"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves."

Monday, October 26, 2009

Catch Up Time : 26th October 2009

Hello Readers,

Sorry for the very erratic flow of posts since last 4 weeks. Its been a very challenging time since last one month. Challenging physically and mentally, but I would say more mentally. Allow me to explain.

P.S. - What I am about to share may not be interesting to many of you and that's fine. But I believe there is a lesson to be learn from here and hence the very idea of this post.

Also I am not sure whats my real motive is to write this post. May be its a way to share my experiences and in the process feel lighter within myself, may be its a way to let others know what all can happen out of the blue and be prepared for it. Or it may also end up being amusing or stupid or fun to read what ever follows from here on. Or it may be to find out what you would have done had you been in my place. So any feedback is most welcome.

2nd Oct'09, me and my family moved to another house. Fortunately we found another one in the same area where we were staying before, so there was a comfort of knowing the surroundings against exploring everything from scratch.

Now ironically, the main shifting was a breeze, we had hired professional movers and packers to pack and move the goods and thankfully they stood by their claims of being professional and efficient. But what followed(and still following) has been nothing less than nightmare.

I want to add that the amount of phone calls I had to make in the last month, was equal to the amount of calls I normally make in around 9-12 months. Now you may ask why ! Well read before and you will know why !!

Strike ONE (STRIKE as in Baseball, 3 STRIKES and you are down and out)
To begin with, a day before I was about to move, I called my Phone/Internet Service Provider to take a request for shifting my connection so that my old number remains the same and also I 'thought' it would be a faster process against applying a new connection. Alas how wrong I was.

It took 16 harrowing days and 100 calls to get the connection finally set up at my new place.

I would like to mention that on day 15, I was so fed up/frustrated/angry/irritated of this delay which was affecting my other work, I got myself a portable modem which cost me around 3 months of my rental which I pay normally to my Service Provider. The moment I got the modem, it seems as if there was an instant vent up of all my not-so-desirable inner turmoil and I felt so much more relaxed. If only I knew it was just a matter of one more day. Or who knows it was an intentional play of cards by the almighty.

Now the side effects of all this was that I used to be very irritated all day long. The irritation was not entirely because of the delay but because of a lack of concrete response from my Service Provider as to what exactly is the problem and precisely by when can I expect my connection. Everyday whenever I used to call them, they used to say it will be done today, but that today came after 16 days.

Strike TWO
Next came the pain of getting my Air-Conditioner(AC) set up. Now there were two steps in getting it set up. First was to make a provision in my window for the AC to fit in and second was to get the delivery of the AC and getting it fixed by the technicians.

Luckily the AC's were delivered reasonably on time. It was getting it fixed which turned out to be a long long wait. I called the concerned people to come to my house to take the measurements of my AC and do the needful in the Window. The person said he will be at my place in 15 mins.

Can you imagine that, that 5 mins came after 5 days and 25 calls. Even till date I am unable to find the exact answer as to why it took so much time. All I heard was excuses like "was busy", "rains", "weekend came", "I went on leave" and so on. I mean is work ethic totally dead. And why all this was happening only with me ?

There is more, the person came finally, they took the measurements, they said they will have to make an Aluminum Frame to hold the AC to make sure there are no gaps. I asked how many days, they said 2. I thought I have waited so many days, 2 more days wont hurt. I said ok and requested them to speed up if possible. Now my guess is that the definition of "speed up" for that person was to "take extra time". The frame came after 4 days !

Fortunately the final installation was done the same day as the frame arrived. Whew, had to wait close to 10 days for a good night sleep in a cool environment.

Strike THREE
Last week while animating on my desktop, suddenly everything went still in my comp, nothing was moving, I tried to restart using Ctrl+Alt+Del, nothing. Tried to reboot directly from CPU, again nothing !!! Finally I had to remove the plug from the main power source to switch it off.

