Friday, June 17, 2011

Let's swap jobs

Yeah, such a simple statement - innocent and serious.

More often than not, I get into a conversation with the auto drivers when I commute to office. Its the usual ordeal, bunch of guys chatting away to glory, you are at their mercy and the look on their faces when you approach them makes you feel so awkward that I dont want to describe the gross visual I have on my mind right now. You dont even get a disapproving look; they just behave as if you didnt exist.

Anyway, the other day, this driver just demanded "meter mele 20 rupayee" - 20 bucks extra on meter charges. I did not have any other go so had to budge. He put forth a question - Why do you have to be at the mercy of others? Get a 2 wheeler. Made sense! To which I said, I sold off my 2 wheeler and I have a car which I am scare to drive in this chaos. Its so scary to see people lacking traffic sense.

So thats how the conversation progressed and their usual Compooter Engineeru have their life so easy that everything is served on a golden platter to them. I always wonder how did these auto guys get the opinion that IT folks get truck loads of money and they 'can' afford to do some generous charity by parting with their money. "You might get some 80,000 Rs per month, what goes if you give us 40 Rs extra". Such statement calls for a detailed explanation about the kind of work we do, our job environment, the pressure to perform and the hefty tax amount we part with at the end of the year and more than anything else, the salary assumption is way too exaggerated. 

But there is no use to provide that justification, there is no way I can change the mindset of the herd by explaining to just one guy isnt it? Yeah, we debated about whose job is better or worse - there were the usual - sit under a fan or a AC, tap random keys or sign some documents and you get wads of money while we sweat it out; you never even have to use your brain or think! Then the invite for job swap - you take my job and I take yours. Now! I just thought it was wiser to keep my mouth shut than try to explain in vain.

My thoughts wandered to how I started my career in IT - how everyone else starts - just as me. While in college - you have an ambiguous  aim - to be a software engineer and we all know just one profile - programmer. I want to be a programmer - the GEEK GOD. Then you are absorbed by some cool and famous 'blue' organization who are out there in most countries and they have R&D operations in India outside USA. Thats freaking cool isnt it?

You are not sure what is your domain - systems? network? storage? or some banking? You are also not sure what would be the profile? Is there anything else other than 'THE programmer'? If so, are they good enough as the programming? developer...duh!!

Beggars cannot be choosers eh! You either take the MNC offer or regret for life! Your first few months as a freshmen is super-cool; free beverages, health drinks, fruits, snacks, outings, lunch....Then you get your actual domain of work and the profile. You WANTED to be a PROGRAMMER! but lo! they put you to TEST a product! I wanna fix bug and not find one!!Weep! Yell! the world is doomed. Was I not good enough to be programmer? What was it did I lack? Later you accept the fact and try to do your best.

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Until someone explains you how important each role is and how intelligent and equally skilled you must be as each has its own important role to play in the software business. The freshmen are still delusional,  they are still not sure if what they are doing right now is what they wanted to do....but for others .......

They are Software Engineers minting easy money and having good life :-)

Anyone wanna swap jobs eh?


  1. Good. Software Engineers make very easy easy..sometimes they have stay up whole night to fix problems.

    Point taken - every job has got its advantages and disadvantages. Software Engineers think doctors make a lot of money but they don't see their issues....

  2. you decode a simple one line and fill 20 pages..and then try to find the bug in those 20 pages! Sigh! thank you but no thank you..I am happy with my law job!

    talking about autowalas - it's good in Mumbai..there is no concept of n--meter pay by meter! and autowalas are usually do find nutters too, but not everyone is saint!

  3. Wonderfully written. Only a person who wears the shoe knows where it bites. My hubby is a Programmer, and I know how hard he works. I am an MBA cum writer, and only I know how dedicated I am in my work. To others, it is oh you write! How come, you are an MBA? :) These days I just smile and move on. Why bother explaining?

  4. As always, super post Insignia. Loved reading it.

    Swap my job? No way. It is not because your job is difficult. It is because my job is easier. What do I do? Nothing. Who said nothing is impossible? I have been doing nothing for the past 20 years.

  5. I envy the autowalas, they have the freedom to say no.Can we say no to our bosses :(

    As for software engineers, well the only thing I appreciate about them is their sense of humor and ofcourse most of them stay out of politics, because they hardly find time to engage in politics...the rajneeti part is left to the management :P

    P.S: Don't know if i had mentioned this earlier, software engineer tops my mom's prospective son in law list :P

  6. How true!!

    and the confused state.. trust me.. atleast other jobs will not have so many confusions in the initial stage as we do..

    Every job is special and knowingly or unknowingly one has to put enough efforts to sustain..

  7. easy money!!! let me rephrase it as easy 'peanuts' .. along with spondylitis, insomnia, coffee addiction , dark circles ... really easy peasy :D ... If we swap job, we both will still be in same hot soup :P

  8. Nice post, Enjoyed reading your thoughts in train from Zurich to my place after office.. Now it is Friday evening, 9 pm.

