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Subject: A Collection of Stories...... The names in the story are fictional only.

Date: 07/02/01 at 7:18 AM
Posted by: CB
E-mail: consulting_1@netzero.net
Message Posted:

The day I joined this company I told myself "I am going to stay here for minimum two years and grow". Two years is quite a commitment if my job is taken into consideration, I am a software engineer. This is my second job. The first one was in India's one of the biggest multinational companies. There I was recruited from my college, in the campus interview. I worked there as a trainee for about 8 months.
I hated those days. In a big company there is nothing worse than working as a trainee. Everybody thinks you are a kid and you get no good work. All you have to do is testing of some software whose functionality is not clear to you. While testing if you find lot of bugs, you are in bad books of the senior developers. If you don't find enough bugs, your boss isn't happy and thinks you are lazy! I remember, once my co-tester found out a very easy and effective solution to a problem that was implemented in a less efficient manner. When he brought this up in our regular weekly meeting, I found he has made a mistake. The system designer was shifting uncomfortably in his place, the developers were uneasy and the project leader told him 'good thinking, but we cannot change it now'. That marked the end of his wonderful suggestion.
No wonder I was in search for a new job from the very beginning. When I got the offer from another multinational with a better salary and a position of a developer (no more testing, please) I grabbed it at the first opportunity. So, when I joined Genesis, I told myself "I am going to stay here for minimum two years and grow". As I joined here with some experience, and not as a fresher, I got some respect from my colleagues. They used to believe I must be real good in my field and that is why I could switch job within a year of starting my career. I was put in an overseas project. If you are from software industry in India, you must be knowing that working in an overseas project is considered as 'upclass' for a fresher. So my friends from last job as well as college days agreed that I am 'damn lucky'. Even I considered myself lucky with good project, good work and not so good environment. Though I wasn't really ecstatic about the new environment, I was not complaining. Frankly speaking, I did not like it a lot.
The reason being primarily the memories from my last company where things were more casual with colleagues and very formal and methodical with the work. here it was casual with work and formal with colleagues. Here design was made after the implementation has been done. It was more of a postmortem without considering the option of diagnosis when the patient was alive. Anyway, I was getting acquainted to the system and was faring through. The project was in the starting phase when I joined it. That was good for me as I could join the design meetings where major decisions regarding the project were taken. I learnt how the meetings were conducted and who all were the important members of the team. The meetings also helped me dividing my team members into some distinct categories... some of them were good decision makers, but technically no so sound. Some were technically very good, but lacked the personality to take up a responsibility. Some were very enthusiastic but did not have much directions. They were mainly the younger people.
Some were very reluctant to accept changes but once they are convinced, they were the leaders. Also I found that only about 5-6 people actually contributed to the discussions, the rest were just ornamental in the meetings. Very interestingly I found that there was a lady in the team, named Yamini on whom our project leader, Akash, was heavily dependent. She was of the same age as that of Akash and both of them had around 5 to 6 years of experience in the industry. The fact was Akash was a little hesitant to make some decisions and Yamini was very quick in coming to conclusions. Though she did not have exceptional technical expertise, she was the right hand of Akash. Akash had a good knowledge of the project and he was very good in his job but I felt he lacked the toughness of a leader. I guess that is where Yamini was helping him out. Together, they gave the team a good leadership.
Among the rest, were 3 people, Manish, Purvi and Nikhil who were core members and had around 3 years of experience behind them. All of them had noteworthy contributions to the design meetings. The rest were like me and were about one year old in the industry. So, i figured, there were five people above me in this project. Initially the project started in a slow pace and did not need many extra hours. But I used to sit back in office some evenings. I noticed Yamini was among the first to leave for home and Nikhil and Akash were the last ones. Those who stayed till late hours used to work less and spend more time in front of th coffee machine and tennis boards. But Nikhil was a exception. I saw him sweating hours after hours in front of the computer with his tasks. As a result he came late the next day and again had to stay back. He was the least organised of all, but most knowledgeable in the team.
He could not speak up in the meetings, but in small groups of two or three, he could explain his point very clearly. So, he used to explain things to Purvi or Manish and they used to suggest those ideas in the meetings and got all the credits. Nikhil never bothered a bit. Surprisingly I noticed that it took him hours to implement the ideas that he himself has given. He was a fast thinker, slow programmer and a bad speaker. I concluded that he is not my competitor. Manish and Purvi were very close friends. Rumors were they are going to get married soon. Neither of them answered to this, they just smiled and then changed the topic. Both of them were above average, be it designing, coding or speaking. They also shared a good rapport with Akash and Yamini and the 4 of them had worked together in many earlier projects.
As for me, I found myself in the company of Nisha, Pavan, Sundar and a bunch of other people. I mentioned Nisha, Sundar and Pavan because it was the four of us always going around together, be it lunch, taking breaks or returning home. I never considered them to be my competitor because they were not ahead of me, and I consider only those people as my competitor who are in a better position than me in some perspective. They were not very ambitious also, just ordinary programmers from the industry. They were like the school children who don't know what to do if the teacher is absent. Worse, like the children, they think it is a great day for fun as the teacher is absent. Only, they forgot that this is not a school and no matter how you waste your day, you have to give an account of your work done at the end of it. That is where they faltered and I never did. I had made up my mind that I will grow here in this company... I did not come here to remain a programmer all my life.
Days went by and the project moved along. I felt that we are not performing good enough. We could do more things in the time we had already spent. Not everyone was giving their best.
