Few months back an incident happened, someone tried to rob our house early in the morning at around 2 AM but to their surprise, I was awake working. Noticing this,the thief ran away. Again few days later the same thing happened, this time those thieves came at around 3 AM thinking I would have slept by then but surprise surprise, I was still working. They made some 2-3 theft attempts and every time the lights would be on and I would be working.
Those thieves must have thought that I am some kind of an in-house night watchman and they never came back. No such attempts were made after that, thanks to the in-house night watchman Me. So that’s how my life goes, like a nocturnal animal. My nights are usually longer than the days, by the time I wake up half of the day would have gone past. So being a night person (or should I say owl?) let me start with how the hours roll by at night.
I get back home from office normally at around 7:30 pm, reaching home I usually have a cup of tea and play with my two-year old little nephew for sometime. Then I switch on the wi-fi to check whatsapp messages, tweets, instagram photos and other social updates. After that, i spend about 30-60 mins reading books. I am currently reading ‘ReWork’ by Jason Fried & DHH. I prefer reading ‘startup’ and tech books mostly. While i read, the little boy at home would be running around shouting and pulling my shirt, sometimes he would stop by to ask Why am i talking to the book? Sometimes I read the book out loud that he thinks I am talking to the book.
I watch a couple of Friends episodes to relax, and usually around then my mom would yell calling us for dinner. After dinner, I talk to dad, mom and sister about what’s happening in the family and office. Sometimes dad and I debate about random topics like politics, love, religion or god which will go on for hours. I wrap up the day with some work if there’s any, pushing code to github or deploying something on the production server.
So that’s what happens on a normal evening, and on special days when we have an important launch or something, everything changes. No reading and no sitcoms, instead I spend some time with little nephew and get back to work. During a launch, work goes on till 3 AM , otherwise I go to bed at around 1 or 2 (Got used to sleeping late). Most of the times while going to bed, i plug-in the ear phones, and would quickly fall asleep listening to nice melodies..
About my morning life, I have always dreamt about getting up early in the morning at 6, go jogging on the sea-shore and spend some time meditating, get back home around 7:30 to grab a cup of coffee or tea. But damn, that never happens..
What do I actually do in the morning? hmm.. “Morning? have you ever seen it?”, that’s my mom shouting from the kitchen. Well, I wake up at around 8:30 or 9 in the morning, watch some funny videos (yes, again Friends episodes) to start the day with some positive vibes. I don’t have the habit of reading news papers or magazines, instead I check my twitter feeds to see what’s going in the world. I also spend some time reading startup/tech articles on popular blogs like techcrunch, hackers news and yourstory. Later, I check the official emails and reply to the important ones. Then I slowly get ready, have brunch and go to office which is very close to my house.
By the time I reach office, people would have accumulated 5-10 bugs for me to fix, and as soon as I enter the office they would welcome me with all the love and affection (Sometimes they even sing songs to welcome me). I straight away get to work by fixing bugs raised by customers or sellers and reply to emails. Usual things that a tech guy does at an e-commerce office, nothing new. I love the work culture at Shopo. I can work from office or home or anywhere I’m comfortable, but the main thing that matters to us is meeting deadlines, we make sure that things get done before the agreed deadline. Most of the times i go to office and work, and sometimes work from home.
There’s another interesting thing, our office doesn’t have a corporate set-up with cubicles and other things that induces stress in you automatically, instead we work out of a beautiful house in Thiruvanmiyur, not so far from the beach (pretty close actually). So work is always fun at office, we pull each others leg and have fun between work, we also listen to music while working and sometimes we play fun games as well.
And soon after the games, everyone would get back to whatever work they were doing earlier, and the room becomes silent, hours would pass and after sometime people would start yawning one by one during that post luch period, and that’s when inji tea (ginger tea) comes to the rescue, We all take a walk to the nearby tea kadai(tea stall) and have this amazing inji tea that refreshes the brain and makes you active. While sipping the tea, we gossip about start-ups, love stories and more.
Then we walk back to office to continue work, if someone comes up with a new idea, a discussion would begin where we all share our thoughts and contemplate to see if it might actually help improve the business. That’s another advantage of working for a startup, you get to hear about many things from technology to sales and marketing, which is not possible in big companies. So we discuss for sometime, bounce ideas and get back to work again. I work on some new features, writing code and once in a while switch to bug-fix mode.
Once in few days I go out with my office friends, last week we all went to the nearby KFC to stuff our face with some yummy crispy chicken, and last month we all went to the nearby theatre to watch “Vishwaroopam”. Having a little fun outside work helps us keep up the excitement, otherwise we’d get bored of the routine.
And as the day comes to an end,I leave office at around 7 pm, sometimes I stay at office till 8 or 9 pm that would happen mostly during an important launch, there was one time when all of us in the tech. team were staying up all night to launch Shopo version 2 (revamp), we were awake coding all night without food (seriously!) and time was zipping past, by the time we could fix all the bugs and deploy the new version it was 5 AM in the morning, and again there was few more changes to be done, finished them quickly and went back home at around 6 AM to get some sleep. Work is always interesting because we all work out of deep passion, there’s no stress or people micro managing you.
So this is the routine I follow. It’s fun and satisfying but the only problem working for startup is, its hard to get sometime to go out & find a girlfriend for yourself or to find time for a date in case you already have a girl friend. In that case your laptop becomes the girlfriend, come home late night and you’ll hear my mom yelling at me, “Why are you sitting with that laptop all the time?”, “You stare into that laptop all the time at office and even after reaching home why do you want to do the same?”, “Why are you up late night, can’t you get some sleep? its 3AM already!”
And for that I would reply, “Ok mom, I was just going to shut down the laptop and hit the bed, okay! i’m going now..”, i hit the bed and after a while mom would yell again, “Now what the hell are you doing with that phone?”. I don’t know why but putting myself to sleep every night is so hard, as if the world would end if I go to sleep.
And during weekends when I am not working or sleeping, i attend start-up and tech events that happens in Chennai. I often go to the Chennai Geeks monthly meetings, would participate in hackathons. Otherwise, I spend some time tweeting or hanging out at the nearby Thiruvanmiyur beach or I chill at some mall or theater with friends or family.
So there is fun, work, and lot of start-up lessons filled in my everyday life
“Big thanks to my colleague and friend Magesh(I call him Thambu) for writing this post.This very talented guy does some brilliant work for Shopo. He is a little shy, but has over 2000 followers on Twitter! you can follow him here” – Samyuktha