Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Mysterious Contracts!

9th December, 2008

Today! The ugliest day ever in my life. I am seeing many things which I did not want to see. There are lot of things happening simultaneously and all with negative vibes. While I am writing this, I am still feeling very uneasy about what I am going to write now:

Mysterious Contracts!

I was hearing all about our company taking off vendors from its roles starting Jan 2009. I was not sure about this because nothing was officially announced. But I had already started worrying about the news I heard about. I was filled with fear and anxiety for my fellow colleagues’ who are very close to me at office who are on vendor roles. When I heard about the confirmed news from my boss, I was really shocked and could not believe it. But it got confirmed later that our company is sending off all the vendor employees across all the locations in India. But nothing was still announced in Bangalore office. So all of us were worried about what would happen today. While we were discussing about the same, there was a call for all the recruiters in a conference room for some discussion. I was very sure that this is the discussion which is going to happen and today is the end of all the vendors. As it turned out true, it was decided over the call that this month is the end of all the vendor employees in our company. I went numb over it and was shocked over the fact that we will lose our buddies at work. I could not stop worrying about my colleagues. Most of them are not bold enough to face such situations and they will panic and get worried about their future. When they announced the same to all the vendors, I could see the worried faces and fear for their future run. Lot of them started crying and got panicked about the whole decision. Most of them were bread winners for their family! And yet they had to face such ugliest moments in their lives.

I was feeling so low that I could not even eat my lunch properly today and I was not having any courage to face these people today. Even though I wanted to talk to them, I controlled myself by not talking to them on this issue. While returning home with Nami and Prasad, the discussion was the same and we were telling Prasad that how bad we feel for our colleagues. What can Prasad say? Or what can we say? Person who is facing this situation will know how the pain is.
After reaching home, I was narrating the whole story to Narasim and he was feeling bad about whatever happened to my colleagues. All he wanted from me was to support them in whatever way I can.

I then wanted to speak to one of my colleague and I called him. He was talking to me with a very low tone as usual but it sounded very different to me today. As always, I started my conversation by cracking some silly jokes as to why I called him as he was not speaking properly. As it turned out to be a serious conversation, he slowly opened up and started sharing his difficulty. He was worried about what will happen in the future and he still had not come out of the shock that company took this decision all of a sudden. He was also feeling bad and was worried about his fellow colleagues who are sharing the same difficulty. I was just being supportive on the call, gave him some suggestion and asked him to keep himself cool and go with the positive frame of mind to try hard. He agreed to whatever I said and he also told that he would follow up with few of the contacts which I had given to him earlier. He thanked me for calling him for which I did not know how to react but for saying good bye for now!

I started calling many of my friends and started requesting for any openings. Well… it’s not only the situation in our company, but elsewhere also. There were hardly any positive responses for my requests. But I still keep the search process on for them. I will try my best to get them a break through!

Contracts! Is this all what it means? For me the definition of contract is something different. As we all know that any arrangement of ‘giving and taking’ for a business purpose is a contract. Contract employees are just as good as what they call as permanent employees of the company. I was on contract for a period of 6 months and have experienced the bad phase of being on contract. They just do not treat them as their own employees. Instead there will be lot of indifferences in the way the employers handle them. But if you look at their work, it will be as good as any other employee. Given a chance they would compete with any of the team members. But when it comes to worst situations like layoffs, they are the first hit. I do not understand what the reason behind it is. Just because they are called as ‘vendors’ or ‘contractors’, they are the first hit? Why cannot it be on the performance basis? Those who are performing well, there has to be an option of retaining them. They can layoff those who are not performing well. We all understand that the market situation is worst but while taking decisions, we also can consider all the consequences which might occur for each decision we make. Market is so bad that these people who are being laid off will have to struggle to get a job. Nowhere can they see a job opening out in the market. Company could’ve sent them on a long unpaid leave and taken them back at a later point of time instead of terminating them. This way they could’ve saved lot of costs. All these are my feelings and suggestions which I wanted to make. I may be wrong or I may be right; all I am going through is the difficulty in facing these decisions. Company’s view these decisions may be right but at what cost? All companies are same. I keep getting phone calls from my close buddies saying that their companies are taking off all the contract employees. I have a bunch of my close buddies who are working on contract with many IT firms. I get nightmares if I think of worst situations like this. But anyway the time has crossed its limits and now I can see only the pain in everything. Hopefully they will get some real good breakthrough as soon as possible.

When I was coming back on my bike from Nami’s house, all I was thinking was about the same issue. I was riding so slow that one could walk with the same speed. I was just looking at the lake side and the lush green trees. It was a cool and lovely evening with drizzles and cool breeze to wipe out all the worries and tensions on my face. I saw a lot of kids who were enjoying in the garden and few couples peddling the boat in the lake. As I moved near to the flyover and the Hebbal Lake, I saw a lot of birds waiting to go home after the sunset and waiting for that moment to come. I stopped my bike and stood over the concrete stone of the lake for a few minutes and was watching the birds fly and few ducks just enjoying its movements in the blue water. And then I saw two dogs fighting for a piece of food, fisherman pulling back his nets back home… all these are wonderful moments and feelings which picked me up for the day giving me a message that still there is hope! And we will overcome all our sorrows and problems with that hope of life!


Usha said...

yes! has the power to shrug off difficulties n keep going! ..n this is just a passing phase i hope!!

Raghu said...

It is too sad. I sympathies with Mitra, Santosh and team.These are the fruits of embracing capitalism where in human values have no meaning. It is the profitability which drives all these actions. Probably this is the reason why IIMs have started looking at jobs in PSUs where jobs are said to be secure. This some times makes me think of the usefulness of labour organisations in service sector, even though I am not in favour of them looking at their stupid actions. Let us hope that Mitra and team will get good postings somewhere.