This incident is the most embarrassing; and most humorous incident of my life. I did think a couple of times before I decided to put this up.
At college all I did was study. I never watched any English serials or movies. Relevance of Why I am mentioning this, you will know towards the end. I got selected to Trigent Software through campus. I joined this company in my last semester.
My first project lasted just 2 months. It was a proof of concept, which was destined to fail from the start. There were fifteen of us on the team (14 seniors including my manager); so proof of concept didn't fail because I was on the team :-)). Since all were seniors, interaction with them was limited to project talks.
Second project, as destined I landed under a manager who was the nastiest amongst all the managers and leads till date. I forgot his name, must be Ravi or Naveen or Chandrashekar. Let me assume it was Chandra. Chandra was around late 30's or early forties. He moved to IT from insurance company. We were a team of two under him. He took upon himself to monitor how much time we spent talking to which person, how fast we ate, how much coffee we drank, what time we came or left. If he realized we are free, he would mail us a word document and ask us to covert it to a PowerPoint presentation or vice versa. He sat few cubes away from where I sat, but he exactly knew how many times I opened yahoo mail / chat, how many forwards I got so on and so forth. I can't figure out even to this day how he did it, maybe he had a sniffer :-).
The facility we were using was under construction, and one day our senior manager called for a meeting to talk about the progress. In the talk he mentioned that the new restrooms looked good and elegant. Now, I took the literal meaning of restroom. So I pictured it to be a place with couches/ a coffee vendee machine / newspapers and magazines. I had never seen any such room in the office. How could such a place be there and I not be using it? You see the disadvantage of not watching English movies or studying too much or not interacting too much with the seniors.
Immediately after this meeting, I had a meeting with Chandra at his desk. I casually and innocently asked him “Where is the restroom here?”
Chandra stared at me a bit shocked, a bit puzzled, a bit amused. He covered his mouth with his hand and asked "You don't know where the rest room is?" Maybe he meant, how are you surviving the whole day, without using the restroom? :-). I innocently replied, "No, I don't know, thinking that it was a pretty evident place and I am too stupid not to be aware of it". Then he paused, raised his hand and pointed in the direction of the toilets. I was shocked and all that I could blurt out was "Oh!! Those are restrooms." Well!! the signs on the restrooms just had a man and a woman, no mention of restroom anywhere.
I was pretty embarrassed at my ignorance. I later laughed after narrating it to my parents. Chandra too must have had a hearty laugh. I don't know where he is now, but must be teaching some managers about monitoring their teams.