Thursday, May 18, 2006

You’ve got mail!

Sometimes, when work gets so boring that you feel strangulated within the comforts of your very own cozy seat in your cubicle a.ka your ‘home-away-from-home’, the one thing that comes to your rescue is your mail inbox.

I am sure all ‘software engineers’ especially the ones who have joined this industry recently know what I mean.

The alert that pops up and the ‘ding’ announcing the royal arrival of a new mail into my inbox makes my heart leap with joy and I can’t resist myself from opening my inbox to see one of the many forward mails my friends send me.

While some mails bring you some cool or funny video clip, others bring some puzzles which are supposedly solvable only by highly intelligent people. Some are forwards appealing for help (most of them doing the umpteenth round around the cyber world) and there are others giving you some thought for the day. If one forward is one of those clich├ęd friendship messages, another one is really very sweet and makes you think of all the good friends you have. Few mails bring you the PJs of the year and few others are one of the best jokes you have ever heard or read.

Whenever I’m stuck with a buggy code, I just stroll around in my garden of these colorful mails and it gives me a fresh perspective and helps me resolve the problem. Actually, anything you do to distract yourself from the grinding work for a moment helps you a lot to get back to it with rejuvenated energy. And checking mails is the easiest way to do so.

There are days when I don’t get any forwards for a very long time and I begin to panic, wondering if there is some problem with my mail client. I keep refreshing my inbox again and again, with my eyes glued to the progress bar showing 20%...50%...70%...100%... and me anxiously waiting for a new mail to show up in the inbox.

And there are some days when I have just read a mail and moved it to some folder, when suddenly another mail waits eagerly for me to open it, read and then either save or forward it depending on how busy I am with my work.

It is sometimes true that a software engineer + joblessness = forward mails.
My presence in the office is known to my friends only when they get forwards from me. I even get mails like “What happened?” if there are no forward mails. A friend once asked me whether I came late to the office because he got my mail only in the afternoon.


Sigh! Life of a software engineer…