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.