Sunday, July 29, 2007

Acoustics of toiletry

I am a sucker for pretty faces and therefore, will accede to the demands made of me by one such regarding a new post.

In our Raheja towers office, the toilets have a strange feature. The ceiling above in every one of them is perforated, according to the principles of auditorium construction.

What kind of sick, twisted mind wants to test the acoustics of largely unattractive men performing at a urinal? Who would actually want to listen to the sounds which emanate therefrom, and want to make them aesthetically pleasing too? I hadn't noticed this until now and it revulsed me when I did. What the hell, thought I, and promptly forgot about it. But now that I do remember it, I want answers.

I think it's somebody in HR -- Human(?) Relations -- who slipped in this suggestion when the office was being built. Or maybe just a surreptitious change of the building plans. I'll bet this person is now working with something vitally important to the company, like business strategy or something. Yeah, that kind of thing, though tremendously yawn-inducing, has great importance in the growth of the company. I'm just saying this so those people who aren't in the corporate circle and are instead studying liberal arts or law or bee-keeping can understand(sorry about the cheap shot. Including you with liberal arts people was cruel, I agree. There are sociology people in there and they smoke a lot. I know how much you hate smoking.)

Speaking of business strategies, our company has one. It involves Microsoft Powerpoint slides. It also involves flying in men named O'Konek(before switching to a career in the communications industry, he was seen in the pilot episode of the failed series -- "O'Konek -- cowboy detective." It had exciting plot themes revolving around stolen cattle and ranch men who graze them lovingly, refuse to brand them and speak openly about *feelings*. Their feelings, not the cattles'.) and Muehlbauer to Bangalore to talk to the employees and all the employees spending a day at the Leela Palace, shoving and jostling and "Eh!"-ing each other at the serpentine lunch queue. In this meeting, so elaborate were the strategies shared(frequent usage of the proverbial phrase "We are the no.1" could be discerned) that our former director(now in some other capacity within the company) was seen nodding off while pretending to take notes in a book. Our unit head soon came to where this venerable German gentleman was sitting and whispered something in his ear. Startled awake, Herr Former-Director soon left the room, presumably looking for a bathroom with great acoustics.

Half an hour later, he came back into the room and all seemed well. However, he went up to our unit head, who was sitting on stage waiting for his turn to present something, and asked him something and then promptly left the room again. Maybe he hasn't found the toilet yet and this man misguided him on purpose to see the fun, whispered JK to me. It seemed very likely. And very funny if he actually did.

Speaking of work again, the atmosphere in our company sometimes makes me feel like I'm working at the CIA. You never know who is what kind of person, nobody trusts you enough to tell you anything and gradually, you learn the same distrust too. Recently, there was some event which caused some amount of brouhaha in the unit. I wasn't aware of this at all until one of my friends and colleagues said this to me:-
"I know something. Some major news. But I'm not supposed to tell you."

Naturally, this intrigued me a lot and I asked what it was.
"But I can't tell you!"
"Why not?"
"I was asked not to by the person who told me."

Now this last question from me may seem childish and silly bringing into the limelight the whole 'breaching of confidentiality and trust' issue. Bringing my flipped finger back to the task of typing, I will tell you that between friends, that's all bull. There's nothing wrong in telling your friends. Here, even if it's a pretty close friend, and even if the news is trivial, people say nothing. It's usually not anything that will change my life in a major way. Nothing that will make me give up everything and go and meditate in a windswept cave in Tibet. It's as though people get some sort of delirious pleasure in keeping the news all to themselves. You should see the way they act sometimes.
"Oh I know about that management update. I'll take the necessary steps about that. Don't worry!"
"Well what is it?"
"Nothing. Can't tell you."
"OK sod off."

I eventually did find out about that major news I mentioned earlier from other sources. From three other sources, actually, and one of them gave it out inadvertently. That was funny. I mentioned this to JK(Jayakrishna "We don't need no education" Limaye) and we laughed sinisterly at the system which worked so hard to keep us out but couldn't plug its own leaks.

All this is because of those toilets.


Harish said...

"O'Konek -- cowboy detective."

Idu chennaagide.

Malaveeka said...

Beekeeping is a noble profession, Oh Engineering-boy(?)-who-hasn't-made-out-in-22-years-of-his-pathetic-uncool-coding-existence.

Why you engineering pigs think you're above us is beyond me.

