Under What Conditions Do You Do Your Best Work?

Under What Conditions Do You Do Your Best Work?

I think I like some peace and quiet and not too many distractions when I am working. I do not like working next to too many people, though I have worked as a call center agent for a long time. I am still in the industry but in a different role so it’s one that I need a bit more space than an agent can get.

I also do not like being rushed or asked to do things at the last moment. I also do not like too much multi-tasking, it’s not good for productivity or efficiency. Let me finish one thing and in between I can do a couple of smaller things as well but it’s better that you do not bother me with too much stuff that takes away from my concentration. And also less nonsensical banter the better.

I do not like too many people dropping by and saying stuff. I do not like to have too much food in between, just coffee and a snack. But I do work best if I can have some candy near me, like hard candy a la Kopiko. That speeds up my work and also keeps me from getting a dry mouth. And ofcourse plenty of water.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

Southampton 1 Arsenal 1

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his side’s slow start in games is becoming a problem, after they scraped a draw against Southampton. Substitute Olivier Giroud glanced in a superb late header to salvage a point after the Gunners had trailed since the third minute. Charlie Austin clipped home an early opener for the home side with the away defence mere onlookers. The Southampton striker drilled a stinging shot into Petr Cech’s gloves shortly after, then hit the post from an offside position. A sharp save from Aaron Ramsey apart, Southampton goalkeeper Fraser Forster had little to do as the visitors struggled to carve out clear-cut chances before Giroud climbed above Virgil van Dijk to steer home Alexis Sanchez’s cross and make Arsenal’s possession finally pay.

Southampton were left to rue several wasted chances on the counter attack, with Ryan Bertrand missing a fine opportunity and Oriol Romeu’s long-range effort glancing off the bar in the second half. A draw briefly moved Arsenal level on points with fourth-placed Liverpool, but the Reds edged back a point clear with a 1-1 draw against Everton. Southampton broke into the top half of the table, until Everton’s point meant the Saints slipped back to 11th. Wenger made one change from the line-up that started with so many errors against Manchester United, but Per Mertesacker’s inclusion did not remove that flaw at St Mary’s. The German centre-back gave possession away cheaply and was made to pay as Dusan Tadic’s cute reverse ball picked out Austin, who clinically found the net. It could easily have been worse for the Gunners in the opening 10 minutes too, as the visiting defence lacked any cohesion or organisation collectively.

Individually, Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny and Nacho Monreal failed to track runners or show the commitment of the Saints attackers. Just as against United, Arsenal spent plenty of time on the ball in the second half, with 70% possession after the break – but moments of real concern for the Southampton defence were rare before Giroud’s equaliser. The Frenchman’s celebration, pointing to the name on the back of his shirt, might have been a reminder to his manager that he is available from the start. He has scored four league goals in 13 substitute appearances during this campaign yet is still to make his first start.

Cold, Sore Throat And Phlegm

I wasn’t sure how I was able to manage today but in the end it all worked out find. I woke up on Sunday morning with a bad head cold and sneezing. Well it started on Saturday but it wasn’t that bad until late into the night. Sunday I spent at home trying to watch movies and resting up but I knew by later afternoon that I would be a little too ill. And my voice went out as my throat as sore. And quite a bit of phlegm too!

So I arranged for a colleague to conduct the training for today. I went in by 9 am and did some other work where my voice didn’t need to be used. I had several cups of hot black coffee today – drinking one now as a matter of fact – I was able to still relax as there was hardly anyone to bother me and I was able to even enjoy my lunch with some colleagues. Post lunch it was more of the same and I relieved my colleague by 5pm as he had come in much earlier and was feeling tired.

At 6pm I left the trainees of the batch and sent out my reports. I left the office premises by 6:20 pm and did not want to go anywhere for a sandwich or anything. I just wanted to make it home by 7pm, buy a few small snacks and get another cup of coffee which I can drink in leisure, in my room, while sitting in front of the laptop and listening to some rock music. Ain’t nothing more good for the body than that!

