Thursday, October 23, 2008


Why do I find the work environs so dreary ? Maybe its in part due to..err...they are.
I wonder how many people find long rows of wooden benches with people at them tapping away on their workstations exciting ?

This week we had a 'cubicle' 'decoration' thing going around for a day.
(I may have differences with the usage of the word 'cubicle' though. In our case , they are simply curved benches sans enclosures).

People were hanging up all sorts of trinkets and baubles over their desks. Coloured papers were cut out and plastered on the desks. Lamps (Made in China) were being hung from the overhead lights. The neighbouring team even hung out long, colourful sarees everywhere to give out that rustic look. The ITCoolies were taking every effort to make their sections appear 'cheerful'.

But do they really appear so ?

Do people really go "Rightt.... I WANT to sit here..." by seeing a gaudy fluorescent wallpapered desk ? Unless they are about 7 years old, I doubt they would.

So I have a better idea to brighten up the place... Its 'pretty faces'. Sitting at my dreary place , if I look up from my dreary work, all I see is other dreary faces.
The management has no idea how much they can benefit by the strategic intermittent placement of pretty faces.
They dont really have to do anything, just their presence is enough to light up the atmosphere in 4 adjacent locations.
Another alternative would be that of 'walkers' , wherein several pretty faces can simply walk around the offices, doing nothing in particular. If they let the time table of their 'walks' be known , it would be great. Now there would be atleast something I would look forward to doing. The listless tapping at my keyboard would be a wee bit easier this way as I contemplate over things like whether the 3pm face was better than yesterdays 9 am face.
The walkers would leave a trail of very happy souls in their wake everytime they made a pass...

Somebody should really undertake a feasibility study on this...

PS : This may appear as an overwhelmingly male-perspective post, but then, I havent yet come across any bored female ITDonkeys.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Thought of sharing this very relevant chat I had with a New York based genius chap (who claims to be a former ITDonkey himself) today morning.

Genius Geek : job nahi ahe ka aj
ka office madhech ahes ?
(dont you have a job today
or are you in office?)

ITDonkey: office madhech ahe :P
(In office itself)
starting up the excel sheets of the day
today got to analyse some finance results.. :P

Genius Geek: cool

ITDonkey: no man, its pathetically tedious and time consuming work
why cant they hire accounts people to do it i dunno. I guess they take the term 'donkey' a bit too seriously

Genius Geek : :P

ITDonkey: i can get the data and give it to them ... the 'why' part should be their business

Genius Geek: sure
u are doin somethin which is not IT related

ITDonkey: I always do everything which is not IT related

GG : yeh.. i guess their definition of IT is something on the computer

ITD: lol... :D

Monday, October 13, 2008

JC Injured.

Just got to hear that the venerable JC was injured in a head on collision, his first crash in over 31 years.
I really do hope the motormouth is okay. And lets hope the crash WILL NOT knock some sense into him. The nature of the crash is yet unknown.
The chap is a bit like a supercar : big and impractical and nonsensical - but huuuuuggge fun.

Wishing you health and a speedy recovery, Jezza. Hope TG powerslides back into its scheduled start of 2nd November.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Old Girl..

Today evening, I was walking down one of the main roads in the town, when I saw a once familiar blue object driving down...
Did bring back memories.. of an old review I had written on her a few years ago. It is as :

"In the last century, a certain man called Adolf who lived in or around the region of
Bavaria, wanted his fellow Bavarians to be motorised.In order to do this,they had to follow some simple
instructions : it should be really cheap to buy,cheap to run and cheap to build.In short they wanted a People’s Car.Volks Wagen.

Fast forward 50 years. A chap from a prominent family in India also wished to do the same for his fellow countrymen. So he called upon a few Japanese fellows who were good at this sort of thing and the result,ladies and gentlemen, is the car we know now as the Maruti 800.Many prefer to simply call it Maruti.

Back when it was launched, the only cars we could buy here were big lumps of metal from the 50’s,which were slow,thirsty and spartan to say the least. The Maruti ushered in the plastic brigade.It was the first time that Indians were introduced to such a concept and they promptly responded by not buying it ....because they thought it was too flimsy. But once people warmed to the idea that a car could be made with something other than pig iron on ox cart frames,the trickle turned into a flood, and soon there were long queues of people outside dealerships wanting to buy the thing.

Back then, it was revolutionary in other ways too...Take the engine for example. It proved that engines could actually run without letting people know that they were from 50 feet away.

It also didnt have to make tractor like noises early in the morning.Before it was launched,there was a general consensus that cars were bound to break down every time it was too hot, too cold, too windy or too wet. But then along came the 800, which demonstrated that actually this needn?t necessarily be so. It worked even when the weather had broken down completely. And it kept on working, faultlessly, for year after year after year.It was also terribly easy and predictable to drive, and chauffeurs found themselves jobless and women drivers found an ally.