I kept my fingers crossed and started it again. What I dreaded happened. Monitor started blinking with no display whatsoever. Also the lights on the CPU were not blinking which meant nothing was happening in the CPU. I thought may be its one of those times, when suddenly it goes off and suddenly everything comes back to normal. I tried again 3-4 times, no luck. I decided to give it a break and only after few hours, I tried again, but no improvement. Finally I decided to call my Computer Technician from a Computer Vendor(from where I have an Annual Maintenance Contract) and have a look. He came, tried every possible trick he knew, still no luck. Finally he said he will have to remove the motherboard and take it to his testing center to find the exact cause. He said, if the motherboard is fine, it may be a Power Supply problem in which case, next day itself he will get a new Power Supply. But if its the motherboard issue it can take more time. I asked him how many days. He said he cant say until he checks it thoroughly and promised to give me a call next day itself. Now this was Tuesday. Till Friday I didn't hear anything from him. I called them around 10 in the morning and some stupid operator said that she is aware of my problem and will give me a call back. Till 8 in the evening no call came. I tried calling back but no response, which means they have wrapped it for the day.

I called them the next day and blasted the hell out of them. They promised to call back. Finally after a few hours, the owner(of the company who had my Annual Maintenance Contract) themselves called, apologizing like a criminal pleading for mercy and said they will give me a replacement the same day. Saturday passed, Sunday passed and no replacement came.

Then today I thought enough is enough its time to take some real action. I called them and threaten to cancel all my Contracts I had given them thru various sources. In addition to this I told them to give me my motherboard back as they were too useless to repair it and that I shall get it fixed by somewhere else. They said to kindly wait for one last time and that they will call me in 15 mins to tell me the exact date when I will get my motherboard. They called in 10 minutes and said that on Wednesday they will surely come and fix my motherboard. Now I really don't know whether they will stand by their word or again one of their empty promises, but I am really hoping that they do, as its been close to 8 days, all my animating and other work has been on hold and I am feeling like a new born baby, totally helpless to do anything.

Now is this really a co-incidence that I was been served by pathetic customer service on and on with no end in sight ?? Or is it that God wanted to test my patience and my character ??

But one good thing happened, because of my desktop crashed I was forced to tackle my laptop problem which I have been ignoring for a long long time. My laptop had problem of bad sectors in the hard disk and shutting off automatically and abruptly at no particular interval of time. I got a new hard disk and also fixed the problem of shutting down abruptly. Apparently there was some issue of Thermal Sensors on the CPU. Whatever that means !

FOUR (its not really a STRIKE)
On hindsight may be this is the problem which is making me over-react to the above strikes. Since we moved in, I have applied to a few places(in my city) to offer my services as a 3D Character Animator. Its been almost a month and no replies yet. I understand these things takes time, but is it too much to ask even for some notification, whether yes or no. If its Yes I can jump with joy and even if its No, I will at-least know whats working and whats not and get on to tackling those issues. Some one has said "no news is great news" but here in this case its definitely not doing me any good. I sometimes really wonder, some things/actions/events just cannot be explained in human simply understandable terms.

Now you may be wondering what is the lesson behind all this. For me it is :

1. Things wont be hunky dory all your life. Regardless of how good life is going for you, there will be times when nothing, nothing at all seems to work. Thinking otherwise is being extremely naive !

2. You can never have enough patience because how much ever you feel you are cool and composed, there will be events that will just freak you out and drain all your patience.

3. Every event good or bad is an experience.

4. There IS a reason why anything is happening in your life.

5. To practice letting go. To not revel in good things/event for long and to not drool over not so good things/events for long.

6. To not judge any event, just savor it in the present moment and take it as it comes. The definition of good or bad is nothing but your viewpoint at work.

7. Never never never give up. I will be very forthcoming, this time in my life has tested me the most. But I am determined to not let it get the better of me. I will keep going regardless of what happens. If I have to walk against very strong winds, so be it.

8. Find your own avenues in these trying times, which can make you relax a bit and get distracted from all the negatives. For me its being with myself. When I am alone and quiet I feel my batteries recharging. Introspecting is a very powerful tool. Try it.

9. Appreciate the presence of your near and dear ones in your life. Without doubt I have been in the worst of my moods and behavior in the last one month than I have ever been in my whole life. But I am thankful to my parents for their undying love and support all the while despite my erratic mood swings and temper. I am convinced God made parents because he couldn't be everywhere at the same time.

10. When you are at the very low of your life, see the good part, the only way you can go from here on is UP ! I absolutely feel the same currently.

Before I get deeply engrossed in emotional talk, its seems prudent to wrap this post up. I really don't know what made me write and share all this with the world at large. But I am feeling a lot better, bringing all this up and sharing with you.

If you have anything to share in the context of this post - be it your experiences of testing times, be it advise/suggestions for me, be it about how you would have handled it if you where in my position, please feel very free to do the same.

Thank You !


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