  9. that is true..I've been into HR in Software companies and I would still not be able to tell what a techie feels or goes has to be in the situation to get a feel :)

    They say in Hindi: door ke dhol suhavne

    Interesting auto wala that ! And hey I truly agree with what you've written about bunch of them standing in a group and stare at you when you approach them..the feeling is inexpressibly awkward !

  10. but yes one thing I can assure and stand for you in this post-the salary is certainly exaggerated in public's eye..that's way to HIGH !!!

  11. My Doc brother left medicine practice and is presently working with TCS.
    As for swapping job ,do you really want to pull a third molar every second day ,no na .
    Happy Weekend :)

  12. Bangalore,Computer Engineer,Wipro,Infosys.With the kind of coverage all these get, one does get the impression that soone is being paid heavily.I trust, it is not true.
    Forget the autowalla, enjoy the feel of being able to pay more than the meter and let the car remain oarked at home.

  13. A,

    :-) Yes not to forget the laying off without notice and other issues.

    Yeah, it would be nice if each of us respected each others' jobs.



    Bangalore has the highest minimum meter charge - 19 bucks.


    Yes. The best is to just keep silent than trying to explain :)


    Thank you. :) Yes doing nothing is difficult.


    :-) And they can get onto our nerves, we cant do that to anyone else.
    We s/w engineers have lot of other qualities that you could appreciate; well except for being nerds :-P

    Oh! I didnt know that, its news! All the best G3 :)


    :-) Yes I always wonder if freshers will be as confused and ambiguous as we are in any other profession :)

    The thing is we dont have specialization unlike others and we have to adapt.


    :-) Bingo! You said it right my girl :) Watch out for my next post ;-)


    Thanks dear. I wouldnt say i envy you for that train journey you take everyday amidst Alps. I know how draining and tiring it is for you.

    Have a great weekend.


    :-) Aaah yeah. Salary - they think we get paid in gold!


    Oh!! interesting. Aww kavita, I have 2 molars which give me trouble often. I cant go to a dentist to get it off; I dont think I can ever pull molars! Phew!

    Have a great weekend :)

    Chowla sir,

    Yes, its all hype thats that. But most dont understand. they see the swanky glass facades and deduce. :)

  14. Every component of a society has a role in society ! Very often every segment perceives another in a particular way that is both funny and can also be very revealing !

    Ultimately our perceptions drive behaviour. The auto drivers and their perception is going to drive their 'meter mele' demand !

  15. You wud not want to swap one job that i have, it looks easy and great and all that .. BUT a big buttttttttttttttttttt ....

    and I know all about programmers travelling-sitting till late dead lines and client phone calls .. its a WOW feeling


  16. B, You are better judge from your position. I do not know much on this genre of wage earners and professionals.
    However is it not a fact that a young lad or lass who gets interviewed in the campus and is offered a sum that he could not dream of, which even after counting inflation eluded his parent get bowled over and awed? To begin with do these kids deserve to be offered these fancy pay packs?
    I really wonder.

  17. Kavi,

    Haa well said :)


    No way! I dont want your job! :-/

    WOW feeling for sure :-)


    Yes anil. Its that delusional fact for sure that drives the parents and others crazy. But there is lot more truth to that fact. Let me take that in a separate post.

  18. Thats a typical autowallah in Blore. Ha ha.... have had enough experiences.
    By the way grass on the other side is sometimes an astro turf.

  19. Its really sad that you be at the mercy of others... jz cuz of some delusion that people have about the truckload of money we are supposedly taking home each month :) .. as usual good post lady

  20. inncer cry, agony, grief, frustration just to blow someones head if at all it works.. :)

    we indians are so much habituated with al;l this stuff that at times it becomes casual for others to understand the reason as why the author has posted this...

    i really liked the way you have expressed your concerne...

    vry touchy would say...

    "last year when i took part in "world poetry day" i wrote a quote ...feel the fragrance of a writer, one must feel the peotry and not read... one can never read the poetry, has to feel it to believe what author really want to describe or paint"

  21. You have just penned my thoughts.. Many a time I have got into such talks with the auto fellas and they start with the same storyline and demand more. I kinda try to explain the facts with figures and supporting descriptions. But as you've told it there is never an end to the argument. We just cant change their mindsets.

    Nicely written ! loved this post.

  22. 2 years in the s/w industry my son called it quits. May he didn't find going easy.He has changed tacks for good.

  23. no one in the world can beat chennai auto vallas in cheating, along with bonus abusive politician ever in tamil nadu politics has ever dared to take on auto valas as autos r mostly owned by corrupt politicians and policemen

  24. Alka,

    :-) Yup! I have had heck a lotta experiences; enough to pen a book!


    Yes but do we have a choice? Thanks, glad you liked the post though its not a pleasant one :)


    Welcome to B Log. Thanks, glad you liked the post.

    Yeah, it holds good for any text as well isnt it?


    Yeah, its no use trying to explain them. Glad you liked the post :)


    Oh nice! :)


    I have heard so about Chennai auto guys. Fortunately havent experienced yet :)

  25. Perceptions! Perceptions!! Weird perceptions people have!!

  26. Shilpa,

    Yes and they can get to unbelievable extent :)


I'd love to know what you thought :-) Please shoot!