Story of an Average IT Joe in India

Typing commands frantically on the keyboard, eyes moving from one screen to another and yet the guy is pressing the heck out of ALT+TAB to switch between different windows. Talking to the other teams and answering client questions and ignoring the gore stare by his team leader and manager, he continued to perform his daily duties and more during a major outage in the project he is currently working in. Welcome to the life of Subhramanyam Reddy a.k.a Subbu. Since the clients can never get around to pronounce his name correctly, Subbu thought its better to give in to the western civilizations christening of the new guy, which is shortening of name for everyone’s benefit and my own, because frankly typing Subhramanyam can be time consuming. Our protagonist is a Unix administrator for a major corporation. Taking advantage of the IT boom in India, Subbu who is from the remote district in the state of Andhra Pradesh where kids now only prepare to find an IT job in the IT Hubs of India. While growing up, his parents had just 2 dreams for him,

 

1 – To get a good paying job, &

2 – To go to the US of A. (United States of Andhra America)
Rest would all fall according to plan they thought (rather hoped).

 

Subbu still remembers his 1st day at work, after attending a lot of interviews and being rejected, Subbu was tired of asking for some money from his parents to survive a few more days in Bangalore Bengaluru. Finally luck was in his favor and he landed a job as an L1 admin in a company that is out to create a “Smarter Planet”. There he was, wearing a formal shirt and pant, hair oiled up and combed, new chappals shoes and a can of the most popular body spray(M.R.P. 120 Bucks), he felt like the 1st day of school again. He was still new to the conventions of how corporate’s operate in India, but he was very excited to start proving himself. His mother and father had especially come down to Bangalore to wish him luck and remind him of his goals, work hard, impress your boss and get a ‘friggin H1B!’ 

Story of an Average IT Joe in India
 
Subbu, being a nice guy, stayed away from the taboo that is smoking and drinking. His life was his laptop that he purchased after saving for months and Tollywood movies that he would go to with his room mates every now and then. Anyway, we shall zoom ahead to the present where this guy is making smoke come out of  his keyboard. Subbu is generally very shy on calls and that is taken as being passive by the clients. He has the gift of speech but lacks the confidence bit which is not earning him any accolades by the clients and management. Ever chasing the virtual carrot that the management lays in front of him on every 1:1 review, our guy pushes on, to getting one opportunity at “On Site” assignment, and why wont he, this visa not only means a good career opportunity, but potentially the hand of one of the most fair beautiful girls, hand picked by his parents (I’d like to believe that, this excited Subbu more than his career growth).
  Like schools and colleges, offices too, have certain characters without which we cannot say that we are united in our diversity. You have the Jocks, the smart a**es, the handsome ones, the anger management issue guys, the funny ones, the drunks, the “substance abuse” guy, the grumpy, the low self esteem, and then there are guys like Subbu. The day in day outers, the “I will do any shift” guys, the “I can extend” guys, the ” I will also login while I am on a vacation” guys. For them, in their minds, the carrot that the management shows them, is for real, just like the heroes that they see in the movies who can fight a 100 people at once and come out unscathed. These guys are ready to push the boundaries of patience, god himself would give them a VIP entry to heaven when their time comes I think. For them the finish line never comes, just when you reach all the objectives that the management had asked you to do, the finish line gets moved.
“You have only done what we asked you to do”
they say, because they already know who is going to get the promotion, Subbu’s competition, his bête noire, Srini, who had managed to get that by various tactics of a** kissing.
“Yes Sir its only bloody 100 times more than anyone else, and you’ve only called me like 3 billion times to ask about something that the other guys should already know about, when I was on my friggin vacation. And, oh yeah what about the time I was mourning my granny’s death and you wanted me to log into a call that night, and I know you will be giving away the promotion I deserve to that moron, that pathetic excuse of a human being Srini, because he gave you a virtual blow job, a bottle of your favorite scotch and a Kanjeevaram Saree for your wife that you accidently happened to mention to him”
said Subbu, to no one! Of-course he cant say any of that or anything else which would even remotely irk the manager. After all, his hike, his promotion (well whenever it comes), and also the training’s he is requesting to attend to serve the clients better, and his onsite opportunity (his favorite wet dream) is at stake. Subbu smiles calmly, suppressing the storm building inside him, which is right now trying to blow his blood vessels to bits. He accepts his managers review, and the measly 8% hike on his already pathetic salary, and walks back to his desk, while his eyes become bloodshot from all the rage control. He now starts to resemble some sort of a serial killer with no targets.
  There are only a few things that a man resorts to when lost in love and/or career, one of the favorites, ‘Alcohol’. Not being able to hold on to his rage any longer, and knowing better that he cannot do anything in the right state of mind, Subbu enters the coveted liquor shop for the 1st time in his life. He is searching for the alcohol which he has only heard about from his friends and gulps it down like there is no tomorrow. As the alcohol is burning his intestines he just keeps thinking about his performance review and then the burn from alcohol seems nothing more than a light breeze. Days go by and now our Subbu is a regular at the liquor shop, and adding insult to injury, the manager announced in the team meeting that Srini who is much less deserving than him and has spent less time than Subbu has at the desk, is now going onsite.
“But it was my opportunity, the manager said I would be the next person to go onsite, But why didn’t he send me? I did everything he asked me to. My work and several other peoples work. I worked while they enjoyed their Friday night drinks at Srini’s house. I covered up for them….Then Why?” poor Subbu kept thinking.
    Dejected and disappointed, Subbu forces a fake smile, yes he has now learnt the art of a fake smile and fake appreciation for people who don’t deserve it but since its the moral code. Weeks have gone by, Subbu feels worse as he sees Srini’s new pics on Facebook, enjoying in the US of A. Living the dream he had for years. He feels let down, and when his father asks him about when will he be going to America, Subbu has nothing to say but the standard, “I will tell you when it happens”. Subbu has been working for 5 years now and he hasn’t seen so much as a glimpse of opportunity. He did get a promotion though (finally!) but that was only to a senior administrator because it was in the company’s guidelines. While Sreeni is now an SME and directs Subbu on his day to day work. Subbu now completely frustrated, starts searching for new jobs in his domain, after some search and help from his friend, Subbu has got a new job. Subbu feels contented as he hands in his notice to the manager. Subbu is now moving to explore “new horizons”. After serving notice and completing his formalities at his company, Subbu leaves a contented man, a man free of SLA’s, Tickets and Conf Calls (..well for now). After a couple of days when he joins the new organization, new ID card, new shirt, new dress pants, combed hair, genuine smile is back, skip in his walk. Subbu has a chance to start over again, make new impressions and pursuing his dreams and chasing the Virtual Carrot of the management, once again.

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