Friday, December 09, 2005

Babu in an IT company

Working in a big IT company for 7.5 years and a total work experience of 10 years made me believe that the way people see bosses & subordinates have changed a lot compared to what we have seen years back. Well that’s what I thought; one man here proves it quite wrong.

He is totally inspired by the Babu style. He would be on the phone or mail and if someone approached him at the desk, he can shamelessly spend 10-15 minutes ignoring the person all together. He doesn’t do this to the boss but certainly for all non-boss people. At the least he can acknowledge the person if it takes too long but that never happens. Phone is understandable to an extent as it may be difficult sometimes to abruptly end a conversation but what about mailing? Yes there is a thought process one may not want to break but there is a guy who has come personally to meet you, show some respect dude.

There is this colleague who has come back from a short trip from the US. This is not his first trip and has traveled many times earlier. Anyway in this trip he had great insight which he shared with me (something one should know anyway). He approached an employee at the client site and the person immediately stopped all work to attend to him. So my friend was surprised and asked him to continue what he was doing (he was used to our Babu here :-)). That man explained my friend that the reason he has left all current work to put 100% attention for him is because he believes one should appreciate the fact that someone has come to his seat to meet him.

Once I approached this Babu and he indicated he was busy as he was on the phone and his indication was more like shooing me off. I then remembered a joke I read somewhere (there were no mobile phones then :-)). It goes like this: A patient visits a doctor at his clinic. The doc gets a call before the patient could explain his problem. Once the doc is done with the call and tells the patient to tell him what his complain is, the doc gets another call on his phone. Once done with the call the patient tries the 3rd time but the Doc has another call to attend to. The patient gets up and walks out of the clinic. The doc shouts out “Where are you going?” and the patient replies “To call you on the phone to explain my problem, which would be a faster & easier way to reach you”

This joke inspired me and thought that would be a good way to deal with the Babu. So if I had anything I sent mails which was fine, once I had something I wanted to discuss but seeing the way our Babu reacts to face to face interaction I decided to call him. When I began talking to him, he laughed at the fact that we are so nearby and we are on phone. I told him “This is an easier way to get you!” I don’t know if the Babu understood this but we got off our phones and discussed the issue in hand.

It’s a regular sight at the Babu’s cubicle where you would see a person waiting for him to get off his phone or mailing. I am always amused when I watch the place. I wonder if this Babu is inspired by something he saw in his childhood, like a big man having many people wait on.

Yesterday Babu did something really amazing that I decided to write this post today. There was a guy waiting at his seat, as Babu was away from his desktop. After sometime he arrives, picks up his lunch, starts eating it and discussing whatever they were supposed to discuss. The guy who came to meet Babu kept looking at his hand movements as he picked up food and put it in his mouth. There was one interesting thing I observed that the guy was talking something (maybe important who knows ;-) ) and Babu was busy digging food in his lunch box totally oblivious to the world.

I don’t know when Babu will change his ways but what is frightening is that this Babu is holding key position in the organization and later more senior roles. He can probably create more Babus, who knows….like mentor them :-)


Surya said...

Yeah Its really frustrating to deal with these people. Unfortunately in this world we have all types.

Shantanu !!! said...

Nice post ... and completely RELEVANT to me as well ... m just an Analyst in some MNC in the capital of India ... and I can see this culture predominating in my company already !!

I could realize this, as I before joining this so called 'reputed' MNC, I had spent 3 yrs. working with GE in Bangalore - the work culture there was awesome - completely employee friendly (as against the current one which is totally oppsoite - completely employee UNfriendly) :-)

Anywayz, the most important thing that I want to mention is about your LAST paragraph - this has already happened in the offshore team in which I am working currently - yes - 1 babu has reached to a high position and has already created so many babus below him who keep him (the big babu) happy ... what is the end result? --- few frustrated SEs and SSEs and Analysts like me who face such babu managers .... would ultimately decide to leave because we know ... that even babu's manager is himself another babu .. rather a bigger babu .. so no use escalating the matter - we will get nowhere --- so in our best interest we decide to leave in hope of getting another company with work culture similar to my good old GE and atleast with some less babugiri !! :)

P.S.: Sorry, if this comment went too long, I just wanted to share this with you after reading your this particular post! :)