Save your own Ass Syndrome

We, human beings have a tendency to duck and move out of a meddling situation. We do it all the time. We used to do it in school, to avoid the punishment. We used to run away if we break our friends toy. We even do it at home, when we accidently eat our siblings’ ice cream.

So this is no new syndrome. Corporate world is not untouched by this syndrome. We can see the symptoms of the syndrome if we unintentionally put an extra comma at the end of code, and our colleague take a day to debug it. But you can see different degree to which people show its symptoms. The degree of symptoms might also vary from region to region. I will mainly focus on the regional differences here. The Asian countries (Except japan, we will come to Japan later) are more prone to the syndrome. A company with office in India, UK and the US, the employees in Indian office will show this symptom more often than UK or the US. If you raise a question to employees in India, the first reply you are most likely to get is extra explanation that we did not fuck it. You will have to read the email twice and wonder, where in your email you actually asked that! Due to this there will be calls which will lead to no conclusion. After a day people will actually acknowledge your question, if you are lucky, if not, your original question will be berried under the heap of baseless discussions. Japan is a different breed, they usually know the question and also its answer, they also know who fucked it up. They will choose a color and font size that will attract audience  and very brutally announce who is the culprit and the story behind it. So the discussion will not go onto calls.

This leads to a very important question, why this syndrome is wide spread in India. I would say its the management who plants the seeds of the syndrome. the competition among employees is higher than UK or the US  in the kind of jobs are off shored in India. The race of getting good rating, higher increment and big bonuses employees want to proof themselves as error free. In this race they forget the ownership of work, instead loosening their ownership gives them insurance of average rating. In UK or the US, either you are dealing in real money so the competition can be easily mapped to money or you are the only person in the team to own the job so you automatically become the owner and your sole purpose is to get the job done.

Its time that management of these companies should realize the roots of the syndrome are deep and to cut the roots they need to nurture the employees by showing them the bigger picture and expanding their role. Clear objectives, sense of ownership and the likeness towards the job should drive the employees. So that the time they invest in Saving their own Asses can be put into other use.

Change – Good Cop – Bad Cop ?

Change is inevitable. I see change all around me. The cartoons, I used to watch have changed. The Video Games, I used to play have gone out dated, the start music of some famous games then, live only in my memory now. I have seen the black and white TVs turning to colored & mounted TVs, floppies changing to pen-drives. I have seen how I have walked the terrain of life, changing my strategy to fight every challenge. I have seen the ever changing face of society. Over the years, I have learnt to evaluate and decide which form of change I want. Of course, some of them are inevitable due to changing technology. Recently, in last 7 days, I read two different stories, both pointing to a bigger change, but with it comes the very basic question – Is this really the change we wanted ?

Both the stories had one theme. Woman punished a man by either killing him or hurting him bad. We have all heard of numerous cases of women, girls being raped, their whole life goes upside down. It takes ages to solve one case and get justice, some girls even leave the hope of getting any. But these two cases are like a knock on the door, a change waiting at the door, to enter our society.

In the first case, woman chopped off private parts of the accused. In other case a woman accused a man of cheating and threw acid on his face, next day of his wedding, eventually ending his life. The Chief minister of the state even commended the woman daring enough to hurt the person, who brutally raped her. It looks like girls are on the verge where they are ready to play judge and jury by themselves.

But, Should this change be embraced? Should we really applause these women? Should we really stop a crime by committing another crime? Does this not bring us to square one. There was a time of patriarchal society when, even if a man does something wrong it was considered as strong and manly, we encouraged it. Are we not making same mistake to approve of work done by the women. After reading praise for the Girl punishing her rapist, how many girls waiting for their justice would have been discouraged to have faith in our system. Is this a start of Matriarchal Society? But should we welcome this change?

The train seat

Indian railways is one of the biggest railways in the world. But being the biggest network is not the the beauty of it, the most unique feature of it is that you can see many different types of personalities traveling together. I think it is the best place to study human behavior and personality traits.

I happen to remember an incidence when I saw different behavior  of same person. A very old lady with her old fashioned bag was sitting in an AC coach. She was too old to walk herself, she had a walker kept in front of her which was taking more place than herself. I doubt she could read or barely see without her thick glass frame. How can some one can get this old, I thought. All of a sudden 3 men came and stood in front of me blocking her from my sight. I then realized I was almost staring her. One of them encountered the old lady and enquired of her seat. They figured that the lady was having a general ticket but somehow got in their seat. The man was a middle class man returning to his town, one station away, from work. He had a mustache and a large round belly. He must have never excercised, as most of the other people in India.

The man saw the old lady and asked about her family. She was traveling alone. Her younger son bought her the ticket and got her boarded on train, her elder son will receive her on the station which was around 4 – 5 stations away. I thought the man and his friends will now try to move her out of their seat, as any other person in india would do. In india it is hard enough to get a train a ticket, so people are generally very emotionally connected with their seat. But the man too was moved by her story, he sat with his friend tried to converse with the lady. He started discussing with his friends about her sons who left their mother in a train on a wrong seat, alone. They already had made a whole picture of the two uncaring sons. Some time passed by. The man thought to rest for a bit and asked the lady to shift a little.

All of a sudden, the old lady started shouting. She started speaking ill of man that he is asking an old woman to move. The man was startled. She shouted at him that he can very easily walk to the seat that was booked for her, which she thought was in the next coach. But the man knew she had a general ticket not the AC coach ticket. He tried to explain her but she was not ready to hear. She thought she has to fight to keep sitting in that seat. The man got up and sat somewhere else. I did not understand why the lady started to shout on a man who gave her seat to sit.

In the country with limited resources and a billion population, people learn from their birth that they have to fight to get something. It is difficult to grasp that we don’t have to fight always, not every one will pull you down if you seem weak.

In all of this, I reached the next station where I got down. The men also got off the train. I turned back to the lady from the platform, the train started moving slowly, I saw three other people boarding the train, the old lady still sitting waiting for next one to come and getting ready to save that seat…

I sleep to forget ‘it’

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Dawn, Morning, Afternoon, Evening, Night………All over again! But I’m sleeping. I don’t want to wake up. Don’t want to eat or talk. The only thing which I want is – SLEEP. No, I am not lazy. I am not drunk. Neither sick nor tired. I want to forget something. The easiest way for me is to sleep on it. I had never known to what extent I can sleep. I can avoid many things easily so that I can sleep and forget it, but I have to struggle with my stomach which is not easy.

Day 1 is the most difficult. I felt the need to eat. My mind is ready for sleep but my stomach is not ready. It sends hunger signals to the mind. But every signal is interrupted by the one thing which forces my mind to make me sleep. It’s so strong that I sleep.

Day 2 is also a struggle between mind and stomach. I eat breakfast and late lunch. My stomach now understands. It knows my mind was struggling yesterday. It sends hunger signal but stops later when mind informs of no recovery. So I again sleep.

Day 3 becomes easier. Mind knows the situation is no better, I still want to forget ‘It’ and that, it’s still bothering me. Today, the stomach is all ready for me. It makes my day easier and helps me SLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP.