Recently I completed three years working from home. I had earlier posted about my initial days on work from home. Things did not change much but I have now accepted the situation and deal it my own way. I later shifted to Kotgarh in April 2009 after my son was born. Big thanks to BSNL for launching the broadband service in the hills, a life line for my kind of work.
It has been busy marriage season in Kotgarh and met a lot many relatives and friends. The first point of conversation is, “So what do you do?” Putting the idea of working from home takes some effort. In a traditional society like mine where doctor-engineers still are at the top of the vocation hierarchy a mere mortal like me is dismissed instantly! Now the best part are the following questions. “You left your regular job?” I reply in affirmative. “And where you used to work?” I tell them about my previous job. “You actually left a regular government job?” is the retort with an astonished look! I stopped short of blurting that now only corrupt people work in the government and I was feeling a little left-out. Better sense prevailed as I realized that the one asking was in ‘government service’ himself.
“So why did you leave?” is how the conversation leads. Now this is something which needs some explanation. Why people in Himachal will go to any length to be in the service? Mainly because of the power and prestige which comes with the job. I grew up in the pre 1991 era when it was only the government sector everywhere. A typical visit to my father’s friends house used to have an introduction as head of the family being an engineer/doctor/HAS officer and sons studying in either IGMC or in engineering colleges in Maharashtra or Karnataka. Good boys like me were tutored to excel in studies so I too could join the elite club. That I didn’t is a different story.
The government service teaches one to be arrogant. The ‘servant’ (as in government servant ) is just a tag. See these servants acting as Lords once sitting on the chair. I noticed an abrupt change in my batchmates and some of the friends who finally made it to the service. One of my ex-friend and a present BDO sahib started avoiding the evening Mall road friends club once he got the joining letter. Another, now a vet doc would wait for us to come and greet him else he would just walk away. I was so naive when I joined the service that one fine day this doc guy asked me what pay scale I was in and I had no idea!!! Later when he found out I was x scale lesser to him he started avoiding me completely.
Once the power and prestige is acquired, the next step is to get sucked into the system. On job, it is time to unlearn what one has learnt all throughout. The process is like a river meeting the sea. Even if one does not have an inclination to join in, the flow ultimately lands you up their. Slowly the inner resistance starts breaking and the lure of easy money takes over. Every person has a breaking point. Some who resist face the ‘wrath’ and ultimately buckle down at some point of time. I have seen it happen to the best of person.
I chose to refuse to be a part of this system. There were initials hiccups selling the idea to my family. Eventually they agreed to my view point. There are always out of box solutions. We just have to apply those. I see people who have made it their goal to join the government service. Why does one wish to work for a rotten, stinking system!
So, what do you say?