Food Review #202

Cafe Coffee Day’s American Classic Burger (Actually Sliders) – chicken cutlet patties, onions, lettuce. I wish Indian restaurants and cafes would stop calling things like American Classic when we could actually go to war with them for this ridiculous named item which falls short. The chicken patties were bland and the score of 6 is a generous one. When we are getting individually owned joints that do an awesome job in making juicy delicious burgers, a big franchise like CCD is making below par stuff.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard

The Hitman’s Bodyguard is a 2017 American action comedy film directed by Patrick Hughes and written by Tom O’Connor, whose script was on the 2011 Black List survey. The film stars Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Gary Oldman and Salma Hayek, and follows a bodyguard who is hired to protect a hitman who has to testify at the International Criminal Court.

Ryan Reynolds plays Michael Bryce, an ex-CIA agent turned private European Union based executive bodyguard who offers the finest services. He lives a lavish lifestyle and is rich and lives with his girlfriend Amelia Roussel, who has newly joined Interpol, in a nice mansion. However after his important client Takashi Kurosawa, a Japanese arms dealer, is killed at the airport Price falls into disgrace. 2 years later he is a shell of his former self, separated from Amelia and ekes out a living protecting drug-addicted corporate executives in London.

Vladislav Dukhovich, the ruthless and bloodthirsty dictator of Belarus, is put on trial for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court. The prosecution is unable to make headway against him, as they are unable to substantiate their allegations with physical evidence and Dukhovich assassinates any witnesses who could do so. The prosecution’s last hope is notorious incarcerated hitman Darius Kincaid, who agrees to testify against Dukhovich in exchange for releasing his wife Sonia from prison. Roussel is picked to lead the transportation of Kincaid, with a convoy of vehicles in which armed French & English agents escort them from Manchester to The Hague. The convoy is ambushed by armed men with guns and explosives and with the exception of Roussel and Kincaid, everyone else is killed.

Roussel and an injured Kincaid head to a safehouse and thinking that Interpol is probably compromised as the attackers knew exactly where and when to ambush them, she takes a risk and calls in Bryce who is reluctant  ultimately agrees to aid them in exchange for the restoration of his reputation. After a brief showdown with Kincaid which reveals that Bryce had multiple conflicts with him in the past, Roussel returns to Interpol to update them on the situation, while Bryce and Kincaid escape an attack by Dukhovich’s men. It is revealed that Roussel’s superior Foucher is the one who is working for Dukhovich and is spying for him. Dukhovich’s men track Kincaid’s location through his cellphone and ambush him and Bryce.

While they are able to fight them off, their vehicle is destroyed. The two hitchhike to a ferry terminal and take a ferry to Amsterdam, where Sonia is being held. Kincaid escapes from Bryce to send flowers to Sonia, and Bryce tracks him down and kills several more hitmen. Kincaid reveals that he killed Kurosawa two years ago, having been at the airport only by chance after another job. Enraged at the revelation that he has spent two years blaming Roussel for “betraying” him when in reality the client’s death was a sheer fluke, Bryce punches Kincaid and then abandons him. Bryce has a couple of drinks as Kincaid is attacked by Dukhovich’s men but has a change of heart and helps out the hitman.

Bryce though is captured and tortured and it is now Kincaid who comes to his aid and rescues him. They make their way to the Hague with seconds to spare and Kincaid provides damning evidence against Dukhovich, who resorts to his backup plan; to bomb the court, allowing him to steal a gun and attempt to kill Kincaid. Bryce jumps in the way of the bullet and orders Kincaid to stop Dukhovich from escaping. Roussel notices Foucher acting suspiciously during the attack, and deduces he was the traitor. She subdues him with Bryce’s aid. Kincaid pursues Dukhovich to the roof of the building, where he attempts to escape by helicopter, but Kincaid dispatched both the helicopter and pushes Dukhovich to his death.

