When you work too long for Japanese clients – you develop an aversion to any type of Criticism and live like a dead person. No organization likes thier people in this camatose stage – they want to kick people right away into innovation – what ever that is! My life too got kick started for a change – shifted to USA clients… [ United States of Audugodi]Till date every relative of mine used to ask “Ooh you dont work for USA is it?”. I had trouble explaining that “I was not YET the chosen one for the esteemed Gods”. Now was my chance to get back and tell the world – “Yes, I work for the White Gods”.
As every Indian movie has a grand opening for the hero, all my projects start off with a visit to customer. So this time it was the land of multiple opportunites. Myself and the grumbling tech lead ( Poor chap, he was downsized from a glamours technology to something silly) this time boarded the AI-407 at Bangalore Airport to NewYork Via London.
Except for a minor mathematical puzzle at Londons Hethrow where 362 indians at one shot competed for 3 toilet vacancies in 2.5 hours, rest was cool and simple (pun intended).
As per Indian migration norms we lodged in Iselin – New Jersey and worked in NewYork – one of those towers destroyed in 9/11. Soon we will live in Mysore and work at Bangalore types.
The connection consisted of a Bus from Motel to Train station. A train from there to Newyork followed by a transfer to local trains which brought us to the World Trade Centre. The local joke was everyday morning entire population from NewJersey moved to NewYork and rerversed in the evenings.
The cliets simply dumped us some old code written in Java and asked us to convert those financial calculators into something more faster and did a disappearing act.
My tech lead took this as an insult of highest order. How can this person who has worked on all great technologies like portals work on some stupid Applet and convert it to Servlet? This was a major problem.
As usual Mr Nair our sales guy talked smooth and tried to solve this problem. It was a carrot and stick policy. You do well here and we will give you only portal project now on. Little did any of us realize he may see through this game.
Food was extremely simple. Only Hotdog (it was without the patty) and starbucks coffee in a bucket the size used for washing cloths completed the picture. I did this American stuff 3 times a day.
Some one week before we were to confirm the return tickets, the client dropped a bomb shell. In a meeting, the tech lead was asked all sorts of questions and a document was demanded which would indicate our understanding. I just volunteered and confirmed the same would be provided by us by week end. The next day – Thursday was a public holiday and we wanted to catch up on that day to complete this work.
Our tech lead turned shades of purple initially to give away to bright red at this suggestion of mine – he wanted to visit some relatives in Jersey area that day. So as usual the Project Manager was the culprit.
We had the customary donuts and orange juice on that fine thursday morning and caught the morning bus, the connection train which had actual seats to sit on that day. Usually it was nose to nose with other fellow Americans.
The ultimate connection train was bit slow compared to regular days. We were under the impression that since its holiday the demand supply was making the trains less in number on that day.
We got into office as usual – smile at the burly security staff. That day we were made to sign a special register and we made our way to the 24th floor office. While the tech lead started off the document, I just tried to get some technical stuff for cut and paste job.
We were hungry by 2pm and we wanted to finish the goddamn document before going out of the office once for all. At 3.20 the phone rang in the office.
Hello I said thinking it was a wrong number. Nobody knew 2 indian animals were at office that day. It was sandesh – our man Friday calling. Gosh! You guys are at office?. We nearly went mad searching for you. Today is a public holiday and what are you guys still doing in office?
I said “we wanted to finish off and close the document.”. While my tech lead perspired, he looked at my confused look as what I heard made me worried
To be concluded