Within a week or so I found out that she was there to keep watch on the Project lead’s nefarious activities. She did her job so well that the Project lead was thrown out within a month’s time because of his own short comings.
She stayed on after that & continued to assist the accountant with the work. We were not great friends but got along well. She sort of adopted me as her sounding board & would tell me all what was happening in her life. Sometimes I ponder what is it about me that convinces people into spilling their secrets, and that too in the first meeting itself. Anyways can’t blame them fully coz I too ask a lot of questions.
Anjali was very fond of my kids & would once in a while bring packets of different types of chocolate bars for them. She would brush aside my hesitation & remind me that her husband worked as a supervisor in a chocolate factory. When I would comically express my envy at his working in my dream job she would tell me how it was not all it seemed to be. They were not satisfied with his job coz there was no scope for growth in the line he was working. Though he would merit a measly salary hike every year there were no such things as promotions since his qualifications did not merit a post higher than what he was holding. And plus it was a night shift job which was getting too tiring & threw their entire lifestyle out of gear.
But it was not like they were just sitting & doing nothing about it. They were saving up for a diploma course he wanted to attend, which could get him better jobs in another field as he thought the present field held no benefits. He & Anjali believed that he was in this predicament as his father had made his career choice even though he was not at all that keen.
Soon Anjali got a good offer from another company & she left us to take that up. Even after she left she would call us at the office atleast once in a month & keep us posted with what was happening in her life. Now that she was earning well, her husband was able to join his dream course earlier than expected. Soon she told us he cleared his course & left the present job to get into another company in another emirate[around 2-3 hrs away]. She told me later that the salary was just the same as the previous company but they weren’t quibbling about it as he was just a beginner. They were very excited at these new developments in their life.
It was decided that he would go first, settle down in his job, find a good apartment & only then take Anjali & their child. They were in no hurry to make drastic changes immediately since she was also working under a contract & couldn’t leave her job just like that.
In the meantime I too had left my job & both of us didn’t speak to each other for a few months. I don’t know how but I just don’t find the time to call anybody sometimes. I seriously am in awe of all the people who manage their home, go to work, find time to blog, facebook, orkut & twitter. Anyways, we did call each other once or twice but each time we tried to speak the other would be busy & months just passed by like that. Then one day she calls out of the blue & we idly spoke for a few minutes when she burst out that she quit her job the previous week. It seemed like the people in the company were not good, their workings very shady, they were taking advantage of her inexperience, etc, etc, etc.
I was like “Look at the bright side, now you can join your husband” but she said that was not possible immediately as her husband hadn’t found a good apartment yet….the rents there were quite steep & all these places were very far from where he worked which made it all the more difficult.
Now that she was at home she called me more regularly & slowly she began revealing her frustrations. She was going crazy managing her child alone the whole week. Her husband who came on weekends, spent most of the time sleeping off his tiredness as he was being overworked in the company. The pay rise they promised him after a few months did not materialize. The job was nothing great, job satisfaction was nil & to top it the boss was hard to please. Expenses were more as they were living separately and whatever little extra which remained, went towards Taxi expenses[between Sharjah & Fujairah] which amounted to more than 1000 dirhams per month. There seemed to be no way out of this vicious circle as recession had set in by then & jobs came by so sparsely. It was obvious that they were bearing the burden of the biggest mistake they made in their lives.
Anjali was so fed up with the life she was leading that she went back to India for a break. For almost 3 months there was no news of her & then suddenly she calls me last week. After the usual pleasantries she told me excitedly that her husband left the job in Fujairah as he was taken back by his old company the chocolate factory. He had called them in desperation & they took him back, just like that.
The same job which they thought gave no scope for improvement in their lives was now a blessing in their eyes. The pay was the same but their savings were more. So what if it was night-shift, atleast the company provided transportation to & fro & he was able come back home at the end of the day.
Anjali was laughing, telling me how her husband vowed fervently that he was never going to leave this company, ever but underneath I could hear the relief in her voice. In her own words, those eight months taught them a lesson which was not going to be forgotten in a hurry.
So many times, we don’t realize the value of what we have until we lose it. And there's no second chance. Anjali, I thought, was extremely fortunate.
Cop it sweet: An Australian saying which means....to get lucky in a way that you did not expect