Before arriving at the event, my anxiety was q u a k i n g at the thought of meeting my colleagues in person. I’m so used to my work-life existing on a virtual realm, and that a big part of it (the people… or at least some of them) were physically present before me, they were no longer just a profile picture, an anonymous Quagga, or the muffled, and scratchy voices I heard through my earphones on Meet/Teams. If there’s one thing I’ve learned after almost a year of not continually seeing people IRL, it’s that you can get used to not seeing people IRL — that’s neither a good nor a bad thing, I guess.
Here’s transcribing memories of some conversations and feelings I cherish from that lovely evening. Memories listed follow no particular order of chronology. #AllThoseSangrias #AllThoseMimosas
The plight of WFH.
The thing about working from home is that it works — but it also doesn’t. Remember how I was talking about getting used to not seeing people and how that could potentially suck? Well tbh, we do have provisions to solve for that with the next best alternative: turning our videos on during calls. I profess, I’m DEFINITELY not one to readily do that too, but when Shambhavi told me how much of a difference it makes to be able to observe and react to behavioral nuances; facial expressions, hand gestures, body movement, etc., I was so inspired to be the harbinger of change in my team. So, have I incorporated this solid advice into daily practice? No, I have not… yet.
MY plight of WFO.
Nobody at all:
Me: *lives 15-ish kms away from Yelahanka*
* sounds of astonishment, wide-eyed horror, apocalyptic chaos unfurls *
Everybody: “DUDE HOW?! ARE YOU GOING TO COME TO OFFICE BRO!???”
For someone who passionately longs to resume working from office — I don’t know how to answer this question. So I just said, “Let’s see bro, let’s see. You wanna get a mimosa?”
This was a frequently occurring topic amongst many people I spoke with. It felt relieving to finally match energies to people’s faces, names, and voices after 5ish months of communicating with them daily (one of many consequences of not seeing my team-bros in human form, is that they appear in my dreams as text messages… yeah more on that in another blogpost perhaps)
All these conversations made me think about how one’s physical presence could make so much difference in applying empathy and intimacy to any relationship. Moreover, that I’m not the only one brooding about these things.
As I watched PG and Ishtaarth emcee a brilliantly put presentation that briefly summarised what Webchutney was, is, and can be, I thought “Damn. I wanna talk THAT passionately about something one day.” I also thought “ok guys, as GREAT as they are, this is the nth time I’m seeing the Voice of Hunger and Hagglebot films 🙃”
To conclude, we’re grateful to have been part of an incredible evening fueled with so much spirit. I’m hopeful that one day, we’ll all work IRL with our teams and build relationships that are knit in trust and goodwill.