Things about VC that I never want to forget #9

Things about VC that I never want to forget #9
VC is the guy who gets sent home (from work)

It was noon and I was neck-deep in a review yesterday, racing against time to meet a deadline, when I heard the main door click open, unexpectedly. I could tell it was being opened form the outside, and I was on the verge of screaming for help, convinced that someone had broken in.

Except, I had to stifle the screech mid-way. Because that someone was VC.

What? It is really that rare to have VC at home, so do you blame me? My jaw drops on the odd day that he calls me at 7 to check if there’s anything I need for him to pick up on his way home.

“Home? Already?” I invariably ask. And he is never amused.

I don’t remember the last time I was sent home from mid-day, from somewhere I ought to be. College maybe? Mostly for unfinished assignments, jeans that were too tight, or for displaying my overt disinterest in everything the professor had to say. Yeah, didn’t we only ever get sent home when we did something wrong?

Yesterday VC got sent home. From work. For…get this…Working. Too. Hard.

But that is not new. He has always been the workhorse. Overly determined, he can go on and on for days on end with his nose stuck to the grinding stone. And I have always marveled at his ability to zone it all out, and keep going when the going gets tough. For someone like me, who is quick to breakdown, crib and rant at having the slightest odd-ball come my way, submitting to self-doubt, inefficiency and plain old disinterest, I’ve always been slightly intrigued by never seeing VC in that situation.

And the last 4-5 weeks have been no different, if not just a little harder. As if all the travel, proposals, pitch presentations, and work issues were’t enough, you can also add early morning sinus attacks, sleep deprivation and a wife who lovingly passed on her flu virus to the diverse mix of elements that is VCs life at the moment.

The flip side, is that I have long surrendered myself to the life of the workaholic’s wife. Which means knowing very well that one must always add a couple of hours to the estimated time of arrival from work. It means confidently scheduling all spring cleaning and other dust-ridden and grimy chores for the weekend because for 3 out of 4 weekends in a month one can be sure that the dust-allergy-prone husband will be safely nestled at work, far from home. It also means managing to lug heavy grocery bags all by yourself, so much so that on the odd occasion the husband is around to help, you feel strange to walk up the stairs flapping your arms freely. It means making the most of short-bursts of time that we do get together. It means resorting to writing emails, when you need to discuss things that cannot be pushed until you have the luxury of face to face conversation. It means learning to treat your weekends preciously.

Weird as it might sound, I don’t grudge any of this. Largely because I see in VC something I have never seen in myself: complete and utter joy in the work he does. I see the effortless long hours, the extension of working at home, putting in weekends even when nobody asks him to, as a natural extension of really loving what he does. Something I never had the fortune of experiencing.

So to have him walk in mid-day, sent home, with the face of a child reprimanded for working hard was a bit odd. But when an opportunity like that presents itself, we make the most of it. A hot lunch, together, at the table; followed by a nap; followed by me sending him grocery shopping, a light dinner to keep from slaving in the kitchen, so we could bring out the beer have ample time to catch up instead.

Yeah, we only get sent home for doing something wrong, and maybe working too hard is not always right. It’s good that he works with people who can recognise it on his behalf, because he is so stupidly immersed in his proposals, estimates, concalls and KRAs that 9 out of 10 times he will miss all the signs himself. It’s good that they sent him home. And it’s good that he got the day off, even if he did answer some mails and take some calls from bed.

I suppose everybody reaches that tipping point. Even the worst workaholics do, and it’s good that he caught his in time. A break was in order, I think, lest he dropped another gem by way of asking me to “set up a meeting with the dentist”, “get his pants edited“, or hand him “a copy of the blanket“.

(Yes, these have all really happened, in case you’re wondering.)

****

Even though he is not home much, VC provides much entertainment and fodder for stories, thinking and life. There are so many things about VC that I just never want to forget, and you can see the rest here. And there is still lots more to come.

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21 Replies to “Things about VC that I never want to forget #9”

  1. LOL – while I am happy he got sent home to rest because he was working so hard – wish that he wasn’t so much in the first place. Poor bugger.

