Ok!!! In my newfound capacity, as a Groupbie, I begin my first post with a personal anecdote.
It ain't hilarious but worth a mention all the same.In fact I was meaning to state that in one my write ups earlier on but it dint fit into the rhythm or context and is long winding as you will discover.
How many of you remember the episode where Geet and Maan are stuck in a conference room overnight. They had to work on an important project and Geet had closed the door. But there was some problem with the door as it could be opened only from the outside.
I found that supremely laughable yet adorable.The dialogs and acting bit were unlike anything I had seen before. Geet is calling out to the watchmen 8 floors below, " Oye Raam laal, Oye Shaam lal,....Oye khhote, Koi toh suno...and then shrieks her lungs out!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Not to mention Maans million dollar expressions throughout.
Something on those lines happened to me, and a group of us say about 2 years ago. Just the getting stuck in a conference bit that is.
At our firm we have an ad hoc creative team that meets each month to plan fun activities for the entire dept. B'days of all employees within the month are celebrated,games are conducted, fun quizzes, thambola ..blah blah....yeah, you get the drift? Each month's organizing team is chosen by picking chits.
And that month I was in it along with 6 others. I remember accepting a meeting invite for 2:30 PM but most of us were held up and it was not until 3:10 that we all assembled together. By then however, the reservation of the conference room was up and was occupied by someone else.
So we scouted around the floor for a spare conference room. And none were vacant. We get back to our zone/bay and chuck the interns out. It was recession time and management had turned a conference room into makeshift work stations for the interns, about 8-9 of them.
Its easier to just bully them and ask them to step out for half hour so we could discuss a top secret. We troop in and start discussing on how to go about, what activities to plan and whats the budget allocated.
One of colleague who had committed offline to come up with some games hadn't turned up. But before we could call her after noting her absence she walks past the conf room. Btw, two sides of the conf room has floor to ceiling glass panels so basically its a see through.We weren't in the conf room mentioned in the meeting invite so she had gone in search of us. And then she saw all the interns standing out and figured it must be us.
So we wave at her and she comes over.When all of us had walked in the last one hadn't closed the door then. Not completely. But this Punjabi kudi, khubsurat and tandurust, bursts through the door and bangs the door shut. And we carry on with our discussion.Its 3:35 now.
Most of us are itching to get back to work. Close time is 5:30 and all of us had a lot to finish for the day. We decide to meet up first thing tomorrow and wrap up all the planing bit and go ahead with execution as we had just 3 more days to put it all together.
So we get going to stream out. My friend and I were deciding on who would go shopping for the gifts , for the winners of the games. We couldn't ask the office boy to do that as they were to only help us with decoration and bringing in the snacks. Its a strict policy out here ,we cant ask them to run errands for us, nothing personal I mean. But then informally , whether its dropping a cheque or picking up a bouquet at the last minute they are our face saviors! Cheers to them!
The first two tried couldn't open the door. Girls. It wouldn't budge. There were 3 guys in there. And they try but in vain. And then we all stop mid way in our conversations and realize we are stuck as theres some problem with the door. It wasn't that we dint know the door had a problem. The interns were given the conf room at one extreme corner. It was a makeshift arrangement for them so there were no intercom or telnets as we call them.
Anyone using the room, prior to the conf room being given to the interns, would never close the door completely shut as the door had a problem. We were in middle of the discussion earlier and hence dint take note when Ruchi, thats the punjabi kudi, had banged it shut.
Since the conf room is in a far end, the network and signals are usually pretty weak.Also, we had recently moved into the new facility and were facing network issues on most days and the IT support team was working 24/7 to fix it. We were only couple of aisles away from our work station and hence not everyone was carrying there mobile phones. I dint. Mine was left to charge at my desk
2 of them had theirs and they tried calling but the reception was poor. So we wait for someone to pass by to ask for help. The conf room of course was sound proof. We banged on the other two sides of the false walls hoping people occupying the adjoining room would hear us. As it turns out there weren't anyone there that day. Weird huh!
