The observations of an IT factory worker!


The working scene of the IT industry has changed over the years, especially the work culture and attitudes. Gone are the days when one worked in swanky offices in the city with great zeal and enthusiasm. These days offices (swanky looking to a certain extent)are located almost outside the city limits. It takes an average person to commute a minimum of an hour each way and then another 10 hours dealing with politics, pressure and loads of nonsense!!! The feelings and emotions of many who work in this industry especially in India is definitely far from happy these days!

I have been going to various work locations over the past year and have observed a lot of changes in people, habits and attitudes! Sometimes you wonder if this is what the new Chennai is all about?? Or is it more typical of the IT crowd rather than Chennai?? Maybe they are just linked together for eternity to stump people like myself! Here are some of things that I have noticed, pondered and wondered about…

Mornings

  • Savvy looking IT types, will try to overtake you at the toll plaza as they rush to work!!
  • At the entrance, the security checks for bombs under your car and dismisses you in almost a few seconds….one wonders if they can actually spot a bomb!
  • Swipe cards open the doors to parking zones and elevators and entries are made in multiple registers by those carrying laptops! I have no idea who reads these registers!!
  • The office is empty at 9:00AM and is suddenly full by 11:00AM
  • Banks set up kiosks in the lobby to offer credit cards, home and personal loans to those that work in the building
  • Automobile majors set up their stalls to display the latest cars on display along with a contact to provide an auto loan

Mid-morning

  • Men, smoke under  “No Smoking” signs
  • There too many meetings and very less meeting rooms and more meetings and less work!
  • Employees turn on the speakers on the land lines and hold conference calls at their cubicles! Now imagine, a few employees doing the same?? No wonder the quality of output suffers
  • Managers and leaders talk about dollars and budgets and usually move away from the topic that is being discussed resulting in precious time being wasted during the day
  • Employees crowd the corridors and dot the stair cases that lead down to the lobby along with their phones and coffee cups for company. One need to take a lot of care to navigate through the human chains

Lunch Hours

  • A female employee in a mini skirt crosses another female employee wearing a burka!
  • The men gawk at the girl with the skirt until she disappears and then continue to gawk at the other women…
  • Subway sandwiches, masala kulchas, burgers, cauliflower manchurians and wraps battle it out at the food court
  • There are always more number of people who want to sit at the tables at the food court than there are actual tables
  • Tables are reserbed though there are signs everywhere prohibiting reservation of tables and chairs
  • Folks eat without any cutlery and also spill the food on to the table without a care in the world. Curry leaves, chicken bones and tomato skins are picked out from the plates and dropped onto the tables….Yuck!! Table manners are unheard of and doesn’t matter that others need to sit at the same table
  • Men and woman will be standing right next to you and waiting for you to get up so that they can covet your chair! One can’t eat in peace..
  • The food court is an oven and one is privy to loads of personal and official conversations even if one is not interested! Couples coochy coo and fight, women diss their in-laws, some make fun of their managers and bitch about their colleagues while some try to read a book!

Mid-afternoon

  • The loud open conferences continue
  • There are some trying to complete their work for the day while the others are just getting started!
  • The cafeterias get crowded thanks to those seeking their caffeine fixes
  • Couples sit on the lawns and whisper into each others ears
  • Hopefuls wait in the corridors waiting for their turn with the interviewer
  • Mobile phones which have the latest Bollywood numbers as their ringtones ring with great glory and one can hear all the one sided details of extremely loud conversations…
  • Some get a headache while the others are ready to leave for the day

Evening

  • Most lights and Air conditioners are switched off as the official end of day has arrived
  • There are those lounging around to impress their bosses
  • There are those hanging around to enjoy the free evening snacks
  • Then there are those that get ambushed by their bosses as they are getting ready to leave…their boss wants them to start and complete something at 6:00PM  which was apparently due yesterday…

As for me, I have had enough!! I am ready to leave so I pick up my bags and just do that!

I am writing this as a part of UBC July 2013

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