Friday, May 29, 2009

9 Reasons I Quit my IT job

"The word safe is both an adjective and a noun. As an adjective it means “being free from danger.” As a noun it’s “an enclosed storage container with a lock on it.” If you’re living the adjective, you’re living the noun too." - Steve Pavlina

I am no more an "IT Proffessional". I have been a Software Engineer for 2 years in Bangalore. It was not resonating with my heart’s desires and the value-add was reducing. Even though it made me grow well in one area, it decelerated the growth in other areas.

I have had lots of moments when I hated my job but could not get out then because of so many reasons; fear, lack of clear vision about my life and financial ties being some of them. Finally, I overcame all of them and I took the decision that I wanted to take. I quit.

I have mentioned some of the most predominant reasons here. I hope this gives insight to those in college (or not just them), thinking of joining a similar kind of job.

1. A Stupid Theory on Productivity & Time Management

We are at a time now that it has become an unwritten rule in Indian IT environment that, we need to spend more time than what was actually agreed upon. [Mostly you end up working somewhere more than 25 hours extra in a week]. The saddest reason for the manifestation of this kind of an environment to prevail is that, most of the managers stupidly equate productivity just with time spent in office.

It is one thing for you to get involved in work too much because it challenges you in a very interesting and growth-oriented way that you forget to eat food in time or stay late night to focus & deliver the project within the timeline. It is completely another thing if you are forced to do that. You are pushed in a situation where you end up working like a slave even though you had other things planned – Weekends included.

With a schedule like this, you don’t get to manage your time, as your time is not always yours to manage.

2. Good Work is rewarded with more work

Mostly, even if someone finishes the work ahead of time, they wait till the end of the day to report it to the Manager. This is because the fear of more work allotted which would eventually consume lots of time making you to stay late.

This kind of unproductive strategies could be reduced if the manager respects his employee's early task finishing and rewards appropriately. Instead, the managers load them with work without any consideration of the time lines and the employee has to end up staying late.

This does not improve productivity, neither yours nor the employer's.

[With some managers, the above mentioned tactic does not work after a while. I used to work with a manager who liked to retain people till at least 8:30 PM by giving more work. Fortunately, I moved away from her, to some other project. I heard that the time increased from 8:30 PM to 10:00 PM. She was a true sadist]

3. Motivating the donkey

Money, (often a raise in salary) is perceived as a motivation factor. However, the major motivation factor used on the employees is fear. When I say fear, it’s the Fear of losing the job or fear of losing the bond money that was agreed upon while joining. They instill that fear upon you, to keep you whipped. So, there is just no happy and cheering motivation to work.
Lack in motivation here affects the overall energy levels, making the whole day bad.

4. Too much micro managing

Its too frustrating when the managers try to manage and scrutinize every second of your time, assuming that is going to add up to the productivity.

You might not believe if said that once I was asked an explanation for taking too many toilet breaks. What can I say then? I have extraordinary capability to pee?

  • And, hovering just behind while you try and get the work done.
  • Asking for status every half an hour, when both of you know that it is going to be over not before the end of the day.

These are just some examples for too much of micro managing

5. Feeling Dissatisfied even after delivering a project

Any work coming out of an employee who is made to work out of fear, obligation or compulsion will always be in poor quality. Now, imagine a project you are involved where majority of team members are such employees.

Mediocre project delivery is just an eventuality, even though you were not one such employee.

6. A balanced a lifestyle? Keep Dreaming!

The way to have a balanced life style is compartmentalizing the 2 major and different areas of life: Work life & Personal Life. But, when a conflict arises, i.e. when both work & personal life need immediate attention, the priority is automatically given to work (because of) and slowly the work encroaches the personal life’s territory.

With all the above points considered, your balanced life style becomes a far-fetched goal.
It’s a sad truth that your lifestyle depends upon what kind of manager you get.

7. Diminishing attention to physical fitness

There is very less or no physical activity in the job. Also, as the job pressure slowly takes over, even a regular physical activity like going to gym gets tossed off often, eventually ending up with a big tummy and much regretted fat ass.

If I kept continuing this, I am sure to face an illness before I hit 35.

8. A Boring Society

The work environment isn't fun anymore. The conversations with your colleagues become mendacious, phony and boring.

Initially, when I joined, I enjoyed the diverse population that I interacted with and the various curious minds. But, slowly the interactions get constricted within a closed circle of people and more pretentious. Even though the fun part was there, it was drastically reducing.

The interest in meeting new people gets saturated so soon because, after one point there is nothing new and only repetition of what was once new and interesting.

9. Balls to competitive growth

This point might be little naïve of me and it happens probably everywhere.

The scenario is such that, if a person is good in his work, then, he/she is always trusted with the most important & critical work. The learning curve is reduced and soon you become an important employee.

This seems a good and best way to move up in the ladder.

Well, you are wrong. That’s not enough.

You have got to be a good sycophant too (some times, just that is enough) to have better visibility, to have a better movement up the ladder.


Even though there were many perks being in the job, they all either vanished or eventually got saturated or transformed into some other desires, either way, making that place no more reasonable for me to stay.

