Monday, May 07, 2007

Sleepless in the city

It was unusually hot in the city that evening. He is usually sound asleep before he could actually finish his prayers, but not tonight. It was late, already past midnight. He couldn’t figure out if it is caffeine or the temperature that is keeping him up late that night. Caffeine has never been a problem for him so it must be the unseasonably warm conditions. Maybe not? His mind is clearly somewhere else.

A couple of days back, he had this daunting task at work which cleaned up a production problem caused by another core group at his work. He and a couple others in his team were told this is a priority so all the projects and other maintenance items he is working on will have to be dropped. If the group that caused this fallout didn’t seem to be overly concerned, why should his group care? Why should he care? It was a battle that is already lost so he didn’t bother objecting. It wasn't the right time to complain. Besides, he's supposed to be a team player and didn’t want to be known as defiant even though deep inside him, he is dying to refuse and say
heck no.

The phone kept ringing in 10-min intervals and emails kept flying around which made matters seem worse than they really were. He knows the data pretty well but he didn’t know where to start his impact analysis. His aptitude, little by little, surrendered to panic. In misery, he just stared at his computer screen.

Still, there we no results to show the member banks after four hours of working on the problem. The scope of the damage is huge too so they will have to wait a bit longer.

After two, three, four days, twenty five hours of working overtime, break-outs evident on his face and an excruciating neck pain, the clean up is done. The customers happy, so were his superiors. He and his teammates were just glad it was finally over. He told himself he'd rather be on this same side of the coin - be the clean up guy rather than the one who created the mess. He made a promise to be extra careful with his code from that day on. Eventually, he was given a night-on-the-town for his diligent work on the cleanup.

Since he couldn’t sleep, he got up the bed and decided to search for a couple of books in Amazon. He uses Amazon as a tool to search for great books and then he checks the
main library’s online catalog if they are also available there. He finds satisfaction in maximizing all the freebies his city offers and this includes the rich collection at the city library. He sent the request for each item so they can be picked up at the Main Library’s kiosk when they're ready. He felt good that he did something worthwhile rather than stare at the ceiling.

His eyes are finally getting heavy. Another morning is breaking.

(The photo above was taken inside San Francisco's Main Library located in the Civic Center area of the city.)

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