Friday, August 20, 2004

My life on the bench...... OR, lazy is as lazy does

I've been working for what, 5-6 years? Yup, for a lazy bum like me that's a pretty long time to be working in a cut-throat, nerdy, geeky, MUNDANE industry!! Anyway, so I guess I've kind of seen and experienced all the ups and downs that one can in the IT industry - from lay-offs and pay-cuts - to promotions and huge pay hikes..... the attrition is probably is the highest in this Industry - so I've had he opportunity of meeting new people and making new friends - and also seen good friends leave for "GREENER" pastures. Yup, I've seen it all - been there, done that.

Or so I thought.

For the last 1-1/2 years I had been involved in this Quality Assurance project for a client in cowboy-land Texas. But all projects have an end date, and so too mine came to a conclusion a couple of days back.

So now I find myself in a new situation, i.e., I currently don't have any work!! I'm on the bench - as they so call us non-workers in this industry!

No work?? Eeeks!!! No work?? Oh my God.... well that's what my team-members are saying every other minute. I kind of understand why - no one actually looks favourably upon someone who is sitting idle in this fast-growing industry. And when you are sitting idle - well, as they say, "An Idle Mind Is The Devil's Workshop".... and so the chain of thought starts:

1. I HAVE NO WORK - so I have to sit idle at office whole day.
2. If I sit idle, then I can't make a worth-while contribution to the company.
3. Sitting idle for a long period means I get paid without doing anything.
4. Me getting paid for nothing = waste of money to the company.
5. The longer this situation prevails, the more chance of me getting laid-off due to redundancy reasons.
6. So in my free time I might as well start looking for a new job.... i.e. find a new job before I get shown the pink slip.

Pathetic isn't it? And yet, can you blame the folks who think on these lines? Human nature after all.

But I am digressing - I was actually writing about myself, and not about the general population.

So here I am sitting doing "nothing" worth-while - or so the management might think... surfing whole day, writing mails - catching up with old friends, catching up with family members, making new friends at, reading a scrabble dictionary, trying to learn how to tie my long hair properly from my colleague in the adjacent cubicle....
And what about the things I need to do? Well, I was planning on learning French, learning Romanian (my brother-in-law is Romanian, so that's why), do some serious blogging (as you can obviously see), learn new technologies, blah blah blah....

My God, with a list like that, how can anyone say I was sitting "IDLE"!!!!!!!???? The lists above are, like, stuff which almost anyone would want to do on a normal day - unfortunately people are too busy updating their resumes and applying to all the head-hunters around the country to do the above.

They'll tell you, "Oh we didn't have time", or "I was busy doing you-know-what..." - well dorks YOU'RE NOT BUSY NOW!!!!

Maybe I'm different from the average Joe - maybe I think all this job-career nonsense is like a mirage - waiting to vanish the moment we try and get too close to it. So I guess I will never understand this fear that people suffer from when they're on the bench. Hell, I think this was the best thing that ever happenned to me!!

I know I'm not gonna get laid-off, so that means I actually get paid for doing "NOTHING" at the month-end. Of coure, like I said, the "NOTHING" that I've been doing is actually a helluva lot more important than the lousy stuff I did these last 1-1/2 years. Honestly.

For instance, I finally got the opportunity to write a long mail to this friend of mine in South Korea. For instance, I finally have the opportunity to read all those books lying around my house. For instance, for instance, for instance - the list is endless.

And all the morons who suffer from bench-phobia don't even understand the basic meaning of life - shit man, life isn't just about work and developing your skills or waiting for the next lousy project in the pipeline. It's about learning new things, enriching yourself - at least that's what life means to me.

Nope - I guess the impression I'm creating of myself is that of some lazy freako who has no motivation in life.... well, there are 2 sides to a coin, or so the saying goes.

