The Real IT story

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I got this as a mail forward and found it worth publishing it here.  It makes for some funny reading – but shows the disconnect between the aam aadmi and the real state of affairs.  Read on.  Also publishing the third instalment of the Mahamastakabhisheka photo.

“….yavaag foreign ge ?”

The familiar sentence is arguably one of the most frequently asked  questions, losing only slightly to the even more grave one (\”…yavaag maduve ?\”), to someone who unluckily happens to be in the IT Industry and in Bangalore. There was never a better conversation topic for the older generation to suck every drop of blood the poor bloke manages to save despite working as a techie.

It\’s a wave that everyone wants to be part of, and everyone wants to show they know. The word computer is now a house-hold name. A good relief for many topic starved aunties and uncles, but our poor techie gets stuck like a nail that\’s half into the wood when it\’s head decides to painfully break lose.

The popular following that IT has gotten in recent years has been more due to the lucrative travel, than what the techie believes is due to his work. This time it is the uncles who have the upper hand in making a conversation, owing to some \’extra\’ knowledge, thanks to \’external\’ contacts. Aunties resign to just asking \”…yenappa computer aa ?\” (literally means \” are u a computer?\”, but it is supposed to be \”Are you working in the IT field ?\”. One must be ready to field a volley of smirks and barrage of questions, if the victim answers a \”no\”, though it would be the right answer for such a question. For if you are not part of the bandwagon, then you\’d rather term yourself a foolish old crackpot and be happy with that, than get a loathesome look from the omnipresent aunty.

IT has such a popularity following here, most do not know what they are following, but just drift along to be \’seen\’. Our aunty gets into her  form, and asks our techie, \”you computer, my son also computer\” …our techie, just out of a ctrl-alt-tab-enter, has no idea how to respond  to this inhuman potrayal, by the aunty, of her son. He just smiles and says \”wonderful aunty, which company ?\” and is hardly interested in what he hears. The aunty carries on.. \” nun maga sapoo\”…the indianised MNC becomes \”sapoo\” from SAP, while our techie replies back, \”i work or GE\”..aunty is a bit concerned on hearing that, and blurts out \”is it a good company? didnt u get in infosys ?\”…techie is at his wits end to explain; aunty is in no mood to understand. aunty\’s techie son is blushing ear to ear.

while the general social understanding of an IT company hovers between Infosys and Wipro, some good souls give respect to \”Vorakal\” (for  ORACLE) too. So aunties are generally happy if one is from any of these companies. Theother companies will only mean a detailed interrogation about the techie\’s academic credentials, past criminal record, if any, and a sure minus point as a prospective groom.

It is the conversation between aunties that is the most funny and amazingly astonishing. Recently one of my cousins went onsite, and i being the scape goat , who still \’had\’ to be in India, was the butt of all discussions.

aunty1 : \”foreign ge yaavaga ivnu hogodu ?\” (when is he going onsite ?)
aunty2 : \”gothilla, innenu swalpa divsdalley hogthaaneno\” (He might go in some days !)

aunty1 : \”hmmm…they say only brilliants (sick) are sent onsite\”
aunty2 : \”that\’s true !\”

I was being murdered inch by inch, neat and clean. My reputation in tatters.

This is even bearable, but get this, if a techie manages to stumble on an onsite travel but is cancelled on that last millisecond, then his  future is doomed, for aunties will have a field day disecting him and nailing him for not working well at the office. I have been most  unfortunate in this case, so much so that if i had got a call to abort the travel 2 seconds later than what i got, i might have had to jump  off the plane mid-air.

Aunties started flowing in from early evening that day, some trying to stay oblivious of the situation, some trying hard to keep a straight  face, and a few more giving their own versions of my story, which by the way i never told anyone !…well one aunty even had the nerve to  ask me \”did you have a fight with your manager ?\”..well i was kind enough to say \”no aunty, project got scrapped \”, only to realize that the aunty had no idea what a project meant, and instead pressed me to agree that i had indeed done some mistake…finally she let me go when i blurted out \”my manager had a fight with the airlines\”….well that was enough for me to roll over on the floor and laugh at her, despite  the \’humiliation\’ of not going onsite.

Uncles are not far off, and are ever more eager to learn \’computers\’. One uncle was particularly curious to know as to why we guys were paid  for playing computer games !…apparantely he was of this view after he had seen his 9 year old son only playing games on his newly bought  computer. I knew better than to explain, so i told him that it was because if we won, the company would get money. uncle\’s spirits rose, and in all probability he would have gone home and pestered his innoncent 9 year old son to teach him to play games in the hopes of joining a IT  company in future !

Uncles are a little more \”knowledgeable\” though. One uncle came to me one day, when i made the suicidal mistake of attending a social gathering full of aunties and uncles, and asked me as to which company i worked for, and i answered him hoping he would stop there. however,  uncle had no such intention and carried on \” yaav language ?\”…though stunned, i replied back \”c sharp uncle\” …uncle\’s face glowed and then he said \” nun maga Java , c# bidhoithanthey!\” (My son works on JAVA, C sharp has long fallen from grace) ..In most uncles view, languages are like company shares, the value of which keeps fluctuating on an hourly basis.

Though salary is something of a sensitive issue, uncles don\’t give didly-squat about that and continue questioning the techie on the same. I was ripped apart when i told my uncle that my gross was 25k, to which my uncle in suspended euphoria exclaimed that his son earned 2.5 lakh per month at onsite. Having no room to argue, i kept mum,  when my uncle went off again \”why dont u ask your manager for a raise\”…. I told him i would consider his advise and ask,though my manager was bit of a dragon, unlike my uncle\’s son\’s manger, who was a saint just short of a halo!

Even more weird is the funny way in which people take those mails managers send to tec! hies and their team, as to the good work being done. one of my cousins who recently joined my company got such a mail from his manager, and he thought it was a good idea to take a print out and show it to his father, a folly he still regrets to this day. My uncle not only read the copy, but made a hundred photocopies and distributed it as pamplets to his near and dear ones. My dad got one too, and i had to field some intense questioning at home, since i had not managed to get one such letter even once ! i had even gone to the extent of thinking about printing one on my own just to escape the \’humiliation\’.

While it\’s often funny to listen to the weird misconceptions people have about IT, it gets irritating if it goes too far. It would be a boring place without the aunties and the uncles, but it would be a wonderful place, if they knew better than to draw conclusions about one\’s work, of which they know so less about!

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2 thoughts on “The Real IT story

  1. The ‘REAL IT story’ was funny and wonderful.I would like to add my experience too.Once i told my far relative(aunty) that i was an Librarian, she was shocked and in return asked me yakkappa? I felt like i had committed a crime which was not accepted in civilised world. Other common thing i am used to hearing is pappa avanu govt.job nalli idhane.

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