A day in the life of a maintenance engineer

I get up,take a deep breath and imagine what my day could be like.It could be anything but boring.As I move out of my house in this pandemic era,a strange serene feeling pulls me in,just when I seem to get lost in oblivion, chirping of birds reminds me that I must hurry up to catch my bus.Bus arrives,I hop in,apply sanitizer in mid air before I touch the handles(it takes courage to travel in bus in these times).Our Company has advised social distancing in bus.My colleagues(covered by mask),try their best to follow the rules.Yet,there are days we see bus is completely full.Why on earth are non essential employees coming for essential services,but it seems definition of essential has changed for our company.

I reach my gate,security uses scanner to check my temperature.I enter inside only to bump with this super enthusiastic jovial middle age smiling soul.

Joyce:Hi sir,today we will get the pipeline ready.


I move ahead to witness few contract employees already working without helmet or mask or shoes or all of them.I am amused as I don`t understand removing scrap as essential services in our site where most of the machinery have already turned into scrap(non functional).My conscientious self realizes and I instruct these risk takers to wear PPE(personal protective equipment).Safety has become a joke at my site.

As I move further towards office,I meet rather grim looking employee.Being a curious soul,I enquire about the cause of his unhappiness.

Unhappy guy:I have to come to office daily while my colleague is at home ,lying in bed and lying that he is in hometown.He is getting salary for free.

(Note that,this is lockdown phase and employees who are stuck in different states cant report to office but will be considered present as this emergency situation courtesy Covid-19)

I have never seen this guy ever work sincerely and how proudly he complains of other`s misconduct.I smiled in my mind after gently nodding at whatever beautiful verse he was reciting.It was rhythmic,funny and filled with pain.Pain of having to work in emergency.I can understand his pain,as guy never worked during normal times.I can empathize.

After 2 beautiful encounters,I finally reached my office where I meet Mr. 10x.

10x:I have heard a new study saying that Corona virus will engulf half of mumbai.

Me:Calm down,let me have tea first.

Right then,Kaka appeared with his kettle of tea and samosa.

Me:Just give me tea

Kaka: Why have your hair grown so much.In our village,we are inviting barbers to cut hair at home,you can come with me.

Me:Thank you kaka for your kind gesture,I am good.Long flowing hair sets me in a different flow state.

Now,you can understand.Characters in my office are special,unique and super funny. I havent even begun my day and I have already had enough humor for the day.I have a large appetite for laughs,one ought to,if working in my unit.You wont survive,if you take people seriously here.I am serious.

I call my junior engineer-Mr. deflated.Guy is sincere,hard working but lacks enthusiasm for work.I ask him to check the leakage of exchanger and convey me the status by Walkie Talkie.Then Mr. Sophisticated calls me and subtly ask me to check the status of another project. I am already feeling dizzy and only an hour has passed.My job here is not only varied,challenging and risky but is extremely funny because of the team involved.

As I get up to go to field,I call my super eccentric driver-MUbi

Mubi(in broken english):I am down,come soon.

Mubi is always willing to learn anything whether it is the technical details of my unit or english language.I love his energy and eccentric way to approach life.

I reach field to check on the special project.I go there and witness the usual.Workers toiling hard in unforgiving sun without proper mask or social distancing.I urge them to follow the rules and ask where their incharge is.I have never in my life,seen any project start and end on time.

Sweaty worker 1 -Mr. Zee has gone to get the permit.

I was shocked to hear that workers are coming to unit by getting bashed up by police(they haven`t got special permission to work in this pandemic).But then,the way he describes the incident,sends me in shameful laughter.

Sweaty worker says in a joyous tone:This is our usual routine(getting bashed up by Police)

Me:How have you entered the premises without one?

I empathised with them and assured them justice,.Its tragic and funny how inhuman we become just to get promotion in an organisation.

This is just the trailer,as I narrate you real stories of our special maintenance projects,you won`t believe it.

From running to get studs from stores to finding unusual sound in the unit to plucking coconut from trees.Woods are lovely and filled with coconuts and people go nuts drinking this holy water.Workers leave their assigned work and religiously pluck coconut like a professional.

Mubi drops me back to office for lunch.After intellectually stimulating discussion with the team,I am ready for post lunch drama.

I try my level best to contact Mr. Jovial on whether he has got the material Not even a trace of Mr. Jovial or material.My next search was for Mr. deflated.Ironically,my Walkie – Talkie breaks down,whenever I need it the most.Just like my coworkers work efficiency.

I have no option but to again go to field in search of my mates.I reach the destination and is welcomed by not so beautiful sight.Site was full of water due to leakage from pipe.I called in supervisor Mario.

Mario:Sir,stores are closed,we will replace the pipe tomorrow.

Me:Where is the fireman?

Mario pointed in a direction where I saw a stout lazy guy sitting in the shade.How will he ever save us from fire,sitting in such dilapidated state.I woke him up from delirious state.It was already 5 and exchanger cleaning was still pending.

I was in deep thought as I remembered my day.It started with false promises,complaints and comical idiosyncrasies and ended in gross violation of safety.I could feel the pain of that sweaty worker(who somehow came to office even after getting beaten up) and my deflated employee whose efforts wasn`t being recognized and of course Hero Mr. Jovial,who has his own independent style of working.

Everyday in office brings so many stories untold,characters unseen and situations imagined. As I continue to work as maintenance engineer at site,you will have many more stories to hear.

Until then see you ,stay safe and Happy Quarantine.

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