Wednesday, August 4

BPO ki Baatein

Hey there, fellas!

Hows it going?

Well, just wanted to share some stuff that I’ve come across in the past few weeks.

Umm… How do I begin? Not a topic I’m comfortable with. But it’s reality, and there are people out there who not only speak and discuss it, but also do it with ease.

When the BPO industry came to India, it created a boom in the market not just due to the fact that there was increased employability and money, but also coz with it, came a new lifestyle that people were eager to own and live. It was as fascinating as it was easy to get accustomed to; no wonder it became one of the most attractive job prospects for most youths and adults. Engineers and undergrads, folks from the merchant navy and arts background, scholars and dropouts – everybody with average and above average communication skills flocked to book their seat in this wonderful ship of dreams. The ship that promised to transport them to a haven with not only better salaries but also a better opportunity of growth and networking.

Indians have an amazing aptitude to adapt. The American / British way of living became our own in no time at all. Nikita became Norah and Suraj became Shawn, and if their competency didn’t give them away, their accent surely did. However, it was a small price to pay for such a hardworking, reliable lot that came cheap and easy. Obama’s propositions didn’t bear fruit, and India remains one of the top favorite destinations for business process outsourcing, of course alongside China and Philippines.

But that’s just the introduction. Not the crux of my post for today.

I want to share something that I found shocking. Believe you me, when I say that not many things astound me. I’m fairly ok with most things and people I see, and I tend to be objective and tolerant about several experiences that others would be taken aback about. So, live-in relationships, adultery, estrangement and death don’t make me skip a beat – unless it involves someone I’ve really known very well.

The BPO boom brought with it westernization in every sense, including our morals and attitudes. People of all ages started smoking so that they could appear cool and stylish. People of all regions started playing politics, bribing and bitching about each other with the idea of climbing the success ladder fast. People of all designations started sleeping around without guilt pangs in a bid to secure a promotion or merely to satisfy their lust. It was nothing unusual, almost a norm. Still remains. At least as far as I can see.

And it’s something I want to turn a blind eye towards. Not that my dislike or preference is going to change anything. Yet the knowledge that such behaviors exist makes me feel prickly.

I still can’t get over the first time when I heard a woman saying “He’s a &^#%^#*” about a guy who was apparently her best friend. When she saw him and spent time with him, he was the cynosure of her senses – she laughed the loudest at his jokes, made plans to hang out every weekend, gave positive strokes that would give anyone wrong impressions. And then this. Unbelievable, right?

Obviously not. That’s how everyone speaks and behaves. All in a day’s work. What you actually think of individuals should not get in the way of your treating them in a fake manner. Lesson number one for me – and I’ve not learnt it yet. My true feelings get the better of my diplomatic behavior. I can work with you professionally, but I can’t hide what I honestly think about you.

Then there was this other time when I thought a particular guy was a perfect gentleman. In fact, I was so crazy about his chivalrous demeanor that I was secretly falling for him and praying for a companion as handsome and noble like him. How far from reality could I be? Rumors proclaimed him a drunken maniac sleeping with a girl from the very floor he served. That I was shaken and distraught would be an understatement. Even today when I see him in the corridor or campus, I take a moment to gaze at his face that looks so innocent and loyal yet hides these ugly acts beneath.

And then this girl, who has a steady boyfriend – well, she is the one-stop-shop for anybody who wants to have some fun. I’m guessing she performs better on her one night stands than she does on her calls. None of my business for sure, but just very weird. Why? What’s the appeal in such philandering? Is there nothing called shame, fidelity and personal / business ethics?

Of course, of corrupt practices and violations, the examples are many. I’m not going to waste my time citing them here. How gifts do the rounds and free booze makes enemies friends is a story oft told and enacted. This happens not just in BPOs and IT companies, but also national and local enterprises. Pitiable, horrifying, unfair and real... You can run, you can hide, but you can’t escape – if I may quote Enrique.

As I said, I’m no authority, nor am I powerful enough to turn the scenario a 180 degrees. Truth be told, I wouldn’t even know if these are just pieces of gossip that erupt out of active imaginations and idle minds or whether they have a grain of verity in them. Despite that, the fact remains, that this awareness has modified my perceptions towards people and my belief in everyone I meet.

I’m not saying everybody is like this. I’m not even planning to answer and evaluate the hows and whys. But it’s disturbing. Very disturbing. Nobody can call me orthodox, that I’m surely not, what with my open mind and adventurous nature. In spite of that, I have trouble digesting these facts. And I hope things change. I want a workplace where people are trustworthy, dependable and responsible. Where mutual respect and value abound. Where rewards and humanity are suitably bestowed. And capability and dedication awarded in a timely and apposite way.

Asking for too much, am I?

No, don’t answer that one :-)

Take care and stay safe!


pRasad said...

This is something I have experienced while I was working for just 1 month in CGSL(City group) while doing my graduation..

During night shifts, I could see gays, lesbians, smokers .. You feel like are you indeed in India ?
Lolll... I hate these loosers.. indeed loosers..

Anonymous said...

We have heard those thgs from acquaintances n the media.But,its good that u r giving us an outlook since u r in the sector.i believe we have good n bad in all sectors but its upto us hw v decide to live opur life.
Ethics has lost its importance.reminds me in ma office there is a 50 plus loser in ma ofcie.dis husy always up to manipulations n try to pit people against each other n we was tryin to use me n chose toignore him.had a huge fight yest n we could have come to blows n choose to tone some people can neva change,
n this guy was swearing man.
thank u so much 4 this post Anuja-ji

Anonymous said...

//I want a workplace where people are trustworthy, dependable and responsible. Where mutual respect and value abound. Where rewards and humanity are suitably bestowed. And capability and dedication awarded in a timely and apposite way.// come work with us :). Hey I am not a HR Executive or a spammer. I just feel I am in a nice place with so many nice people around and atleast people who never make up such weird gossips :)

Mihir said...

Hi Anuja,

This post takes me back to IBM days. Yes i have witnessed most of the things mentioned in your post. Also i tried to find answers by talking to my team.

One night stands are a part of BPO culture and mostly married individuals do opt for this,why??/
1) Upbriniging
2)Less satisfied from their partner
What i mean by addiction is once you understand that you can get it real easily,people start compramising on their ethics and values.

Secondly , you are dealing with undergraduates and graduates only. The management also comprises of very few MBA's . Hence the fair attitude of work is lost and firefighting and politics begin.

I am not saying organisations with engineers and MBA's are free from politics, but it is more organised.

The topic is too vast to discuss..
however the points mentioned in your post are valid.

Take care,

Out and Not Proud

Hey fellows, been 4 months since my last post. The covid cases in Pune alone have crossed 2 lac, and the lockdown has been eased in the inte...