After cnrtl + C , cnrtl + V. Alt + Tab is my favorite shortcut on keyboard. It has played a prominent role in my life. Right from the day I “discovered” the beauty of internet to this day when I type this post alt-tabbing with visual studio 2008 riddled with 14 errors as we speak.
When I was introduced to Internet, it was among much fanfare and restrictions. Privy neighbors already warned my parents about children who get “addicted” to internet. Hailing from a middle class family, we were aware of the ridiculous charges BSNL used to charge for their dial up.
So I was assigned fixed schedules on when to read the Olympiad questions put up on educational websites. My mother banned me from “downloading” she still thinks downloading is a wrong activity.
So here I was burning the night lamp, my thumb assuming its position on alt and my ring finger on Tab. One of the windows I browsed did belong to NTSE. Oh and btw I barely cleared any of those Olympiads though I used to get good grades in school.
Venue: Ground floor computer lab, fourth semester of Computer Engineering. We were attending the practical sessions for “analysis of algorithm”. A subject I did not fancy. Though not being the brightest with coding, my lecturer and HOD did think that I was studious. Not willing to shed that veil, I used to put up a serious face attempting to code.
While in reality the original source code would be present in a shared folder which was created by a genius classmate of ours. And we used to Alt-Tab between that and a wretched goblin named Borland C. I would copy the whole code, paste it on the coding window and delete it. And slowly with focus of a monk I would press undo (Cntrl + Z).
Every time she passed me by there would be a few more lines of code to see. Presto. 21/25 in practicals. 55/100 in theory. And that is how an engineer is made.
Post my graduation, I was employed with a software firm. And I was bored with my job description in a matter of few weeks. We had firewalls and strict warning from seniors that indiscretion towards sincerity would not be tolerated.
My fellow fresher’s were sincere to the code and hardly flinched from their seats even for loo breaks. But fools go where angels fear to tread. Being a compulsive reader I would humor myself to the likes of ken follet, robin cook ,tintin or any piece of literature which would not make my face sullen as droopy the dog. Again focus on Alt +tab and vision beyond the scope of my monitor.
A funny observation: In corporate environment staring harder into your computer screen outlines your sincerity towards work, not fading eyesight.
So when I am reading about football or movies or music, I would stare so hard into my monitor like Stephen hawking staring at the sky.
While working I used to be relaxed and calm faced, a façade usually worn while you do stuff which make you happy. And it is very unlikely to be work related.
So now I know why my supervisor thought that I really found my work very interesting.
Any hoo moving on.
Our testing department was in the fifth floor of the building and it was almost as big as half a football ground. It was split into two divisions. The hard working employees and minions were provided cubicles in center of the office which resembled like a giant moratorium. If you happen to run into employees when the coffee machines were down, you would mistake our office for a set of 28 days later.
The Human Resource folks, project Manager’s and project leaders were assigned cubicles between these two divisions as it was near the window. It provided a picturesque view of powai lake.
Now while passing alongside their cubicles I would intentionally cough or stomp aloud a step. And 9/10 times I found them busy on the same social websites which were firewalled for us. They would shudder and hurry up to alt + tab.
The funny thing is no one would bother to look around to see who made that noise as it would be a giveaway. They stare even harder at the screen after alt+ tabbing. And I get away scott free.
The indulgences of a meek minion.
• Picture : courtesy PHD comics.