Category Archives: Musings

Strange and funny thoughts

The O-O-O Syndrome

Often, when I send emails to my colleague Ooonuj, I get a O-O-O (Out of Office) message with text like:

-Out of Office-

Hi –

I am travelling to Hongkong, Malaysia, and China and will be out of office till 1st December 2013.
I will have no access to my India handphone number.I shall respond to your mail, albeit a bit late.

In case of urgent matters which require immediate attention, please call / text me
@ +86 13602696490 or Contact VVSS ( vvss@emaildomain.com) on the following numbers:
Tel: 91-22- 421666xx / 2880 73xx /  2880 73xx / 2880 73xx

Regds

Ooonuj Anar

[Digression: I personally avoid setting any O-O-O messages. I normally am able to read my messages with a gap of no more than 6-7 hours. Also, I do not think I do anything is so time critical. And mainly I am afraid that my autoresponder with battle with Ooonuj’s autoresponder and rapidly choke the cyberspace in endless exchange of OOO messages :-)]

That apart, if you read Ooonuj’s O-O-O message, you will notice that he has addressed one combination – “urgent matters require immediate response”. He is silent on:

  • Non-urgent matters that require immediate response
  • Urgent matters that do not require immediate response
  • Non-urgent matters that do not require immediate response

I believe that Ooonuj needs to cover all three cases – just to be complete.

Ooonuj also sends an actual response pretty fast (though this is terser than his OOO message). One day when I got his manual response even before I got his OOO response, I asked him what the matter was, and why his autoresponder was slow.

That is when he said, “Autoresponder? What autoresponder? I type a tailored OOO message each time. Because others also let me know when they are out-of-office and travelling all over the world and seem very busy, I thought I too should do the same. And my OOO messages to my boss are the longest – they usually contain the details of my day’s activities – just so that he knows I am doing some work.”

I did not know how to respond to that (manual or auto).

However, I did compile a set of possible OOO messages, just to bring variation to our dreary lives. Use them unmutilated or otherwise before I file for a patent (or is it copyright?)

  1. OOOooooooo – I have a headache all over my body.
  2. O-O-O – I am out out of office because I am out of my job. Thankfully, I will never have to answer your email.
  3. O-O-O – So what if I am out of office? I can access my email anywhere, I am just ignoring you.
  4. O-O-O – I am in a training on time management. I learnt that I should not sweat the small stuff. So I will ignore your email.
  5. O-O-O – I have been sacked. Click to see the company’s  skeletons in the cupboard. Go ahead, don’t be shy, click here.
  6. O-O-O – If you have anything that is urgent, contact my colleague Blah. He won’t help you either.
  7. O-O-O – If you have anything urgent, you will anyway figure out a way to get it done. I am on a vacation.
  8. O-O-O – If I was in office, you would have received nothing at all. You should be grateful for this automated response.
  9. O-O-O – I am out of office, because I don’t have an office.

By the way, now you know why my colleague is called Ooonuj.

Do add your profound, meaningful, inspiring, leadershipping autoresponse messages – as comments below.

More Such Posts here https://rajeshnaik.com/category/musings/


I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

Financial Instruments with Musical Properties (like ‘tenor’)

Once in a while, I invest in bonds, fixed deposits, and mutual funds.

Though I normally do not read the verbiage (I read just the salient features), I have noticed in the last 2-3 years, a new term creeping into the jargon – ‘tenor’. At first I dismissed it as one of the typos (attributable to the printer’s devil – a special devil that haunted every print shop, performing mischief such as inverting type, misspelling words or removing entire lines of completed type).

For the benefit of those who have not noticed the use of the word ‘tenor’ in financial jargon, you can see a few examples here, here, and here. The usage seems widespread – all across the world.

And the usage denotes some kind of duration, or term, or period, or tenure (could tenor be just a distortion of tenure with origins in poor spelling used in combination with spell-check/ auto-correction?)

