Things about VC that I never want to forget #13
VC lives to work. And works to live.
If you’ve read this blog long enough you’ll know that the love of my life is this creature I call VC. AKA the hugsband around here. If you’ve read this blog long enough, you’ll probably also know that the love of his life, is his work.
There are some kinds of people who are driven by a passion to steer their careers in precisely the direction they want to. They know right from the start where they want to be, and they get on with it without wasting any time. VC is one of them. Then there are people like me. We start off wanting one thing and then we change our minds every six months or so. Along the way, we are distracted by books, boys, beaches, baking and the like. And six years down the line we might even decide we’ve had enough, chuck it all and stay at home to explore this world of books, boys, beaches and baking — because well, we still can’t decide what exactly we want from life. Career-wise at least.
Clearly VC isn’t anything like me. Because he lives, breathes and dreams work. Calling him a workaholic is an injustice. Even though I’ve done it before, mocked him for being that way, and even cribbed more often that I’m willing to admit, the truth is he is one of the most passionate people I know.
There aren’t too many others I know who take their work as seriously as VC does. Often forgetting his home, his wife, his family in Bangalore and losing himself to an excel sheet, a campaign, a meeting or whatever it is at hand, VC is all-in, once he commits himself to something. I have always kept work separate from life, never been able to mix the two. So this is something to admire with wide eyed wonder. For VC, work is life. And while I have given him a lot of grief about it in the past, I have grown to accept and now even respect this about him. Because I realise, from my experience as well as that of others around me that it takes a special kind of commitment to be that dedicated and motivated to something outside of yourself.
Most of my inclinations and passions are very rooted in me and my needs. Selfishly so, they are all about me, my satisfaction, my fulfillment, my betterment. And this is probably why I have always considered my work as just something that facilitates the other things in life that give me satisfaction and fulfillment, but never as the thing that can give me that satisfaction. It has never been, and probably will never be, my raison d’etre. For VC, his passion for his work, the commitment he brings to it and the drive he manages to dig out from unknown depths is what makes him who he is.
When he is at work, he is 100% absorbed. I don’t remember the last time I saw him have a bad day that caused him to be less involved or distracted or uninterested. None of the excuses I made so often, having an off day, not feeling all-there and the like, seem to exist in his mind and vocabulary.
He walks and he talks work. Which is why, when I ask him on a Monday what he’d like for lunch in the next few days to follow he says to me, without batting an eyelid, “How about I email you a menu?”
Another time, he bought a new pair of pants that needed altering, he asked me, “Where can I get these edited?”
He even sleeps and dreams work, because there was that one time he woke me up in the middle of the night still half-asleep, nudged me, pointed to my blanket and said, “Can I get a copy of that please?” A story he was also pretty amused about.
Clearly, I should be used to it by now, but imagine my shock when in the midst of a particularly unpleasantly stressful time at work I asked him to spare an hour or two at home to help me crack a few ideas, and he suggested we go out on a date. Over dinner, on scraps of tissue paper, he scrawled out elaborate diagrams and explained the 5-step creative process to help me crack ideas on my own. Our meal was punctuated by pop-questions, hypothetical situations that I had to then work my way around, and mock business problems that I was to have a crack at. Yes, that was his idea of a date.
Mostly this is fodder for me to make fun of him. But then there comes a day like today, when he returns home beaming. It’s been 6-8 weeks of non stop brain work. Work that leaves him with few hours and even fewer words to spare. At the end of the day he usually either just goes straight to bed, or chugs a few beers, eats in silence and then goes to bed. So when he comes home smiling, voluntarily shares news from work, I know it is good. I know he’s happy. I know he’s satisfied, and that his head and heart are in the right place.
I realise in that moment that asking VC to work less, is like asking him to live less.
The news is fabulous. So we high-five, I give him a hug.
And then I make him a big fat chocolate cake.
Because some times, even the boy who quietly works his butt off so I don’t have to, and the boy who does it all never expecting anything in return, also deserves some cake.
It’s past dinner and his eyes glued to the television as he chomps away at his slice of cake. I’m thinking about my trip away, and I say in passing, “You’re going to be so busy over the next few days, you won’t even know if I’m gone. You’re probably not even going to miss me.”
I’m not expecting a response. And yet, I get one.
“I might miss you. A little.”
For always having a solution, working it out and moving forward, VC is the best team-mate and business partner I could have chosen. And there’s more where this story came from.