A Frustrated Software Engineer : 3 – An Onsite Dream

He was a great coder. Poor guy! He was a little filmy. Hmm, kept imagining himself in different films. Yeah, as Naseeruddin Shah or Arjun, sometimes Amitabh Bachchan! So much trouble since the morning. He had to die during the time I’m working here! saab Here’s what I’m thinking – now that this guy is dead, for how many people do you want me to cook? Cook for four people only, …there’ll be a new guy here by the evening. What do I say? We were having beer last night. In fact it was his party, since he was to leave for onsite. He was supposed to take off in a day or two. God knows what happened next, he started shouting loudly “Save me from Dassu, somebody save me!” Then? Then, what? He died holding the beer in his hand. Only three words escaped his mouth when dying: “Visa, onsite and UAT.” Just three days before his onsite! May God never do this to anyone. He was a frustrated guy, after all. Arrey, who is not frustrated with job these days? Job is bloody another name for frustration! What’s with all this frustration, yaar? Whenever I asked him out for a movie, …his production code would blast! Lately he had this new obsession – “Deployment for UAT, deployment for UAT!” This is good riddance! Yes, I’ll be on my way, they should be picking him up any moment now. Well, he’s now free from Dassu, but all his work will fall on our desks. Come on, quick! Just wait for 10 mins dude! We’ll finish drinking and leave. Dammit! Why do you always get these green ones! You should get the yellow ones, always! All his maternal and paternal cousins are married. He was the only one left. And now he’s dead! You are listening, right? Sharmaji’s son is abroad. First he did an MBA, then he got a good job, and then a good salary. And look at him, lying dead. Useless! (Phone rings) Hello? Parth, where are you? Sir, I died last night. How do you think you can just die like that? How can you die without deploying the code for UAT? You have absolutely no sense of responsibility! How irresponsible are you?! But sir, I have all the rights on my own death! Cut the crap! You have no rights over yourself as an IT employee. Good lord! What’s wrong? Clean over there please! Arrey sir, you didn’t let me live while I was alive, now at least while I’m dead— [laughter] What is it? Sleeping in office hours, now that you’re going onsite? So what? Mind your own business! You’ve got onsite, but not freedom from Dassu yet. He just gave you his trademark look a while ago. Forget it, let’s go have tea. Come on. Arrey, come on! Bhaiyya, tea for two, please. What happened? Such hideous street dogs! You expect a Doberman and Bulldog outside an IT firm? As is the place, so are the dogs. Just look at yourself how you were when you joined; now you’re exactly like him. These idiots have turned us into dogs. we bite and bark at their behest all the time. Even tied this collar round our necks. What is it? You look quite frustrated today. Are you happy? No idea about myself, but Raman looks quite happy. He’d posted a check-in from Times Square. Raman who? Raman Kataria? He flew to the US. Here, have a look at his pics. Let it be. Show it here. Three if-else conditions were enough to this guy But two years from now, he will be seen distributing colourful, round chocolates! This is all about destiny man! Hmm, it is. Just like in your case, ain’t it? after all, you just have a travel request pending, then even you’ll be going to the US. Who knows, you could take off tomorrow! I’ve heard they may double the pay for H1B visa holders. You’ll be minting money like crazy! Enough to own flat in Mumbai in a couple of years, no? I couldn’t care less! Its not like I’m dying for a flat. Well, by the way… Did you discuss the travel request with Dassu? Yes, just yesterday. You can’t be serious! Fill me in! Sit, Parth. Sir, my travel request hasn’t been approved yet. I’m not a travel agent. I am a project manager. Whatever I was supposed to do from my end, I have done. Sir, my Visa expires in just a month! You must understand, Parth, you have to be patient. I have been following up too. Just wait a little. How long, after all, do we software engineers have to wait, Mr. Manager? Right from birth, up until today, all we have done is wait. In the beginning, parents used to say, “the more you study, the more fun you’ll later have. I am still waiting for that “fun”, Mr. Manager. Then, the Sharmas, Varmas and Kapoors of the neighbourhood came and advised us, “Pursue a B.Tech, there’s a lot of scope, and you’ll get a good package.” I am still waiting