The project was supposed to run for a year. After the first 4 months, one day we were all summoned in a meeting. This was no ordinary meeting, our General Manager who looks after overseas projects called for the meeting. Everyone was quite tensed up as he was known to be a tough guy. After the initial introductions, our GM, Padmanava, came straight to the point. 'I have been watching the progress of this project very closely since the very beginning. I have received a bunch of mails from our team in the US who are sending us the project details and required specifications. In every mail they have mentioned that the client is not happy and they are not satisfied with our progress. In general I take the the side of our guys here in India, but I must say, whatever they have said is correct. In fact, if you ask me, I am extremely ashamed of the project status. Not a single piece of work that we had sent is of good quality and not once we have sent the things on time. I want to know why is this happening?' There was a silence in the room. I thought 'what else could we expect if we are interested in finding other's mistakes rather than correcting our own?' 'Could you please explain that statement, Ms. Tanuja?' When I heard my name being called by Paddy (thats ! what we used to call Padmanava behind his back) I realised that I have made a mistake... I was thinking aloud. But now nothing can be done.
So I bit my lips, took a deep breath and started in a clear voice 'Sir, we have a team working in the US who interacts with the client and tell us what they have understood. We take over from there and come up with the design and send it to them for ratification. Now they run through the design documents and modifies them and send that back. Now starts the problem. Firstly, at this stage we are not sure what changes they have made. So, majority of our time goes in finding their additions and alterations in the documents. Then if we find any problem, we do not proceed with it, we send it back to them for correction and we don't do any substantial work that day. They again run through the thing and send us back. This goes on for sometime before we actually sit down to implement it.
While implementation, we come up with some more problems or new ideas and again the process of sending documents to and fro starts. Don't you think that we need a better and more organized method of communication with our US counterpart?' 'What is your idea of a better method of communication?' asked Paddy. 'There can be improvements in a couple of places. Firstly, everytime a modification has been made to the design documentation, an entry should be made in some kind of log mentioning the date and reason of the modification with the name of the person involved. Secondly, not everybody should be allowed to work on the design documentation. May be Akash with Nikhil or Manish should only handle it. Thirdly, someone handling the design documents should be the business knowledge base of the project. Thus, if anyone has any doubt regarding the business logic or design decisions, that person can answer those doubts.
This will eliminate the possibility of repeatedly asking the same questions to our US team.' 'What do you think of this, team?' 'Sir, this is very easy to say, but difficult to implement. Ofcourse, I appreciate her initiatives, considering she is a fresher in the team' said Yamini. 'What do you think, Akash?' 'I think she is correct, we need to be more systematic.' Akash never likes to think about something not technical. 'Manish?' 'I don't know. I think the mode of communication is alright, but we need to put some extra hours' Manish himself hardly likes to stay back for work. 'Purvi?' 'I guess, we should divide the project into smaller modules to handle them more effectively' Purvi is always with good ideas. 'Now thats another interesting idea. Nikhil any suggestion?' 'I was thinking, can we have regular team meetings to check our progress? But I guess we already do that. No, okay, I agree, we are lacking communication.' Nikhil is never sure about himself! 'Any other suggestion?' No one spoke.
'So, here we have a bunch of new ideas. Improve communication methods, work extra hours and divide the project into smaller modules. Akash, I want to see all of these done and most importantly, show me some better reports from our client.' Saying that Paddy left the room. So that was it. Akash was visibly shaken. Yamini was furious. Manish and Nisha were eager to talk about it. The juniors were scared. Only Nikhil was unperturbed. I was satisfied to make a mark in the meeting. The next few days Akash had many closed door meetings with Yamini, Manish and Purvi. Sometimes Nikhil was also asked to join. Nobody talked about what happened in those meetings and we were left speculating. Finally, that Friday, Akash called for a team meeting and we all joined him in the conference room. He had a list in his hand and his face was quite expressionless. Yamini was still very agitated. I imagined that she could have an outburst at anybody at anytime. So, it is better to avoid her for now. After everybody sat down, Akash came straight to the point. He said that we are going to work in a different manner from now on. Now, the project will be divided into three modules and there will be a module leader for each team.
All the team members will report to their respective module leader and module leaders will report to Akash. There will be a person in the team who will not do any coding. That person will be the contact person for any business decisions, explanations and communication to the US counterpart. Any change request should come through that person and all addition/alterations will be reported to that person. We shall have a team meeting every Monday to decide on the course of action for the week. Every Thursday the module leaders will meet with Akash and report the week's work.
On Friday Akash will report to Paddy about the week's work and the following week's plan. So far so good. I was waiting to see in which module I am placed. Frankly, I did not work with Yamini. Somehow I was not in her good books and she did not miss an opportunity to make a comment on whatever I said or did. Akash had started speaking again 'The first two modules are smaller than the third one. So, we shall have lesser number of people working in these two modules. The first module will consist of Manish, Sundar, Anu and Anand. Manish will be the module leader. The second module will consist of Nisha, Purvi, Pavan and Kuldip. Purvi will lead this module.' By this time I started cursing because I was sure to have Yamini in my team. 'The third module is the most important one. This contains the most complicated logic. So the module leader will be Nikhil.
