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’.  


  1. Nice written...
    Although, governments and government (either elected or self proclaimed) have same tendencies as for whom or by who they are appointed or formed. And the everlasting thankless countrymens and women, take the democracy for granted. That's a plight. Human condition.


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  3. A fitting reply, Jyotsna. My daddy has a government job and I see the amount of time he gives to his job and how much hard he works.

    Well written!

  4. Unfortunately, it's a wrong perception that Sarkari don't work. I believe that if there was no Government officials, the states would not be able to function.

  5. agree agree .... a perfect response to the misconception :D

  6. I agree with every word. I have seen my mother. And that promotion thing is true and frustrating when someone who doesn't deserve gets promoted because of seniority.

    Only good thing about government job is job security.


  7. Congratulations! Your blog post was selected in our Tangy Tuesday Picks edition on March 08, 2016 at BlogAdda.

    Please find it here:

  8. A nice post that clears myths which often boarder on the extremes.There are hard working people everywhere and also the not so hard working.It is just that the numbers may vary...


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