September 10, 2006

Satyam: Cyberspace

After two and a half months, the powers that be at Satyam decided that I should undergo training in Hyderabad, before being shipped off to Bangalore. Thus I made my way to Satyam Cyberspace, an office located in Hitec City in the heart of Cyberabad! Here is a brief timeline of my first day at work:

10:00 am - Arrive at workplace.
10:15 am - My reporting manager (boss) gave me detailed instructions to locate the offices of my unit (Consulting and Enterprise Solutions). Following his advice I reached a door with a sign taped on it - "Use other door".
10:20 am - Reporting manager tells me to wait in front of the door. Contact person will come to meet me.
10:50 am - No one has come to meet me.
11:05 am - Stumble upon alternate entrance. I ask for the whereabouts of the contact person I am supposed to meet. One helpful Satyamite responds "He is out for lunch. Come back in a few hours".
1:30 pm - Return to office after a refreshing buffet meal at the cafeteria. I ask for the whereabouts of the contact person I am supposed to meet. One helpful Satyamite responds "He is out for lunch. Come back in a few hours".
4:00 pm - Return to office after a refreshing sleep in the sofa located in front of the women's washroom. I ask for the whereabouts of the contact person I am supposed to meet. One helpful Satyamite responds "I'll let him know you are here". I find an empty workstation and sit in front of it.
6:00 pm - Contact person arrives and informs me that the training session has been postponed for two weeks as an empty conference room in which to give the lessons was not available during this period. I will have to train myself until that time.
6:30 pm - Leave office.

For the following two weeks I spent my time going over documentation related to Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) and the particular software I would be working with (Agile PLM).

One fine Tuesday morning, I was strolling down the street looking for an auto rickshaw to take to work. Suddenly, an unidentified flying object deposited its droppings on my shoulder. Due to the harsh climate, my excrement detection and avoidance system was malfunctioning. Without adequate warning, I was unable to react to the incoming aerial bombardment. My shirt was left with a greenish stain resembling the gravy of the mint alu (potato) found in the Satyam cafeteria lunch buffet. I had to quickly return to my abode and change garments, before continuing on my journey. Apparently, this auspicious event is a sign of good luck in several cultures.

September 01, 2006

An Important Lesson

A French Canadian intern was confused as to why Indians used water rather than toilet paper to cleanse their cheeks and the chasm between. An intern of Punjabi descent recounted his father's explanation for this cultural phenomenon: "When someone drops some food on a table, wiping it with a paper towel is a quick fix. But to really clean the mess, washing it with water is a much more effective solution."

A Cautionary Tale

Having vacated the living room, I now share a room with a Korean guy. The other Korean chap who used to live in this room departed for greener pastures with fewer mosquitoes. My roommate has managed to befriend a fellow who is both an university student and rickshaw driver rolled into one. He also has a brother with long hair who rides a scooter. The dynamic duo invited him to their sister's wedding, and even gave him an auto ride to the wedding hall.

My flatmate from Dubai is suspicious of these individuals. He told us a cautionary tale of an intern who was once befriended by an Indian on the street. Together they went to a few clubs and parties and had a thoroughly enjoyable time. One day the Indian friend approached the intern in desperate need for money. He needed to borrow two thousand rupees immediately. He showed the intern his ring, convinced him that it was worth a fortune, and gave it to him as collateral in exchange for the money and left, never to be seen again. The next day the intern discovered his cell phone was missing and further investigation revealed that identical rings could be purchased from local street vendors for a pittance.

Rd No 3

My flat consists of two levels. The lower level consists of a spacious courtyard with adjacent rooms on two sides in an L shape. The I part of the L contains the kitchen, large bathroom, and the living room. The _ part of the L contains two bedrooms and a smaller bathroom. 2 guys live in each of these rooms. Until a fortnight ago, there were 5 men in the flat so I stayed in the living room. Now I have moved in to an actual bedroom. All ceilings on this level are covered in cobwebs, including the kitchen. The bathrooms are filthy and contain many indescribable wonders. The large bathroom contains an Indian style (crouch and relax) toilet. The smaller one has a Western style (sit and concentrate) toilet that was recently outfitted with a seat due to the generosity of the landlord. The flushing mechanism is not fully operational so buckets of water in conjunction with a bum shower (a gun shaped mini shower used to clean the rear) are utilised as an alternative method of waste disposal. The upper level consists of only one room, where two girls reside. It has no cobwebs. The bathroom within it is relatively sanitary, but I am forbidden from using it.