Work Day Blues

I have been having a severe case of Monday blues, and not just today. I feel like I have been stuck with this since a long time. You know there are days when you just feel like blah at work, but those days have been pretty regular. I am honestly a little embarrassed to share how I feel about work days (and dread if any office folks happen to read it), but I have decided to go ahead anyway:

  1. Just for context – I like the work that I do and I am happy with the profile/domain etc that I work. Throughout my working lifecycle, I have always worked in Consulting, so all my points are based on that experience only.
  2. I am not a fan of most things a typical workday, especially for consultants like me, holds:
    • I dislike the fact that we don’t have a strong sense of belonging with our team or office junta. We usually work in different teams across the organization depending on the project we are on and, therefore, its difficult to forge genuine relationships. Add to this the fact that I usually don’t look forward to the social interactions that are specifically put to make the team interact, because those seem very surface level. I then get to observe how these dynamics work in my client offices – a non-consulting or what we call, an “industry” environment – and I see that people have groups they hang out with, people they hate, office politics etc. very clearly defined. Not saying whether its a good or bad thing, but it definitely provides them with some sort of sense of belonging. Weirdly enough, I have made some genuine friends whom I know from work, something I never expected to happen but it did.
    • Thing that I hate the most is the unsustainable working style – consultants usually are not just chasing a single KPI, or business objective, but rather responsible for either delivering a particular assignment or crafting the strategy for it CLUBBED WITH any additional department level responsibilities. Its not about the actual amount of hours that it may take (although that is the bigger pain point), but about the work expectations that you are expected to meet/exceed (not these terminologies again!) to “grow up the ladder” (not again!).
    • I will obviously feel a whole lot better about all the issues I raised, if I knew that I need to do it only for a fixed number of hours at a fixed time (4 days a week instead of 5 would be a nice touch, but let’s not go there).
  3. I am seeing a lot of trendy “toxic work culture” related terms thrown around these days, and I want to call them out for the kind of BS they promote. There are literally two extremes – quiet quitting and hustle harder and I hate both of them fervently. If you don’t know what they are, you are lucky as hell, but please Google them to understand what I am saying. 😀 Well, for quiet quitting, I honestly don’t know much, except that I hate the term itself. It means people who do the bare minimum at a job to make it work. How is this “quitting” at all? Like, at all? You are doing something out of a need (for yourself as well as the org), how can this be termed as quitting? Also, this glorification BS of “you need to love your job” really needs to stop. Not everyone is privileged enough to have that, and not everyone has the capacity to hunt for what YOU think is the right want. So, f*ck this glorification really. The other term, hustle, is downright annoying and I hate the kind of popularity this term is garnering these days. This is basically people who say that unless you want to fail in life, you need to work an unhealthy and ungodly no. of hours and do all sorts of things that hamper your lifestyle to make yourself succeed. This is the most bullshit concept that I find difficult to digest. Please understand that I am not saying that working extra hours is a bad thing always. There can be two scenarios for it – 1) you are passionate about something and are putting in your blood and sweat into it, 2) you are made to work like this because of any objectives you may or may not care about. The first one is a dream many want, but if you are shoving your dream down to other people’s throats and also giving lectures about how its necessary to succeed, then you are just promoting an unhealthy working style. To some people, their job may just be a means to make money and be compensated accordingly. If somebody wanted to hustle harder, they simply would, even without all these motivational gurus, who really seem to be on crack, telling them to do so.
  4. I was quite bored and done with working when I started this post, but I think its important I call out the goods in my own job too –
    • We mostly work from client offices rather than our own, so a lot of exposure.
    • And a lot of travel opportunities
    • Best thing I like: When we are not working from the client offices, we get to work from home. This is not something just due to the pandemic, but has always been the case for consulting folks

This was quite an emotional writing for me. Therefore, it may seem a bit incoherent. If you came till hear, I would love to hear your thoughts. Also, feel free to correct me on anything you find not sitting too well. 🙂

If you liked this, check out more of my latest posts:

Life of Srish has now moved to lifeofsrish.com!