Its 4:10 now and we are beginning to panic. We had asked the interns to not stand out in groups lest some manager spot them and take us to task. We, no, I sent them on a break. Finally a colleague walks by and we start gesticulating wildly and point to the door. He does know that the door had a problem so he tries opening it from the outside. After couple of attempts he ask one of us to try again from the inside.
Madame Ruchi, decides to test her muscle power and bingo, the door knob comes loose and breaks free. She must have pulled with all her might cause the impact had her stagger and fall back. Well she put us in the trouble first and now kicked us real deep in it.
We are aghast,stunned into silence one minute and in the next we all burst out laughing uncontrollably. The dude outside makes some action about getting help and runs away. We all get back to our chit chatting and teasing ,basically TP'ing. The dude is back with the security bhaiyya on duty and that champu must have came only to take a look. Clearly he dint get the keys along. So he barks into his walkie talkie and another one comes running with a bunch of keys.
Its 4:25 now and the entire staff starts slowly gathering around to witness the drama. we are like celebrities at Big Brother. We wave, fly kisses around, pose for the shutterbugs. After 10 more minutes , its evident the keys are of no help.
So they have to arrange for someone with a grill machine if not a proper locksmith. The office building was pretty new and at different levels work was still on. Our respective managers were freaking out on the loss of man hours and demanded we be rescued immediately. But oh boy! were we having fun in there with all that attention.
But there was a downside. I had taken a late lunch and guzzled about half litre of water , in fact I had carried the water bottle along and sipped all through the time we were there.And I just had to go to the washroom. And so did 2 more gals. From that point on it was no longer funny for me.
Its 4:50 almost and a rugged looking middle aged heavyset man come by with some equipments. They try unscrewing the whole lock out of its place and I don't remember why but they couldn't. So they drill holes at 4 corners and cut through.
We are finally rescued at 5:10 PM. And the heroes welcome we got once outside was unbelievable. Ruchi and I are more of the pranksters at work so we became the butt of most of the jokes that day. Just for kicks folks whistled so hard that people from across the bay heard all the commotion and further crowd us. I was almost in tears , no not the emotional drama queen ones, I couldn't hold on any more and remember just fumbling off to the restroom. Once I was back at my bay with my team I started laughing and the next 15 minutes I dint stop. I laughed so hard that tears rolled down my face prompting people to ask skeptically if i was indeed laughing.
It was 5:40 Pm and I had missed my bus back home (company transport) and the next one would be at 7:30 PM. The office was in a Tech park which is a little faraway from the city.
I had loads to do anyways. So I go back to the restroom, wash my face, go into the pantry,make myself a cup of hot chocolate, refill the water bottle and get back to my desk. Most of them had left for the day barring the ones who had their own transport. One of my team member shares a sandwich with me before leaving for the day. Asks if I need a drop to some common point. I decline and all falls quiet. Next 1 and half hour I had no clue how time flew by. The outlook pops a reminder about a con call at 7:30 that I was supposed to attend. And it was important.Fabulous!Icing on the cake.Just what I needed.
I had planned to leave early and take that call from home. The reminder was for 5 minutes before the call. I had to pack and leave in the next 5 minutes to make it to the 7:30 shuttle.If I missed that I would have to call a taxi service and they charge crazy as the Tech park was on the outskirts.
I call my manager, explain my predicament. He says he will dial me in on my mobile phone. Thats 2 minutes down
The next 3 minutes I am nothing short of a lightening. Packed up in a jiffy and ran to the lobby. None of the four lifts are at level 3 and I cant wait. So I dash to the fire exit stairways and ran as if my life depended on it.
Some stroke of luck that the fire exit opened directly to the parking lot where the shuttle was all set to leave.I had never taken that stairway before so it was a discovery. I hop onto the bus and about 15 people look at me as if they had seen a ghost. I was huffing and puffing and grunting and out of breath. The huge tote bag, the laptop, couple of documentations that I was juggling with must have made a funny sight indeed. I don't blame them.
I crashed onto a seat, far back of the bus , when my phone rang. I bundled all my stuff together, pulled them closer and took two deep breath before saying, " Hi everyone, Good evening......
In my head: "What the *%($%^ is good about this evening
End of story.