So, when around 10 - 11 years ago, when my family decided that buying a car was a solution to our three-people-on-a-scooter problem, the 800 was the natural choice.So we bought a metallic blue one, in 1994(it was a 92 model). Before starting to drive in India, my father had driven for the first time on a regular basis in the US. His car there was a Chevrolet Caprice(cheapest to lease).So it was a shock of sorts for him to drive here something that was only as big as the Chevy’s front seat.It didnt matter though...and soon the Maruti was an integral part of our lives.

Its 796cc 39(or is it 37?) hp engine was peppy enough for us and it was regularly taken on road trips.It was great fun with my parents upfront and me in the back seat staring at the unending highway through the windscreen.It had great fuel efficiency too...we regularly got 20+ kpl on the highway.It was utterly reliable too...the most we had suffered was a puncture once on the Pune - Bangalore highway.

When I turned 18, I learnt to drive in this car.It is the ultimate learn-to-drive-in car. It is very light to steer, the handling is predictable, and even if you get a bump or scratch here and there, it is cheap to fix. It is also enormous fun. The 4 speed manual is slick and shifts without a hitch or too much effort. When I step on the accelerator and go for it, it always brings a smile to my face because even if it is not going very fast, it feels like it is. And because I was 18, and it was my father’s car, I regularly drove it as if my hair was on fire and changed gears only when the screaming valves were about to pop through the hood.

Ofcourse, it has some completely ignorable(at the time) negative points too. Take the space.If you are a Westerner, you could probably die of claustrophobia in there...but we being Indians, were used to cramped spaces. Then there was the complete lack of safety features.We didnt know that, hence it was as good a highway car for us as any other.

There is also a small button on the dashboard there which says ’A/C’.And when you press it,no perceptible change takes place when you roll up the windows.In our other car (Indigo) when you step inside when the aircon has been switched on, you feel like you have walked into a refrigerator. In the 800 it feels like someone is blowing air at you through a straw. From 20 feet away.The ride is quite harsh too.

All this,as plenty of you might agree,doesnt matter to the 800 buyer.Because these days no one buys an 800 because they like it, they buy it because they cant afford anything else. So if you are thinking of buying this car, but can stretch your budget a bit, go for something else.If you are thinking of buying one second hand, go right ahead and buy one. There are good ones available for as little as Rs.40000.

As for our car, it has been lying idle for the past 3-4 years,and I only take it out for occasional spins.After writing this review I got all nostalgic and went down to take a drive in it. After only a few meters, there was smoke from the hood, and I had to stop and pour water over the engine to prevent it from burning itself up. It seems after all these years of lying around the coolant had somehow leaked away..So much for the reliability :)."

The car has since been sold, a few years ago. On the day she was sold, I took her for one last ride... The faded and large steering wheel seemed perfect for me.. and the well worn gearshift. Couldnt bear to watch the lady who had bought it drive it away.

Why am I writing this ? I dont know. ..

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Techie ??

I hate that term. When its directed towards to me that is.
Just because I work in a software company, people assume I am a "techie". D'uh.
I am just a donkey.
An information handler.
A mere shuffler.
A coolie because the 'masters' cant be bothered to carry the load themselves.

I deal daily with client users , many of whom are more technically proficient than I am. Many of them quite sympathetic too.
Many a times, I am sitting with a few of my ITmonkey friends in the cafeteria and they suddenly slip into tech jargon leaving me staring into space.
The nature of my job does not require me to study things like the workings of complex operating systems' interactions with large databases.
Infact, the only "technicalities" I concern myself during the course of the day are things like which colour to put in which cell of the Excel sheet (or excel shit , depending upon how you look at them) .
You can say that I work for the IuT industry - Information unTechnical.

So Techie ?? Naaah...

More of a Supportie.

Monday, October 6, 2008


Why Boredom? Because I am so good at it. Because I have spent so much time practicing it.
Because boredom is the ITdonkey's constant companion.
This post could have been up earlier, but for my boredom. If I wasnt so bored , I would have even put an exact definition to it.
Is it the feeling when countless hours are spent listlessly tapping away on the work computer ? When trips to the water cooler are frequently called for just to break the monotony ? Or when staring at the road from the terrace seems like an excellent idea of a break ? When mulling over mundane things seems infinitely more interesting (like, How did they come up with these location numbers for the rooms? Did they count from the top floor downwards and from left to right? How big a comb the frizzy haired girl must be using ? )
The most exciting part of the workday is the ride to and fro ? Or the strange sense of elation felt when the count of major bumps encountered on the road matched yesterdays ?

I reached this stage of boredom, about 2 months after I started working as in ITDonkey. Earlier on though, the feeling was smothered by the overwhelming volume of work and the pressure of it which i let myself feel. i said above, practice is the key, and now boredom and busy-ness learned to live with each other. These days, they even co exist in harmony. Each acknowledges the other's presence, and does not try to overwhelm the other.

IF anyone else out there can put a precise definition to it, do let me know.

My boredom starts as soon as I power up my tools of the trade :

PS : Please ignore the pink biscuits I was having for breakfast on a boring Saturday morning.