Our flight was delayed by about 30 minutes to get out of the gate. Apparently, there were not enough cleaning crew to clean the equipment. In any case, we pushed out of the gate amid heavy rains, lumbered our way to the end of the runway and with the engines springing to full life, started hurtling down the active runway.
It was then that I got this message from Delta that we will be delayed by 5 more hours (till 9:25PM).
A few seconds later, quickly climbing thru the air, I was still scratching my head – What was that all about?
“Poth harabo bolei
Ebar pothe nemechi
Soja pother dhnadhay
Ami onek dhnedhechi
Poth harabo bolei
Ebar pothe nemechi”
Lyrics and tune by Salil Chowdhury
“I am stepping back on the road again
This time so that I can get lost on my way
The road, that is straight and narrow
Has disoriented me time and again
This time I am stepping back on the road
Just so that I can get lost on my way”
I was sitting at my desk working in one of those shared office space places in Alpharetta when a young Indian gentleman started approaching me. He seemed new to me. I have been working out of that place for over 12 years and could not recollect seeing him before.
Well, that surprised me. I thought he was going to ask for some help or directions in the new place. But it seemed like we knew each other.
“Yes. You have to help me out a little here.”
“20 years back. Dallas.”
“i2?” I asked.
“Yes”, he replied. But I still could not put the face and a name together.
“You have to help me a little bit more.” I admitted.
That is when it clicked. Product Manager in Nayan’s group. All sorts of three letter acronyms – LSP (large scale planning), SPP (Spare Parts Planner) started flowing fast thru my stream of consciousness.
From there, the joining of dots flew fast and thick. We remembered a lot of our past friends and some memorable events from our Dallas days.
I had to get back to my Zoom calls after the coffee break. But, good news is that Pradheep will be visiting Alpharetta from DC regularly. Looking forward to spending more time with him!!
(As a reflection point later in the day, it reminded me of something I tell my folks at work always. When we meet again many years later, we will forget product names and financial numbers. We will always remember people and specific interactions. That is how we humans are.)
I was mildly irritated when I got the annual (property) tax bill from Fulton county. Not because you would expect any irrational exuberance from me upon sighting a tax bill but because I did not owe Fulton county anything. It was not even my property any more.
You see, we sold our house in July. And part of the sales proceedings is that the lawyers withhold prorated property tax from the buyer and the seller and pay the authorities. So, for that year, nobody has to pay any more taxes. From next year, the owner pays directly.
So, I was irritated that Fulton county systems had not caught up yet. Called up our broker who checked with the lawyers and confirmed that I did not need to do anything. I also notified the new owners of the same.
But bureaucracies are bureaucracies. Just because I did not owe anything does not mean that the government authorities will see eye to eye. I realized I would have to “go thru the process” to get everything squared away.
The good news is that the Fulton County website has a fairly well documented section on how to protest. So, duly protested with a photocopy of the bill and proof of sale to them.
Did not hear anything for about 6 weeks.
Then I got an email with a link to my property tax bill!
To make sure that this was not about my current house, I followed the link, went to the bill and sure enough – just as I had feared, it was about the house I do not own any more.
Next Monday, first thing in the morning, I called up the Tax office. A chirpy sounding lady picked up the phone. This incredible conversation happened after I explained my situation to her…
“Okay, let’s see what is going on. What is your address?”
I gave the same.
“Who am I talking to?”
I gave the name.
“You own this house or you sold it?”
“Sold it, ma’m”
“Ok. Yes, I can see the property record. It was sold on July 7th.”
“Let’s see what is going on with your bill… ”
And then after a few seconds, she came back…
“I have your bill in front of me. You said, you received this bill by email?”
“You opened it and checked the details?”
“Yes, ma’m. It is the house I sold.”
“Did you check the amount?”
“Check the amount…?” I stammered a little…and quickly pressed Page Down twice on my screen to go to the bottom of the bill.
There it was staring at me – a big fat “$0.00” !!!
“Oh!” I exclaimed on the phone. “Why did you send me a bill if I did not owe you anything?”
“You had protested. That was our way of letting you know that we have adjusted your new bill to zero. You have proof now you owed nothing.”
“Oh! Thank you!”
Both of us laughed a bit – me far more sheepishly than her!
Needed a strong coffee after that!!