Took advantage of the long weekend to make this move and I cannot wait to do better things with it. However, the main reason I took this plunge was because I wanted more storage space, but turns out the promised storage space was inclusive of the space I have already used on WordPress.com. 😛 Oh, well. Some suggestions from all of you are welcome on this topic!

In case you are still not subscribed to my blog yet, here you go, its all the more legit now 🙂 : https://lifeofsrish.com/

Update

I have been MIA from here for far too long. There was a reason for not writing because I was planning to move the blog to a custom domain and inertia took the better of me. I genuinely missed writing here but it became that deadlock situation where I had to move domains first to start posting regularly and I wasn’t taking a start on the move per se.

However, more recently, something happened which I wanted to update in this space. We lost Rahul’s dad on 24th June. He was suffering from Amyloidosis. An incurable disease that may happen in kidney transplant patients. He was diagnosed with it somewhere around Sep’20. He basically got kidney transplant done around 14 years ago and regularly used to visit his doctor from Surat to Bombay every 3-4 months since then. However, ever since the pandemic, he had stopped doing that but he started observing some things about his body which eventually led to the diagnosis. Things only went downhill from there health wise. However, he had a great zeal to live. While all the doctors we consulted had made it clear that there’s no cure, he was adamant to keep going to his Bombay doctor to get whatever best treatment he can get. His doctor finally started Chemo with the intent that it would improve his health to some extent, but after the first session itself, he got extremely weak and struggled very badly. However, he was still pretty certain that it would take him 6 months to get back at his feet (quite literally, as he was unable to walk since past few months). However, he lost consciousness on Monday, 20th June, maybe it was a cardiac arrest, cannot say for sure. He was put on ventilator and gained back consciousness. Rahul and I were back in Delhi at that time but immediately flew back. He was conscious and aware of everything when we met him in the ICU on Monday night upon reaching. He was fully aware until Tuesday. Then, multiple surgeries and cardiac arrests (yes, multiple arrests) ongoing, he started losing consciousness since Wednesday and we lost him Friday morning, 24th June, 2.45 AM.

Rahul and I used to stay outside the ICU at night for those 4 days (his mom and sister used to stay during the day). On Thursday night, Rahul had asked me to put up an alarm of 2.15 AM so that we go inside the ICU to check on Papa. I found this surprising for 2 reasons – 1) Rahul had almost stopped going inside the ICU since Wednesday as he was scared to look at Papa in that condition, 2) i don’t know why he specifically said 2.15 AM. Even before the alarm could ring, doctors came out to call Rahul inside around 2.10 AM. I was asleep at that time, but woke up due to the startling beeps from the ICU. I rushed inside to see Rahul there and the doctors were trying mandatory CPR at that time saying that we are almost sure that we have lost him. The mandatory CPR was done until 2.40 AM or so and that’s when they declared.

Those 4 nights in the hospital were such an experience that I honestly hope to God nobody has to go through. I even thought of blogging it on one of those nights but just didn’t happen. I have never stayed in a hospital for such a critical, life-altering thing and being in the ICU ward just makes it even difficult to decipher.

Also, I wanted to mention – I didn’t make a post about my tauji (father’s brother) whom we lost to COVID during the delta wave. It was a conscious decision because I didn’t feel like it but I realized it would have been good to mention proper closure since I wrote a bit about it here and here . He was an extremely innocent man, the kinds who inherently try to do good for anyone and everyone but he was never very talkative and had become very difficult to talk to ever since he lost his wife (who passed away at 62). We used to have very less one on one conversations but he was a very warm man, his oxygen actually dropped suddenly, got hospitalized and the next day he was no more. Just a day before or so, he had actually called me up to check on me and my mom since we were also suffering from COVID. I am so glad he did.