    However, that afternoon sounded divine and like a great surprise :)

    1. I think not working hard is not an option for VC. Its the only way he works. I dont think iv ver seen him do anything half way. Thats why it tends to pile up and exhaust him :S

    1. Hehe, at least some one does..or I might have to stop raving and ranting about the minutiae my life and all the animals that inhabit my very small world

  2. Omg! I can so relate to that. The techie has this habit of completely immersing himself in his work. He’s a workaholic, but don’t think he knows how to be any other way. Though I must tell you, it’s irritating when you work together, because he never switches off, I have to stay switched on even when I desperately need a break!

    1. “don’t think he knows how to be any other way” — WORD!
      Okay, totally keeping that last bit in mind for if/when we work together. Good to know and be prepared..

  3. It’s funny this post and this series. Beautifully written! But it got me thinking. You’ve probably noticed that I’ve barely returned back to India on my blog. But in 6 weeks I’ve noticed how hard Indian men work in general. The new educated professional middle class seems to have a much better work ethic than I can ever recall. And that’s a wonderful thing. As a mom though I find it surprising how my fellow Indian moms handle this. They’re self sustaining raising those children they have. But it always comes at a cost of their professional lives. I’m married to a workaholic myself and seasonally become one myself. I think there comes a time with motherhood when something’s gotta give .. and you just have to find a way to make your men part of the daily grind of a child’s life if you want even an inkling of hope to be professionally active. I’ve wondered what it would be like to join men in a business of some sort. I mean Indian doctors almost always marry other Indian doctors, and I know the same is true with architects. There must be something there. Maybe there’s an experiment waiting to happen in your life with VC – have you considered converting him to a photographer, a travel enthusiast? Not as a way of changing what you love about him – his workaholic nature .. but embracing that towards a passion that both of you nurture and be obsessed about together?!?!

    Didn’t mention this in my blog yet – but that’s precisely the journey I’m embarking on here – starting up a company with my husband. I can save some notes for you on that journey. Love reading blogs that make me think .. yours does :)

    1. You’re right about how the average middle class Indian man is a hardworking kind of person. But like I was just discussing with a friend this morning, there is hardworking because 1) its your job 2) your life/family depends on it 3) its what men are meant to do (acc to age old Indian culture), and then there is hardworking because you love what you do, and its the only way you know to work. I have seen VC switch 3-4 jobs and this is the first one I see him investing himself not so wholeheartedly like his heart belongs in it. I think thats the difference I was trying to bring out. Its a feeling I dont entirely get because I have never felt so committed to a job, and have always thought of a job, as just that — a job. Never my raison d’etre, which is what it is to VC.
      He was always the photographer of the two of us, and I am a novice and a newbie in comparison :) so nothing for me to teach him there. I would love to have my travel-bug rub off on him, but I dont see that happening any time soon. At least not as long as his work keeps him so occupied.
      As for the business, yes we have contemplated starting something of our own together, but nothing is firmed up and it is a plan for the distant future. Incidentally, we met at the workplace, where we had both joined fresh out of college. 1 whole year there, and two years of sharing the workplace in Goa — I think I know him fairly well to know what ground rules to lay out before we ever embark on working together again hahahaha

      1. Nice!! Now that’s a different history than what you usually hear :) Well I’m barely embarking on mine – far far away from understanding each other’s ground rules professionally. I’ll be looking to food, blogging and wine to keep my sanity on!

        1. Good luck on your venture, Im sure it will be fabulous. I have a new found respect for anyone who has chosen to come out of a comfort zone, throw themselves into new and unknown waters, to start something entrepreneurial. Kudos to you guys.

  4. I really admire people who make their work their life, who have such immense passion and commitment towards it. I’ve never been like that – and when I see someone like that, I always wish some of that passion would rub off on to me. Nike is a workaholic when he undertakes something – devotes everything to it and his life revolves around it – but that passion has never lasted for more than six months. After which he goes off to the other extreme. I was convinced he’d be the same way with our relationship – but apparently this is the only passion in his life that has endured. Yet. ;-)

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