About Me

My photo
I am a confused soul, trying to find the meaning of life. And I feel, there is no better way to see things clearly than to write them down. So I write...oops..type ;)

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Extend a helping hand!!!

Before you read this, let us contemplate, how we treat our youngsters (not kids) or our juniors in general, especially in office space. This occurred to me, during the last few months of my ordeal in office. Although personally I didn't suffer much affliction, I was pained to see how some of the junior members of my team were treated.

Looking back, (if any of you had read my first post), I think of the timeless quote in hindi "jo bhi hota hai achhe ke liye hota hai". You may wonder why?
Since I was here (in the IT industry) more by accident than by design, I was completely ill-prepared for any task entrusted to me. But I was fortunate to have Nirav bhai and Pravinbhai as my immediate seniors, who would help me make the transition rather smoothly. It all began with them ,literally, hand holding and teaching me some of the tricks of the trade. Like any fresh college graduate, me and sanket (my partner throughout my first job) would gobble up all the knowledge bestowed upon us. Although the macro scenario wasn't that encouraging, we constantly received proper encouragement and guidance from our seniors (in spite of numerous pitfalls), which went a long way to assuage some of our fears. So my first stint in the IT industry had its fair share of bright spots as well. I can say so with the advantage of hindsight.

Today I stand, right at the opposite end of the spectrum.
Me now being a relatively senior (going by the time spent in the project) member of the team, had to collectively guide some of the new joiners. As with all newbies, they were all bubbling with energy and prepared to take up any task given to them. But to their misfortune, they had come into a project, which would soon be on fire.

Initially, it was all easy going (for most of them) but it was perhaps the lull before the storm. Slowly as things started going a bit awry, everybody started looking out for scapegoats. The freshers as expected were easy targets. They not only received verbal bashing behind closed doors, but some of them had to also put up with public humiliation. From some of those bright sparkling eyes, were now emanating tiny droplets of the approaching dusk. Their youthful optimism had slowly transformed into disillusionment, and now shaping into sheer frustration. All of this started having a deleterious effect on their health. Some took to bed, while others labored on with worn out tools. It was a pitiful sight, to see them turn into objects of ridicule.

In retrospect, when I look back, I wonder, if all that could have been avoided.
Some argued, under the pretext, "Let them get a taste of the real world" others said "Every man for himself" and the rest (including me) watched the carnage unfold before them, as mute spectators. So that implicates me too. By doing so, I am not trying to take a moral high ground, but its an admission of guilt. It could have so easily been a joyride, than the tumultuous journey it eventually turned into. I do not have all the answers, partly because, I am unaware of some of the games that are played out in the higher echelons. But answers need to be found at all levels of the hierarchy. It all should start with each one of us owning up to our share of the blame, which might be difficult, considering the "EGO" dynamics. But still, each one of us needs to introspect, and come up with solutions to heal those wounds and put our house back into order. Treat each individual as an independent mind and customize the solutions to meet their developmental needs.

Similar stories must have played out in the innumerable offices doting the Indian landscape, with different characters obviously. The big question is; are we a nation of hypocrites who so conveniently project our young workforce as the "Great Talent Pool", but treat them as nothing more than servants who do all our menial jobs. We treat them as our subordinates rather than as new partners. This organizational hierarchy is so deeply entrenched in the Indian psyche, that it will be hard to change. But shouldn't it change?

So, lets extend a helping hand and embrace our new generation.