Even with Rahul’s dad, I didn’t have a huge one on one relationship, and, in fact, just the other day, I was telling my MIL that when she had asked me to try convincing him on something that he was not agreeing to, I so didn’t want to do it because it had led to a huge fight and I didn’t want to get into that with him, since I didn’t have a huge camaraderie. While its okay to occasionally fight with someone whom you talk and share a great bond with, in this case, it just hurts because even at the time of the fight, I had this in my mind that he is so ill and I shouldn’t be pursuing this.

Anyhow, I want to end this post by recalling good things about him. One is that even though he considered taking care of himself the most important thing to him, he loved having people over from all spheres of life and showing them a good time when he was not ill. The other is the fact that he was a man of science and tried to reason everything logically and if a logical need arose for a known one, he tried helping as much as he could.

I hope he rests in peace wherever he is.

I have lost some very close people in these past couple of years and I hope they are all in a better place.

Also, people most attached get the strength to deal with the loss.

Another gratitude post

I don’t remember what exactly but yesterday few days back I was seeing someone’s wedding reel on Instagram. Something I enjoy a lot, any kind of wedding planning content or seeing the festivities in action is fun for me. That day, though, I felt a tinge of jealousy on seeing the people in the video look so carefree. As I have mentioned in my wedding related posts here, I was tensed on my wedding days & for what stupid reasons! We had planned a wedding together in the mountains, which itself is quite a feat & to think our parents & siblings were so supportive & helpful. To top that, I hold my friends very close to my heart who are always there and happy for you. I am really judging myself for being tensed at the time!

However, at that very moment, I got struck with a very valuable thought. How people talk about marriage being the thing you should be excited for more than the wedding. And I realized, just how happy and carefree I feel in the routine after my marriage – everything about it – all the goods & bads in daily life. I have written on similar lines here. It is truly a blessing and I feel anxious putting it out here in as many words. I feel a little conscious while writing about personal stuff always even if I its really basic things. 😀 However, I just wanted to put it out here. I am grateful for this, immensely.

While typing this post out, I thought of one more thing. I was reading this post & this one yesterday and today I saw an uplifting sort of social media message on ‘how your life is happening right now, make the most of it’ and it made me realize just how important it is for anyone to make the most of their daily life so that they feel happy in what it is right now. Whether it comes naturally or you have to make an effort for it, there’s no better way to be, it seems. It’s a beautiful thing to observe that many of us are striving for it, irrespective of something that didn’t go as per your expectations.

Things about Rahul I never want to forget #3

Disclaimer: I have copied the idea for this series from Haathi Time (who has now made her blog private) and I have taken permission from her to use the same title as hers. This series is about day-to-day things that my husband ends up doing which turn out profound for me and I would recall them here.

For previous posts in this series, go here & here.

This is a very recent incident. Rahul was job searching the past few months & while he was fairly confident of converting interview calls, he was not getting that many calls. Given the past record, even I was fairly certain of him converting one quickly. I don’t know what was wrong at that point but despite converting most of the interviews he got, he didn’t end up getting an offer. Either the position got closed or got filled internally or something made it not happen.

In the midst of all this, I got a call from Google. I wasn’t job hunting but I got a call from them. Of course, I was happy to get this chance but I wasn’t overtly excited. You know how it is, right? When a close one (in this case, life partner) is trying for something and you get a chance at it first? You are not able to fully enjoy the experience.

Anyhow, my first interview didn’t go all that great and Rahul was pretty concerned as he was excited about this opportunity way too much. Any of us getting into Google was a good deal. We were just talking waiting for results and expecting it to be a no since the interview didn’t go well. I casually mentioned that it would probably not be as sad if I was rejected but I referred him and he got in. Even at that point, when he was struggling to get interview calls, he said this – “nahi, tab bhi sad to lgega ki crack nai hua”. Basically he meant that it would still make him pretty sad that I couldn’t crack it. I guess what I am trying to say is this – despite all the times I got irritated with him for not being even a little insecure romantically (yes, you can judge me but I know you have been there too 🙂 ), its just who he is. He is the kind of uplifting partner who wants to see you grow as a person, be it personally or professionally. To be honest, I just considered it a very regular trait in him until a long time, which ideally should be the case. It should be a regular thing that partners uplift each other & enable growth, but its not actually the case. I see so many cases of well-educated men not being able to be this for their partners, that I have nothing but gratitude for the good fortune that I have.

