"My personal life is hanging by a thread, that's all. Nigel"
"Oh, join the club. That's what happens when you start doing well at work, darling. Let me know when your whole life goes up in smoke. That means it's time for a promotion"
The above lines from the movie "Devil wears Prada" sums up the life of any corporate worker with a tinge of ambition to move up the ladder. This is taken to a totally new extreme in Indian MNC's. Officially, on paper, they preach work life balance and all those politically correct words. But if at all anyone really puts such things in practice they are frowned upon. Working beyond office hours is something which is taken for granted and anyone who leaves on time is seen as one with no workload. However fast you are in getting your job done and however smart you are in the way you work, "Smart worker" exists as truly as "Tooth Fairy" in corporates. Its always the "Hard worker"..the slogger..who hogs the lime light.
This comes more into prominence during appraisal times, when the management conveniently hides behind the blanket that, they have to give preference to the person who has put in long hours and have to reward him as he has been "selfless"ly slogging compared to the smart worker who got his work done on time. I came across a scene when a fellow colleague was asked not to leave office early because he was creating a bad influence amongst the team. When he countered saying that, he is moving out only after completing his work, the reply came was, those who want to leave early, wouldnt bother to note that, but would only point out the exit time, and since it had reached revolting proportions , the damager had no other option but to intervene. The colleague argued that why can't the other guys follow his positive example and get their jobs done on time. The response was unrealistic deadlines for that person who was forced to stretch beyond the office hours. It was hardly a surprise that he quit very soon after that.
There is a scene in the movie "Anniyan" when Vikram would complain to the TTR in train that the quality of food served was pathetic and he want to know the authority to take it up with. The guy would coolly reply that, railways being such a big network, it would take months to locate the correct contact and even if located he would point fingers and the place where the buck stops, the guy would simply apologise and would promise to get it corrected soon. He would ask Vikram do you want to spend months in extracting that simple apology. The same holds good in these scenarios too.
Ask any corporate guy whether he is willingly stretching himself to meet his deadline, unless he is a bachelor, staying with his roomies and want to enjoy free A/c and net connection, the reply would be a resounding No in majority of the cases. No one wants to slog unnecessarily. Still its almost considered a taboo subject to be broached. If someone has the guts to raise this as an issue, immediately they are seen upon as people who are unwilling to take up more responsibilities and almost as a pariah. No one actually is willing to take the responsibility for those unrealistic deadlines and the finger pointing goes all the way up to the client. I am sure no client would want a bad quality product in less time and spend more money on getting the post delivery support rather than accepting a quality product with a tad bit more time. Everyone accepts this conventional commonsense but buries them in the name of competitiveness.
If at all i can change something i would want to begin 2011 by changing this attitude. I am sure its akin to drying up an ocean with a teaspoon. But i can see more people willing to take the spoon and try. We have aped lot of things from the Westerners in managing our business. Lets try to get one more thing corrected before the call for IT unions reach a deafening proportion.
This is an industry i've grown to admire for the sense of maturity it brings with it in dealing with situations and its effect on the individuals of the industry in their personal life too. I would go on a limb and say IT has done more to female empowerment than all the other industries put together. It has made the aggressive male tone himself down and behave bit more measuredly with the ladies in his life and has injected a sense of self belief and righteousness in the ladies in dealing with their own life. But because of totally unacceptable reasons its slowly creating a whole lot of individuals rather than a society of people. Its an industry still at a very nascent stage, where in i am yet to see lot many people who started with a career in IT and retiring from it. Of course the retiree batches have slowly begun, but the amount of change the industry has gone through, there hardly qualify a full fledged representative who can answer for all sections of the industry. If at all there exist such a person would love to have a chat with him on what he feels about this issue.
P.S: The first post i read for this year was "Thalai"s post. So i would blame this mokkai to be influenced by him :)
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