How do you manage to come exactly at 10:00 am Sagar, asked Narayan in a sarcastic tone while responding to his good morning? Sagar while trying to avoid a direct eye contact, replied with a sheepish smile, and quickly rushed inside the office. He was now getting used to the sarcastic overtones in his conversations with Narayan which it turned out was one of the reasons, Sanjay was so obviously happy when he left the job and with Narayan managing to use sarcasm so effectively on a cosnsitent basis, it looked like, it could possibly be Sagar’s attrition that he would be responsible for shortly. Narayan continued staring at him for a while as Sagar entered the office and took quick strides towards his cubicle to vanish from Narayan’s view.
As Narayan withdrew his long stare, he heard an energetic Good morning. This was Shelly, part of the HR team and had joined the organization just 7-8 months back. Her quick and chaotic breathing, redder face and hair falling around in all directions were a testmony of the quick sprint she had to make to clock in on time. Narayan, who until now was making full use of sarcasm and accusatory tones liberally, suddenly spoke in a contradictory manner with a broad smile plastered on his big face. Great, you made it at just the right time, chuckled Narayan. Yeah, this could have been my fifth late of the month meaning I would have lost my today’s salary, so I had to run from the station to be able to reach here and punch in before I get marked late again, replied an exasperated Shelly with a sigh. Ohh, come on you are in the HR, I am sure you can convince your boss to do something about it, winked Narayan. Shelly who was still struggling to overcome the tiredness of the long run and anxiety of punching in at the right time felt a little awkward with the way Narayan spoke. She replied sharply, ‘everyone have their own life and troubles to manage, I know how to handle mine’, while making a quick eye contact, breaking it immediately and then slowly walking towards her cubicle. Narayan felt a little embarrassed and waved a nervous, quick good bye.
He was standing at the reception now for more than 20 minutes and his anxiety was akin to a desire of escorting the candidate coming for the interview all the way to his cabin. The security guard at the reception looked at him and the eye contact somehow made him uncomfortable as Narayan also realized the eternity with which he had been waiting there. Just let me know immediately once Sanskriti reaches, ordered Narayan and quickly began walking towards his cabin from the reception area, all the while looking at his watch and thinking of the time he wasted there. Security guard, Santosh who has been working here for the past 5 years knew the habits and eccentricities of everyone did not felt offended with Narayan’s overreaction. He carried on with his job, although a major part of it invoved putting on the earphones and watching movies on his mobile.
The reception area was now empty except for Santosh who immersed in his own mobile phone failed to notice the new arrival as she walked inside. He could only hear faint sounds of someone asking for his attention but did not looked up to find out whom it is. However, after hearing repeated pleas, Santosh could not ignore and as he looked up, removing his earphones and shifting his attention from the phone, he found out someone standing on the reception just opposite to him vying and requesting his help. He saw a girl in her early twenties or probably a teenager, dressed in sharp formals. A shapely blazer accentuated her thin frame and matching trousers were complemented by a neatly ironed white shirt with a scarf, which was a riot of colors. She had tied her hair neatly in a bun and carefully covered them with nettings to complete the formal look. There was however slight tension, palpable and evidenced by the drop of sweat sitting uncomfortably on her nose. It was on the verge of just dropping off, saved by the sudden wipe off with the tissues she was carrying in her tidy looking classic black leather bag.