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Tuesday, August 03, 2010


We had a test release the other day and I sent out an email informing the team to test the new build. Here are the people involved.

1. Lori M - my manager
2. Yong L - my colleague
3. Kimberly B - my crazy colleague
4. Christi B - Kim's manager
5. John D - Me ofcourse!

The Emails

From: John Dondapati
Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 11:12 AM

We’ve just deployed the new build onto the development server. Please test!

From: Yong L
Sent: Fri 5/21/2010 11:27 AM

I’ll be on vacation from 6/18 to 7/10. Let’s do as much as we can before that time frame.
Happy clicking… :-)

From:Kimberly B
Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 11:34 AM

Who approved that vacation??? I want one those!!!!! hehe

From: John Dondapati
Sent: Friday, May 21, 2010 11:49 AM

Well Kim, are you gonna go home to China? I don’t think so!
Besides, you work from home remember? Heheh!

And that’s why you don’t get a vacation. So, there - I took care of it for you Lori!

From: Lori M
Date: Fri, 21 May 2010 12:00:50 -0400

Thanks John!!
Sometimes Kim gets a bit big for her britches eh??? Hahah!!
Lori M, Project Manager

The Autocomplete

You have to understand how human mind works in order to understand why this harmless email chain has caused a chaos. I normally have "Autocomplete" ON in my mind. I do not read anything completely and just try to complete it with something I already know. That's how everyone thinks/reads normally so I am normal -thank you! And when I read the above email, I missed the 'r' in the word 'britches' which is an honest mistake right?

Hence the original sentence :
"Kim gets a bit big for her britches"

"Kim gets a bit big for her bitches"

And once my mind is set on something, it will only see what it wants to see, so no matter how many times I read the email, I read bitches instead of britches. I clearly did not understand what my manager meant. And when I do not understand something, my creative side of the brain kicks in and I try to assume and create. In the process, I tried to dissect the sentence and understand it.

The Grammatical Analysis

The original sentence :
"Kim gets a bit big for her britches"

The new sentence after Autocomplete :
"Kim gets a bit big for her bitches"

Breakdown :

Subject : Kim
Objects : Bitches
Verb : gets a bit big

Reconstruction :

Who is Kim?
Ans : I know Kim. Kim is my colleague/friend.

What happened to my friend Kim?
Ans: She's got a bit Big.

Big for what?
Ans: Big for her bitches.

Who are her bitches?
Ans: There are five people in the email - Kim, Lori, Christi, Yong and Me. Since lori sent the email it cannot be her. Since she is talking about Kim, it cannot be kim. Christi is Kim's Boss so she cannot be Kim's bitch, it has to be the other way around -i.e. Kim has to be Christi's bitch if at all there needs to be some kind of bitch-hood between them. So, the only two other people left on the email are Yong and me. So, Yong and I have to be Kim's bitches. (But why? )

Reconstructing the sentence : : Yong and I are Kim's bitches? What the fuck?

The Chaos

With the new developments in mind, I walked up to my good friend/colleague Ms.Calendra P and complained with a sad little puppy face "I think my manager just called me a Bitch!" which completely takes her by surprise and she's like "I'm sorry, what did you just say?" so I repeat again "I think my manager just called me Kim's Bitch along with Yong".

Calendra says "No, I am pretty sure - Lori would not call you that - what happened?" and I said "I am pretty sure she did, look at the email yourself" offering her the email to look at. She reads it and blasts out laughing and tells me that she actually used the word Britches and not bitches which means pants/trousers.

But it still didnt make sense and in my mind I am still going crazy. Kim's too big for her trousers? What does that mean? Why would Kim be too big for her trousers? She has another thing coming? (are these two expressions related?) Is the joke on Kim? So, yong are I are safe but why is my manager calling my friend Kim a transvestite? May be Lori meant Bitches and misspelt it? Who made Calendra a Linguistic expert? What does she know?

Calendra goes on to explain that it's a southern expression to say that someone's Conceited (excessively proud of oneself), a.k.a self-important and saved me from doing yet another analysis/breakdown and reconstruction although I was mid-way by that time.

That seemed to make sense and I was satisfied with the reasonable explanation that Calendra offered me. So, I called Kim and explained her the confusion and that the Joke's on her (haha). So, Kim in-turn conferences in Lori as she thinks this is hilarious for some reason and we all have some good laughs for a solid 15 mintues. Although, Kim wanted to conference in Christi who is totally intimidating even for a grown man like me. I'm really scared of her and if I must explain how much then it's something like this - I can walk up to the devil and and look it in the eye and say "Fuck you!" but I would not walk up to Christi and say "You look good!". She's that intimidating. Thank god she didn't call her in.

At the end, it was all good. I am no one's bitch and I still have my job. yay! :)

Moral of the Story

Be careful when u read important emails from important people but not too careful that u overanalyse the situation. And use a language that is more common when you have immigrants like me working for you and for whom English is a third language although the medium of instruction is English in our schools. We think in our mother tongue first and then translate it and there's a lot that gets lost in the translation.