The other members in the team will be Vinod, Arvind, Sachin, Vishal and Aruna'. 'Hey, where am I?' I was surprised not to find my name in the list. 'Ya, we are coming to you. I had a talk with Paddy regarding you. We know that Purvi and Manish will be going away to the US after a few months. I pray that this happens after this project is over. But if their H1 papers come sooner, then we shall lose two important members of the team. In that case, we shall merge the two teams and Tanuja will lead the team with Yamini's help. Till then you will have to do some work for both the projects. Yamini will be the central person who will be responsible for the business decision changes and communicating with the US team.' Now I saw the whole picture. Yamini never liked me. So she has convinced Akash to give me the most ill-defined job.
They have convinced Paddy saying that I will be made the module leader and will do a good job. On the other hand, I will never be able to work as a module leader because when Purvi and Manish leave there will be hardly anything left. Moreover, Yamini will always have the ultimate word and she will use me as the scape goat if we miss any project deadline. I needed to talk to Akash. I asked him if we could talk and he replied that if we have to talk, we should talk right now, in front of everybody else. So I constructed by words carefully 'I am a little concerned about my ill defined responsibility right now. Also, do you think that I will be able to lead two modules combined? I am apprehensive because I am quite new in this company and don't really know about how the things run.' Before he could open his mouth, Yamini answered. Everybody could see the sarcasm on her face 'Now you are going too far. Firstly, your responsibility is not ill defined. You have to work for both the projects.
That means, you will get well-defined instructions from both Purvi and manish every Monday. Secondly, you are given ample time to find out how things run in this company so that when they leave you can pick their responsibilities. Thirdly, if you think you are not quite ready for your position now, you shouldn't have talked in the first place in front of Paddy. Anyway, we can give you another chance. If you think you are not quite happy, please write us a mail saying so and we shall request Paddy to move you to another project.' So that was that. 'Good.' I thought. Atleast now I know that I will be living with snakes around. The meeting ended without another word. Akash started avoiding eye contacts with me. Manish and Purvi did not say anything, but they were uneasy while talking with me. Nikhil was just the same. He never cared much about office politics. Rest of the guys in the team were sympathetic with me. But almost all of them mentioned that Yamini is a rattle snake and I have made the biggest mistake of my life to speak against her in front of Paddy.
I remembered, Yamini has taken everything personally because it is she who is always in lookout for errors from the other side and delays the work no matter how trivial the error is. I did not think it as my biggest mistake... I wanted to keep that title for future use. Anyway, I already felt adrenaline gushing through my veins and started to prepare myself for the battle. When I came to office the following Monday, I found two mails, one each from Manish and Purvi. Both had a list of things that I needed to do by the end of the week. I expected that. So I started right away. This was not a problem for me. But I found it difficult to go to two team meetings at the same time. So, Manish and Purvi had to adjust their meeting schedules to have me in them.
Also, two meetings meant less time for programming. Both of them were given heavy workloads and as a result I got heaps of work from both of them. I had to sit back till late every evening. Still I could not manage to complete my work always. So I started coming on Saturdays too. My personal life became a history and office was everything for me. Sometimes I thought why don't they provide an apartment nearby, so that I don't need to go home after work and thus save the 3 hours for commuting. Many days I was the first person to come to office and leave last with Nikhil after closing the gate and giving the keys to the janitor. Since I could give less time to Sundar, Nisha and Pavan, they also did not disturb me. In fact, whenever they came to my cubicle to have some small talks, Yamini made a note of it. Just after they left my table, she would call them and start asking about their progress. So, they got the hint and did not talk to me when she was around. Akash was in bad shape. I have never seen a person so involved in his work. But still he could not regain the respect of a team leader from the fellow team members. Also, she was losing fast to Yamini.
She was in effect the project leader and Akash was reduced to the position of a technical support guy in the project. That way she was the leader in front of the team but Akash was answerable to Paddy. I could feel the frustration in Akash but he could not say anything. Whatever he will say, it will show how stupid he is and how smart Yamini is. It was a Saturday when I saw Akash in office. I used to enjoy my Saturdays because none of the seniors came to office on weekends. So I was surprised to see Akash. He was looking very different. he just sat in his cubicle and stared out of the window. As the lunch hour approached, I went to him and asked if he would like to accompany me to lunch. He agreed and we went to the canteen. There we started talking about many things.
After a while, he asked me if I was looking out for a new job. I was not expecting this question and immediately became cautious. 'No, I am not looking out for one. Are you?' 'Ya, actually I am in a dilemma, so I wanted to talk to someone about this. Can I talk to you?' Now this sounds interesting! 'Ofcourse, tell me.' 'Actually, I have been in this company for more than 3 years. So I was thinking that I will make a switch after this project. Hence I gave my resume to some placement agencies. Last week they called my for an interview and I went. Yesterday they called me for a second round and offered more than double what I am getting here. They are also giving me a stock option. I will hold a good position in the company.' 'How is the company?' 'Good. It is a product development company. It has goodwill in the industry here as well as in the US.' 'So, what have you decided?' 'I don't know.
I can't leave the project in the middle. But they won't wait for me till the end of the project. Also, I don't want to leave this company just because of money... I can learn a lot if I stay here. Also I love working here.' I was thinking fast. If he leaves, Yamini will become the project leader. I could not tolerate the very thought of it. So I said 'you are correct, it is not possible for you to leave the project this way. I think you better have a talk with Paddy. I am sure if it is only the salary issue, he will give you a raise.' 'I had a talk with him today morning.
Thats why I came to office in the first place.' So, that is why Paddy has come to the office today! 'What did he say?' 'Naturally he asked me to stay. He promised me to give a raise in next April. But that is too far away! Also, how can I believe him? You know him, no one believes Paddy!' 'So?' 'I don't know. What do you think?' 'You know Akash, this is your life. You have to decide for yourself.' 'Thats exactly what Yamini said.' 'Oh?' 'Ya, she said if she was me, she would have jumped at the opportunity and would dump this project. But this is my life.