for that “scope” and “good package”. After college, we join an IT company, no matter which branch we studied, only with the hope that all our waiting would come to an end, once and for all. With just the dream of an onsite, we dive right in. But here, all there is, is waiting. A two year wait, even to start dreaming about onsite. Then a wait for the Visa initiation. Then a wait for the Visa to arrive. Then a wait for the approval of travel request. Waiting, waiting, how much more waiting?! Mr Manager! if the client permits, and the manager is nice, then nobody can stop us from going onsite. But it is the likes of you in the higher management, who make the software engineer wait so long, that he ends up being a “frustrated software engineer”! Why are you overreacting, Parth? Why? No need to play Sunny Deol here. Why are you doing all this? Why? Sun…Sunny Deol? Why? A dedicated developer is openly thrown into ‘support’. Why? Freshers willing to work are kept ‘on the bench’… …for months. Why? Resources working miles away from their families get frustrated following up with HR, but they’re not given transfers. Why? Even after submitting a resignation, we are bound like slaves for 3 months, in the name of ‘notice period’. Why? Employees dreaming of US, UK, Europe are sent to ‘Bhiwandi’ in the name of onsite. Why? Why? Why? Why? Such several unanswered ‘whys’ live in the hearts of us software engineers, Mr. Manager! Do you know why? Because, just to show to the client, resources are hired in bulk, as buffer! And then they’re left in this jungle, to get frustrated. But, Mr. Manager, look at those faces, over there. All their eyes are on you, today, to see what you ultimately give to an engineer? If you are not able to provide an onsite to them, then stop this nonsense! Don’t give us false hope! Don’t make false promises to us! so that, at least the next engineer is saved from the destructive false hopes of onsite, from being heartbroken, or frustrated. You said all of that to Dassu?! That is what I thought, I would say. That’s what I was thinking. “How come this Pomeranian turned into a Bulldog!” Tea is ready! Let’s get some tea. Bloody! Trying to cross his limits… I heard you gave a treat to your flatmates. And did not invite me. Look, once you get the request approval, you could be taking off the very next day, so I want party today, no later. Yeah, yeah, we’ll see. Okay now tell me, what was the actual discussion with Dassu like? May I come in, sir? Oh, Parth! Please come in. I was just talking to my boss about you, regarding your onsite. ‘I’m gonna make you an offer you can’t refuse’ Just joking, but yes, we do have an offer for you. What? Look, Parth, you won’t be able to go onsite with this project. What kind of offer is this? Listen to the whole story, first. Your position has been put on hold. Vaibhav’s stay there has been extended by a month. Sir, my Visa expires in a month! Even my maid has begun commenting on how its been 4 years and I’ve still not been onsite. I know, I know. That’s why we are considering you for another opportunity. There’s a new project from the UK, coming my way. Let me send you the documents of that project. Read them up, and you could take off for the UK in just 3 months! Think about it. It’s a matter of 2 months You’ve already waited for 3 years, now it’s just a matter of another 2-3 months. What difference does it make? By the way, there’s many others in the queue. But you’re my best resource. So I want you to go for this opportunity. Anyways, you must be aware of the situation in the US. The ones already there, might even have to come back. So, think about it. Okay, sir. And listen. Read the client’s mail, haven’t you? There’s a UAT at 11 tonight. You’ve got to stay back. So, now no onsite? Shit man! You had even thrown a party. Even had a farewell with relatives. They keep using cheap tricks, and we keep falling for them. They haven’t done it in the last 2.5 years, and you think they’ll readily send you in 2 months? Be realistic. So, you were in the office till 11 yesterday? 11 PM was the UAT And then, the code blasted. So we sat trying to solve it the whole night. I have to make it to the office on Saturday as well. You see that guy? Who, that mad fellow? Yes, him. He used to work for our company. Bullshit! Believe it or not, he used to be on the same project, under Dassu. Leave rejections, no promotions, no hikes. And they kept him waiting for an onsite. One day he lost his mind. Now, he just stands here cursing Dassu all day. (Song)

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