Meet the Neighbours

This is me in the pic - you can tell how nice I am from the look - cant you?

And this is Jane - my neighbour and resident evil. I am sure all her friends would agree!

And here's the story of how we met!

All the readers of my blog ( that is a pretty big number - two to be precise i.e. including me) read it religiously and are up to date with my life. So if you are reading this, chances are you are the other and you must be already familiar with my Blood Rice Cooker Triology, if not read the part 1, part 2 and part 3 to understand my perspective on the random events that happened on one night when I met my neighbour. (please, read it -for the love of god. please! )

Interestingly, it turns out that I am not the only one who's writing about that night. My neighbour (the evil in the image here) also thought it was the greatest moment of her life too and decided to write a story to share with the world. Although she was very unwilling to share it with me coz she thought there might be something in there that can offend me (as unlikely as it sounds - sure, I get offended too sometimes). Little does she know that there are so many few things in this world that can upset me. That's a whole different conversation and we are not discussing my self respect or the lack of it here.

I had to rush and finish the last installment of the Bloody Rice Cooker triology just to get her to send me her story. That was the deal we made as the good old "persistent nagging" did not do the trick this time. FYI, She's pretty good at ignoring stuff and that's an useful skill.

I think my version is much more colourful and dramatic while her's is a bit dry with formal language and reporterisque (did I just invent a word? yay! ) narrative. To be fair, she wrote it on the same night and for a limited audience who had a life unlike me who has to entertain the world (i.e. you my friend - you can stop looking over your shoulder now! ). So, you can imagine she lacked the creative juices and the will to entertain.

Without any further blablabla, I present you "Meet the Neighbors" (thats the title - but that does not mean I am the focker. Also, she's american and hence "Neighbor" and not "Neighbour" - I can see you are paying attention to detail.). Here's her perspective on things.

Disclaimer : No, I did not edit anything. This is totally her version. Yes, this is what she sent me!

Meet the Neighbors

i came back from the park and was walking into my apartment complex
as some random guy from the first floor suggested me to lock both
lower and upper locks (since we had a string of burlglaries in the
complex). he said that when he locked himself out of the apartment
using the lower lock the maintenance guy only took a second to open
i said, "i see" as i continued up the stairs...

main part:
on the second floor i passed by a sad sad indian guy with bare feet
dejectedly sitting next to an apartment door. his head was bowed low,
his eyes bloodshot as he looked up at me with an expression of utter

i got home and jumped on the bed with a sigh, stretching next to my
computer when i heard a knock on the door. the sad indian guy was
standing outside. i opened the door, wondering what kind hopeless
situation he may be in, looking pretty disheveled and sweaty in his
button down blue shirt, khaki shorts and no shoes...

sorrowfully he related to me how he locked himself out of his
apartment when he bended to pick up a package delivered to him... he
did not even have his shoes on. he's been sitting outside and
wondering the streets for the past 2.5 hours, while waiting on his
roommate who went for swimming lessons. and could i, please, give
this dying man a glass of water and my cell phone so that he can call
him and ask whether he is ever planning to be back. of course i gave
him water, tea, cookies, frozen yogurt, phone and use of my computer
so that he could look up his roommate's phone number (damn smart
phones we never remember anyone's numbers anymore). i also offered
the comfort of my home, my company and gossip girl on tv until such
time as his roommate would show up. for that he told me his sad story
of waiting, when an old lady ran from him because he had no shoes (he
explained to her that indians don't wear shoes) and a boy on a golf
course wanted him for a target practice "daddy, can i hit the homeless

in 30 or so minutes he left to check whether his renegade roommate has
shown up and promptly came back as i was sticking corn into the
boiling water. in another five minutes came a knock on the door.
another indian guy, with shoes on entered my apartment. it was the
long lost roommate. "i locked myself out", he pronounced and went on
to explain how he opened the door, put his swimming gear in, and went
outside to pick up a package sitting by the door as it swung closed
and locked him out... with his shoes still on. as i slowly slid down
the wall laughing, the barefoot indian programmer lamented that nobody
will ever believe the story. the second indian programmer said "speak
for yourself, i won't tell anyone" and i added "no worries, i will".
we sat around for a while chatting and eating cookies until the
maintenance guy came and finally let the guys back into the
apartment... my barefoot visitor looked down at the package and
sighed: "i read the instructions to this damn rice cooker in spanish,
and i don't even speak spanish!".

in 5 minutes there was another knock on the door, they wanted my phone

continuation follows?

In my defense, She's offered me the phone number - I just cashed it. But I'd have totally asked for it if she hadn't offered it but that didnt happen - did it?

That's that. What do you think? Vote and let me know which one you like. And as my reader I'd expect you to vote for me. I hate to block out my only reader so dont make me do it.

Show some Loyalty soldier - get down and give me 10 RIGHT NOW.
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