Monday, December 18, 2006
Finally we shifted to our new office premises, a brown colored, very simple yet elegant structure in the extreme outskirts of Shanghai city. A few more steps, you would reach the outer ring road, further more steps would take you to neighbouring town, crossing of which would lead you to Pacific Ocean. Red-carpets, bouquet, christmas tree, the CEO and few pretty women welcomed our new beginning. Just for sake of blabbering, with a wide smile, I uttered "Nice buildings" to the CEO. An impressive German ThyssenKrupp, carried us to 6th floor. Another pretty watchwoman greeted us with her nice smile, the work area was just a door away. An array of beautiful green/blue colored cublicles welcomed us, with Chinese/English name plates affixed. We found all our Chinese team members cubicles, but ours was still not to be seen. Xueli signalled me from his cubicle, his index finger pointing towards the left and I was more excited by the direction it pointed to, for it was very close to window and was very well lit. But to my dismay, again none of our names were found. I finally headed towards Xueli's seat asking whereabouts of our cubicles. With a wry smile, he said "Go into that room".
"The room marked gas???" I asked surprisingly and followed the direction which his index finger pointed.
The entrance to the room has an a board written "GAS" with the Chinese translation too. Next to that is a red warning lamp!!! My enthusiasm shattered like a wine glass as I entered the room, which resemebled "about to demolish" old taluk government office, back in my hometown. The only two differences which I could spot were, the files were replaced by computers and air conditioners were in place of fans. There are locked drawers with no knowledge about their keys, there are drawers which if operated carelessly can fracture your bones, there are shelves for jacket with no provision for hanging them and finally there are two huge air cyclinders, the pressure guage of one is pointing to 2.5 and another to 0 on a scale of 5 which may consume us anytime!!! Cubicles...err...tables are pretty much like, as already mentioned, those in taluk offices. The wires run so profusely and in such a perplexed manner around the tables that a meticulous untangling of the leg is needed everytime you leave the seat to prevent yourself from a fatal fall.
I can accept such a partiality under two conditions, either there is a shortage of cubicles or we are the maltreated Clients working as labourers at Customer place. But this is a goddamn gigantic eleven floor concrete structure housing a sports center, swimming pool, cafeteria and other luxuries, its just short of five cubicles for we Indians here. And as said before, we are not the clients working till retirement on a maintenance project. We are here developing a combined IP, with equal rights on the product.
Now I trust the lines my friend had told a couple of years ago: Dont cry for what you dont have, be satisfied with what you have. I'm only hoping these gas cylinders wont ooze out any poison or worse still explode. Pray for our life people!!!