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What is office working hour

“WORKING HOURS” in Software industry is one of the most misunderstood and misused word. Generally working hour means – The legal amount of time the company wants its employee to spend in office (productive and non productive hours is a matter of debate). But that’s the legal or the documented part. Its real implications are completely different.

Right from the birth of civilization (please read as Software industry), the society has been divided into two. First part comprise of the elite few or the oppressor or the tyrant (please read as the manager or supervisor or the team lead, different words but they all mean the same in this context) and the second part comprise of the innocent oppressed class or the proletarians, glorified by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels (please read as the poor software engineers).
This divide has led to different interpretation of the word “WORKING HOUR”. I bring here the manager’s interpretation of this word.
For managers the word working hour is the most infamous and popularly used trapping devise. And the victims are who, any guesses, you have got it right, it’s us the poor software engineers working under them. For managers, working hour or office hour has only the start time but there are is no end time. We are expected to reach office at the correct time and never leave office after that (I mean that’s the ideal office hours as per managers). Leaving office on time is like practicing untouchablity or involving in act of low moral and social value for the managers. Working minimum two to three hours after you legal office end time is what managers encourage. For them these extra hours spent in office is very much part of normal working hours. Apart from that, working on weekends (Call of duty as described by managers) is another obvious and inherent part of Legal office hours in the eyes of managers. The story does not end here; managers who are real managers (I mean the real software industry managers) are very secular in their outlook towards the different days in a year. They are secular to the extent that they treat a working day and a holiday with absolute equality. So that this phenomenal progressive secular outlook translates into “only working day and no holiday” for us. The Consortium of managers has even appealed to the literary society of world seeking a change in the famous saying “All work and no play makes jack a dull boy”. And if their appeal is accepted the saying will change to something like this “All work and no play gets jack in good books of managers”
And why we poor oppressed class are so scared to challenge this prevalent exploitation is that fact that WORKING HOUR plays a significant role as far as appraisal ratings are concerned. Quality and difficulty of work comes second to the number of hours spend in office as far as securing good appraisal comments are concerned. Long working hours no holidays and coming to office on weekends combined with no compensation is what makes us an eligible candidate for good appraisal.

ECONOMIC RECESSION- SOFTWARE INDUSTRY THEN AND NOW

Recession of 2008-2010 (you may disagree with the time pan) changed how the world was perceived. Strongest of economy felt the heat. Some crumpled and some survived. One of the worst hit sector was software industry (IT industry). In order to survive, the entire software sector underwent radical changes. The term “Cost Cutting”, once found only in management book and managerial talks was now the most dreaded monster. Right from the office boy to software engineer, everyone was aware of what this term meant and the amount of catastrophe it can create. Innumerous relentless mayhems were organized and executed by organizations.

All of a sudden things that were considered the basic requirements or our inherent rights became luxury. At first the number of drinks offered selflessly by the innocent office vending machine was reduced to just tea and coffee (tea or coffee). As the recession intensified, the vending machines itself were removed from the shelf. The place which once was the epitome of gossip now portrayed a much disserted look. Most of the software engineers considered that place as martyrs land.
Next to fall victim of recession was the ever rumbling and rattling printers. Printing the entire book was now an unheard concept. Even single page print outs like train tickets or movie tickets were a rare phenomena. Restriction on vending machine affected just the employees but restriction on printers shook the entire society. Family members, friends now had to go out and get their print outs from local cyber cafes.
Even the air conditioner (AC) and bulbs were not spared. AC off by 6:30 pm (which is like just the start of work for most of the software engineers) and most of the floor gave a spooky look as the most of the bulbs were switched off to cut cost.
Concept of team outing and fun activities were termed as waste of money and time. Add to our misery was the fact that we were now required to stay more time in office without these facilities. Roaming around and taking frequent breaks were sufficient enough to get your name in the list of people to be fired next.
But the glorious days are back. Things are returning to normalcy. Vending machines are again proudly serving the beverages and printers are again rumbling and snoring to the top of their voice all round the clock. We can once again oblige our friends and loved ones by getting free print outs for them. The office gossip has again picked up. The entire floor seems to be bustling with activities (non productive). Floor activities are something that now we look forward to, and team is back in place which used to plan the team outings.

TEAM PLAYER - Favourite term on Software engineer's resume

Team player is a word which can be found on almost every software engineer’s resume. It usually signifies a person who can gel well with the team and believes in team work.
Getting along with the team is a good thing. This virtue has a lot of advantages, your team members can fill in for you in the hour of need, you can always have company on weekends for booze, movies etc.

But the most important attribute of being a team player is team work. Now this is where this innocent phrase is highly misused and misinterpreted. For managers team player means a person who can collectively work towards achieving team’s goal. This means the entire team shares a part of work individually, they work in full sync, and finally they deliver what was required in time. But for the team members like me who are very lazy and who have mastered the art of dodging all the responsibility coming their way, the term team work is a savior. To them, team work means the entire team working on the same piece of work, rather than looking after different pieces of work individually. As a result no individual team member is accountable. Sincere members of the team put in honest effort to complete the work and we lazy souls keep ourselves indulged in planning for week end and other extracurricular activities, because we know the job will be completed on time. It helps us to create a deceptive circumference around the work that has been assigned to the team, so that their non participation in work goes unnoticed.
They sprung up to the centre stage when it’s time for credit sharing. For that too, they do not have to sweat much, because any ways they were a part of the team that delivered following a team work model.
I guess most of the software engineers will agree. Lest see what you have to say. Just share it here.

MALE DISCRIMINATION - Yes it Does Exist

Male discrimination is still considered a rare phenomena. But unfortunately every sphere of our society is glorified by this discrimination. Be it the public transport system, ticket booking counters etc, you can find separate seats or queue for females. Is that not discrimination. Those who advocate the female rights defend these separate arrangements for male and female as a step to bring up the females to the same level as males. Some even try to cover this prevalent discrimination under the shadow of “CHIVALARY”.

Acts like offering seat to a lady (even though she can pull a chair and sit), opening doors for her (even if she can pull the doors and make hey way in or out) are expected to be performed by man if he wishes to qualify for the tag of gentleman. My question is why there is no mention of a reciprocal behavior.

Quotes like “Ladies first” is so well accepted in the society. But no one seem to care about “Gentleman first”. During argument with females one invariably hear sentences like “Don’t you know how to talk to a lady”. Most of the behavioral sessions are aimed at how to behave with a female. When I joined my organization, during induction I was given a long session on how to behave with female employee.Does that mean men are suppose to be taken for granted as far as these things are concerned

What I mentioned in the above paragraphs are just some of the discrimination that I have encountered. Unfortunately, these discriminations have become such an indispensible part of our life that most of us feel that’s how it is suppose to be. Society loves to create favorable situation for females. The saddest part is we men, are ignorant and unaware of these discrimination. On the contrary the females are much more aware of the discriminations that they are subjected to. On internet, tens and thousands of female activists can be found advocating that women should get an equal share in everything. I agree to them completely, but I advocate for an absolute equality. There has to be an absolute equality in society as far as gender issues are concerned.

I am a great patron of women working shoulder to shoulder with men, but at the same time the above mentioned inequalities should be removed. Instead of laying down different set of rules for men and women, we should have universal rules which apply to both sexes equally. Any change in universal rules will again create discrimination. A divided society can never prosper.