTW, don't mind what your friends say, you write quite well
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Old 11th June 2016, 09:25   #15
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Excellent write up. As a recent entrant to the employed life from to student life, I can see many similarities with our schedules! Eagerly awaiting for the next part.
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