Stupid South Indian and parts of North Indian attitude.

We rock. Go liberal Arts, Law and Beekeeping!

Malaveeka said...

Su will kick your ass.


Malaveeka said...


ISn't carrle plural?

Along came Polly! said...

Sharma, you have my profoundestest sympathies.

one, you're in one of the world's most unimaginative professions.

two, you work in an office where you can hear other people pee.

three, well, actually, two is bad enough...

*shakes her head in utter disbelief of the situation*

Arjun Sharma said...


[Malaveeka]Like you're Cleopatra.

I haven't coded for all 22 years of my existence. I've only done that for the past one year. Get your facts right. And you're supposed to be a lawyer-in-waiting!

Stupid South Indian and parts of North Indian attitude? I don't like this regionalism. Your statement smacks of nepotism, nihilism and existentialism. Let me also throw in Marxism and tourism here.

We're not above you, we just get paid a little more at the beginning.

[Malaveeka]I'll get back to you about the plural thing.

[Suhasini]Unimaginative? What world you from? Did you read that article last week about how some of my more talented colleagues developed a poker game program and how clever it was? The world's most popular games were written by similarly unimaginative people. The most advanced applications were written by similar men who didn't have creative enough minds. Hell, you're reading this and commenting so nonchalantly about it because somewhere, some guy sat his butt down and thought "Boy, it would sure be cool if people could write whatever they wanted about their lives or their *feelings* or *love, actually* or whatever and other people could read it and say things and neither of them needed to be too inconvenienced about some of the little things like how it looked and stuff." Some kind, equally unimaginative man working for Blogger/Wordpress/LiveJournal/whichever-way-you-swing wrote good, mundane code which never crashes(atleast Blogger never does. How could it? It runs on Google servers. Oh, one more piece of evidence of a crunching lack of imagination among people in our industry:- Google. Damning, isn't it?), does whatever you ask it to for free and never complains.

When was the last time a lawyer ever dreamed up a smart and wildly popular law? (All right, I'll grant you the six basic freedoms under Article 19 vis-a-vis the Keshavananda Bharati case and the RTI act.)

I'm not being combative here. I'm just saying, it's a bit rich for a lawyer to call software engineers unimaginative. Now if a writer or a movie director had called me that, I would understand.

Like I said to Malaveeka before, we just earn a little more than you people in the beginning. You more than make it up later on by selling your souls. :) so you needn't feel jealous.

Oh I hope you don't take offense at not being able to kick my ass with a weak argument!

[Malaveeka]Have I gone too far? Is she going to go KD on me now? And did I use 'vis-a-vis' correctly there?

Harish said...

Calling software engineers unimaginative? How ridiculous! Arjun, you are right!
I am tempted to say, "O God, they know not what they speak. Please forgive them"

tangled said...

The perforation is to prevent reverberations and unseemly echoes, stupid.

Malaveeka said...

We earn 60k in the first month.

Keshvananda Bharati Case laid down that the basic features of the constitution cannot be amended.

It was under Art. 31C of the Constitution. Not Art. 19.

Get your facts right.

What cool thing did we come up with?

Well for one, freedom of expression.

Second, cyber laws and Copyright law under which your blog is protected.

Third. Under the IPC because I can't stone you.

If anyone is prejudiced, it's you. Every book you've read, every computer you've worked on and every company you work we have something to do with it.

And we're paid more than you.

Again. Get your facts right.

FYI. ILS Law College is one the top Law Colleges in the country.

And nepotism, nihilism and Marxism has nothing to do with what I said. In your pathetic attempt to be funny, you again failed. Go suck your thumb.

We don't sell our souls. You do. You sit in some remote country calico binding. If that's not selling of the soul, I don't know what is.

Malaveeka said...

@Harish: Yes. You are a man of collar.

Malaveeka said...

I think she might go beyond him.


We shall wait and watch. This ought to be fun.

Malaveeka said...

Calling lawyers unimaginnative is stupid. How else can you explain Mr. J?

Arjun Sharma said...

[Harish]Ade, loose-u, alva?

[Tangled]Prevent reverberations and unseemly echoes? So that the pleasant tinkly sounds can be heard very clearly?

[Malaveeka]You don't come up with freedom of expression. It just is. Like breathing or blinking. Idiot.

