Thursday, January 28, 2016

Age: just a number, until you want to "school" someone younger

So today at my workplace, something simmering for the last few months came to a head. Someone who had to do something with the simmering decided to consult a superior. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

The superior, Mr. S, duly pointed out that the whole thing was my fault. I do not agree, at least not completely.

But he might be right because I am an all round bad judge of people, situations, and of my and others' roles and responsibilities. Also, I completely adore the man as a professional and as a person and have no reasons to believe he said what he said without firmly believing it.

While discussing the matter, one of the things he mentioned was that Ms. So-And-So has probably been with the organisation since before I was born. I felt that this implied that I should not have taken the situation so far.

This logic does not feel right to me. Thinking of it, Adolf Hitler must be of the age of my great-grandmother, a lady I have never met. But this does not mean that I too should devise a Holocaust of my own. (Definitely not the best of examples here.)

What worries me is that I might have hurt and/or let down a few people, including but not limited to Mr. S and Ms. So-And-So. It is one thing to playfully tease your co-workers or to let things heat up on purpose, but having this happen when unintended is not right. Did I not mention I am more of a master of disaster?

I definitely need to be a bit more diplomatic and "positive".

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Honest Bribe

In the book Shantaram, there was a moment when comparing India with rest of the world, the character Didier told the protagonist about the way bribes in India work. One line stuck to my mind:

There is a difference between the dishonest bribe and the honest bribe. The dishonest bribe is the same in every country, but the honest bribe is India's alone. - Didier Levy
Since I have never left India, I have no idea about the way things work outside. But I saw a movie today, and a scene in that movie very clearly depicted what Didier must have meant when he said what he said.

The movie is Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
 
It was  the last (almost last?) scene, when people from both India and Pakistan were standing on the border. The policemen who were earlier torturing Bajrangi to confess being a spy were trying to convince the soldiers to open the gates. To this and the accompanying moral lecture, the Pakistani soldier answered to the policemen with something like, "we are a few, and you are a lot .... if you know what I mean..."

The soldiers on both sides then got a bit away from the gates. The people proceeded to break open the locks. And the rest is a great Bollywood ending.

Even though (1) this was just a movie, (2) technically, it did not happen in India, and, (3) no bribes were taken or given, this scene reminded me of Didier in Shantaram.

This movie was not the most plausible of stories, but I loved watching it. It showed a human side. Also, I felt the character Bajrangi/Pawan was Munnabhai of Munnabhai M.B.B.S. meeting Harold Crick of Stranger Than Fiction. I suppose each man is weird in his own way. I am not so sure about women, but I love both these movies.

Last but not the least, neither my employer nor my dog has anything to do with what I just wrote.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Worst that can happen

Someone yesterday asked me how to deal with a new task at her job. This particular thing was filling her with anxiety and stress.

My response was to think of the worst possible long term scenario with that thing, and then realize that she won't reach that bad a state. Basically, this is thinking what is the worst that can happen?

My friend appreciated this thought. But come to think of this, there are many fields where this is normal. For example, in the construction business, the strength etc. of structures is usually measured in terms of loads of up to ten times the normal load they are expected to handle. In computer programming, the complexity for doing something is mostly discussed in terms of the worst-case complexity.

Another friend once told me that when under stress, he just tries to think of the benefit of stressing, which turns out to zero. He then goes on with the task at hand as if it was not stressful at all. I tried it, and it turned out to be harder than what my friend promised. An alternate explanation is that this friend might be more mature or intelligent, but I seriously would not like to entertain that train of thought :-)

Other than the worst-case, what are some of coping mechanisms/thoughts that you employ when under stress or anxiety?

Sunday, June 14, 2015

How Unlikely

I have spent my childhood in a few different places. Not a lot, but enough to not let people identify where I am from just by my style of speaking.

At present, my parents and brother live in City A and I work in City B, shuttling to City A almost every weekend.

A few times, not more than 3 or 4, people have asked me if I am from City A or another city near to it. This comes as a mild surprise.

But today, I was in City A, and a person I was talking to asked me if I am from City B!

This totally blew me off. Not that I will actually try and calculate it, but what are the odds?

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Thank you, Nestle!

I have been trying to improve my eating habits for some time now. I have been successful for the most part, with minor setbacks.

Of course, I won't go to a dietician until it is absolutely necessary. Mostly because I have other ways to waste my money.

One of the most important things that fit people and the internet tell me is that natural foods are the best and (factory) processed ones are the worst. Home cooked food comes somewhere in between.

But the heart wants what the heart wants, and my heart yearns for eating out and eating packaged stuff. The yearning has lessened somewhat, but it is still there.

This current Nestle issue is great for me because it reminds me that packaged food is not only unhealthy, it might also be outright dangerous. While I do not think I will consume Maggi Noodles in this life again, avoiding other packaged stuff will become a bit easy as well.

I do have a half kilo packet of Nestle powered milk that I will go through, though.

I would love to know what you have done recently to improve your eating, sleeping, exercise or overall happiness related habits.