Saturday, February 28, 2009
One of my teammates is going onsite tomorrow for the first time.
Seeing him I was soooo reminded of how I was before my first onsite trip.
I almost saw my former self mirrored in him. It was nostalgia!
Generally for anyone in the Indian software industry, onsite chance is like a dream come true. After months of getting your Visa ready and being tagged as a ‘Travel Ready Resource’, after weeks of false alarms like “You may travel for so-and-so client next week”- finally you get the much awaited green signal - roughly 2 days before your travel date. Then everything is a flurry of activities.
Getting your tickets booked by the travel desk people, getting forex (and actually handling foreign currency for the first time!), giving treats and farewell emails and speeches, running from pillar to post for shopping anything and everything under the sun ranging from luggage-that-fits-into-overhead-cabins to sweets-that-my-onsite-lead-asked-to-bring , bugging mom to make all the podis and pickles on earth, frantic phone calls to anyone who has ever travelled abroad to enquire about “is it cold there?”,”do we get Indian stuff there?”
Your mind is in a jumble of last minute questions-did I take those printouts? Did I take a backup of my documents Did I surrender my mobile connection? Did I do this, did I do that…. Everything is one breathless blur!
And then comes the packing and weighing. Invariably it will be too heavy-then unpack and repack -Finally leaving behind half the things we had shopped!
Then voila! The Airport Debacle.
Friends and family all surround you and bid their au revoirs. Someone will invariably start sniffling while you are hovering between feeling excited about the whole thing and feeling nervous and worried about leaving familiar shores behind.
Luggage scanned, boarding passes in hand, standing in the never ending queue for Immigration check, security screening - And at last you step into the flight.
I always ask for the window seat-not because the view is great or something but because no one will disturb me to get up often ;-)
And I always pray that the person sitting next to me doesn’t:
2) Chatter non stop
3) Fall asleep on me
4) Stare sideways at every single action of mine
When at last the flight takes off after the preliminary safety precautions are announced and you see the city lights growing smaller and smaller, farther and farther away from you, when the cars and trees and roads have become tiny specks somewhere far down below, when you are lost in the clouds high above the world - it sinks in.
You are on your way! On your own!
Nobody is going to cajole you to eat dinner anymore, no one is going to tolerate your tantrums, no one is going to clean your bathroom or wash your clothes, no one is going to scold you to take medicine if your sick, no one is going to pay your bills for you, no one! Everything becomes your responsibility. It is up to you.
Fortunately or unfortunately you really are on your own!