Sunday, 27 March 2016

The Lovers and The Leavers

The lovers who turn into leavers. The leavers who you try to take as lovers. You sometimes have an inkling from the very beginning that they aren't meant for you. That no matter how much they mean to you, you are never going to be as important for them. You see it coming. Their absence. Your expectations. And the combined hurt.

You probably have thought about it in your head. You think that you will survive through this too. After all you've seen worse. You've felt far more unwelcome in their life while you were with them. I mean how much could this hurt? How bad could it be? Maybe that's why you have prepared yourself for it. Rehearsed the whole scene. Tried to guess the reaction. Yours and theirs too.

Then why did you have that lump in the throat? Why did you have to reprimand yourself all the time to be strong. You wanted to feel that it wasn't hurting. But it actually was.

That's when you realize that no matter how much you prepare yourself for someone's leaving, you are never going to be prepared until the precise moment comes. That every person in your life leaves their impressions in you.

That every person who leaves, adds to the emptiness. That every time you find someone to distract you for a while is creating a bigger hole inside you.

That's when you start living the froth. Showing the foamy parts of you. The prettier version. All made up. Because you don't want anyone to see the hole. In the hope that one day, maybe even you would not be able to feel it. Maybe. Maybe someday.

Friday, 4 March 2016

Oh, you have a Government Job??? Aish hai ..

BlogAdda's Tangy Tuesday Pick

The first thing that I hear after I tell anybody that I work as a Government Officer is this: ‘Aish hai’ (Read: You are really lucky. No work. Good pay and so many holidays.) I have lost count as to how many times have these words been spoken to me in different permutations and combinations. Each and every one of them remarking on how a government job is a dream job for them and that I am living my dream with no work and good pay. (Read bribes included) So yeah, this is a rant. Against the so-called stupid myths surrounding government officers. Here we go.

We work:
First and foremost. We work. As much as this sounds alien to you, but we, the Government officers work. I know it’s difficult for a lot of people to digest that we actually do something in return for the pay that we get, but yes, we do. We are concerned about projects getting implemented and work getting done on time. I agree it takes time to get your permission papers in place but that is not because we aren’t working, that is because we are bound by procedures. The procedures that are there to safeguard public interests.

Fixed working hours? Not always !
Another so-called perk that we Government officers ‘enjoy’ is that we have fixed number of work hours everyday. We do. But so does every other organization. And just like every other organization, there are days when we sit way past our official leaving time just to finish our work. Here’s a Ripley’s Believe it or Not for you: We have worked even on Sundays and public holidays. In offices and even from our homes. And you know what, we do not get paid extra for this extra time we put in. We do not get eligible for out-of-line promotions because in government, everyone is equal. You work or you do not work, everyone is eligible for promotion or pay according to rules. And yet that does not take away the dedication some of us have towards our jobs. 

Unlimited leaves - A big No
Picture this. A distant relative was celebrating her son’s birthday in a grand way and I was invited. I agreed but told them that I shall have to see if leaves are available. And then came the very expected remark. ‘Oh come on, Jyotsna. You are in government. You can take as many leaves as you want. We know you can manage’ I was told, followed by wink. And I could do nothing but stare in sheer surprise at the ignorance.

Here’s my reply. No. No, we cannot take any number of holidays at our will. Because just like our private counterparts, we too have bosses. As I said above, we also have work. We have procedures to be followed and plus we have limited number of leaves that are granted to us every year like any other organization. So our quota of leaves doesn’t get replenished all by itself any time of the year and hence even Government officers need to plan their leaves.   

We have rules:
Rules. We have them. We follow them. We dread them. Just like any private organization. We are known to be notorious for doing whatever we want on files. I beg to differ. The answer is again a big no. We have audit systems in place. We do have checks and balances. Yes, we do have job security. But that is not a gate pass for us in going around and doing things however we want. As I said, we have rules and regulations and policies in place that we are supposed to follow.     

We are changing:
Get over your image of old sarkari offices that you have in mind where babus are not to be found on their table and if found are just whiling away time looking for lunch and other breaks. Or the women are busy weaving sweaters or pealing pea pods for dinner. Sorry but that is the thing of the past. We are changing. We don’t go around running our personal errands in office time.

I am not saying we, as Government organizations have attained perfection. No, we have not. We still have a long way to go. Just like our country. But we have improved and are improving day by day. Just like this country. I am not saying every government officer you meet is an epitome of dedication towards their work. No, they aren’t. But not all of them are lazy buffoons who got lucky by getting a government job and all they have to do in office is while away time. We, in government have our share of ‘hard’ working and ‘hardly’ working officers. Just like any other private organization.

Some of us in Government are trying to make things work in every little way possible. I do not know how far have we succeeded or how long will we take to succeed. But next time, please do not belittle some of us or our work by saying ‘Aish hai’.  

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