Monday, March 16, 2009

Quirky Questions...

March 15th is a hectic day for almost all students at Great Lakes. I would say the MOST hectic day! This is the day when many of us start and finish the yearlong empirical research study that we have to do at Great Lakes. I say almost all because those of us doing their research under the guidance of Prof. Venkat and Prof. Zubin have already finished the research well in advance (I believe some 3 months back… Sheeshh!!!). The rest of us, mortals, are still in the fray for the consolation prizes – meaning grades other than A!

When it comes to empirical study, there are all sorts in our class. Some of them (the like of ppl described above) are serious, deliberate and studious. Some do it for the all-important grades. Some do it because they have to inorder to graduate. Some… don’t do it! Ofcourse, this “Won’t do it” attitude is only till the last day for if we don’t submit our study, which amounts to 2 credits, we get an “F” grade. Which essentially means that our MBA does a double flip on its heels and then we can kiss it goodbye!

It was in this context that I gave a frantic call to Miss R. She is one of those “model” students, the pet of the Prof. and all in all a complete crackpot! (BTW, her study has been accepted at the ASAC Conference, Canada and she has promised me a suitcase full of chocolates when she returns. There Miss R, no escaping now!!).

Coming back to the topic, this how our conversation went:

Date and Time: 15th March, 2009. 5:30 AM

“Tring Tring” (Phone rings, and after a persistent 7-8 rings it is picked up)

Miss R: “Hello George. What is it NOW!!??”

Well, you gotta hand it to her. She had been extremely calm considering I had been incessantly calling her and asking her for advice on the empirical study from day one. And this call was at an unearthly hour (I don’t care what Prof. Venkat says, I still maintain that 3-6 AM is as unearthly as they come).

Me: Heave Ho, Huff and Puff

Miss R: “George! Behave yourself! You should not wake a girl up at this hour and spray her with sleazy noises! Infact you should not call a girl up at any time and make sleazy noises! Shame on you!”

Well, she had a point. It is not gentlemanly to call a girl at unearthly in the first place and then to treat her to weird noises was worse! But honestly, I wasn’t trying any thing sleazy… it’s just the way I am!

Me: Croak and Cough

Miss R: “George! What’s the matter with you!!?? Have you turned into a frog or warthog or something? Not that it makes much of a difference!”

Again she had a point. I wonder if I should rethink about her being a crackpot… she was making perfect sense till now.

I finally found my voice

Me: “R… help… please…”

Miss R: “Get a grip on yourself dude! I know its something silly to do with the empirical study… Whats the problem?”

Silly?? Well, excuse me! Me no model student, but I do ask smart questions too y’know! Like the other day when one of our Profs was explaining the concept of Theory of Constraints, I asked a question that let even the Prof dumbfounded and open-mouthed… I asked. “Sir, if inventory pileup is the biggest enemy to any plant, then isn’t the best solution not to manufacture any inventory at all? Just manufacture the end product!” Well, there you have it! Perfect solution to your problems, GM and Ford. Maybe I ought to become an operations consultant… if Goldrat can do it, so can I… So there!!.

Me: Whining and Wheezing

Miss R: “Let me know when you stop making stupid noises! Ill wait”

Patience, thy name is Miss R!

Me: “R… not noises… no breath… going black all over… verge of death…”

Miss R: “Really? What a shame! I was gonna invite you over to finish the last 4 pieces of KFC that I bought yesterday! Now, ill just have to throw it away!”

Me: “KFC? Ill be over in a jiffy! Why dint you say so in the beginning? I thought I smelt KFC when I was passing by your place yesterday!! (Yes, I have a very developed olfactory sense, especially when it comes to KFC… Its one of my strengths!) And don’t say that you throw it away in front of it… KFC also has feelings you know… Don’t be so cruel to the poor thing even though it has been deep fried in boiling oil!”

Miss R: “So… you are not dying, is it? Hmmm…”

Me: “Errr…”

Miss R: “I thought so! Now tell what is the problem?”

Me: “Well, you see I have the most important question to ask you about the empirical study”

Miss R: “Yes, you really need to write more than 5 sentences.” She pre-empted…

Proves that she does not know me at all, doesn’t it? Obviously I had more that just 5 lines! I had close to 7 that too excluding the name of the study and all such jazz!

Me: “Ha! Gotcha! I have more than 5 sentences” :-P

Its after I did that anteater impression that I realized that she could not see the sarcastic look on my face… I let it go. No point in bringing it up to be just snubbed!

Miss R: “Woow! You really exceeded my wildest expectations!”

Me: “Dangzz J

Miss R: “BTW, you still haven’t told me why you woke me up from my slumber. As it is, I slept late yesterday”

Me: “Really? You too? Well me too… infact I haven’t slept at all. I was too busy with my empirical study. I swear, writing this stuff is hard work, don’t you think so? I mean, I was...”

Pity she cut me off right there… I could have told her a whole story of my experiments with the truth! (No! Its not something kinky, you dirty minded freak!!) But unlike the Mahatma I dint really have a revolution to make the entire thing really damn exciting and make a book of it…

Miss R: “George!!! If you have nothing other that blabbering and making confounded noises, both of which are synonymous by the way, ill go back to my sweet sleep…”

Me: “No No… pls I need your help”

Miss R: “Then tell me what your problem is you silly ass!”

I was hurt… really… Miss P says I’m more of a penguin… And I haven’t yet refuted her… maybe it’s the way I walk! And ofcourse the fact that I’m blacker than a dirty, unpolished diamond… a diamond all the same ;-)

Me: “I have the most important question about the study, with out the answer to which I wont be able to submit my study at all!!”

Miss R: “So tell me already! You sound more like a broken record saying the same thing over and over again! You have been torturing me over the phone for the last 10 mins and disturbed my sleep and giving me a damn headache!”

I could see that she was getting a bit ex..., what’s the word… excited? No exasperated… yes that’s the word. But me torturing? I always thought my croaky voice had quite a soothing effect on ppl!

Me: “Ok Ok.. hold on to your horses… Sheeshh… its not as if you were doing anything important right?”

Miss R: “AaArrrrghhhhh!!!”

Me: “Hey! Don’t butt in when I’m trying to ask you the question! Then you’ll come back and tell me I was not asking the question too… Seriously dude! You need to make up your mind!”

Miss R: “GEORGE!!!!!!”

Me: “Ok, hey tell me… What should the font size be?”

There was a loud bang and it is still ringing in my ear. I wonder what happened… The phone got cut off and I have not been able to contact Miss R after that. Whenever I call the phone I get the message “This number is currently switched off”

On a separate note, I heard that Miss R’s phone fell on the floor and broke into some 9 pieces. I wonder how a phone can just fall on the floor and break into so many pieces…

Hmmm… one of the mysteries of physical science, I guess!


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