“Gaurav, you need to travel to the US this Friday.” Gaurav’s happiness knew no bound after hearing these magical words from his Manager. He has been waiting for this moment for past 4 years. Twice his H1B visa was rejected and thrice his Business visa got expired. This time he will be going to onsite for almost 2 long years as a senior software developer. Elated Gaurav made a phone call to all his dear friends and threw a party in the nearby club to celebrate this big moment.

The big day finally came & he was all set to travel to the US. Carrying his boarding pass and check-in luggage, he found a comfortable seat near his Departure Gate. He was excited about his journey and he started thinking how his life will change in the US. A luxurious car, a high-class home, and a hefty package. He felt, his life will be so contented when he will be doing Facebook check-ins of some exquisite and breathtaking locations.

While Gaurav was busy dreaming about this, the announcement of final boarding call was suddenly overtaken by a harsh jarring noise. Everybody at the airport got panicked., worrying whether it’s a bomb attack or a highjack. And with every minute passing, the noise grew louder and harsher. Gaurav couldn’t understand what was happening at the airport. And suddenly, Gaurav’s roommate jabbed Gaurav’s mobile, tapped on dismiss button to stop this blasting alarm noise and shook him to get up. It took a couple of minutes for Gaurav to realize that what he saw was just a dream during his deep sleep.

He was back to square one, in his 2BHK sharing apartment in a suburban area of Bangalore.

Disappointed by his bad dream he moved his hands to search for his spectacles. He rubbed his eyes, brought his mobile closer to his eyes and cried “Damn, it’s 8:45 on the clock, I am going to miss my Office bus again”. He instantly got up from his bed, went to the washroom, rushed to check his pressed shirt and hurriedly grabbed his Office ID Card.

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

He left his flat and rushed towards his bus stop. With a stout body and specs on his eyes, he ran even faster than Usain Bolt running for gold in Olympics when he saw his office bus leaving from his stop. This is the only exercise he does for the rest of the day. All his efforts went futile when he reached his bus stop and saw that his bus was far gone. He then waited for a while to catch a local bus. After few minutes, a jam-packed bus arrived. It looked like a beehive of honeybees, with so many software guys just like him, but with various other company’s ID cards. After a great struggle of rubbing elbows on the local bus, he reached his office premises. He took a lift, went to his floor, swiped his card and went to his cubicle.

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

Gaurav left his cubicle to freshen up and then headed towards the cafeteria. Deciding what to eat for breakfast has become a big pain for him ever since Maggie was banned as a part of ‘We Care for Our Employees’ support program. Taking a bowl of cornflakes, milk, and sandwich, he went to the table where two of his teammates were sitting. While talking to them he got to know that both of them will be going on site in the coming month. This news again reminded him of his delusive morning dream. He distracted his mind from thinking further about his dream and stepped towards his cubicle.

11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

While Gaurav was checking his outlook emails, his Team Lead came to him and assigned him a high priority task. He connected with his Virtual machine and started with his work. In 15 minutes, it was the time of his team’s scrum call. Gaurav went to the conference room & unperturbed by the task discussion of his fellow teammates, he was deeply engaged in his mobile. He didn’t realize that it was his turn to update the task status until the onsite co-coordinator started blasting on him for a production issue in the software caused by his code. He tried to pacify his coordinator by assuring that he will find a fix for the issue before the end of the day.

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

Gaurav went out to the breakout area, took a cup of coffee and came back to his desk. He sat quietly for a while and prioritized the entire work he has for his day. He was all set to start his work when a junior approached him and bugged him with some petty issues. Worried by a high priority task and a production issue, he initially thought to thrash his junior for coming up with such a lame issue. But then his inner conscience reminded him how he never got help from any senior while he was a new joiner. He then spent some time helping the junior with the issue & resumed to his work. Working parallel on two critical issues his level of frustration rose higher when his slow computer started to hang. He has complained about his slow computer a million times to the admin team but there has been no result.

