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Slavery vs. Professionalism

These days lunch time conversations are ending up as debates for me…:P

Setting: Same colleague, Subway for lunch.

On the way to have our lunch my colleague started talking about the insane hours we are working at present. I retorted stating if one has work to complete obviously he/she has to sit and get it done before the deadline. My colleague retorted saying it’s because we do not say or ask anything for the additional hours we work they are throwing crazy deadlines at us and trying to pile it on us. I said, well if one does not work right now when does he work? My point being after all its the beginning of your career, and this is when you establish yourself before setting up your own deadlines or work schedules. The colleague asked me if I would talk the same way if I had commitments or girlfriends etc etc…I said that does not change the fact that I have to meet deadlines. The colleague then said this was blatant slavery. I said, I like my work even though at times I get irritated with these stupid deadlines. And that is the reason am patiently putting up with that sort of bull shit right now. To further strengthen my case I said, “look around in the bay area, people at Intel and Cisco are given laptops and work from home literally every evening or every night.” The colleague responded saying, “all this is because we are letting these corporate guys have their way. Whatever money we earn right now we will end up spending on glasses for eyes or spondulitis some 20 years down the line.” I asked, “Will that stop you from sitting in front of the computer and work?” I added, “Go on go complain about the work schedule or the way deadlines are being piled on you to the upper echelons in the company, they will just respond saying if you do not want to work, I can find someone else easily. There are millions out there who are just as brilliant and good as you are, if not better.” My entire point at the end of this conversation was, as a professional it becomes imperative at certain stages of your career that you deliver the goods big time. If one has deadlines, he has to meet them. That I believe is the bottomline. We might crib about the deadlines, but thousands right now are not even able to earn wages for a daily bread. So I believe myself to be amongst those privileged few who have received good education and are earning a decent income in this recession.

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