P.S.: In case you were wondering, I didn’t get the job but I referred Rahul for interview to the headhunters and he is joining Google this month. 🙂

My Book Club in Ljubljana | Blogmas 7

The other day, I was telling Rahul about the book club that I had joined in Ljubljana and it struck me immediately that how one of a kind experience it was, you will know why as you read along. While talking to him, I opened my drafts in WordPress and noted it down as a post I had to do.

As I always do with personal stories, I am going to explain a lot of details, whether you get bored or not. I’ll try to keep it interesting.

So, I had moved to Ljubljana for work and before that I was living in Berlin with few of my closest friends (including Rahul). Living in a new city with your closest friends who are preparing for certain goals (in this case, internships, jobs etc etc) means that you will not feel you are in a new city, but rather get all the more comfortable in your comfort zone, a place that will very quickly start feeling like home. This also means that we hardly ever tried to make any new friends, or go out with new people.

And then came my move to Ljubljana. I never considered even for a fleeting moment that my lifestyle is going to change drastically. I will not have people I know and can fall back on with me. It just didn’t strike me as a move. It was exactly like this – I sat in a bus from Berlin to Ljubljana. I land in Ljubljana and realize I don’t know anyone here. This is exactly what happened. I got so overwhelmed with being alone at that time point that I was super emotional even while house hunting. I could cry at the drop of a hat. This one time I was house hunting and I took a bus and I started crying. A lady walked up to me in the bus and consoled me. I still remember that cold, wintry bus ride perfectly well.

Then, as luck would have it, Rahul also moved to Ljubljana due to work. I again got into my comfort zone. Both of us sort of stopped making efforts to make more friends. This is extra bad because I met some really lovely people at work back then. I was working in a startup and most of the people were my age and a really fun bunch. We had some good night outs together but it was pretty limited.

Eventually, Rahul had to move to another city then and I was on my own again. I was at my worst at that time if I consider a range of couple of years here and there (yes, this is a cue that I have seen worse form of depression). I was in a super pathetic state and like I mentioned, some of my co-workers were amazing. A boss of mine, who is one of the kindest women I have met, was constantly worried for me. At this point, I was feeling super homesick and I was absolutely not making the most of enjoying your solitude in an all new country/city/continent. Something that would seem like a dream to most was turning out to be a nightmare. I was certain of one thing though, I need to come out stronger out of this and, therefore, I am not going to rush back to India until I am supposed to.

This is when I saw a notification of a book club being started on Facebook and I just decided to join it. To give another chance to meet more people. I managed to attend only one of the meets as I was supposed to travel back to India after that but I am so glad I gave it a go. There are so many reasons for that.

First of all, it was an intimate group so it felt very cosy and, you know, not like a formal event.

Secondly, the members I met were all from such different spheres of life. Usually the people you hang out with are either known to you due to college, job or something similar, so you kind of relate to their lives. But this was a super diverse group. Funnily, one of the Portuguese girls worked in Zomato Portugal!!! What are the chances! To find a Portuguese in a book club who works in an Indian startup!

Lastly, the best thing of this meet was the place it was held. One of the members were hosting it in their home and it was bang in the middle of the old city centre! Can you imagine? A house, almost like a castle, in a European mediaeval sort of setting. I wish I had pictures. Their house had typical castle stairs, kitchen – everything. I actually got a little scared while walking up the stairs, the lighting was also pretty dim, modern but dim, to create an effect. Once inside, it was all modern appliances and everything, but still the lighting was dim to create that vintage chic mood. It was so different. I doubt I am ever going to attend a book meet, or any meet really, like this. 🙂

So, now you know, the book club meet was so different, not because of it being a book club meet, but so much more. I honestly wish I can visit that house once again, with Rahul this time.