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Gaurav stayed glued to his computer checking the log files when one of his teammates came to ask for lunch. The only good thing he likes about his software company is the free good food. He finished his lunch and waited for all the slow eaters in his team to finish their lunch. After the lunch, few of his colleagues asked him to join for a walk to which he refused because of his workload.

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

Gaurav came back to his cubicle and found that the script that he ran before going for the lunch has run successfully. This gave him some amount of joy which sadly remained short lived. His Manager pinged him and called him to his cabin. He knew about the new bomb which was about to explode. It was the D-day of yearly rating.

His Manager started with all the sugary talks and made him realize how crucial resource he is in this project. Then slowly his Manager took out the hard copy of Gaurav’s performance appraisal sheet and handed it over to him. He glanced over the content of the sheet to search for the magical number which will increment his salary. “Crap 6% hike” he uttered to himself. He was heartbroken, working for extra hours, coming on weekends, not asking for compensatory offs, not complaining about onsite and now this was the reward he got in return. Well, he was expecting a 2-digit increment this time. A meager hike of 6% in his salary will be balanced by the inflation in the market. Hence even this year he will not be able to do any kind of saving for his future startup plan.

With a heavy heart, he came back to his seat and resumed his work.

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

After researching a lot on stack overflow & trying out different fixes, he was finally able to solve the difficult production issue raised by his onsite coordinator. He asked the testing team to verify his fix & thought to celebrate his biggest victory of the day with chaai- sutta. With few of his ‘so-called’ office friends, he went outside & grabbed a cup of tea. Tea & coffee has turned into an elixir for Gaurav ever since he joined the software world.

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Gaurav returned back to his cubicle and noticed some fancy bay activities occurring in his team. He murmured to himself, “Don’t these guys have any work? How do they take out time for such silly activities during office hours?” Giving a cursory smile to those teammates, he got back to his work. He started working on the issue which his TL assigned him this morning. After few minutes, he noticed that his TL was standing right behind his desk. “Hi Gaurav, what’s the progress? It was a small task. I hope you must have completed it by now, right?” his TL uttered. Gaurav tried to explain that he was working on the production issue assigned to him by the onsite guy and therefore he couldn’t give much attention to the task assigned to him. Furious TL yelled at Gaurav for not solving the issue & went back. Disappointed by his TL’s gesture he started working on that issue.

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Defenseless Gaurav continued to look into the issue assigned to him and realized that it was not even an issue. It was an improper test execution which he has explained the testing team a million times but they keep opening it again and again. Gaurav regained his confidence and decided to reject this issue in JIRA. But then he thought to wait for some more time otherwise he a new bug will be assigned to him.

Gaurav moved out of his cubicle and thought to take some break. He went to the recreational area & played carom with some random guy who sits on his floor.

6:00 PM 7:00 PM

Gaurav came back to his desk & closed all the issues, replied to the emails & was all set to shut down his system. But immediately, his TL pinged him. He asked Gaurav to solve another issue which was just now assigned to him. Wrathful Gaurav started cursing himself that he should have shut the system & should have closed the issues from his mobile after catching the office bus.

7:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Gaurav completed his task & once his TL left, he also marked his way back home. He picked the bus and started snoring even before the bus started to crawl into the heavy traffic. After a short nap, he got up & started scrolling on Facebook on his mobile. All he saw was updates about few of his friends getting married, others having a baby & the rest going onsite. Irritated again, he kept his phone aside.

8:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Gaurav got down at his bus stop which was close to his gym. He has taken a yearly membership of this gym, as his new year resolution. His guilty conscience made him think that he’ll go home, rest for a while & will hit back to the gym. But his exhausted body convinced him that he’s too tired today & will start gymming from tomorrow. He went to the nearby paani poori shop, ate and headed back to his flat.

After chitchatting a bit with his flatmates, he had dinner, got back to his room, opened his laptop & started watching Friends for the zillionth time.

PS- This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Except for a very close friend of mine whom I have seen following most of the pattern on a daily basis. 😀