So I should decide for it. She is right. Who cares for me? Why should I care for the project? Not everyday I get this good a break.' 'But a technical guru like you can bag a better one even on your worst day.' 'Thats not how it works in the industry. Look at my friends. They are all in US. Earning in millions. Look at me. I am still living in a one bedroom apartment in a middle class locality. You have to switch jobs often to have a better salary. I was a fool to stay here for 3 years.' 'Thats what Yamini said?' 'Yes. And she told me that even she is looking out for a job. The day she gets it, she is out of here.' 'You could go to the US like Manish and Purvi from this company only.' 'I don't want to go to the US. I have dependent parents. They are old people and I am their only child. I can't leave them and go. That is why I want to stay _here_ and earn a lot.' 'So I guess you have already decided?' 'No, the problem is, I can't leave the company like this. Paddy has requested me to stay.

He was so persuasive that I told him I'll stay.' 'But if you don't feel like staying any more there is no point staying.' 'I don't know. I would love to stay back if I get as much as they are giving.' 'But Paddy promised you that already!' 'No, he promised to raise my salary. He did not say how much. That too I have to wait till April.' 'So, I think you better tell Paddy to give you a raise now or you will leave.' 'I can't say that. I have already told him that I am staying' Now it was my turn to be frustrated. I have never seen anybody more immatured. I realised why Yamini has become so powerful. She has always confused Akash with options. Akash was not good in choosing from options. He needed someone to choose for him. Yamini did that is such a clever manner that Akash thought he has taken the decision.
So, if it shot back, it was he who was wounded, Yamini escaped without a problem. It was obvious that Yamini will convince Akash to quit. So I was upset. Not because Akash was leaving, but because from now on I have to work under the leadership of a rattle snake. 'Atleast now _she_ will be responsible for the results.' Next Monday Akash gave his resignation to Paddy. Paddy was dissapointed. He called a meeting and made Yamini the project leader. She was smiling ear to ear. She gave a little speech 'I would need everyone of your support to make this project a success. It is not YOUR code that is not working or HIS module running late. it is OUR project that is suffering. I know you are putting your effort into the project.

But I will go one step further and request you to put your BEST efforts and some extra hours if necessary. We will miss Akash very much but I am very happy that he is shinning in his career.' I could not help but start clapping my hands. It was too much for me. Since then it was an all out war between Yamini and Tanuja... the whole office came to know about it. Akash left after a month. In that one month he hardly took interest in the project. I could feel that he is not happy to leave the job. He never talked to me after that long discussion in the canteen.

So, I did not disturb him. I could not have disturbed him anyway because of two reasons, firstly because I had too much work and secondly because Yamini was always with him. I guess she was scared to the fact that Akash may change his mind. We gave a nice farewell party to Akash. He was overwhelmed. With his departure the project ran into chaos. Yamini tried to curb everybody's power. Purvi, Nikhil and Manish were not allowed to write mails to our US team. Everything went to Yamini. She assimilated things and wrote to them. As a result there were a lot of communication gaps. Neither did she understood our problem statement, nor she could explain the proposed solution given by the US team. She had a weird ego and never showed us the mails she got from US team. So, with her in between, we were facing trouble.

Manish and Purvi were quite irritated and in one team meeting the topic was brought up. Yamini realised that she has done a mistake. With her tyranny she has lost confidence of the two most important members, that of Manish and Purvi. She tried to make up for the loss. Things again became as it was when Akash was around. But it was late. Now Manish and Purvi were not so loyal and often made sarcastic remarks to Yamini.

Then suddenly, one day Yamini did not come to office. She called up Paddy and said she was not well. SO she will be away from office for a few days. It was a sigh of relief for us. Each one of us worked very hard to prove we could do just as well without her. Things were moving along. The day when we had a major deliverable scheduled for US, Yamini came to office. She started looking busy and was asking every one about the state of the project. When she came to know that we are running on schedule, she ran to paddy to give the news. That evening she stayed back and wrote a mail to US saying that we are sending the software on time.

Next day when the acknowledgement came, she forwarded that mail to all of us thanking us for helping her in meeting the deadline. ALong with that I received another mail from her marked a copy to Paddy. it said 'A note of Appreciation for Tanuja. I am happy to notice the way she had worked in both the module successfully. The US team is also very h! appy in her work.' 'Is she trying to make peace? Or is it a coverup for the next strike?' ...was my immediate thoughts. The design phase was long over. The implementation phase had started. So we had more frequent deliverables those days.

Every alternate week we had some major work to be sent to the US. Yamini called for a meeting and told us that she is getting married and so she will not be coming to office regularly. She need to stay home for all the rituals and also need to do a lot of shopping. Also after her marriage she will take a months leave. So, Manish will be looking after the project while she is away. 'Good timing' I thought. Paddy must have thought the same and one day when she was absent, called Manish, Nikhil, Purvi and myself to a meeting. He gave us the good news first.
The H1 papers for Manish and Purvi have arrived. They will be leaving for the US soon. Then he asked me if I am ready to take up from them. I wasted no time in telling him that I was. This was my best opportunity. Frankly, I never believed that I will really be leading the modules. So, he rearranged the three modules and merged them into two. Nikhil was the leader of one and I was the leader of another. Manish and Purvi had waited long for US. Now when it arrived, they were ecstatic. We arranged a great party for them. Naturally they became busy in making arrangements for their journey. So, it was left to me and Nikhil to hold the fort. Yamini was irregular.

The project was coming to an end with about 2 months work left. We had the support of the team and deadlines were met. Things were going smooth enough. With about 3 more weeks of the project to go, Yamini gave us her wedding card and invited all of us. Then she went for a long leave. I found that Nikhil was not ready to take up the responsibilities of a project leader. So I started doing what Yamini was supposed to do... talking with our US team, seeing that everything is being done on schedule.
If not, then sit back and see what is the problem and find out the solution. I used to log each days progress and report to Paddy twice a week. Nikhil was relieved to find that he doesn't need to look into these things, so he devoted his time in programming. The project delivery went through on scheduled date and Paddy was happy. Most importantly our client was happy. It took about another two weeks to formally close the project. Then the team was divided and people were put in different projects. Yamini called up once and extended her leave by another month.
A new project came up. This was a small domestic project. Paddy asked if I would be interested to do it. 'Anything is better than sitting idle.' I thought. So I said yes. Paddy said 'In that case you go over the analysis document that we received today. Tell me what you think about this one. If you think you can manage it, go ahead and pick your team.' I could not believe my ears! He wanted me to lead this one! 'This is my opportunity!' I thought. So I took the analysis document and spent the rest of the day reading it. The project seemed fairly small. This was kind of a small pilot project for a much bigger one. I estimated that this project will need around 3 months with about 4 to 5 people working in it.
The next day I gave the estimate to Paddy and after some more discussions the project was mine. We selected the team, two from my last project, two new comers and me. I gathered the team and had a talk about the project. All members were young and enthusiastic. All of them wanted to prove themselves. I was very lucky to have such a motivated team. The project went along well. I used to send a report to Paddy once a week, stating the progress and concerns. He helped me from his side with suggestions. I used to think about my days when I had to work with Yamini. I thought how she led the team and what all I hated about her.

