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!!!


Amit Goel said...

Being on bench is quite good for sometime.. as it gives a good break between two projects .. but again, sitting long time like that will take away some efficiency from you..
and I swear .. life will swing from bench to desk and desk to bench

Shantanu said...

Well here is one that does not feel that "sitting on the bench" is ignominious. Heck, man, probably when you were "on the job", you broke your back trying to meet the ever shrinking deadlines, probably you earned for the company many times over and now that you have a breathing time - well, you deserved it! And when the time is right(or bad), you will be back again to the grind!! So make hay will the sun shines.

Arunima said...

heh sweetie, I agree life is about enriching oneself.
long post n good one

Stone said...


Sameera said...

Better on the bench and watching from the sidelines than laying bruised and battered on field...
Ps:hey thx fer visiting my blog keep em coming!