A week with work-woes and a movie

Have you ever felt the need to get away from work? That you’ve had enough of it and cannot take the same old boring work-routine for even one more day or hour?! I guess, many of us would’ve been parley to such thoughts several times – especially considering the typically stressful work-styles we follow. Last week was one such for me. The work-days-juggernaut was rolling along nicely and I was working on the usual tasks and going about the boring daily work-routine. There was a planned project change implemented on a Thursday and everything looked fine. That night at 2.35 AM I got a call on the mobile from the night-support team. There seemed to be some issue with the implemented code, due to which some files which had to be generated and sent to the downstream partner systems was empty. Within five minutes I was awake and logged in – trying to decipher what could’ve gone wrong. I figured it out soon enough – I had overlooked some accompanying changes which had to be done and the empty file was a result of this miss. 😦 Amidst the thoughts of all the music I had to face  on the morrow in office, I was trying to check if there was a quick fix solution to generate that night’s file. I did some fix on the QA environment and drew up plans with the support-team-lead that this problem would require an emergency fix to be implemented on the very next day, before the next day’s file would get generated. I promised them that I would get into office early and work on it as priority.

Daylight was already breaking over the horizon and I thought that it was futile to go back to bed then; I might as well get the cooking etc. done and get ready for work. Accordingly I went about the morning chores and was ready for work at 6 AM, an hour before my regular morning start-time. I coordinated with the early shift cab driver and was in office by 7 AM, before most of the other folks started coming in. The rest of the day went by in a blur – the fix wasn’t as easy as it had initially looked, I had totally missed analysing the code earlier and had to figure out the logic, carry out tests and ensure that it would work seamlessly with the other changes. Added to this was the time constraint – everything had to be done within a couple of hours, the change orders raised and all necessary approvals sought to put it out-of-cycle as an emergency fix.

Phew! Luckily everything worked out well and by the end of the day the changes were in, after taking some help from colleagues. I was pretty jittery that night as well and had couple of calls at around midnight with the support team to ensure that the fix indeed worked and the issue was resolved. As they say, all’s well that ends well! But this episode left me drained – mentally and physically. Probably this too was routine a couple of years back, working late hours on deliveries and overseeing last minute fixes by my team were part and parcel of what I did regularly. In fact I remember doing such releases even when I was pregnant! But now, somehow, I found it very very tiring and stressful; I took almost a week to get over the dreadful feeling and get back to my normal working style. For a couple of days after that, I really did not feel like working at all!

What followed was something rather atypical for me – I decided to take off on a work-day, mid-week and for no reason! I just didn’t feel like going into work and facing another routine work-day 😦 I called the hubby and asked told him that he needs to take leave the following day and we would go out – probably catch a movie or just chill doing something else. Poor guy, reacted like a cat caught in the headlights! 😀 But he did some juggling around with his meetings and work-stuff and obliged like a dutiful husband 😛 The next day I was up and about at the usual time – the plan was, we would finish all chores like everyday, drop off our son at school and go catch a movie at the matinee show. The little fella, clever that he is, was surprised to see me at home – normally I am off to work by the time he wakes up in the morning. He seemed confused – what day is it?, he asked. Is it Saturday? Why aren’t you at work? I won’t go to school! 😮 He was even more suspicious when he saw his dad in non-formal clothes! 😀 After side-stepping his tricky questions, we managed to drop him to school and went on our way to watch the movie Neerja.

Neerja is a biographical thriller about Neerja Bhanot, the brave air-hostess who laid down her life in her call of duty. Her efforts thwarted the hijacking attempt of the Pan AM flight in Karachi on 5th Sept 1986 – she prevented the flight from taking off by having the presence of mind to inform the pilots in time for them to flee the plane. Her heroism and calm, cool-headed handling of the dire situation resulted in 360 hostages being saved from the hijackers’ hold. Instead of trying to save herself, she chose to save the lives of hundreds of passengers, showing immense courage and strength of character. The film was motivational and an example of how ‘work is worship‘ for several people – like our brethren from the armed forces and others like Neerja.

I wasn’t too impressed by Sonam’s portrayal as Neerja – she seems more suited and at ease with roles like the one in Khoobsoorat; but the scene-stealer was definitely Shabana Azmi. The feelings of what a child’s loss means for a mother, couldn’t have been brought to life more poignantly by anyone else. She is outstanding, especially in the last scene and one cannot but leave the theatre with misty eyes and a lump in the throat!

After the movie, we grabbed some lunch and walked the shopping streets leisurely – doing more looking-into-windows than actual shopping; but happy to have the road to ourselves sans the crowds, thanks to it being a weekday. And just like that, the little get-away was over! 😦 Soon, it was time to go back – to be faithful to our line of duty, on the home-front and to get ready for the challenges of the work-day on the morrow. I felt much better the next day at office and am now back peering into the laptop screen and trying to tame/ slay the usual work-demons! These little, especially mid-week jaunts, do a world of good, I tell ya! 😀

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2 thoughts on “A week with work-woes and a movie

  1. Ah…just reading about your work demons made me feel stressed ! I have my fair share of work demons too, but they are occasional. That said- I 100% agree with your idea of week day bunk-office-and-get-away-with-spouse idea 🙂

    For the last 4 years, it has been our way of celebrating wedding Anniversary! Giving each other the gift of ‘time’. We take a day off , drop kids at school and just go out. Sometimes a hike, other times a movie..always followed by a good lunch and a leisurely stroll hand in hand 🙂
    Helps rejuvenate the relationship and mind too!

    Please take it up as a tradition to do every year ( or every quarter) Anu !

  2. Oh wow! An outing in the middle of the week! You never told me about it. 😛
    Work pressure is always a pain and having to work in the middle of the night is a different level altogether. Good that you a got some respite mid week. 🙂

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