So let me end this looooong blog with the 1st 2 lines from one of my favourite poems - 'Lesiure' by W.H. Davies:
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

Do the above lines make sense to you? Well, they do to me - and I have been following them to the T. And if I have to die a "DARK, DASTARDLY DEATH" by doing "NOTHING" - then so be it. But please, I am not gonna shit my pants yellow just because sitting on the bench is taboo to the industry hot-shots. I have a life - and I'm proud of it.

Bench-sitting ZINDABAD!!!

Friday, July 09, 2004

The aimless life of an IT pro....

I am sitting on my chair and staring at my screen,
I see lines and lines of C++ - what a horrible scene!!
I try to make sense of these lines we call code -
But actually, it's easier to talk to a toad!!
A toad or some code - what a difficult choice...
But at least a toad has nice croaking voice!
A toad may be slimy and ugly and yuck!!
But at least it has life - not like some SQL muck!
With code u just write and build and debug,
But if ur succesful, can the code give u a hug???
It really does not matter what u do in IT
Life's all the same - be u a he or a she...
U can write code that equates 3=7
Or be a great Tester 'till u go to heaven
Or fix all the PCs like a good sys admin
And earn a fat salary - and drink wine and gin!
But the fact of the matter - and my point being this
Life in IT - please give it a miss!!
Becoz if ur in IT - u won't have a life...
Although there are guys I see having a wife.
Anyways - like I said - u can think that ur cool,
That u are in IT - but ur an actual fool!
The reason ur here is just for the cash
U will not become Bill Gates and cause a huge splash
All these creative juices - oh please what bullshit!!
One look at code and I have a huge fit.
I'm writing a query - am I being creative?
No not really - what I need is a sedative!!!

It's all for the money and labels and tags
That we IT guys work like old hags.
Marketing, finance are just but a few,
Careers that any body with zing should pursue
At least u'll come home at the end of the day,
Not looking like a zombie with nothing to say
'Cause if ur in IT, u'll just debug and u'll code
It's like walking down a never-ending red road!!
This IT life - so mundane and so gross....
Hell I think that it's time I just gave it a toss!!
I wanna be creative - and not code like a dog,
So here's what I'll do - let me write a new BLOG!!

Friday, July 02, 2004

Curse Of The IT Industry In India Part-I

I know a lot of people disagree with me - but is writing a program really considered to be creative work? Coding using some weird syntax, pounding away furiously on your keyboard trying to define some kind of logic which would make 3=99...... call me computer illiterate, but this to me is not creativity. And people who manage to sit in front of their PC 24X7 totally groggy-eyed, trying to write a line of code which automates my toaster... Whew, well that indeed boggles the mind!

I'm sitting in my cozy cubicle - and I'm looking around. At my surroundings, I mean (not at the pretty girl who also seems to be more interested in her monitor rather than my latest hairstyle). Anyway, it's a typical IT office - and I mean typical - the only thing u can see are heads - heads with black hair, heads with brown hair.. a few bald heads too. And these heads are all staring at one thing - their PCs. A closer look reveals that each of these PCs has got some weird Hebrew on their screen. So in a nutshell, 50 odd employees are trying to be creative. Kinda a scary to lok at if u think about it - reminds me everyday how we're turning more into robots and forgetting that we have a human side. (I wonder if these guys even bother to go to the bathroom if there is an emergency - they seem so engrossed! Oh well, that's another story)

Now, we all talk about burn-out and depression due to work.... blah blah blah. Well, what is the single best remedy for this? Yup - do something creative, spend time doing something which freshens up ur grey cells. Well bully me, but if we IT guys are soo busy being creative (and getting paid wads and wads of dough for it) and trying to make this world a better place to live in, then why these problems in the first place?? I leave that as an open-ended question - becoz obviously I am not a prophet with all the answers. Hell, I'm a nerd as well - but I am trying, oh so trying to change!

Well this is nothing but an on-the-spot insane post by me - so before I lose my train of thought - let me invite all u nerds busy writing lines of code, to BLOG a few lines instead. Because, believe me, I don't require my toothbrush to be programmed to regenerate it's bristles. I'd rather go out and buy a new toothbrush instead. And I think u'll feel a lot better doing something really creative!!!