“Narayanan, do you have time? Come to my office for a meeting,” Narayanan’s watch showed it was four in the evening.
“Another late evening, for sure,” he told himself before responding, “sure sir, I shall be there in a minute.”
Narayanan has joined the research division of this ambitious mobile telephone company. His job is to understand and expand applications of mobile telephone technology. There is an immense pressure on him because market is competitive.
Narayanan loves his job, he also realizes there is no work life balance here. On the very first day, his manager Dr. Bhatia had informed,
“we don’t expect senior employees to leave early.”
To reinforce, he has started late afternoon meetings, like today’s meeting. Meetings usually continue till seven in the evening or beyond.
“Is this a deliberate ploy to impress senior management or to get back at me for ignoring his advice? ” Narayanan wondered.
Dr. Bhatia had adviced him at the time of joining,
“Rent an apartment close by. Administration will take care of everything. You will be free to mind your research.”
Narayanan had decided to stay in his family accommodation. His ageing parents were unwilling to move. Narayanan himself was not eager to deal with landlords anymore. Narayanan felt, Bhatia is getting even with him with these late meetings with full knowledge that Narayanan lives far away.
It was late in the evening, when the meeting ended. To complicate his life, it was raining. “Malati will be unhappy as I shall reach home late”, Naryanan thought to himself, but he was helpless. He will have to negotiate traffic jams in water logged roads. His forty km commute is likely to be a long drive home, because there is no certainty how long he will take to reach home.
Word count : 297
This entry is part of a free-write flash fiction contest where five writers compete in the October TUFFest Ride event during 2018 Fiction Rodeo at Carrot Ranch.
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