In the aftermath, Bryce is recovered and has rekindled his relationship with Roussel and Sonia is released. Kincaid is rearrested for his previous crimes, but breaks out of HMP Belmarsh so he and Sonia can celebrate their anniversary in the bar in Honduras where they first met. The movie ends with them dancing and then kissing in the midst of all the fighting and chaos taking place at the bar.

Funny in a lot of places and with non-stop banter and fast paced action, this movie delivers on what the trailer promised it would be. Action, buddy elements, guns, explosions and lots of banter and with both leads saying “motherfucker” and “fuck” a lot! It’s senseless fun and entertainment but the difference in this movie, compared to others, is the obvious chemistry between Reynolds & Jackson. 8 outta 10, for the kind of movie it wants to be!

RIP Albert Moses

Sri Lankan born actor Albert Moses who became famous for his character Ranjeet Singh, a Sikh from Punjab (‘A THOUSAND APOLOGIES’ ) in the ITV sitcom Mind Your Language died in London September 15. He was 79. The remains of Albert Moses will be buried at St.Andrew’s Church in his native Gampola today.

Moses, who was based in the United Kingdom began his acting career in the 1960s in India where he acted in several films. From India, he moved to Africa where he undertook work on documentaries. Moses has been involved with the film and television industry for over 30 years starting in India where he acted in 7 films. In the UK, Albert has been involved in a great number of diverse projects, several of which were ventures filmed around the globe.

In his younger days, Albert’s specialties as an actor included: fencing, dancing, singing, motor-cycle stunts, karate and judo. He is fluent in English, Arabic, Tamil, Sinhalese, moderate German and Sanskrit. One of Albert’s popular themes was playing the double of Clarke Gable. He has played in film, television and theatrical productions with many respected actors including: Kirk Douglas, Oliver Reed, Sir John Gielgud, Roger Moore, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, Charles Dance, Kenneth Williams, Benny Hill, Tim Piggott Smith, Pamela Stevenson, Diana Rigg and many others.

During his extensive career, he has also worked with many internationally renowned directors including John Landis, John Houston, Rob Cohen and Alan Parker. He did prominent roles in many theatre productions such as Freeway at National Theatre Phædra Britannica with Dame Diana Rigg. Long March to Jerusalem at Watford Theatre are few of the many.

He starred in movies such as The Man Who Would Be King – A John Houston film with Sean Connery, Michael Caine and Christopher Plummer, The Spy Who Loved Me – James Bond Movie with Roger Moore, Stand Up Virgin Soldiers – EMI, Carry On Emmanuelle – as an Indian doctor, The Little Drummer Girl – EMI, The Awakening – Columbia Pictures, An American Werewolf In London – John Landis Movie, The Great Quest – with Oliver Reed, Pink Floyd, The Wall – Alan Parker Film, Octopussy – James Bond Movie (as Saddrudin – undercover British agent in India), Jungle Book II – Walt Disney, East Is East – Channel Four Films, Scandalous – with Sir John Gielguld and Pamela Stevenson.

Not A Morning Person

I find it difficult to wake up and function at 6am. Hell even at 7am. And it’s only for waking up and then getting ready to go to work. I don’t like working that early in the morning. Like after 10am is fine. But having to get to work at 8:30 am or even 9 am is tough. I need a few hours – 3 or so – after I wake up to come out of zombie mode and become a functional human being. And 2 cups of strong coffee along the way.

But I am having to do this for this week and the next and I am tired. I need to get used to these hours. I got so used to reaching home at the early hours of the morning like between 3am and 5am and that means that I wake up at around 11am or noon and can restup till 6pm when I need to get ready and go to work. When you work these shifts, you need plenty of rest. Especially at my age. No going out for lunches or movies during the work week.