I tried to avoid doing things that people disliked when Yamini did them. I learnt from her mistakes. After a month Yamini returned from her extended vacation. At that time there was no new project and she was too senior to work as ordinary team members in any running project. So she was put in the quality assurance team. The QA team had to interact with all the project leaders to assure that the projects are upto the quality standard of the company. This way I had to interact with Yamini once in every two weeks. No doubt she left no stone unturned to find loopholes or bugs in our project.

In fact that was her attitude towards all the projects. I think that way she made a very good quality assurance personnel. Even I started enjoying my meetings with her because I knew, the more she points out problems, the better stability and robustness the project is going to have. Hence, when we deliver the end product to the client, they will be able to find lesser bugs. It was like a contest between the two of us. She finds a bug, we fix it immediately. She questions the techinical decisions we have taken, we read through manuals and other documents to prove our point.

At the end of the day we go home with some extra knowledge. Some additional work came up in the project. Paddy asked me to talk to Yamini about the feasability of the new work and the estimated time required. Once we came to the conclusion that these additions can be done in reasonable time, we started the work. This time Yamini took active interest in the progress of the work. She insisted that we call her in team meetings. I did not like this but I could not do much about it. Paddy did not see any problem in it as Yamini was not placed in any project.
Since she had enough time to spare to the project, Paddy thought it is better if she tracks the progress of the work. After all I was very inexperienced in handling projects. The project gained importance as time went because we were expecting more and more modules will be added to it if we could deliver the present job in good time.

One day as I came to the office, Paddy called me to his room. As I entered, he gave me an envelope and said 'here is the ticket for Boston. You have to go to Boston for a month. The ticket is for the coming Saturday.' I was shocked, to put it mildly. I could not understand what is this all about. Then he explained that the previous project was in the implementation phase in Boston and was being handled by our US team. Now they are facing some serious problems and somebody from the implementation team need to go there and help. 'But Purvi and Manish are already there!', I argued. 'Yes, but after the initial one month they have been shifted to another project. Now they cannot be brought back. So someone from here must go. We have only two choice, you or Nikhil. Only you two have a complete understanding of the project other than Yamini. I don't want to send her as she never did the programming.
She only has the business knowledge, but may not be comfortable with technical difficulties.' 'Why not Nikhil?' I asked? 'Well, he was my first choice. But his mother is very ill. He cannot leave town now.' 'I guess that leaves only me' I said matter of faculty. 'Do you have any problem to go to Boston?' 'Just the worry... what will happen to my present project?' 'I have thought about that too. Until you come back, Yamini can look after that.' 'Well, if you have decided everything, then I better go home and start packing.'

'Before you go, take the necessary documents from my secretary. You need to go to the consulate to get your visa stamped.' So there was I, left with an envelop of documents and letters for my visa stamping. I was feeling horrible. Not that I don't want to go to Boston, but I hate surprises like this. Moreover, I hate to leave my work half done. I handed over the project to Yamini. There was nothing much to hand over as she was already conversant with the project.

Obviously, she was very happy. After all I was going to be absent for a while. I left for Boston 4 days later. There I had to stay for almost two months. During my stay I had so much work that I hardly had time to inquire about the project I left behind. 'I really don't need to worry about it. After all Paddy is there and he is more concerned about projects than I am'. I told myself. When I returned I found things have changed a lot. The project that I was leading had gained so much volume that now it was broken into two parts. Yamini was leading one of them and another guy was leading the other part. I realized that Yamini now won't be released from her responsibilities and hence, I won't be placed in the project any more.

Then came the worst disappointment of my life. It was appraisal time and time for announcing promotions and increments. To my surprise I found that I was given just a small increment with a mere Rs.10000/- incentive whereas my colleagues from ex-projects got incredible raises. Yamini bagged a promotion and a Rs.50000/- incentive.
I was very unhappy and decided that I should go and have a talk with the Human resource manager. I got some incredible information there. They told me that they had taken feedback from Paddy and Yamini about me as I had work under their supervision in the last financial year. Paddy has given a reasonably good report about me but Yamini's report was extremely damaging. That is why I was not rewarded the way I had expected.

They said I can talk to Paddy or Yamini if I wish, but nothing can be done now. 'Nothing could be done now... that is idiotic!' I thought. But I didn't have a clue as what should I do now. They were right, no point in talking to Paddy or Yamini. They have already expressed their impression regarding me. This time I had no work as I refused to join the quality assurance team. Paddy told me that new projects are coming up and I will get good work soon.

But frankly, I wasn't looking forward to it. Somehow, I had lost the vigor. This did not go on for long as I was put in a new project. The first deliverable was in two months. Again started the process spending extra hours in the evenings and weekends. I was getting tired. It was around that time when Akash called me up one day. He wanted to meet me. I wondered why! In any case, we fixed up a time one evening and we met at one of the cafeterias. There he offered me a job in his present company. He explained me the position I will be holding, the kind of projects they are having and other relevant things.