Here is what some English dictionaries say about the word ‘tenor’:

Cambridge (online):

  • a male singer with a high voice, or (especially in combinations) a musical instrument that has the same range of notes as the tenor singing voice

Merriam-Webster (online):

  • the highest adult male singing voice;
  • a singer who has such a voice the general;
  • basic quality or meaning of something

Oxford (online):

  • a singing voice between baritone and alto or countertenor, the highest of the ordinary adult male range;
  • an instrument, especially a saxophone, trombone, tuba, or viol, of the second or third lowest pitch in its family

None of them imply ‘tenor’ as a duration, time-period, or term.

Anyway here is a youtube video on what makes a great ‘tenor’.

If the clip does not load, click here.

Next time you invest in a bond/ mutual fund, with a ‘tenor’, remember that there is a possibility that at the end of the period you may get something like this (instead of your money):

If the clip does not load, click here.

By the way, I believe that in the olden days, many tenors were ‘castrati’ (plural for castrato). Read here for more information, and be careful before you invest for a great tenor!

More Such Posts here https://rajeshnaik.com/category/musings/


I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

Sent “on the move”/ “from my iphone” and things like that

Now-a-days, I often get messages from my colleague Ooonuj that end with:

  • “Sent on the move from my iphone. Please excuse typos and brevity.”

Most of the time, the actual message is shorter than the signature line, something like “OK” or “Will Get back to you” or “On Dec 6”, so I am not sure what kind of typos to account for (is it really Dec 6? or Jan 6? or Dec 7?)

If I did not know Ooonuj well enough, I may have seen hidden messages in his signature line. Here are a few of them:

  1. I own an iphone, and I want everyone to know about it!
  2. I am on the move most of the time
  3. I work while I am moving
  4. I have sent you a message (or responded to you). Therefore, I have met my response time service level. The fact that I have not answered any of your questions should not be held against me
  5. Now that I have sent some response, the ball is in your court
  6. I know how to use the word “brevity”
  7. If I typed something wrong/ stupid, I will blame it on “typos” (I am covered)

However, knowing Ooonuj, here is the real explanation:

“My 10 year-old child set up this message on my new smart-phone (it is not even an iphone). I don’t know how to take off the message. My child wants to charge me a bomb for the help”.

Anyway, I did compile a set of other email signatures, which you can use (please add “(c) Rajesh Naik” to the email signature):

Typing with my nose image

  1. Sent by My iphone [if my iphone is so smart, just imagine the real thing]
  2. Sent from my Lenovo ideapad Z570 laptop, with my bum on a comfortable cushioned chair. No excuses for the verbosity.
  3. Sent while driving the car with my hands on the steering, typing with my nose. Please excuse the snot.
  4. Sent from a traffic jam, though the traffic was not moving, the cell phone towers were.
  5. This email was conceptualized on my morning run. Mentally drafted while having breakfast. Typed comfortably on my desktop. But I forgot to send. So, finally this pathetic piece of shit was – “Sent on the move from my iphone. Please excuse typos and brevity.”

Another thought. Just like we have signatures on the emails, we can also sign off from telephonic conversations, thusly:

  1. “Spoken while stuck in a traffic jam near the stinky, suffocating Mahim creek, using my Nokia C3 over Airtel. Please excuse the heavy breathing and incoherent gibberish”.
  2. “Spoken while eating sandwich samosa burger with extra butter, and chocolate sauce at the Cholesterol Restaurant. Pardon the choking sound”.
  3. “Spoken from the Thought Leadership Sessions on Integrity in Business Dealings hosted by Enron and Anderson. I admit to nothing”.
  4. “Spoken from the workshop for Simple Living High Thinking by Vijay Mallya of United Spirits. Pardon the luxurious background music sponsored by Kingfisher staff and contractors”.

By the way, it is not for nothing that my colleague is called Ooonuj (I mean it is for some reason that he is called Ooonuj). But that is a matter for another post.

Typed sitting in Bangalore. Under a fan. Sitting on a chair. With a cup of coffee. On my Lenovo ideapad. With a Photon connection. Who cares if you pardon or not?

Your comments are welcome!

More Such Posts here https://rajeshnaik.com/category/musings/


I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

Cheating at a Petrol Pump – is this a common ruse?

