Certifiable Test Case

Confused employee wading through Nerd Nirvana

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Location: Hyderabad, AP, India

Program Manager Microsoft IT India

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

That thou art mindful of it....

The morning sun shone brightly and a beam of light passed straight through the canopy of overhead leaves and came to rest on a grey sedan, glinting off its windscreen. The car drove purposefully on for a few hundred yards, and then slowed down to make the left turn to its destination.

The person driving the car was an epitome of the ubiquitous morning work-bound commuter: starched cotton trousers, leather belt, a plain white tweed shirt, patent-leather black shoes and a face screwed up in anticipation at the ordeal ahead. In short, just your average working Joe; nothing really unusual about his looks.

It is writ in the classics that men trembled at the passage to the netherworld even though the passage be just once. The person in the car made the journey to Hell every single day.

And true enough, there was a Cerberus substitute at the gates. A hefty, hirsute brute growled menacingly, and with all the menace that he could summon, extended his arm pointing to the horizon on the right.

The man in the car hesitated. Maybe he could explain his situation; show the guard that with the pain he suffered he could not possibly abandon his vehicle at the gates for the journey within. But Cerberus is not amiable to persuasion; and mistakes hesitation for affront. The guard brought his fist upon the car's bonnet (the man winced), and in an enraged bark told the man to park without.

The man did so, and started walking towards the nearest prefecture. But he never completed the journey on foot. In a few minutes time, a colleague was offering him a ride to his destination. The man looked back to see Cerberus frisking another person at the gates.

"How did you get in?", the man asked.

"Easy", was the reply. "I said that I was from a company and showed him the offer letter. He couldn't find the difference"

"Ah", said the man, and commented no more till they reached the building he wished to enter. A large crowd hung about the building with no one seeming to enter.

The man stepped forward and asked someone else "Don't we have a test today? Why is everyone just standing about?"

"The test was cancelled. There was a raid in the dwelling-places last night, and no one was prepared for it. They couldn't study, you see."

"But why was there a raid?"

"So that students wouldn't waste time; instead, they would study."

"But they didnt study, so that makes sense?"

The other person shrugged his shoulders.

"That's too bad. You see, I have a meeting here at 4, and I can't leave for home yet. So my whole day here is going to be wasted."

And it was.


The man walked back to the gates under the evening sky, his meeting having successfully concluded. The guard at the gates said " Your pants have thick consistency, they're forbidden. I'll be watching for you tomorrow."

The man took his sedan, and drove out of the gates. The streetlight illuminated the fountain, and the writing on the ledge behind was clearly visible to all passers-by: Anna University.