So when I do get these day shift, working from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm I keep thinking, hey I can go out and enjoy the evening. But ofcourse something always comes up and I get busy and then reach home only by 8pm. And then I get online for a couple of hours, watch tv shows for a couple of hours and then go to sleep.

Arsenal 6 Bate Borisov 0

Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott hope they have given manager Arsene Wenger a “selection headache” by impressing during Arsenal’s comfortable Europa League win over Bate Borisov. Neither midfielder Wilshere nor forward Walcott have started a Premier League game for the Gunners this season, but both found the net as Arsenal finished their Group H campaign with a comprehensive victory.

The Gunners, who had already secured top spot, went ahead with an angled finish from defender Mathieu Debuchy. Walcott added Arsenal’s second with a close-range finish and Wilshere then scored a fine goal after he cut on to his left foot inside the penalty area and arrowed the ball into the net. Bate defender Denis Polyakov put Walcott’s low cross into his own net after half-time before striker Olivier Giroud converted from the penalty spot following Nemanja Milunovic’s trip on Walcott. Mohamed Elneny added a sixth with a curling effort after being set up by Wilshere.

In the wake of Arsenal’s 3-1 home defeat by Manchester United, this fixture represented a chance for some of their fringe players to impress. Wenger made 11 changes from the side that lost to United in the Premier League, although the starting line-up still boasted plenty of experience. Bate had a chance of qualifying for the knockout phase but did not present much of a test for the Gunners, who did not have to exert themselves to secure a routine victory. In truth, the margin of victory probably could have been even greater given Arsenal managed 22 shots on goal.

Kitchen Konfidentials

What is your most vivid memory of the kitchen in your childhood?

That is a tough one. I honestly am not sure and cannot pinpoint a single memory about the kitchen that was in the apartment my parents, my sister and I lived in during our time in Kuwait. I was born in Kuwait City and lived there till I was almost 11 years old and then moved to India.

I guess during those years I associate the kitchen with tuna – odd choice, maybe? But I and my family love tuna. We lightly fry them and ate them in sandwiches with a little cheese. Or even some as a side to rice and curry. Them and fish fingers which were another favourite of my family. Mom cooked some up that you got in that box and she gave them to us as a snack and dad loved it too.

For other reasons I also associate that kitchen with eggs – omelets, scrambled, hard boiled or bullseyes – and Hungry Bunny burger patties, which you bought frozen and cooked in a pan. Man, those were the days.

Prompt from 119 Journal Prompts for Your Journal Jar

It’s 6AM Again

Well I am back to working day shift again. This is for only 2 weeks, this week and the next. I was off on Sunday & Monday and then from Tuesday till this Saturday I am conducting a training and as the training room is available only during the day time, I am working 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Tuesday though, things fucked up on Tuesday and I ended up leaving at 5:45 pm and then going back to the office.

Then I ended up going home at around 9:45 pm and reaching home by 10:15 pm. The end result is that I was tired as hell. I’m glad to say that yesterday and today I have been reaching home by 7:40 pm and getting enough time to savour a cup of strong black coffee and relaxing in front of the laptop until 9pm and dinner time and then watching a bit of tv before falling asleep.

That’s not what I want to be doing on a daily basis and I am happy that it stopped after a day. I like the process of leaving the office at 5:30 or 5:45 pm or even 6pm though I do not relish the thought of getting up at the morning at the time of 6am in order to start the day and get ready to go to work.

Shit Words & Fillers

Why Do So Many People Say ‘Like’ and ‘Totally’ All the Time?

It can be mainly due to two reasons:

  1. They are nervous and are trying to find the right words to say and while looking for the right words, they stuff in these fillers.
  2. They are really stupid and their vocabulary is pathetically limited. They don’t know much but still feel inclined to use too many words in the hopes that if what they have to say is lengthy, listeners might think that they know a lot.

I hate those two fillers but even worse are too many “you knows”! I once counted this asshole ex-colleague of mine during a presentation and he said around 80 “you knows”. We poked fun of him for this and basically told him to go and learn a few more words.