If there were no people to write code and stuff, we wouldn't need cyber laws. Two-nil to the unimaginative guys.

The IPC doesn't say you can't stone me. It says, if you stone me, you will be punished. Dimwit. (Arguing without knowing any facts at all is fun.)

Yes, you are paid more than some of us. I said 'in the beginning.' Read everything before getting all worked up.

Although I have actually done some calico binding(back in high school), it is now not part of my job description. Let me also hasten to assure you that in no way does it involve a Faustian exchange. If this was a joke, it was even worse than my nepotism, nihilism thing. We should remake the movie 'Punchline' and star in it, you and I.

We were taught that the six basic freedoms were defined under Article 19(a). This indicates a serious flaw in the Indian educational system, which is probably because the Indian legal system has something to do with it.

Thank you.

[Malaveeka]Yes, if you fight this hard over nothing, she might go all out. Klingon guns blazing and stuff. People seem to delight in starting fights and forcing other people to take sides unnecessarily.

I'm not complaining, though. All for the greater good, of course.

What's so imaginative about Ram Jethmalani? And I never said lawyers were unimaginative. She started it. I merely responded with an insinuation.

Anonymous said...

1. Of course we came up with it. Nothing is just there, dear Arjun. We formulated it and then codified it. Then passed a billion laws to clairy our point.

2. Without cyber laws, you guys would be sitting there pouring out geek code and some others would be stealing it. And then there would be some blogging about it. Which is where we come in and earn you some justce and money.

3. Indian Penal code was evolved along lines of social conduct. Therefor, within it is implied (unfortunately) that I can't stone you. As an addendum, punishment is a form of prohibition as explained by several boring Thinkers.

4. I mentioned several times we earn more than you from the start. .You read properly.

5. That wasn't a joke. It is a well known fact I can neither make nor take any jokes. The statement was an observation based on the million times I have talked to you.

6. Admit it. You need us(as lawyers).

7. Imagination is required to formulate the legislation and to interpret it. You wouldn't know, geek monkey.

8. I meant Sandy by the calico binding thing.

9. I'm not fighting over nothing. It is not the first time you're saying stuff like this. Usually I either ignore you and/or roll my eyes. So I said something this time.

10. First you're offensive and then you act surprised when people react. You tell me where the problem is.

11. All you do is complain or pine. FYI.


Anonymous said...

I think you meant Article 19. It has several sub clauses. Art. Also I think you meant 19(1)(a).

Don't blame the educational system for your faulty memory. :D


Harish said...

@Malaveeka: If you have tried to defend Suhasini here, I think you have failed. Just because lawyers are needed wherever there is money involved, in noway it can imply that software engineering is unimaginative. It doesn't require a genius to point the flaw in this argument. :)
Arjun, what do you say?

2 lawyers here haven't been able to puncture the arguments of an 'unimaginative' software engineer. Huh!
Arjun, you genius!

Anonymous said...

Harish: I think you've got argument wrong. That's not what I said.

I'm not trying to defend Su. She can do that adequately herself.

Please remember thatwe're not the only ones who do it for the money. So do you guys.

So your point was? I see nothing in particular to puncture, so to speak.


Harish said...

My point is we, software engineers, are not unimaginative when compared to lawyers.

Along came Polly! said...

As I am not being paid to make these arguments, I shall desist.

I rest my case.

Along came Polly! said...

P.S. Mals: Thanks honey! Girl solidarity and all that! But sometimes, it's just not worth it... the arguments, I mean...

Arjun Sharma said...

[Harish]Sumne koogadodu, ashte idella. Neev aaramagiri, Harish.

[Malaveeka et Suhasini]11-point rebuttal for a simple joke?

And calling software engineers the unimaginative people because of a light jab? You people really need to lighten/grow up.

"As I am not being paid to make these arguments, I shall desist."

Of course you shall.

In a post about toilet acoustics, girl solidarity makes its foray. What the hell?

Sandeep said...

I didn't notice I had missed this post altogether.

I read the post, as always very funny. And then I read the comments.
All I can say is that there isn't enough masturbation going on in here.

ps: I didn't sell my soul. I was just bored for a bit.

It's full-calico binding and I don't do it as a regular past time.


pugash said...

"I know something. Some major news. But I'm not supposed to tell you."

-sounds like somebody whom i have agreat admiration for (note the sarcasm) from a certain Op-App team :)