Outsourcing's worst nightmare....
|Why did I think that this Friday was going to be like any other Friday? I mean, to be honest, I am not saying that my Fridays are usually wonderful. But at least they're care-free!
You see, we do software development for an American firm that has clients throughout the globe. Thursdays are when we push the software deliverables to the client and Fridays are just usually spent doing maintenance work and very rarely, responding to any issues that arise. That particular week, I had been working on scheduling transaction reports for a London client. Now when you are working for clients on the other side of the globe, time suddenly becomes an important factor. You need to know which city is in which time zone. Well that doesn't sound difficult, does it? And I had all the formulas in my head to show for it too. IST minus 12:30 hours = CST! And CST plus 6 hours = GMT! See??
So Friday comes, and just when I was thinking everything was hunky dory - BAM! The sun rises in London and the mails start pouring in. What was the issue? Well it was pretty straight-forward actually. The reports were getting delivered an hour late. But why??
I check Google and it does indicate that there was now a seven hour difference between Chicago and London. But…but CST plus 6 is…
My desk phone rings then. It's from Bryan in Chicago. I check the time. It was 5:38 PM here in India. I pick up hesitantly.
"Laksh-man!" Bryan screeches my name through the phone. It was very much evident he's still in bed.
"Hey Bryan. G'Morning!"
"Good evening...ummm...Gabe from London woke me up saying the reports are not delivered on time! These are very critical!! We certainly can't be doing this to them."
" Yes Bryan, of course. But it's just….London is suddenly seven hours ahead of Chicago!"
He groans and says, "Haven’t you heard of the British Summer Time!?"
"What the hell is THAT??" I had never despised something that sounded so good to the ears.
He groans some more. "Oh oh...Lakshman...this is just...so stupid. I guess I'm to blame for not giving you a heads-up. It's Day Light Savings. You need to push all the reports one hour back!"
What? Is he really asking me to do what I think he's asking me to do? I was ready to leave for the day. One at least pretended to leave early on Fridays. If only to make people believe you actually had a life outside.
I whimper "All 565 of them??"
"Yes of course. Get started! This is going to be a long day."
Your day and my Friday evening, you oaf…..