Even worse – “you understand?” Some people stitch them together and make it and even lazier and even more irritating “yanderstand?” and it is annoying as hell. You aren’t complicated enough for us to get confused and so yeah, everyone understand what you mean. Expand your fucking vocabulary to decent standards.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

RIP Shashi Kapoor

Veteran Hindi film actor Shashi Kapoor passed away on Monday after prolonged illness. He was 79. The actor-producer took his last breath at the Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital in Mumbai. He appeared in a large number of Hindi films as well as in various English-language films, notably the films produced by Merchant-Ivory. He was also a film director and assistant director in the Hindi film industry. Born as Balbir Prithviraj Kapoor; 18 March 1938 Kapoor was a member of the Kapoor family, a film dynasty in India’s Bollywood cinema. Kapoor was born in Calcutta (now Kolkata) during the British Raj. He was the third and youngest son of Prithviraj Kapoor, the younger brother of Raj Kapoor and Shammi Kapoor, the widower of Jennifer Kendal (sister of actress Felicity Kendal), and the father of Karan Kapoor, Kunal Kapoor, and Sanjana Kapoor.

In 2011, he was honoured with the Padma Bhushan by the Government of India for his contributions to Art-Cinema. In 2015, he was awarded the 2014 Dadasaheb Phalke Award, making him the third member of his family to receive the highest award in Indian Cinema after Prithviraj Kapoor and Raj Kapoor. He was admitted for a reported chest infection at Kokilaben Hospital, Mumbai on 3 December 2017 and died on 4 December 2017 due to prolonged liver cirrhosis. He made his debut as a leading man in the 1961 film “Dharmputra” and went on to appear in more than 116 films during the ’70s and until the mid ’80s. The veteran actor is well-known for his roles in films like ‘Deewaar’ (1975 ), ‘Satyam Shivam Sundaram’ (1978 ), ‘Junoon’ (1978 ), ‘Shaan’ (1980 ), and ‘Namak Halaal’ (1982).

Ranking Planet Of The Apes Movies

I’m a big fan of science fiction movies and I love the Planet of the Apes franchise. Classic scifi that started in 1968 and they are really awesome. Here is my ranking of the 9 movies that they have made (including the two reboots). They even had two series based on the original movies but I haven’t watched them yet.

    • Planet of the Apes (1968 )
    • War for the Planet of the Apes (2017)
    • Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970)
    • Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)
    • Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014)
    • Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)
    • Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (1972)
    • Planet of the Apes (2001)
    • Battle for the Planet of the Apes (1973)

Yeah on the whole, I think Tim Burton’s attempt at a reboot was probably the weakest try but Battle is almost unwatchable. I still find it hard to watch that in my rewatch cycles (every 3 years or so.

Three Things I’d Do If Not For Fear

Three things you’d do if you weren’t so afraid

  1. Move out and find a small but decent apartment and rent it out and move in there. Financially speaking, that might be difficult at this time but if I could better manage my money, do some investment and or dip into the stock market and make some money then I don’t see why not. The cost of living and also giving some money for my parents would be difficult, especially as I don’t have any savings.
  2. Or…move to another city like Bangalore or Gurgaon or even Chennai and get a job there. I love Cochin but I have limitations here for some of the things that I love and am interested in. I want a few more pubs and some restaurants and fast food joints and breweries and we don’t have them here (ok we have some fast food and restaurants that I love but these cities have more). Also the chances to have access to bigger and more malls, rock concerts and more.
  3. I would like to invest and take a loan and start my own restaurant or bar. Or maybe both. A place that serves really good pizzas, really good sandwiches and burgers, steaks, fried chicken and wings and stuff like that with lots of beer and other alcoholic drinks. Cocktails and stuff. A place that makes you want to hang out with friends and family and drink a few and eat a lot and enjoy yourself and listen to some good music while you are doing it. Heck, I wanna hang out there.