Wednesday, March 03, 2010

How pleasant everything appears to be, till you get it. Grass being greener on the other side. This long queue of volunteers outside the office, must be so excited about being a part of the Games. They'll be eager to be taken in and write about this in their resumes. Perhaps, everybody working inside this building would have felt the same at some point of time. After all, this brand is too big to attract anybody. But what after you get in?

Generally dissatisfaction is accompanied by unhappiness. But what I generally observe in this building is a state of unhappiness with satisfaction. Satisfied for being compensated well to maintain a life standard and perhaps, a promising future. Unhappy.. because, they really do not have much to do and when work comes, the mind and body that has adopted lethargy and procrastination as regular features takes a lot to overcome the inertia and obviously, the ego finds it hard to accept, hence, resists and cribs and gets unhappy. It would be interesting to examine a society, where people are regularly supplied with appreciable amount of money and are not made accountable for work. If they do it, well and good, if they don't do it, still well and good. Various patterns of human behaviour would come out. Of course, their would always be some people bitten by sincerity bug, who would like to work in order to feel deserving for all this free supply of money and at the end they would again crib for such callousness of people towards their jobs etc. But more interesting would be to see, how long the things, which people think they are not able to pursue because of the job, remain interesting for them. For eg. how long the women will shop and how much the men would watch sport channels; also, how much they both would like to sleep. Would then they reach the category, where they are not dissatisfied and not unhappy.

I don't know, if the above paragraph makes any sense. May be you can read it once more to decide. However, I personally feel that I have just described a very complex state of human mind.

What is the first instinct of people on the first day of their job. Do they join an organisation, thinking that 'ok, lemme see.. how could I manage to work as less as possible'? There would be some people, who think like that, for eg. some of my batchmates, who have got placed in PSUs and have already made their mind that they have got a 'cool' job. Cool here means... 9 to 5 job, without any boss sitting over your head to cut down your variable pay, if you do not meet the targets... or the one, where you can think about staying for your whole life. There will be more definitions of cool job, eg. the one that draws you 7 or 8 -figure salary... but context creates the difference.

Coming back to the point, what does people think about when they join a job? My gentle heart suggests that they are generally poisitive about the work they would be expected to do. It's after spending sometime, they start hating it. Sometime might range from a week to many months. In my case, I started hating the MBA hoopla from the second class on the first day of my orientation programme. But I think, I am not an ideal case to be discussed.

So, after joining.. they find that things are not the way they had expected. Although, it is the first thought that comes to mind, but it is not a very significant one.. since, most of us are ready for these unexpected turns. Second, they see that their colleagues are really not working as much as they are required to do and yet the company is feeding them well. This sows the seeds of feeling ok about 'kamchori'. We know, when everyone does the same thing, no one is wrong. Worklessness makes us feel that we are not utilised well.. and that makes us think that we are worth for much more than what we are getting - means, we are underpaid. This breeds dissatisfaction, unhappiness, probe for a better company and resignation. I have tried to define the cycle in few words, the real process is much lengthy and confusing. But I guess, my observation is close to reality.

I agree there would be exceptions. Biology and philosophy are the studies of ordinary people in the ocean of exceptions.

But while all these transformations happen, what do companies do? Can't people find out the thought in their sub-ordinates, which they found in themselves sometime back, or are still finding. Is it difficult to cater? I am more curious than critical. The extreme inability of companies in utilising the potential of employees, whom they have selected after an intensive and complex recruitment process is amazing. Even after all the aptitude tests and interviews, they still do not know what their employee expects.. or.. what else.. I don't know??

I would like to believe that human beings are basically good in nature. They can be inherently lazy, but they like to make some positive contributions in their environment and require continuous external motivation to do that. Now the responsibility to provide this motivation, lies with the organisation. And one of the possible reasons, why they are not able to do this is because the people, who have been hired to find this out are the ones, who are equally disinterested in their jobs. One question that often pops up in my mind, when I see some really lousy people working on some really high posts is how do they reach here? Definitely, it is not because of their ability of doing the work, they are supposed to do at that post. What they have is a good strategic mind.. and they do a solid homework before taking up the task, knowing all the soft and the hard points in that organisation and how to play around them. One could say that I am much too inexperienced to make a comment like this.. but I guess, I would say the same thing, even after ten years.