Yes, it was my first day in the so called white collar job. Having been taught all kinds of etiquette during my training days I used them to the full extent possible. Dressed in neatly pressed trousers and well polished shoes matching my belt I walked into the future by stepping into my office wearing a brand new spotless white shirt to realise the famous title “White Collared Job”.
With dreams of hopes and aspirations glittering like a gold plated jewel in front of me I found myself in a cocoon-like workstation in a couple of minutes. A neatly furnished table with a hi-profile desktop computer and revolving chair were making me defy gravity in joy. I was patting myself on the back for the place I have achieved. Like a highly charged battery with no place to unleash its energy I was a fresher with no place to unleash my highly charged spirits. Hours, days, weeks, fortnights and even months passed. There was no sign of work. There was nothing much to do except to smile reluctantly at senior programmers, managers in the hope of getting into their good books. Canteens and pantries became a place for mourning and requiems. Frantic that our brain power would go to the dooms we started blogging, giving useless presentations and arranging group discussions. We were slowly creating an aversion for idleness. The famous adage “An idle mind is the devil’s workshop” was sure right. We never even wanted that golden opportunity to knock at us. Just a cue was enough and we were ready to grab it with a Jonty Rhodes like jump in air. (Pardon me for being a lover of good’ol cricket times!!!).
And then one fine day I was called in by the Project leader for some work. Surprised, glad, and with all the adjectives associated with JOY, and with my face glowing with energy, that all the almost late future dreams came back to life. It was a miracle. Double checking my trousers and, yeah, the imperative white collar, I jumped into his cabin with joy. Not quite minding my presence, he was busy with his work. I started admiring my future cabin (Very optimistic soul). There were loads of papers stuffed and scattered across the room.He lifted his head towards me, studied me for a while and said “Ok… Here’s the deal…” “Put all those offer letters scattered here into their appropriate covers.”
An atomic explosion occurred internally and I was in a state of limbo, listening to the sound of dreams shattering in front of me. Not knowing what to do my instinct which equated or associated the title “Project Leader” to “Authority” made me kneel down and start the paper work camouflaging my inner tears. My engineering degree, my aspirations and my iridescent dreams flashed across my mind. Having done the work, I came out of the room with my heart weighing my body down and strode across the corridor to my friend’s workstation to grieve.But to my surprise they were consoling me by narrating their own share of stories of mean jobs. It seems that one was asked to clean the monitor and the workstation due to the sudden client visits and one was asked to clean the conference table for a video conference.
The latter was due to the meeting at midnight and the former was a brand new office. Both cases lacked the appropriate staff due to their respective reasons. It was me who opened up first about my experience and it resulted in an avalanche of mean job descriptions. I felt relieved. I started having dreams and aspirations again and it did materialize down the lane. This is not to disappoint anyone who has aspirations to enter into our world, but a figment of my experience that exists in all fields. I just wanted everyone know that it also exists in the so called “White Collared Job”. This was not written with hatred over any concern or any person in particular but with a hope of seeing a broad wide smile on any developer/programmer/tester/leader’s face while reading this, reminiscing on the path he/she travelled.
ANTONY PAIVA, Software Engineer
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