What am I going to do for money? I guess I am pushed more towards aligning myself with my true desires and finding & doing the right thing and (possibly) making it lead to financial Independence.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The adventurous Sirsi [May 15, 16 2009]

“The Art of Travel is to deviate from the plan” – from the movie “The Art of Travel

This is about the 2 day trip to Sirsi and Yana. I have made this as short and sweet as possible. If it’s lengthy, that is because I’ve tried to capture most of the exhilarating moments that we had during that trip (or simply because I am a bad writer)

It started when Deepak told that he was visiting Bangalore for 10 days and wanted to visit some place in western Karnataka. All I needed to hear was the word “Western Ghats” and I was in. Deepak and I started the trip at 10:30 PM in Bangalore. The primary location was a temple Sonda (15 Kms from Sirsi) which Deepak wanted to visit.

Day 1 – Sonda & Around

Reaching Sirsi (Time: 7.30 AM)

My first impression of Sirsi was not that great as the first lodge we approached was closed down because of some financial troubles! And, the next one did not welcome us very well. Anyways, we got a room for 2 people for Rs.145 for 1 day. Some signs of happiness started appearing.

The Sonda Temple (Time: 10:15AM)

‘Boring’ is the first thought that comes to my mind when I think of temples. And Sonda temple didn’t do much to change it. But, it did transform Deepak to a religious man. And, I tried to keep my spirits high as well. Deepak was involved with all “religious” activities while I was ogling at chicks (at least I was trying to). Finally, the free lunch (God’s Prasad) was announced, we were all served. And that’s all I could remember about that!

The short Pilgrimage tour around Sonda (Time: 1:30 PM)

After the Sonda temple, we went on a small tour which the local tourist department had arranged for Rs.50 which covered the following places. These places are really good with lakes and forest surrounding them.

  1. Lakshmi Narayana Temple & vyasaraja mutt.
  2. Venkata Narayana Temple.
  3. Sahasra Linga (1000 shiva lingas have been made on the rocks on which the river flows. On a rainy day, the lingas are just covered)
  4. Swarna valli mutt
  5. Tapovana (half KM walk through forest which lead to rocks on the path of a river where a certain sage who had witnessed GOD in Horse’s form had done some carving for sitting and keeping his stuff, etc).

The Evening in Sirsi (Time: 6:00 PM)

We returned to sirsi, freshened up, had some snacks, made enquiry for bike renting for the next day and had some talks on the walks.

Day 2 – Yana & Vibhuthi Falls

The Bike Ride to Yana (Time: 7:00)

Yana is 41 KMs from Sirsi.

We started our bike on a chilly morning with 3 liters of petrol and 30 bucks/hour tab with hopes and expectations for adventure. As we went on, we rode through those narrow roads, villages disappearing, forests getting denser and thicker on both sides & the roads transforming into hair-pin bends and Ups & downs. The thrill kept on increasing with both of us wanting to and switching over to driver’s seat often.

It got really scary at one point when we stopped to take a leak. forests were dense on both sides. The road was completely lonely. We both wondered, if we would dare to take that during dark.

Then came the Iron Gate guarded by 2 at least-50-year old trees on both sides. The gate was supposed to stop only 3 or 4 wheelers and not us. We continued through the same road which had now transformed to mud road and in less than half Kilo Meters, there was this huge rock standing in front of us very tall.

Yana!! Gigantic!! Majestic!!

Any famous mountain (or even a rock for that matter) in India will have a temple with a myth around it and an eatery stall to make business (wasn’t a very money-making one in this case). It was 8.45 AM and no one other than us was there. We were the first ones to reach there.

There was a way into the cave of the mountain. Being the adventurers that we are, we went in and tried to trek by divulging from the usual path hoping to reach the top (and may be pee from there?!). Anyways, that was not possible as the any possible route the top seemed closed which was later confirmed by locals that came by later. We came back to the starting point, taking some pictures along the way. We had our breakfast (tea and biscuits) in that shop, and got some information about nearby falls and started towards it.

The vibuthi falls (Time: 11:00 AM)

Vibhuti falls is 10 KMs further from Yana in the route of Gokharana.

This journey was even more thrilling and exciting, mainly because we were headed towards waterfalls. We traveled further down to pass through the village of Mabige to reach the Vibhuthi falls. There was a mud road that led us and it abruptly ended with a serene stream crossing, and a beautiful water fall nearby, seducing the passers-by to take a dip.

No people around except us. And, I could not find any litter which made me feel like we wandered where not many people (tourist people mainly) had.

We first got down in the pool-like area between the stream and the water falls. Trying to get away from the fish biting, we moved here and there in the shallow rocky water.

By then, another group of tourists (more than 10 people) had come. However, they took off soon without dipping their feet or wetting their head. We got off the water and decided to hike further along (and through) the water fall towards the top. We crossed another small water fall, up stream and went further up and reached another fall.

Of course, as inspired photographers, we took lots of pictures with some crazy poses.

Even after spending an hour in the shallow waters and hiking for a little bit to notice some crazy rock formation and crystal clear waters, I was not satisfied without getting beaten by the forcibly falling waters. So, I chose a small rock from which water was flowing and decided to get in there. With no idea about its depth and with all the fears of skidding and falling (due of the algae), I took 1 step at a time and finally, I was there, in the middle of those falls and it wasn’t very deep. But, the beating was very harsh on my heads and back.

It was only matter of seconds before Deepak joined there. We both felt that it was the best moment of the trip!!

The Conclusion

Even though we had planned the trip with more people and different plans, we both thought the trip came out to be a very interesting and fun.

Certain things got reinforced in my mind

  • When you open up your mind, adventure enters.
  • No matter how the plan deviates, just choosing to have fun time makes all the difference.
  • There is a lots of adventure yet to be covered in western ghats!