Monday, March 31, 2014
You switch back for 10 seconds to an article on your screen by an ex-London consultant on the evolution of the television business, who now works for a venture capital fund in California, predicting trends and analysing the uptake of wearable technology.
And then you switch back and notice that the lady has picked up a toddler who is missing a mitten. Why is s/he wearing a mitten indoors... why aren't they outside in the sun running around in circles next to the water. What makes them choose this vector of life and not any other. Why, you wonder, have you chosen this life, this woman, this home, this country and not any other... why these purposeful or accidental conflagration of choices that have placed you this instant in time on this Swedish chair, of all the infinite matrices of the universe.
Focus, you tell yourself, does your life, your work, your sanity depend on it?
Focus, you tell yourself, but sometimes you musn't and you don't.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
W: "Hi, hon, how are you getting on"
M: "Not too bad, babe, at the gym... will wrap up soon and be home. How was your day?"
W: "All right, a bit tired, about to cook dinner"
M: "Sounds lovely, I'll be home soon"
W: "Sure... oh and by the way, we won the bidding"
Says my understated Welsh woman. And just like that, on a cold Stockholm evening, with sweat pouring off my forehead, amidst huffing and puffing Swedes of all sizes, shapes and ages, with a little yelp-grunt of delight, we're home owners.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
So priorities are, (after the 3 week recovery from jet lag) in no particular order, to find a job within 1.5 months, to find a home to rent, to stash away some money for a house deposit in the distant future and to take care of Woman. Not extremely challenging but every now and then, one encounters varying degrees of bipolarity with characters (friends/ family/ well-wishers/ strangers) shifting from genial to patronizing in seconds . For example:
X (smiling): So what is it like, to be a house husband/ man of leisure/ to chill at home?
GT (going into defensive martial arts mental crouch): Uh huh, not too bad.
X (smiling): All that free time! Lots of catching up on TV/ reading/ friends/ Facebook?
GT (rattlesnake in the monkey shadow pose): Yeah, sometimes
X (sunshiney smile suddenly becomes Serious Double Wrinkle Of Concern): And what happened to your interviews/ job search/ resumes? I saw some options in The Guardian/ The Times/ The Metro/ The Daily Mail yesterday... did you? Should I send it to you? Always good to make a start somewhere, no?
GT: (mental backflip from edge of the flat universe into dangerous unknown) So how is YOUR job coming along?
I do exaggerate but you get the point.
Woman, meantime, is going through her set of issues which include confused direct reports who launch into panic attacks and do nothing or everything, traveling to many countries that her position requires her to cover, the annoyance of having Man at home fluttering around doing too much or too little, and of course, the near perpetual cloud. Ah, me wee poor lass. Occasionally the claws peek out, like when I was checking train timings for her to reach a 9am meeting and she says what flirty text are you typing now. And comes over for a look. At such moments, one must set aside the momentary loud shriek-claws-come-out-I-am-Wolverine urge, remember that she is going through a tough phase and respond with something benign like "Hon, to make it to your meeting tomorrow, you'll have to catch the 7.32 or 7.48 " and wait until she cuddles up and says sorry. Or doesn't. But it's all fine when she buys you two fab T-shirts in the middle of an intense trip and shares updates about L'Sprocket from Italy or Switzerland or Uganda or wherever she is at the moment and gets into a rant about the sugar levels in "every bloody cereal". Until then, deep breaths, mutter "this too shall pass" and keep moving.
Such, the life of a house-husband/ man of leisure/ chiller at home.
PS: Did I mention being educated and entertained by no less than Sarah Bakewell on Montaigne, Alexander McCall Smith on Scottish poetry and Modern Family on the apparent meaninglessness of American family life... all at the same time. I could roll over and die in pleasure from such incessant intellectual tickling but I have a job to find.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Monday, January 30, 2012
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Monday, January 16, 2012
Ah, this lovely era of globalization when such things are possible.
Well, well, at least we're now clear about who'll be guzzling down beer on Thursdays and who'll be sipping Pepsis at 2am.
Sunday, January 15, 2012
Traces the story of Frank and Katrin. Frank is a high-flier who violates every possible rule of management consulting and client confidentiality... he also dreams of writing a book. Katrin of course is the polar opposite who follows every rule there ever was or ever will be and therefore is the role model for all of us, new bakras at the firm.
Audio signoff at the end of course: "Now Frank has all the time in the world to write the book he wants". Oooooooooooohhhhh... nasty is us.
Thursday, January 12, 2012
- "It is not very safe to use taxi drivers in XX location, so we have our own fleet. Some of
the locals don't like the idea of using consultants, so can be hostile, so please use our
own fleet always".
- "The logistics team doesn't do night club reservations"
- "All the support teams have blacklists for you guys; believe me, you'll know it when you're
- Bank a/c opening process:
GT: But I don't want a Super Duper Platinum credit card with $300K limit.
Bank rep: Sorry sir, but it is an all inclusive package. You can choose not to use it.And
please sign this...
GT: Sign a blank cheque in favour of "Stinking Rich Bank" LLC?!
Bank rep: That is standard process; not to worry, we won't encash it (chuckle).
GT: Chuckle?! When do I get it back?
Bank rep: When you close accounts and settle matters.
GT: Settle matters?!Bank rep: Not to worry,sir, standard process"
5. Fellow joinee peeks into support team area and says to Lady #1: Hey, you look like that
GT: (thinks) WTF?!?! Will he get slapped? Reprimanded? Shouted at? Stunned silences?
Lady #2 in support team: Which one?
Lady #3: Wait, wait, let me guess....
Lady #1: (Blush) I know who you're reminded of... it is XYZ.
GT: (silently) Ahem, ahem.