Sleeping at Office (Microsoft Accelerator)

I stumbled upon sleeping nerds pics which reminded me of my sleeping (mis)adventures at microsoft research bangalore office. A story worth telling. I was working out of MS from September – January since my company HealthifyMe was part of the first batch of Microsoft Accelerator. It was my first job added with startup excitement and my passion for work I used to sleep in the office cabin itself many times. I used to go home on alternate days and many times after 2 nights. Now, many might start the controversial debate about how its against work life balance, would lead to burn out, unnecessary ‘show off’ that I am working hard etc. Yes, I have heard it all, but this post is not the place to discuss that. I was just doing what I was feeling like.

Office had shower in gym. I got my own extra clothes, bedsheet and some random confectionery (like brush, toothpaste, lotion etc) which always used to remain in my bag. So now all I wanted was a bed. Since we were business guests at Microsoft Accelerator we were not allowed in the main complex where mother’s care room was. Btw I have been there too once, thanks to Mukund Mohan. I was down with fever once and still trying to complete something, he forced me to go and sleep there, giving me his access card. So, we still have to figure out problem of bed. The bed was typical Indian ‘jugaad’ (See pics below). We had big sofas in Demo room. Since I did not like sleeping in open plus there was central AC in demo room which would freeze anyone to death. Therefore, I just picked only the cushions from big sofas took it to my favorite corner cabin and slept there oblivious to what people would think in my trance. I did not need anything else. That was my ‘Ghosla’ (hindi name for Nest) as Rohit coined it. In the morning I would dutifully keep back the cushions back as before, like a criminal cleaning scene of crime. The walk from cabin to demo room carrying cushions used to be little embracing in the starting since people gave bemused look and asked me if I did not have home, worst still if I did not have a home. But then I think they got it after seeing it happen almost daily, they were all startup people after all :)


 Pic 1 – (Old) Sofas with cushions in their places

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 Pic 2 – I stole the sofa cushions :P

I was happy, first time away from home with new found freedom(most would not call this freedom in classic sense as I was working my ass off),but I was loving what I was doing and excited with stuff  I was being exposed to. [That calls for another post] Seeing what I was doing on daily basis, Microsoft Accelerator Team very caringly arranged sleeping bags. Still remember the end of one of the demo day practice session when Mukund was taking feedback from everyone on what they could do better to help the companies increase their efficiency, I shamelessly asked for bed :P I still laugh on my guts !

There were many funny incidents which happened :

1) Yourstory  , pretty famous tech/startup blogging site came for interview and general round of Microsoft Accelerator pretty early in the morning (9:30 am I guess, Yeah thats early for night owls like me!) I must be still sleeping that time so while Aarti was giving demo and saying what beautiful demo rooms we have, one can clearly see cushion less sofas marring the beauty :P here is link to the video (look from 0:37 sec) . Note : She even mentions sleeping bags :P :D and people sleeping in office so proudly.

2) It would be around 11 am and I must have slept at 6-7 am. That was why I was still not up but just lying in bed telling myself to wake up. I used to strategically place the cushions behind the table such that only if someone gets inside the cabin walks 2-3 steps would notice me sleeping, otherwise to outside world cabin was free and unused. So, the sales co-founder from one of the startups walks into the cabin while being on a client call ignorant to the fact that I was there too. Paced around the cabin few times and then Lo! He sees me! With terror and surprise in his eyes he stops speaking for few seconds and rushes out as if he had seen a live ghost ! No sir, I was not the ghost from movie Ring coming out of TV to eat you :D I want to apologize to you for scaring that day (if you are reading this) though that time I was laughing in splits to see him run away :D

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3)There was a constant office joke that when we get our own office we will have to make a sleeping room for nivedita because she just refuses to go home.

4) I once told Rohit and Ajish , my colleagues and more importantly friends from college, to wake me up in 2 hours since I had something important to finish. Just in case they don’t forget I wrote it on the table with white board marker pen as a reminder. “wake me up at 10 pm”. Following pic is what they did to wake me up :


They wrote back on table – “Wake up ! its 10 pm :P” and left.