Petrol PumpOne day while driving from Bangalore to Mysore, we stopped somewhere near Maddur to pick up some petrol. Looking at the fuel gauge, I thought it will be good to top up petrol worth Rs 800/-..
As we drove to the first accessible petrol station without a crowd, the attendant smiled, opened the lid to the petrol tank and asked “How much, sir?”
“Petrol of 800 rupees”, I said.
He reset the pump counter and asked me to ‘check zero’.
He stopped when the meter showed Rs.200/=.
“But I wanted for Rs 800/=”, I said.
Petrol PumpAs he said “sorry sir, will put in”, another colleague of his came along and asked me if I wanted some filter or cleaning spray (or something like that), which I refused. By then first attendant said, “done, sir, please check.” The meter was showing Rs. 600/=.
“I wanted for Rs. 800/=,” I said, getting slightly annoyed now.
“But I reset to zero after 200, so 200 plus 600 is 800”, said the attendant.
Petrol PumpI was very sure that he had not reset to zero. I suspect that the whole thing is a sting operation to siphon off a few rupees from many customers. The act of stopping after 200, the colleague appearing just at the right moment, all point to a coordinated move.
However, I had two doubts – (1) what if he had reset the meter to zero after 200, and I had not noticed it?, and (2) what if he made a genuine error? I also did not have any proof, nor did I have the time to make a complaint and get into endless arguments.
So, I paid the 800 rupees and drove off. Maybe others do the same, too.
I should have just paid Rs 200/- at the first point and driven off (to the next petrol pump), rather than asking him to fill up to Rs 800/-. I will do that the next time.
Please do share your experience and how you handled the situation!

More Such Posts here https://rajeshnaik.com/category/musings/


I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.

There are no dead ends in Bangalore

Dead End Image
“When you reach a dead end, turn right” was the baffling instruction I got, when I asked for directions to some place in Jayanagar. We had just moved to Bangalore (from Delhi) in mid-2004, and I was trying to get used to the roads and places in Bangalore.

To me a ‘dead end’ meant an end (as of a street) without an exit, a cul-de-sac, or a blind alley, so how could I turn right?

Eventually as I drove to the alleged ‘dead end’, I figured that I was approaching a T-junction (where I could turn right or left). In the next few weeks, it became clear to me that T-junctions are also called ‘dead ends’ in Bangalore.

Over time I realized that ‘dead ends’ in Bangalore lingo mean many more things – like a sharp right or a left turn, or bend in the road or an intesection (Bangalore has many of them with 5, 6, and sometimes 7 roads). So, ‘dead end’ in Bangalore could mean any of them.

Dead End All Image

I thought I had figured out all possible versions of ‘dead ends’. So, I was stumped when last year (2012), someone gave me directions on New BEL Road – “go straight for 100 meters, at the dead end turn right, and the buiding is the first tall one…”. Well, I knew that the new BEL Road was straight for the next kilometer and I could not remember any ‘dead end’ for a while, at least not the kind of ‘dead ends’ that I was now familiar with.

Dead End New Image After I walked the 100 meters, I did come across a new kind of ‘dead end’ – a small road meeting the main New BEL Road. Well, one lives and learns.

Since my initial encounter with Bangalorean ‘dead end’ I have come to know that others too have been baffled with the usage of this term in Bangalore. Here is a post Rickshaw Drivers and Vampires by Anand Ramachandran. I reproduce a relevant excerpt from the post:

“Give up, fool. This is a dead end, there is no way out. I have you know.”, said Gangrel.

The human smiled. “Nope. You forget – this is Bengaluru.” he shot back, before suddenly taking a left turn and vanishing.

– from Rickshaw Drivers and Vampires by Anand Ramachandran

Maybe ‘Dead End, Right’ is a new metaphor for ‘there is always a way out of tight corners’ 🙂

[There is also a horror movie titled a Dead End. I have not yet seen it, but have put it in my long ‘maybe someday’ list. (the DVD is available at  Amazon.com). In case you have seen it, please the comments below this post.]

More Such Posts here https://rajeshnaik.com/category/musings/


I'm Rajesh Naik, and this is my personal website If you are interested in contacting me professionally, I am available on LinkedIn and I will be glad to accept your invite. You may also check out my professional website, Alignmentor.com.