Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Thoughtful Me

Indian trains are the places where you get to meet a lot of people, all of different kind; have to bear with a lot of chit-chat, chilla milli, crying children, vendors selling whatever possible and what not! Sometimes (and that number is very few for someone like me, and when I am travelling in Bihar and that too in a second class compartment), you meet people you want to talk to. Sometimes the reason is you think you can talk to the person about something interesting and know about a different world or a different field or something new otherwise, and sometimes a conversation builds up which you find interesting and want to continue.

Yesterday was one such day when I landed upon a conversation which I found somewhat interesting. I was coming from Patna to my home when I met this guy sitting in front of me in the general compartment which was almost full, okay more than almost full but obviously not crowded when you define it in terms of Indian standards. So, this guy, sitting in front of me, got a little agitated when the train stopped in some jungle like area due to signal problem, which is as common as Mallika Sherawat wearing a bikini on a sea beach. But as the train stopped, this guy made a face as if he had seen Om Puri getting nude in front of me (I can also understand the effect caused by the heat inside the, lets say, semi-crowded compartment). Looking at him getting too much troubled, I asked casually about where he was going. I guess he was just waiting for someone to break the ice of silence so that he could spread the news of his recently earned promotion, and hence transfer, as if his wife got pregnant after at least a hundred trails by him. :-P So, as he told me, after asking about my whereabouts, that he was promoted as a scale 1 officer in Bank of Baroda and was transferred to Lucknow. I then casually asked him about his job(something which I do with everyone in a job, just to satisfy my sadist mind that the person is also suffering in his job and hating it as much as I did during Surya days ;-) :-P). What he told me was again a cribbing about one's job but it let to a couple of thoughts in my mind (see how thoughtful I am). He told that he is not very happy with his job as it is too demanding and he has to stay in office more than the stipulated working hours. And I thought about how can people shy away from their work and think of earning money by working less. But then I thought that I probably would have said the same thing if I were in his place. Most of the people do jobs which they are not interested in. But they have to do it as there is nothing else they can do. Many don't know what else to do and many don't have the courage to do anything else.

And then I asked him that if the workload is too much, why doesn't the Bank (of Baroda) recruit more employees? He told that this would escalate the costs and it would not be beneficial for the organisation. And I guess this is true for every government department in the country. Less employees and more work! I guess this is true for all the private organisations as well. Cost cutting is done at the cost of enthusiasm and working capacity of employees. There always should be a work life balance especially if the job is not exciting and even if the job is too exciting. Probably only then any organisation could retain employees or earn the goodwill of employees. Now I have not done enough research on whether increasing the number of employees will put the organisation in loss, but not increasing it certainly leads to lesser productivity and lesser satisfaction in employees and hence losses in intangible form!

He also spoke of the career in academics in very high regards. 'Being a professor is very comfortable', he told me, 'and I have given the NET exam to apply for the post of professorship in universities'. I asked, 'Why don't you apply to universities then?'. Again he sited the problem of universities not releasing vacancies and carrying on with less number of professors. I had heard of the IITs not recruiting new faculty despite cribbing about the scarcity of teachers.

This guy again told the workload is more because of old employees, who don't want to learn the modern practices giving the reason that they are about to retire and don't need to learn anything else. And hence, the younger ones have to do extra work. Obviously, the burden of the country's growth is to be shared by the young shoulders only. But I wonder how the oldies of today blame the youth for anything bad happening around them.

So, remember you old fellow with white beard and poor eyesight, we are the ones who are building the country and you are the one cribbing about us because you are frustrated with your unsatisfied life!! Are you listening?

Wishing everybody a very Happy Holi! May more and more colors get added to your lives!! :-)

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