Wednesday, March 07, 2007


Heard in the lift -- two people, not from my company

Person 1: "A team size of 15-20 is good for daily interaction. More is trouble."
Person 2: "I have a team size of around 40. But they are mostly technical people and freshers. You can get them to do what you want!!!"

Somewhere I may have misconstrued what person 1 said, but there is no way I could have misconstrued what person 2 said. And at that point I wanted to scream, "Is that all?? They are just hired hands !! Or would you prefer the term 'Skilled Labor' "

Why is it that there is no dignity of labor, especially among the people working in the Information Technology companies?? Why do the employers treat the subordinates as hired help?? I keep meeting lots of people from this industry and most of them are in the same situation. And they know their position and respect in the organization, yet they do nothing about it.

One classic example is my flatmate. He is the highest performer in his team of 35+ people (his annual performance rating says so). Puts in long hours, works with dedication and no distractions. Yet his company regulations require him to reach office by 9 o'clock in the morning. Can't a man even have his morning peace and quiet??

And who has not heard of the classic example of the developer knowing more about a certain product than the program manager, who is supposed to advise the client on issues, talk to them and understand their requirements. And most of it seems to happen in the IT services industry. With the lure of good "on site" offers and fat pay packages they attract good talent and then work them like donkeys. Why do you agree?? Don't you have a family life?? Don't you socialize??

And far as fat salary goes, the actual developer does even get paid a quarter of what the client pays the company for the developers' performance. What I wonder is, where does the rest of the cash go?? Being in the IT industry there is hardly any capital outlay and almost zero recurring expenses. So what does the company do with the rest of the cash??

Compared to such environments, I think it is a lot better to work for the government firms. There is no respect -- they are not asking for any in return at least. My advice -- break the Indian middle class mentality while you have a chance. Go get a life. Cultivate a hobby. Give up your comfortable and cushioned desk job and walk the streets. With India opening up to varied sectors jobs are a galore. And entrepreneurship is at the high.

One story that I heard : There is a service in Mumbai, which cleans your sports shoes (when did you last wash yours??) When it was started the proprietor used to hand wash them himself. Now he employs a few hands and is planning to bring in machines. Cool, na! Add to that, it is a door-to-door pickup-n-delivery like pizzas. Ooooooh!!! Too much!

As for me, thankfully by a combination of hard work, due diligence and opportunity (what is generally known as 'luck') I am in a company where there is dignity of labor, at the least. You are given opportunities, time, guidance. To top it all, I have landed up with a good manager and a greater team. Cheers!!! So while I work late at times, I also leave pretty early at other occasions. Work is fun! And life is a blast! And it is the ideal place to let the inertia take over... :)