Friday, October 31, 2008

On Bench at work

Thanks to all the local Malayalam news papers “being on a bench” in an IT company has become a common term even to small town flocks. Although I suspect how well they understand the concept.

At home in Kerala for a vacation I got trapped in a local road side meeting of who’s-who of our town. An elderly gentleman who’s kid happened to be working for a reputed IT company in Bangalore, commenting on why his kid did not want to relocate to a branch of his company nearer to home town said “Avanu bench-il irikan vaiyya atha natileku sthalam maatam medikathathu (he does not want to sit on the bench, so he does not want to get transferred to home town”. Following this comment was a discussion on how miserable the working conditions of workers in IT field was and how important it was to have a CPI-CPIM lead workers union for the IT field.
Another gentleman who had the information that I was one among the exploited IT engineers and also an NRK (Non Resident Keralite, courtesy my dad’s central government job that kept me traveling around India) with limited proficiency in writing Malayalam had worse opinion about my state of affairs. According to him unfortunate souls like me had life worst. We could not even write a PSC (Public Service Commission) test and get a clerical job as Malayalam was mandatory for that. Of-course the status of a man who does an honest days job to live is much below anyone who has a job that can get him bribe.
And now we at IT companies had to sit on benches. My parents were visibly worried by this information. Back home my parents were of the opinion that I should buy my own chair with good backrest and not sit on bench as that was bad for my back. Grandmother was overheard giving free career advice for her friends grandchildren “Engineers are not like they used to be in our days. It is no more a respectable job. They sit on benches and are worked like slaves”. Her friend too seemed to agree. She knew a boy who learned electronics in far away places for long years and now makes chips for a living. Her son-in-law had never gone to college and could still make the best banana chips in town. They concluded the discussion with a pinch of sympathy for the young “Pillerude kariyam kashtam thanne”.

Also read this from A very popular forward now-a-days about marriage prospects of IT engineers.
pic: From some forwarded mail

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