Sitting here, in my new office, on my first day – no laptop assigned to me yet, no access card, no desk – in short, no nothing. Met some of my “team to be”...have a team lunch thing as well, in a while, to meet the rest of them all.
“And in the dangling conversation.. and the superficial smiles”
Paul Simon knew what he was talking about, for sure. Though, in all fairness I must admit that this is expected. In all offices, the first few days, for the new employees are generally stilted, and fraught with tension.
“Will I fit in?” “Will they like me?” “I hope I’m doing the right thing” “I wonder whose head I stepped on, to bag this job – unfortunate, but bound to be true”.. and so forth.
I was experiencing deja-vu actually.. laughing at myself, as I was walking down the different cubes, introducing myself to different people. How often in the last 5 years, in my previous company, have I seen people going around doing the same, and then smiled politely and forgotten him/her in an instant as soon as they passed?
I’m currently placed outside the team facility - remember, no access card? – and its all quiet.. so very quiet. Each time the door opens, I hear snatches of conversation and laughter, till the door closes again, and I’m left with good ole me. It's a lonely feeling.
A wave of nostalgia hits me, a veritable tsunami. Nostalgia for my old office, where I was a “dada”, untouchable, un-putdown-able. Walking around hands in pockets, whistling any tune that came to my mind, me knowing everyone, and everyone knowing me. I know I got away with a lot of stuff that others couldn’t dream of saying or doing.. simply because of the bonds I had forged over time.
I’m remembering the times in the cafeteria, drinking innumerable cups of coffee, the wind in our hair, the papad flying across, end to end. Friends telling me, patiently "Sri, coffee khatam kar" as I would get engrossed in conversation, and the coffee would grow ice cold in the cup. I miss the Dumb Charades with F. and S. guessing phrases no other person could think of.
“I tot I taw a puddy tat a teeping up on me”
Shouting out loudly in laughter with friends.. as R. would put it “gir gir ke haasna” .. all the others would turn to look at us and grin at our craziness. My heart to heart talks with S., the quiet one of our group, who I always look to for confirmation on things that matter. And beating M. with a shoe, when he bugged me too much.. which was really very often.. on the Delhi Calcutta divide.
Maybe that will happen here.. maybe not. Only time will tell. Till then, I’l maintain a casual pose, stick one hand in my pocket and cross my fingers.