Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy Ano Sir?

"Happy alle sir?" (You are happy. rt?)
That was the first question Shan used to asked us every morning. It was a rhetoric, not expecting a serious answer. we used to take that in a light vein and answer "yes sir". There was a genuine friendship amognst us and we had time and space to share our joys and sorrows with eachother.

That was quiet sometime back and today we all have moved into distant places and bigger offices where nobody asks (or even cares) if you are happy. Here we meet daily, greet eachother, discuss stuff related to work, and go back home.One fine morning, we were shocked to hear the announcement from the management that one of our managers passed away due to 'health issues'. Much later, we learnt that this man, with a 4 year daughter, who is very much attached to him, has taken his own life. He had a great job, a 6 digit salary, own house in bangalaore, a new car - everything matrial that one can wish for. Why then did he do this? None of us had any clue. Just the other day he had talked with us, took a smoking break with some others and was his usual cheerful self. What was it that plagued him so much to drive him to such a drastic step? we will never know!

We, who spend hours in discussions and meetings called project reviews, team meeting and many other such stuff, do not know a thing about the folks sitting around the same table. Why does it happen? Why is it that we do not have the time or need to know about others, understand the people who work with us? What happened to the good old days when people really cared?

When the management realised something's wrong, they decided to conduct a stress management program. They gor the trainer whose biodata reads "She is a Master/Teacher of Reiki, Pranic Healing, Magnified Healing, Acupressure, Aroma therapy, Yoga, Meditation, Hypnosis, Melchizedek Method of hologram healing, Feng Shui, Tai chi and NLP. Using all the above sciences she has healed over 1,000 people." These are the people who get paid (real huge amounts) to listen to the worries and problems of other people and then give some kind of advice. Something our grandmas and auties used to do all the time, without getting(or expecting to get) paid ofcourse.

I don't know about others, but for me, all I need to manage stress is someone to ask me the good old question, "happy alle sir?". And, would actually wait for an answer.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Are We Safe?

Just the day before we were all reading the verdict of the Prathibha murder case. The newspapers were full of articles regarding how this shocking incident changed the whole approach to providing a secure work and travel atmosphere to women employees. Many It companies changed their policies, many rules and regulations were established regarding this. Today, after all these, how women-friendly are our cities?

This very shocking and humiliating experience happened to a girl I know. She is working in one of those bing Indian multinationals in Bangalore. One day she left office at 8 p.m. and was walking home. It was not a very isolated or remote area, there were lot of people around. As she walked, a man who was stading at the roadside moved closer, took a sip of water from a bottle in his hand and spat the whole thing on to her face. She was shocked, scared and humiliated beyond words. As the man laughed out aloud, people around made a half-hearted effort to catch this guy. He threatened them with the bottle in his hand and ran away.She walked home with tears of hurt and humiliation streaming down her face.

We are not speaking about remote villages where women still remain inside the four walls of the house. This is Bangalore, and we are speaking about a professionally qualified girl who would probabaly have a fat pay cheque. Does education and high paid jobs really make things easier for girls?

We take things seriously when something as big as rape or murder happen. The newspapers get a sensational news item and they run the story for days together. Nobody really cares for things like these. Many girls put up with things like these - wilful acts of humiliation. For newspapers, policmen and spectators these are 'minor incidents'.

Why is it that in this country some bastard could do this and then walk away just like that? Why do we always lead our complacent lives believing things like that happen to someone else?

All in a Day's Work

location: my workstation
Time 10 a.m.

Hp: good morning ma'm
Me: Good morning. Why are u late?
HP: Ma'm my mom's not well. She is admitted in a hospital.
Me: oh really? What happened? How's she now?
Hp: She had a fall. She had an operation yesterday. her leg is bandaged. Now she will have to be in the hospital for a month or so.
Me: Is it? Then who is at the hospital?
Hp: I'll have to go. There is nobody else.
Me: That's fine. You can leave. Do you want some cash or anything?
Hp: No thanks. I guess I can manage.
Me: ok then. take care.

Location: Boss' cabin
Time: 10.30 a.m.

Me: Good morning sir
Boss: Good morning
Me: Sir did you know about Hp's Mom?
Boss: Yes I did. That was so unfortunate. What would be the effect of all this?
Me: He will have to remain in the hospital. I have already told him he can leave.
Boss: What I meant was how would this affect our projects?
Me: I can't ask him to work in this this kind of a situation.
Boss: May be he can take the laptop to the hospital and work from there.
Me: !!!!