'This is a new twist in the story' I thought. 'Not bad. I am feeling tired and frustrated here. Possibly a new job will brighten things up for me.' A few days later he fixed up an interview for me. It went fine and I liked the company. They offered me good salary and a better designation (though that does not mean much to me any more). I accepted the offer. Next day I gave my resignation letter to Paddy. He was shocked. He tried to convince me to stay. But this time it was too late. I had lost my attachment with Genesis.
Not because I did not get a good salary raise, but because I was not given the due respect. I never liked the fact that the project was taken away from me and, more, it was given to Yamini. Paddy tried his best to retain me, but I had already made up my mind. I left the company exactly after 2 years and 4 days after I had joined. Even after joining the new company, I was in touch with friends from Genesis. The latest news always came to me. I came to know that Yamini hasn't changed at all and she is continuing her ways around...not many juniors are happy with her. Her latest prey is a new comer by the name Dipesh. "Poor thing..." I told myself..."genesis is just going witness history repeating itself..."

After a while, he asked me if I was looking out for a new job. I was not expecting this question and immediately became cautious. 'No, I am not looking out for one. Are you?' 'Ya, actually I am in a dilemma, so I wanted to talk to someone about this. Can I talk to you?' Now this sounds interesting! 'Of course, tell me.' 'Actually, I have been in this company for more than 3 years. So I was thinking that I will make a switch after this project. Hence I gave my resume to some placement agencies. Last week they called me for an interview and I went. Yesterday they called me for a second round and offered more than double what I am getting here. They are also giving me a stock option. I will hold a good position in the company.' 'How is the company?' 'Good. It is a product development company. It has goodwill in the industry here as well as in the US.' 'So, what have you decided?' 'I don't know.

I can't leave the project in the middle. But they won't wait for me till the end of the project. Also, I don't want to leave this company just because of money... I can learn a lot if I stay here. Also I love working here.' I was thinking fast. If he leaves, Yamini will become the project leader. I could not tolerate the very thought of it. So I said 'you are correct, it is not possible for you to leave the project this way. I think you better have a talk with Paddy. I am sure if it is only the salary issue, he will give you a raise.' 'I had a talk with him today morning.
That's why I came to office in the first place.' So, that is why Paddy has come to the office today! 'What did he say?' 'Naturally he asked me to stay. He promised me to give a raise in next April. But that is too far away! Also, how can I believe him? You know him, no one believes Paddy!' 'So?' 'I don't know. What do you think?' 'You know Akash, this is your life. You have to decide for yourself.' 'That's exactly what Yamini said.' 'Oh?' 'Ya, she said if she was me, she would have jumped at the opportunity and would dump this project. But this is my life.

So I should decide for it. She is right. Who cares for me? Why should I care for the project? Not everyday I get this good a break.' 'But a technical guru like you can bag a better one even on your worst day.' 'That's not how it works in the industry. Look at my friends. They are all in US. Earning in millions. Look at me. I am still living in a one bedroom apartment in a middle class locality. You have to switch jobs often to have a better salary. I was a fool to stay here for 3 years.' 'That's what Yamini said?' 'Yes. And she told me that even she is looking out for a job. The day she gets it, she is out of here.' 'You could go to the US like Manish and Purvi from this company only.' 'I don't want to go to the US. I have dependent parents. They are old people and I am their only child. I can't leave them and go. That is why I want to stay _here_ and earn a lot.' 'So I guess you have already decided?' 'No, the problem is, I can't leave the company like this. Paddy has requested me to stay.

He was so persuasive that I told him I'll stay.' 'But if you don't feel like staying any more there is no point staying.' 'I don't know. I would love to stay back if I get as much as they are giving.' 'But Paddy promised you that already!' 'No, he promised to raise my salary. He did not say how much. That too I have to wait till April.' 'So, I think you better tell Paddy to give you a raise now or you will leave.' 'I can't say that. I have already told him that I am staying' Now it was my turn to be frustrated. I have never seen anybody more immatured. I realised why Yamini has become so powerful. She has always confused Akash with options. Akash was not good in choosing from options. He needed someone to choose for him. Yamini did that is such a clever manner that Akash thought he has taken the decision.
So, if it shot back, it was he who was wounded, Yamini escaped without a problem. It was obvious that Yamini will convince Akash to quit. So I was upset. Not because Akash was leaving, but because from now on I have to work under the leadership of a rattle snake. 'Atleast now _she_ will be responsible for the results.' Next Monday Akash gave his resignation to Paddy. Paddy was dissapointed. He called a meeting and made Yamini the project leader. She was smiling ear to ear. She gave a little speech 'I would need everyone of your support to make this project a success. It is not YOUR code that is not working or HIS module running late. it is OUR project that is suffering. I know you are putting your effort into the project.
But I will go one step further and request you to put your BEST efforts and some extra hours if necessary. We will miss Akash very much but I am very happy that he is shinning in his career.' I could not help but start clapping my hands. It was too much for me. Since then it was an all out war between Yamini and Tanuja... the whole office came to know about it. Akash left after a month. In that one month he hardly took interest in the project. I could feel that he is not happy to leave the job. He never talked to me after that long discussion in the canteen.
So, I did not disturb him. I could not have disturbed him anyway because of two reasons, firstly because I had too much work and secondly because Yamini was always with him. I guess she was scared to the fact that Akash may change his mind. We gave a nice farewell party to Akash. He was overwhelmed. With his departure the project ran into chaos. Yamini tried to curb everybody's power. Purvi, Nikhil and Manish were not allowed to write mails to our US team. Everything went to Yamini. She assimilated things and wrote to them. As a result there were a lot of communication gaps. Neither did she understood our problem statement, nor she could explain the proposed solution given by the US team. She had a weird ego and never showed us the mails she got from US team. So, with her in between, we were facing trouble.
Manish and Purvi were quite irritated and in one team meeting the topic was brought up. Yamini realised that she has done a mistake. With her tyranny she has lost confidence of the two most important members, that of Manish and Purvi. She tried to make up for the loss. Things again became as it was when Akash was around. But it was late. Now Manish and Purvi were not so loyal and often made sarcastic remarks to Yamini.
Then suddenly, one day Yamini did not come to office. She called up Paddy and said she was not well. SO she will be away from office for a few days. It was a sigh of relief for us. Each one of us worked very hard to prove we could do just as well without her. Things were moving along. The day when we had a major deliverable scheduled for US, Yamini came to office. She started looking busy and was asking every one about the state of the project. When she came to know that we are running on schedule, she ran to paddy to give the news. That evening she stayed back and wrote a mail to US saying that we are sending the software on time.

