Well, I’ve my first day in the office down. It’s just gone 2105 IST and I’m shattered…
The alarm clock went off this morning at 0750 IST and my body’s reaction (to what was in essence a 0320 GMT alarm call) was exactly what I’d have expected if I was in the UK – "Sod off & go back to sleep". Anyways, I managed to pull myself out of my extremely comfortable 5* bed – I think I’ve got a new leader in the most comfortable mattress in the world poll – and make it to breakfast. Armed with my copy of the "Times of India" newspaper I had a pretty good breakfast… (although avoid French Toast if you’re ever offered!!). The Indian paper makes for interesting reading. It’s pretty much like any other National paper in the world, with stories from across the country. For example, over 60 policemen were killed in a terrorist attack near Hydrabad a few days ago, or the cost of sending kids to private school has risen by 120% in the last 5 years against a 30% rise in wages. But the sports pages?? All about Wimbledon!! There must be more exciting things going on in the world!!
So, a sorting out the Laundry & stuff and doing a wee bit of work before heading to grab the car with Paula to the office. The drive, which must be about 8 to 10 miles took about 40 minutes. Traffic is a bit chaotic and there don’t seem to be many hard or fast rules on the road, but with the drivers rarely getting above 40 MPH (or KMPH, which they use out here – the Imperial system failed miserably on that point) it’s actually pretty calm in my opinion. I saw nothing on the road which scared me in what either our driver or the other road users were doing. Yeah, a few took a chance, but I’d have fancied the same maneouver in similar circumstances. That’s not to say there aren’t some shocking pieces of driving or biking (or even walking), it just doesn’t appear as manic as people describe.
So, eventually, into the office, and my first challenge was to get onto the work network, as our Indian operations require some tech config to get the laptops set up for offshore working. Sacchin, the tech guy, must have taken 2 hours to get it sorted and it seemed like I was doing all the work!! I was the one who was phoning UK IT, phoning Indian IT, hacking Admin accounts & inputting IP addresses… but it got working in the end and if he hadn’t been directing, it wouldn’t have happened, so fair play Sacchin!!
Up & running, I started to get a few bits sorted. I started on my induction from Paula, did a walk of the floor, and met up with some of the Indian guys I’ve been working with for the past two years – but in some cases never met. It’s always good to put a face to a name. These guys are great banter, and genuinely nice people… always happy to help & always prepared to give advice.
The office is in a bit of an industrial park in West Malad, in Mumbai. I say a bit of, as out the window of (what is about to become) my office you can see a large building site which hasn’t had any work on it in what looks like a year to three; a yard which has a few squatters in it; and a creek known officially as Malad creek – unofficially something I couldn’t possibly repeat. The view isn’t spectacular, but it can hold the interest. Watching guys trying to fix a car, taxi / auto-rickshaws wizzing about or indded, wizzing on the side of the road (I kid yet not). Paula insists that the staff canteen isn’t worth bothering with… so she ordered in Dominos Pizza for lunch for her & I… something which I think I should avoid on a regular basis!!
Suitably tired, and full, the afternoon / early evening stint was too much for me. So out the door at 1930 IST and back to the hotel, where I discovered two choclate cakes in my room (?!) and I managed to learn my Hindi word for the day (Note, pronunciation is pretty must phonetic, so as you see it):
Thank You: Shukriyaa or Danyavaad (according to one Hotel staff member, Danyavaad is better… but they all use Shukriyaa when asked initially).
So, with my tea now finished, it’s time for bed. Take care & Namaste.