Irritants @ Work – 2
Posted by AtPeace on November 12, 2005
It was during our technical training some 2 yrs ago that I got accustomed to the vagaries of human nature. Well, not all, but some.6 people almost living in a training room for 3 months, we were in a world of our own. Most times during our hands-on session/after office hours, the room used to be absolutely silent, except for the sounds of the keyboard, the occasional rustling of paper and the rare profanity (on discovering the pathetic coding error we’d have committed!) And so we led hard-working, peaceful lives until the plague set on us one day.
P had somehow found some songs that were shared on the network and we were obviously interested. But we didn’t have headphones then. In fact, we didn’t even have specific machines assigned to us at that time. The training room had enough machines and we used to settle at any machine we wanted. Anyway, without headphones, the information seemed pretty pointless and we were soon back to work.
P was relentless, however. As we were unsupervised most of the time and we had a huge room all to ourselves, he played the songs on the system speaker. Though his choice of songs did not exactly match the choice of the other 5 souls in the room, we didn’t quite mind, all of us exhibiting exceptional levels of tolerance.
Soon, however, there wasn’t much of a choice – P actually added a single song to his Winamp and played it endless times, over and over and over… Granted, the song was a good one (namma Karthik song ‘Nenjae thulli po‘ from ‘University’) but listening to the same song played non-stop, for hours at a stretch usually had each one of us wanting to throw the monitor on P’s head, sometime or the other. (I mean, just picturize yourself trying to concentrate on a particularly vague piece of code making an attempt to figure out what went wrong with it and the speaker blares ‘Kaadhal solli pooooo…‘) The scene usually ended with one of us begging/ requesting/ screaming at P to stop the music, or, at the least, change the song, depending on the foulness of our mood.
For the scene to end amicably thus, you need to have one thing in the vicinity. Well, not a ‘thing’, actually, I was referring to P. *sigh* There was an occasion when P left his Winamp to play the song endlessly and went away to attend a call on his cell phone. Totally engrossed in our world of assembly language and dumps, P’s exit went unobserved.
Fate, however, had sinister plans for us. Unnoticed, P’s system was automatically locked after a short while. Unaware, we continued working, trying hard to concentrate when we realised something.
The room was suddenly silent.
Absolute, pin-drop silence. A silence so divine we could have almost tasted it… And then it struck us – the song’s over!!! Even as we sat savouring the peacefulness of the moment, the speakers began blaring again. Dash it! Profanities tumbled around freely as 5 heads turned towards P.
Who was, of course, missing.
Profanities failed me. And the other 4 tortured souls.
Words might have failed him but A is a man of action. He sprang up from his chair and moved over to P’s monitor to exit Winamp when he discovered that the system was locked – much to his chagrin and to our horror. Someone sunk their head into their arms in despair and was patted consolingly by someone else.
‘Where the f*** is he?’ A asked and none of us had a clear answer. ‘Probably he has gone to attend a call…’ one of us theorized. ‘F***! His system is locked da… Does anyone know his password?’
Actually not. Karthik continued to sing ‘… oasai indri solli vittu pooooo‘.
That did it. A turned off the system and went back to his testing. We followed suit.
I tell you, silence is absolute bliss.
* * * * *
P does not listen to music on the system speaker now as he obviously values his life. But then, there’s no need for him to. He plays music on his headphones at 120 decibels and goes away. I can hear the songs two cubicles away. *sigh*
Thirundhave mateengala pa?
* * * * *
By all means, people, go ahead and play songs to your heart’s content. But unless you have been explicitly requested to, kindly refrain from acting like you have been entrusted with the responsibility of managing jukeboxes.
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