Next day when the acknowledgement came, she forwarded that mail to all of us thanking us for helping her in meeting the deadline. ALong with that I received another mail from her marked a copy to Paddy. it said 'A note of Appreciation for Tanuja. I am happy to notice the way she had worked in both the module successfully. The US team is also very h! appy in her work.' 'Is she trying to make peace? Or is it a coverup for the next strike?' ...was my immediate thoughts. The design phase was long over. The implementation phase had started. So we had more frequent deliverables those days.
Every alternate week we had some major work to be sent to the US. Yamini called for a meeting and told us that she is getting married and so she will not be coming to office regularly. She need to stay home for all the rituals and also need to do a lot of shopping. Also after her marriage she will take a months leave. So, Manish will be looking after the project while she is away. 'Good timing' I thought. Paddy must have thought the same and one day when she was absent, called Manish, Nikhil, Purvi and myself to a meeting. He gave us the good news first.
The H1 papers for Manish and Purvi have arrived. They will be leaving for the US soon. Then he asked me if I am ready to take up from them. I wasted no time in telling him that I was. This was my best opportunity. Frankly, I never believed that I will really be leading the modules. So, he rearranged the three modules and merged them into two. Nikhil was the leader of one and I was the leader of another. Manish and Purvi had waited long for US. Now when it arrived, they were ecstatic. We arranged a great party for them. Naturally they became busy in making arrangements for their journey. So, it was left to me and Nikhil to hold the fort. Yamini was irregular.
The project was coming to an end with about 2 months work left. We had the support of the team and deadlines were met. Things were going smooth enough. With about 3 more weeks of the project to go, Yamini gave us her wedding card and invited all of us. Then she went for a long leave. I found that Nikhil was not ready to take up the responsibilities of a project leader. So I started doing what Yamini was supposed to do... talking with our US team, seeing that everything is being done on schedule.
If not, then sit back and see what is the problem and find out the solution. I used to log each days progress and report to Paddy twice a week. Nikhil was relieved to find that he doesn't need to look into these things, so he devoted his time in programming. The project delivery went through on scheduled date and Paddy was happy. Most importantly our client was happy. It took about another two weeks to formally close the project. Then the team was divided and people were put in different projects. Yamini called up once and extended her leave by another month.
A new project came up. This was a small domestic project. Paddy asked if I would be interested to do it. 'Anything is better than sitting idle.' I thought. So I said yes. Paddy said 'In that case you go over the analysis document that we received today. Tell me what you think about this one. If you think you can manage it, go ahead and pick your team.' I could not believe my ears! He wanted me to lead this one! 'This is my opportunity!' I thought. So I took the analysis document and spent the rest of the day reading it. The project seemed fairly small. This was kind of a small pilot project for a much bigger one. I estimated that this project will need around 3 months with about 4 to 5 people working in it.
The next day I gave the estimate to Paddy and after some more discussions the project was mine. We selected the team, two from my last project, two new comers and me. I gathered the team and had a talk about the project. All members were young and enthusiastic. All of them wanted to prove themselves. I was very lucky to have such a motivated team. The project went along well. I used to send a report to Paddy once a week, stating the progress and concerns. He helped me from his side with suggestions. I used to think about my days when I had to work with Yamini. I thought how she led the team and what all I hated about her.
I tried to avoid doing things that people disliked when Yamini did them. I learnt from her mistakes. After a month Yamini returned from her extended vacation. At that time there was no new project and she was too senior to work as ordinary team members in any running project. So she was put in the quality assurance team. The QA team had to interact with all the project leaders to assure that the projects are upto the quality standard of the company. This way I had to interact with Yamini once in every two weeks. No doubt she left no stone unturned to find loopholes or bugs in our project.
In fact that was her attitude towards all the projects. I think that way she made a very good quality assurance personnel. Even I started enjoying my meetings with her because I knew, the more she points out problems, the better stability and robustness the project is going to have. Hence, when we deliver the end product to the client, they will be able to find lesser bugs. It was like a contest between the two of us. She finds a bug, we fix it immediately. She questions the techinical decisions we have taken, we read through manuals and other documents to prove our point.
At the end of the day we go home with some extra knowledge. Some additional work came up in the project. Paddy asked me to talk to Yamini about the feasability of the new work and the estimated time required. Once we came to the conclusion that these additions can be done in reasonable time, we started the work. This time Yamini took active interest in the progress of the work. She insisted that we call her in team meetings. I did not like this but I could not do much about it. Paddy did not see any problem in it as Yamini was not placed in any project.
Since she had enough time to spare to the project, Paddy thought it is better if she tracks the progress of the work. After all I was very inexperienced in handling projects. The project gained importance as time went because we were expecting more and more modules will be added to it if we could deliver the present job in good time.
One day as I came to the office, Paddy called me to his room. As I entered, he gave me an envelope and said 'here is the ticket for Boston. You have to go to Boston for a month. The ticket is for the coming Saturday.' I was shocked, to put it mildly. I could not understand what is this all about. Then he explanied that the previous project was in the implementation phase in Boston and was being handled by our US team. Now they are facing some serious problems and somebody from the implementation team need to go there and help. 'But Purvi and Manish are already there!', I argued. 'Yes, but after the initial one month they have been shifted to another project. Now they cannot be brought back. So someone from here must go. We have only two choice, you or Nikhil. Only you two have a complete understanding of the project other than Yamini. I don't want to send her as she never did the programming.
She only has the business knowledge, but may not be comfortable with technical difficulties.' 'Why not Nikhil?' I asked? 'Well, he was my first choice. But his mother is very ill. He cannot leave town now.' 'I guess that leaves only me' I said matter of factly. 'Do you have any problem to go to Boston?' 'Just the worry... what will happen to my present project?' 'I have thought about that too. Untill you come back, Yamini can look after that.' 'Well, if you have decided everything, then I better go home and start packing.'
'Before you go, take the necessary documents from my secretary. You need to go to the consulate to get your visa stamped.' So there was I, left with an envelop of documents and letters for my visa stamping. I was feeling horrible. Not that I don't want to go to Boston, but I hate surprises like this. Moreover, I hate to leave my work half done. I handed over the project to Yamini. There was nothing much to hand over as she was already conversant with the project.
Obviously, she was very happy.. after all I was going to be absent for a while. I left for Boston 4 days later. There I had to stay for almost two months. During my stay I had so much work that I hardly had time to inquire about the project I left behind. 'I really don't need to worry about it. After all Paddy is there and he is more concerned about projects than I am'. I told myself. When I returned I found things have changed a lot. The project that I was leading had gained so much volume that now it was broken into two parts. Yamini was leading one of them and another guy was leading the other part. I realised that Yamini now won't be released from her responsibilities and hence, I won't be placed in the project any more.
Then came the worst disappointment of my life. It was appraisal time and time for announcing promotions and increments. To my surprise I found that I was given just a small increment with a mere Rs.10000/- incentive whereas my colleagues from ex-projects got incredible raises. Yamini bagged a promotion and a Rs.50000/- incentive.
I was very unhappy and decided that I should go and have a talk with the Human resource manager. I got some incredible information there. They told me that they had taken feedback from Paddy and Yamini about me as I had work under their supervision in the last financial year. Paddy has given a reasonably good report about me but Yamini's report was extremely damaging. That is why I was not rewarded the way I had expected.
They said I can talk to Paddy or Yamini if I wish, but nothing can be done now. 'Nothing could be done now... that is idiotic!' I thought. But I didn't have a clue as what should I do now. They were right, no point in talking to Paddy or Yamini. They have already expressed their impression regarding me. This time I had no work as I refused to join the quality assurance team. Paddy told me that new projects are coming up and I will get good work soon.
But frankly, I wasn't looking forward to it. Somehow, I had lost the vigour. This did not go on for long as I was put in a new project. The first deliverable was in two months. Again started the process spending extra hours in the evenings and weekends. I was getting tired. It was around that time when Akash called me up one day. He wanted to meet me. I wondered why! In any case, we fixed up a time one evening and we met at one of the cafeterias. There he offered me a job in his present company. He explained me the position I will be holding, the kind of projects they are having and other relevant things.
'This is a new twist in the story' I thought. 'Not bad. I am feeling tired and frustrated here. Possibly a new job will brighten things up for me.' A few days later he fixed up an interview for me. It went fine and I liked the company. They offered me good salary and a better designation (though that does not mean much to me any more). I accepted the offer. Next day I gave my resignation letter to Paddy. He was shocked. He tried to convince me to stay. But this time it was too late. I had lost my attachment with Genesis.
Not because I did not get a good salary raise, but because I was not given the due respect. I never liked the fact that the project was taken away from me and, more, it was given to Yamini. Paddy tried his best to retain me, but I had already made up my mind. I left the company exactly after 2 years and 4 days after I had joined. Even after joining the new company, I was in touch with friends from Genesis. The latest news always came to me. I came to know that Yamini hasn't changed at all and she is continuing her ways around...not many juniors are happy with her. Her latest prey is a new comer by the name Dipesh. "Poor thing..." I told myself..."genesis is just going witness history repeating itself..."


