'Pulling a Shane'

Back in 2014 when Shane had wrapped up his post-graduate studies in Edinburgh and was getting ready to look for jobs in order to continue living in his favourite city, he realised two things:

  1. He was highly employable in his industry and could breeze his way through multiple stages of an interview; and
  2. Most of the companies that were keen on hiring him were not so keen on funding his work visa.

From September to December 2014 when he was actively looking for a job, he must have breezed his way through at least twenty-five such interviews, only to be told to go "fix your visa situation and let us know". It got to a point where immediately following his telephone interviews where a recruiter would gush over this new cherub-faced, freshly minted potential employee, Shane would drop the v-bomb.

"Just to let you know in advance, I don't have the right to work in the UK yet. Would your company be willing to sponsor my visa?"

A single syllable "oh" followed by a vague excuse to get off the call was what usually came next.

His visa was due to expire in January 2015. He was due to leave the country and fly to India on 16 December 2014 to ask me to marry him. The plan was that he would land a job before that date and would return to that job in early 2015 and would later marry me in May of that year so that we could live together in his favourite city and still maintain a relationship with our families who would have cut us off had we simply moved in together, because Indian traditions. But as we inched closer to d-day, neither of us was convinced that this plan would work out.

Sitting at my desk at my strenuous day job where I worked nine and a half hour shifts, five days a week, and got paid peanuts for no fault of my own other than having studied at a stupid university that hadn't barfed out my pass-certificate even close to a year after I had passed out, I began to envision a life for us in Trivandrum. Far from being either of our favourite cities in the world (I'm yet to pick mine as I haven't travelled to every single beautiful city in the world now, have I?), if not one that is pretty close to being at the bottom of the list were we to ever made such a list, Trivandrum did come with its share of perks to entice me into staying.

Perk number 1: I could continue working at my stable job that I loved despite the pay and could even start getting paid more once I got my hands on that fateful pass certificate.

Perk number 2: Accommodation was sorted as Shane's parents had already purchased a flat very close to my work and had very generously offered to let us stay in it as long as we agreed to not go off the radar with them as they then suspected we would, and as we now actually do from time to time.

Perk number 3: Food was sorted as both sets of parents like to compete when it comes to keeping us fed. We wouldn't have to cook a single meal in our life!

But all said and done, I wasn't naive enough to believe that each of those perks didn't come at a cost.

1 could cost Shane his professional satisfaction, 2 would cost us our freedom, and 3 would cost us any semblance of fitness. Trivandrum would work, but it wouldn't be ideal for us. Given the circumstances, however, we were getting into the mind space to make it work.

It was exactly a week before his scheduled date of departure from the UK that The Bromance convinced Shane to re-apply at Amazon, a company he hadn't even heard back from some three months ago. This time around though, he heard back the very next day and they directed him to their conveyor belt of set processes before getting to the actual day-long face-to-face interview.

This day-long interview, if I remember correctly, took place on Wednesday the 10th of December and Shane was sick as a dog when he went in. Obviously, he got to this stage after having confessed his visa situation ie. he was due to leave the country forever in about five days, but he was reassured that this wasn't a problem at all. Being the typical cynic that he is, he was quite convinced that with his luck, even this final interview wouldn't work out. And with the added disadvantage of being too sick to give his best, it's safe to say that he wasn't even trying to get the job at that point. He walked in wearing a shabby old "comfort hoodie" and jeans and almost passed out halfway through speaking to the HR rep before the interview. He could feel his energy consistently dropping to the point where he conducted the final part of his conversation with her with his head safely rested on the table. When she asked him if she could get him some coffee, he said, "Gods yes!" without raising his head from the table, and with a sorry expression to convey that he was finding it physically impossible to do so. At that point, he was assured by her that he would fit in well with the team at the Scotland office.

I later heard that he was much more energised by the problems they asked him to solve on whiteboards and the brainstorming he got to do with people much smarter and more experienced than him, and what do you know! Two days later, he got a call with an offer much higher than he had anticipated.

I was on Skype with him when he got that call and remember his reaction to this day. He first thanked them for the job offer and then with a note of amusement in his voice, asked for clarification regarding his salary that they'd shared. He genuinely believed that he had misheard what was said. But upon being reassured that he had heard them just fine the first time around, he kept his voice steady, thanked them once again, and told them that he was looking forward to further correspondence regarding his visa and start date before hanging up the call. I then got to witness the dumbfounded expression that conveyed his absolute disbelief surrounding everything that had transpired in the past few days.

Just to go back and reiterate, all of this happened in the week before his permanent departure from the UK, not to mention the fact that the call with the offer took place on the Friday before his flight. So as per plan, on Tuesday the 16th of December 2014, Shane Girish boarded what would have been his final flight back home from the city he loved the most in this world. Except, he had in his trunk, the signed contract for his new job, a job he was yet to discover would be his dream job.

From that day on, all his friends call this stint 'Pulling a Shane'.

Pulling a Shane is when everything that could possibly go wrong before an important deadline, goes wrong. But Shane, being Shane, still manages to metaphorically board that flight with everything perfectly, nay, more than perfectly in place.

This was not the first instance when Shane had pulled a Shane. This was not the last instance either but it most definitely was the freakiest one as it pretty much had his whole life at stake.

And very recently before our week-long getaway to France, Shane pulled a Shane yet again and you will read all about it here pretty soon. You might even be hearing straight from the horse's mouth so stay tuned :)