I’m in a great mood. I’ve cut myself a mango, watched Miss Congeniality and feel like I can tackle this particular story and do it justice.

The incident I speak of dates back to the summer of 2014, when I was doing a two month internship with the R&D of a big shot tech company in Bangalore. We had a couple of fun days at orientation – you know, the thing a company does for its new hires to ease (read disillusion) them into corporate life? There’s free food in a fancy hotel, and team games to play and a few days later, you find yourself in a glass structure with cubicles and computers and colleagues who never look away from their screens.

But I digress.

It was my first day at work, and after meeting my team, I really didn’t have anything to do. I sat at my desk, with my company phone and laptop, feeling all important, and secretly praying for one of the other interns to come down to call me away for a coffee break (even though I am not a caffeine consumer). And then, my phone rang. I picked it up gingerly, not knowing who’d be calling me on my first day at work.


Hello. Is this Kavya Joseph?’

Yes, sir.’

I’m Akarsh Sharma ( Name changed to protect the poor fellow’s identity. Also, my friends are rascals. They actually looked up my senior manager’s name). Please come up to the 7th floor with your notebook and a copy of your palm for Security purposes.’

Uhh.. Okay sir. I’m sorry, but when you said ‘copy of my palm’, did you mean my hand?’

Some silence followed by a curt ‘yes’, followed by the click of the receiver.

Of all the requests I’ve been made, nothing has stumped me like this one did. But being a new addition and eager to please, I set my mind to get a photocopy of my palms, even if it was the last thing I did. So I went to a group of fellow interns on my floor and shared my problem with them. They were extremely helpful and directed me to the nearest copy machine. One of them came with me to help me figure out how to use it, because let’s face it – I’m useless with a new gadget. A nice man who had come to the pantry for a cuppa noticed the two of us fiddling with the machine and asked us if he could help.

Yes! I really need to take a copy of my palms. Do you know how to work the machine?’

Who asked you to do that?’

My senior manager. He said it was for security purposes?’ (I throw in the full name for good measure.)

He looked at me quizzically, a little smirk pulling at the corners of his mouth. ‘Why don’t you call him back and ask him one more time if he really meant palms?’ So I go back to my desk, leaving my new friend Kumar to try and figure out the machine. I redial his number. I like to think of myself as a spunky kid, but I was definitely scared to be calling my senior manager. ‘Hello?’

Uh, yes sir. This is Kavya, you’d called me earlier. You want me to bring a photocopy of my HAND?’

Yes, and please make it fast.’ *click*

I rush back to Kumar, to find a couple of other friends of mine, lounging there and enjoying the spectacle. He tells me, quite excitedly for a person with a rather timid demeanor, that he learnt how to use the copier. I effusively thank him for saving my career (yes, a tad dramatic) and proceed to take a copy of my palm. It was easy enough, but the first attempt resulted in a missing thumb on the copy. So we did it again. I got a perfect copy this time, felt rather proud of myself and proceeded to collect my notes and rush up to the eighth floor. I walked around most of the floor, and then realized that I did not know what the guy looked like, or his location. So there I was, holding a photocopy of my palm and asking employees where Mr Sharma would be. And during my search for Le Boss, I run into a bunch of intern classmates of mine. About as jobless as me. And staring at me with grins on their faces. And THAT. WAS. WHEN. IT. HIT. ME. That I had been beautifully pranked. And I, as usual, had fallen for it. All of us began to laugh atthe same time.

A couple of photos were taken by the miscreants as proof of the incident, and the story went viral. There were over 400 interns that year, and nearly every one of them had heard of me as the girl-who-photocopied-her-palm. And that, my dear folks, is how I very successfully managed to dash all my plans of showcasing myself as a disciplined, intellectual employee, and became a laughingstock instead.

On the plus side, I had the perfect ice-breaker. In most cases, I just had to say my name and the other person would talk to me about how he found it hard to believe I actually did that. Bah. Hypocrites. I’m sure they’d have done the same.

The good news is: not everyone knew about it, as I found out last year when I joined work after college and met a couple of interns at the office. The bad news is: Now they do.

It’s all just a fond memory now, and a fun beginning to an amazing two months as an intern that followed. I do think one such memory is sufficient, though, and I am praying very hard I don’t fall for anymore pranks at work.

Name changed to protect the poor fellow’s identity. Also, my friends are rascals. They actually researched on who my senior manager was, and used his name.

PS: Don’t be misled by what I said about corporate life. You can have a lot of fun if you know how to.

Featured Image Credit: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/229481

About The Author

Kavya Joseph

Just a girl on a quest to understand herself and her country.

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