I just began the so-called corporate life routine. Until now, though I worked in a Indian corporate, I was one of the lucky few who stayed less than 20 minutes from office and never had to take the office transport or spend more than 20 minutes on the road.
From June our office moved. It moved 24 kms – but unlike other countries and Indian cities where 24kms take 25-30 minutes to reach, we take 2.5 – 3 hours to reach.
In my house, it all begins at 4:45 AM – yup in the morning, when the alarm rings. My day starts by walking straight to the kitchen and putting a couple of eggs to boil and then head straight for a bath and to get dressed. Now starts the drama! Check your phone for the driver’s number. My lovely company TCS believes that sending a new driver on a new route everyday adds excitement to everybody’s life. Everyday a new number pings on your phone and we call the driver who is most probably still sleeping. If he wants to add more drama to your life, or you have woken up from the wrong side of the bed, then he will tell your location does not match his route, or his cab is full.
Then in full panic mode at 5:30AM between drinking your coffee and eating breakfast, you are now trying the TCS helpline number which is repeatedly saying number buzy. After 12-25 continuous tries, you manage to get though a guy who asks for your employee number and says he will resend cab details.
Now you would think the day gets better, but you don’t realise all the cab drivers are given assorted route and so many-a-daysyou get drivers who have no clue where they have to come. Of course a big company like TCS outsources their requirement to agents who do not believe in GPS – it’s too cool for them!
So you are trying to direct drivers who are 15 kms away from your home using your GPS.. and then you add more fun bycrossing your lefts and rights. Finally by 6 or 6:20 depending on how good you are at giving directions, you are in the cab thinking you are heading to office, but oh no you have to pick up more people not from your area but across Bangalore.
You leaving office has lesser excitement – all you have to do is push through your colleagues in a walk-a-ton to reach the bus top situated more than a km away. God bless you if that day you have a leg sprain or cramps. Once you get there, search for your route number fight for a seat that will keep you comfortable for 3 hours. This is why we are a 3rd world country. Doesn’t matter we are based at the International Tech Park, it doesn’t matter that most of the companies are American or European. We feel we have achieved something only when we push, pull or shove.
People like me who stay the furthest now reach home by 8:00PM famished, sticky with sweat and grime and exhausted. Of course our transport has no AC.. As an employee you are not worth it!
We get off somewhere in the main road and walk another KM to get home. By now, after 14 hours in the name of TCS, we have definitely given our sweat to the company. Only blood is pending – am sure they will think of a way to get that from us too.
There are a whole segment of people who need to support their family and cannot afford to roll their eyes and contemplate leaving. They will continue with this routine day in and day out until their health is slowly sucked out of their life. Does anyone care? I don’t think so, especially not the company which supposedly is “an awesome place to work”