Eight days in and the strange things slowly start becoming normal. Survived my first week of work, no first-aid kit needed. It might be needed on the third floor of the Bronx building. Strategically placed AED lifepacks would help too. That is the building next to mine. Third floor: the company’s IS/IT grounds. There are a lot of Indians, sorry if I ruined the surprise. Regardless of what Amgen is paying them, the stench on that floor will be forever non-refundable. If that’s an issue, it’s not the main one. Side note: in India, it’s normal to squat like a baseball catcher to do things like sweep the floor. Oh, and use the bathroom. Apparently, the third floor is their motherland. Because shit is being splattered over the walls, the floor, and stall handles. The women’s room has all that plus blood. Biohazard. Which means it must be documented and upper management has to get involved for safety sake. Extreme inappropriateness. Being in validation, you would never imagine the need to write an operating procedure on proper bathroom technique. But life is unpredictable. And shit happens. Only the guilty parties know how the splattering is even physically possible. Others, including myself, are left to thought. And the thought is that they are climbing up, squatting with their feet on top of the actual toilet seat, and then forcefully excreting. Gum in a urinal is bad enough for the cleaning lady to fish out. This requires taking the whole bathroom to a carwash. I hope this is not one of the things that become normal. It has been an eventful week to say the least. I feel as if I have been working for months. I’ve already been filled in on some interesting office banter, had conference calls about projects, and attended an all staff meeting about the direction and expansion of the company. Getting used to the work culture has been pretty seamless. Getting used to what I will be working on is the challenge right now. With all the information I am digesting, I am just trying to make sure I chew properly. You are only as good as the value you add, and right now I am as useful as a leftover fly in January. But, it takes time before you see a return on your investment. I am not in a rush, but there’s quite a climb to get to the top of Mt. Learnmore. We’ll see if I have the right boots. I rented my first car, a stick shift Renault Megane and learned the basics of driving. Driving Pranav insane, too. Sorry, but at least whiplash is curable. Round two is tomorrow...minus Pranav. I also enjoyed my first Hoegaarden. Get your mind out of the gutter, it’s a Belgian beer. Accompanied by good food in the falafel restaurant and good chats with Pranav and Amisha. All that followed by more chats and my first Koffie and Belgian waffle with chocolate syrup in the café a block away. While meandering in public, Rani or Raj have a tendency to hold your hand. Raj is usually my BFF, but this time Rani held mine. She made me skip with her back to the car. I even had to skip up some stairs. I laughed real hard at myself. But within minutes of getting in the car they turn into complete narcoleptics. I wonder if narcoleptics think all of their clothes are pajamas. Sunday seems like a good day to test my wonderings.