“At the end of the day you are what you are, I am what I am”

This is one of the things that happened in the recent past and make me take a deeper look in to myself.
Few weeks back, I came across Raghu in office and had this conversation…
R: “So… what are you up to these days? I never see you in office… You must be the busiest person here. I think that you don’t even go for lunch…”
Co-incidentally that was actually one of the most hectic day at work but I didn’t mention about it… It was the time most of the associates take a short break for tea/coffee. I was waiting for one of my team-mates to come back so that I could take up a call from customer.
Raghu continued…
“I saw your tweet about Elon Musk… That’s kind of interesting. Not every other girl is interested in that kind of stuff. Girls are always into dramatic stuffs…”
Me: “I don’t know. I felt that was an interesting fact to share.”
R: “Do you watch movies?”
Me: “Yeah, sometimes…”
R: “Whar do you wanna have? Tea? Coffee?”
Me: “Nah… I am fine. I usually don’t drink or eat anything at this time.”
R: “What about Horlicks? or milk? or may be some baby food?”

I have no clue, why he said babyfood! Why would I have baby-food! Ugh!
Me: “I am good, you can take whatever you want… I’ll sit there”
R: “Are you in touch with anybody from training(referring to nearly 100 people who joined with me to the company on the same time. Raghu knows me from the training group only. We joined the office at the same time and our training classes were same.)”
Me: “No… I guess. I do see Pallavi sometimes in the cafeteria and that’s it. What about Meghna? (Meghna is a girl from Raghu’s college, who also works in the same building with us.)”
R: “Meghna is taking break now. She went back to her home to get married”
I was just speechless after knowing that. Meghna is just 24… She’s such a brilliant coder. She’s getting married so early. Her life, her career… everything will be changed after she ties the knot. But who am I to judge her? It’s her life and if she wants to marry at 24 or have other priorities, I am nobody to question her decision.
Me: “Ohh … Didn’t see that coming…”
R: “When are you getting married?”
Me: “I have no plans right now. Currently I need to figure out my life and get my shit together. After that maybe…”
R: “Do you have a boy-friend?”
Me: “Umm… no? Maybe that’s one of the reasons I have no plans for marriage unlike most other people. If you(a girl) are dating someone around 28 or so, his family would definitely want you guys to get married early… but in case your boyfriend is of the same age as you (~24), it would be somewhat different…”
R: “No I think people who are dating have no interest in getting married soon. They like to enjoy life as it is…”
Me: “Maybe! I don’t know.”
R: “So what shit do you have to get together? You are already working in a good company. What do you want now? A job in the world’s best company? Like Apple?”
I don’t know why he said that… Most of the instances are unfunny and annoying…
Me: “Isn’t that too much? Why would Apple hire me?”
R: “I don’t think that you talk to anyone without purpose. You must be sitting alone, not engaging with the team or anything. I would say you have an attitude problem. It’s like a personality fault…
In my team, I have such a good term with my teammates. My manager, his boss… I talk to everyone… ”
Me: “Okay… Are you still working Java? Very few people from us got project in Java… That too in development.”
R: “Yeah man. I work on Java but not only that. I work on other technologies as well. I don’t limit myself to just one thing.”
Me: “How do you do that? In my team, I am the youngest one and they didn’t give me major coding tasks, only the people with experience would do that. Also our team is quite big…”
R: “In my team, nobody is my boss… I can take whatever tasks I want.”
Me: “Cool.”
R: “So what I was talking about… you have an attitude problem. You don’t engage with people unless it is required. That is not a good thing. Consider a situation where people have to choose one between you and another guy who is friendly and talks to everyone. Why would people choose you? Everybody will choose the person they have talked to, whom they know… It is just my opinion. It is up to you whether you want to change yourself or not. At the end of the day, I am what I am and you are what you are. If you want to stay like you are, I cannot say anything.”
I do not remember responding to that. I could not defend myself, after all that would sound like an excuse. There was an awkward silence for some time then I said, “Okay, I would see if I can do something about it. ”
I didn’t want to drag the topic further, so I took up some other topic and that’s it.

Raghu gave me a negative comment on me and it is most likely that I would try to justify myself why I am not what he’s saying… But I wanted to be share the incident without giving any favor to me. I quoted our conversation in stead of mixing it up with my own opinion.

Background: Now I would like to introduce you to Raghu and tell you how much interaction I have with him.

I know Raghu from training time after joining the company. We were fresh graduate taking our first step towards corporate world. It was also the time I traveled to a different state far away from home and met a lot of people who don’t speak Bengali and have different cultural background. Being an introvert, I did not make a lot of friends, the training period was stressful in many ways. We talked for a couple of times in the whole training period and that’s it. After our training was done, some people got projects right away and some applied for transfer. Rest of us had to report to resource management team so that they can send us to the projects. Raghu got into a project and he asked me if I wanted to join his team. I was getting a few calls from different projects and personally I didn’t want to take a reference. I was sure that I would get a project soon. I told him that if I don’t get a project in a month, I would join his team. I don’t think it is rude.
Probably the following month, I was sent for learning a new technology. We didn’t have contact at that time. After that training was done, I joined one project. After a couple of months, I moved to another project and met Raghu again. So technically it was like meeting him after 6-8 months. None of our friends and colleagues from the training were there. They were spread across different projects and locations. We never had conversation longer than a minute. One day he asked me, “How’s you work going on?”
I don’t remember what I said but he replied, “I never understand anything from your face. You have the same expression all the time.”
“Is that bad?”
“I am not saying that it is bad but people can’t tell if you are happy or you are stressed…”

Fast forward a couple of months, he was on his bike and offered me a ride to a place 5 minutes away. He didn’t mention to drop me at my hostel which was in a different route, he asked me to come with him till the common route which was less than half a kilometer. I am terrified of bike rides and speed, this is such a weird thing to say. Most of the people don’t believe me and think I am being dramatic. I just said, “No thanks… It’s not very far away… I can go by myself.
“Well, that’s your loss then.” Raghu said and drove away.

Most of the days I am going all by myself and I have become used to it. Apart from the days when I have very large grocery bags in both of my hands I never feel like needing help from someone. There was nothing wrong that he offered me a ride but it was barely any help. Probably the “no” was not polite enough, it might haven’t expressed my appreciation for his concern. I don’t know… In my mind, I don’t wanna be mean to people but my body language may indicate otherwise.

In my personal opinion, we didn’t have that much of an interaction that would make him qualified to comment anything on my personality. Surely enough it is the kind of impression people have about me, when they don’t know me very well. In my family, my sister thinks the same as Raghu about my attitude. My sister has seen me in my worst and if she points out something, that is probably true.

Probably I do have a personality fault which I need work upon. But how can the person who knows me the best and the one who barely knows have the same opinion? Am I like an open book? Or is it written all over my face?

That’s all folks. Thanks for reading 🙂

Photo Credit : Patrick Fore on Unsplash

Post Author: Molten Cookie Dough

A typical Pisces person.

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