"Saint Patrick's Day"

I wanna share the meaning of St. Patrick's Day which is on March 17th. with all of you. Bcoz I'm sure there are many of you out there are saying, "Exactly who is St. Patrick anyways?". What more is there to St. Patrick's Day other than wearing green? There is a very thin line between fact and myth when it comes to the real meaning and purpose of St. Patrick's Day. We here at the Rainforest are going to let you know what it's all about and how it all began.

The person who was to become St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland, was born in Wales about AD 385. His given name was Maewyn, and he almost didn't get the job of bishop of Ireland because he lacked the required scholarship. Then, far from being a saint, St. Patrick considered himself a Pagan until he was 16 years old. When he was 16, Patrick was kidnapped by an Irish raiding party and forced into slavery.

It was here, in captivity that St. Patrick supposedly became closer with God. After six years of slavery, St. Patrick finally escaped and made his way back home to Gaul where he studied in the monastery under St. Germain, bishop of Auxerre for a period of twelve years. Soon after, it is said that Patrick received a divine call in a dream to return to Ireland as a Christian missionary. His superiors instead appointed St. Palladius. But two years later, Palladius transferred to Scotland. Patrick, having adopted that Christian name earlier, was then appointed as second bishop to Ireland. Patrick was quite successful at winning converts.
And this fact upset the Celtic Druids. Patrick was arrested several times, but escaped each time. He traveled throughout Ireland, establishing monasteries across the country. He also set up schools and churches which would aid him in his conversion of the Irish country to Christianity. His mission lasted in Ireland lasted for thirty years. After that time, Patrick retired to County Down. He died on March 17 in AD 461. That day has been commemorated as St. Patrick's Day ever since. The St. Patrick's Day custom came to America in 1737. That was the first year St. Patrick's Day was publicly celebrated in this country, in Boston.
Hope now you can take a part in chat with your American friends talking about St. Patrick's Day.


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