Monday, June 27, 2005

When I was in college, I had no idea what it meant to actually "work" in an IT company. In my infinite wisdom, I assumed I'd be paid gobs of money to go to office in a big air-bus, wear a tie, sit in an air-conditioned room and surf the net.

I began to like my own version of the job profile. While I was yet to master the intricacies of tying a tie and somewhat averse to learning, I was sure that I could take sitting in an AC room and browsing the net to a whole new level.

I worked religiously towards my goal. To clear the written test and interviews, I pushed myself through a dozen aptitude books and tried my best to come to terms with fuzzy concepts like pointers and linked lists. Several times, I came close to including "Many years experience in sitting in bus" in my resume.

My hard work paid off. I cleared the written tests and blinked stupidly at the interviewer only occasionally. I was through.

My first few days of work were even better than I thought it would be. I took delight in dozing in my pushback seat in the bus. I persevered through the five-minute walk from the bus to my cubicle office, eagerly awaiting the cool embrace of the centrally air-conditioned office.

I took special pride in flashing my access card. In my first week at the office I flashed the card with gay abandon, often locking myself out. It took a lot of effort to not automatically fish the card out of my pocket while entering the restroom.

I discovered Kimberly Clarke tissue paper and liquid soap. I played with automatic taps and Nova Tech hand driers. I fell into the routine every IT professional goes through. Apply fragrant liquid soap, stick hands under automatic tap, take four times the number of tissue papers necessary to wipe your hands and face and then stick your hands under the hand drier.

I made frequent trips to the cafeteria. I sampled every food item available. I guzzled fruit juice and powered my way through veg puff and egg puff. I drank everything from lemon tea to soup at the dispensing machines and explored the variety of food each floor offered. I withdrew money from the in-house ATM's, yakked over the cell phone with my corporate connection and paid periodic visits to the shoe-polishing machine. In short, I was blissfully happy.

Then one day, when I least expected it, I was given some work.

My immediate reaction was that of horror. At some level I knew I was being paid to be productive but my conscious mind wanted nothing to do with it. I seriously considered retiring. After a fierce internal struggle and a lot of hemming and hawing, I agreed to do what was asked of me.

Now I gaze helplessly at the screen as the compiler objects to everything I write. I write and compile and gawk as my pretty code transforms into a seething mass of red, yellow and green lines. I struggle with "NullPointerException", "FileNotFoundException","JasperException" and "LeaveMeAloneIDontLikeYouAnyMoreException". My compiler and I are not on speaking terms at the moment.

My dreams are filled with EJB's, Struts, Beans, Servlets, JSP's and JDBC:ODBC drivers. I speak jargonese with my friends. I send and receive pointless forwards and do my best to avoid direct sunlight because I can’t take the heat anymore. I've installed an AC in my room. Now I find that on weekends I'd rather sit within the confines of my room than go out and get a social life. At home and public places, I stick my hand under the tap and wonder why the water does not gush out.

I have slowly come to realize that at the end of the day, you are here to work…and do lots of it. Having gotten over the initial fascination of all the luxuries an IT company can offer, I find that my happiness at the end of the day comes when my compiler and I both agree that the code is ok. I look to Google to guide me through the intricacies of programming and pray to Web Sphere Application Developer to put up with what I write.

God Forbid, I’ve actually started working.

17 comments:

Deepa said...

Hmm..im recoiling in horror, i actually understand half of that IT lingo..ive been hanging around with IT 'professinals' too much !! :)..Bug man..try working in a bank ...:P

Deepa said...

aiyo..i misspelt professionals..

Krishna said...

Hey..a superb write-up! I can't agree with you more - been working in IT companies for the past 7 years. I am sure you can live through it! ;)

Neha said...

I lkd ur post thou haven undergone this kinda xperience. i lk ur flow in writing. if possible check out my blog @ divspace.blogspot.com

Kroopa Shah (Kr00pz) said...

I think everyone goes through this initial period. once you kind of settle in, you just used to the everyday cr@p

The inquisitive Akka said...

Gosh bro, you avoid direct sunlight
??you s/w guys definitely come under the species "vampire"!i'm so glad i don't put up with all that.not everyone has the good fortune to be a student till the ripe old age of almost 30:)

Grey Vampire said...

Dont work fomr something thinking about 'What the work can do for u' Alwasy work thinking...'What u can do for the work place'...That is why i plan to go into research...

the inqusitive Akka said...

This is funny, i call the s/w guys vampire and there is someone called a grey vamp:)hey grey vamp, where do you plan to do your phd??do you know iisc has an int phd prog for maths?

Swathi said...

hilarious stuff...

yaa we all ('coz i also belong to this IT world for no less than 8 whole years)have to justify our pay cheques once in a while :))

namrata said...

Very very true n funny!

Random Access said...

Nice, but probably u shud shift over to .Net to make things simpler and better. Nothing better than letting a dot do the work for u right ;) Hail Google!

Random Access
The search has just begun !!!

nmk said...

Fascinating stuff.

I worked in a similar scenario during my internship and I know exactly what you mean. The inertia to do nothing but surf the web is really powerful.

shyam said...

Very nicely written

Whoosh said...

Infosys/Wipro??

Siddhu said...

Your BESTEST post in a long while. Was ROTFLing reading it. :)

PeriyaAnna said...

>Nicely Written but just dont stop after writing this & reading others comments

>There are lot of other areas in IT other than just programming ex,. BCP in one of the areas which you cash-in now.

>Been in IT industry for 10yrs, i try keep my working area changed within IT.

Livenwealthy said...

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