Aug 20, 2016

Can the Twain Meet?

This is the question author Robert Tomson attempts to answer in his short anthology Stories of Work, Life & the Balance in Between.

There is the impressive B-school degree and then there is reality - of life and corporate world. The author has tried to bring out in his stories, the resulting chasm - of having to eat a humble pie, of personal casualties, of being isolated - all borne out of certain expectations.  Through a mix of profound and witty stories, evidently inspired by personal experiences (at least a few of them), the author also attempts to drive home a point or two.
The opening story, “What I Learned From my First Job” sets the right tone for the book by emphasizing on one of the most important virtues in the corporate world today. The subsequent one titled “Time for Work Life Balance” brings out the consequence of tilting the balance. The best way to succeed is sometimes not through hard work but smart work (read moves) as is seen in “The Interview”. On the other hand, one might find the story on limited dimensions a tad dry because by now one has happily got used to a twist-in- the-tale or witty flavor! However, for the major part of it, the anthology sustains the reader’s interest, be it a seasoned professional or a novice.

Generally, a problem encountered with an anthology of such sort is predictability and monotony after a few chapters. However, this one clearly steers clear of such a thing maybe because the author stops at the right point. Economically priced even for an e-book, pick this one up for a short, snappy and interesting read. Familiar jargons and terms do creep in and there are new ones like John-ism! Curious to know what it means? Read the book to find out!!

Feb 28, 2010

When Orbits Go Awry

The New Year rang in with revelry and a planetary bang – mercurial effect am told. For an occasional glancer at the astro columns, terms like mercury retrograde shouldn’t be very unfamiliar. But whoever wanted it at the start and as if an eclipse was not enough to blind fold the universe (ok, parts of it) for some time. While the eclipse lasted a bit, the mercurial affect lasted a tad longer. The planet being associated with communication, every probable technical glitch and snafus could be expected to be their best expected at this time!
While technically, ok scientifically, no planet can go in a reverse motion, and it's more of an illusionary effect, here I was, gripped in its shadow.

The very weekend while relaxing with a book, I heard a loud thud. I looked around for source of noise and finally dismissed as some loud firecracker in the common area of the apartment. It wasn’t unreasonable to attribute the source of the noise to six floors below – the acoustics of the apartment complex being such that the excitement over mini badminton or cricket matches weren’t missed.

The real answer to this however, I got the next morning when to my horror the geyser in the bathroom had slid a good half way through down the wall. There it lay, hanging precariously anchored by the electric chord on one side and the water pipe on the other. This was followed by frantic running around and desperate phone calls and pleads. For the next three days getting in without fearing a head injury was impossible.
In another part of the world, my dear ones had to endure three trips to the airport before they could get lucky enough to be issued a boarding pass. Despite reaching hours in advance, by the time it was their turn in the queue, the aircraft was full!

Missed calls, dog bites, false alarms, burnt food, haywire elevators and difficult client meets ensured that Mercury in its retrograde had its most fruitful stay.

Three difficult weeks later…
The geyser is up and (hot water) running and the elevator at work ensures that I reach well in advance for the early morning client call. The interesting ringer is soon replaced by an irate voice of a normally well-behaved client. The voice at the other end is demanding an explanation for no periods at the end of the sentence. Instead of explaining the rule of grammar from the trusted style guide, I’m simply staring beyond the window and looking at the sky, for an answer. What hit me now… flying saucer from Mars??