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E-Pao! Essay - Absence of Work Culture

Absence of Work Culture

By: Satyajit Aribam *


In very tough times like these when many people crave for work and many are desperate to get hold of a job, our people still seems to turn a blind eye whilst there is plenty of great opportunities. Maybe because many have started to opt for an easy way out, perhaps this is one of the reflections of our mindset.

There is neither respect for time nor the importance of creating an environment to work. In addition, thanks to many festivals and occasions, which fall every now and then, we are so used to merry making that we tend to neglect our duties.

And as a result, work culture seems to have disappeared completely from our lexicon. But who cares?

While time waits for none and many are trying to work ahead of time, we seem to be happy in the illusion that we have plenty of time. No wonder we are still under a heavy debt but still are unable as a society to find any appropriate or proactive approach to lessen the burden.

In stark contrast to our society, the developed or developing countries, which we see today give the proof of how well they utilize their time and initiate timely action.

This is once again my presumption of how well we would be able to cope in a high pressure situation where we have to meet deadlines and turnaround times (TAT) on a consistent basis.

Well, in a state like ours, where every alternate day is spent like a festival or there is some occasion or another prolonged get-together, TAT would invariably be compromised upon! And with what result? An unhappy client at the other end of the world, because their work has been compromised upon, thanks to our festival loving nature!

But do we ever care a damn? In any case, are we ready to compete with the rest of the world? Are we ready to give commitments and meet the deadlines? The answer by and large is still a big question mark.

You see, people by nature like to make merry. While this is true of all societies, other developed societies work hard, and play hard. We only play hard, and we talk big, we dwell on past "glories", and don't think of moving forward. Why is it so hard to avoid that social do when our work is knocking at the door? Why is it so hard to say, "Guys, count me out tonight, I got work to do?"

Where does the solution lie? It may not be the real solution, but I sincerely believe that the solution is to nurture and adopt a work culture where everyone is accountable for his/her work.

Instead of engaging in gossip and being ever ready to comment at someone for the slightest mistake that they make in an effort of making life better for himself, we should start thinking of doing something better and thus create a healthy atmosphere.

The sad part is, we still envy and copy the lifestyles of the west and try to imitate them in every way possible, be it dressing sense, be it partying with drinks, some, to the extent of adopting a strange accent while speaking English!

But we overlook the one crucial area that we should really be looking at: we tend to forget the hard work, which they put in to achieve their comfort zone. I believe we would do well to take sincere interest in our work, and then think of social get-togethers later.

This, of course, is not an easy way out.

In a land where there is no dignity of labour, where hard working young men have to hide their faces in shame, instead of holding it high in the knowledge that they are honestly earning a livelihood, where it is more fashionable to zoom around town in a borrowed bike (it helps if it is the latest model to hit the market) than to slog for pocket money in a neighbourhood grocery, where it is considered smarter and better to demand pocket money from parents, or indulgent earning relatives, only to blow that money in a café in Lamphelpat to woo that beautiful girl, with not a thought that someone worked hard for it, rather than thinking of earning some pocket money.

It is difficult to imagine a scenario where we would all be concerned about our work. It has become ingrained in us to shirk work.

Of course, exceptions are there. Some among us are great sticklers for work. I know someone who took a half-day off (instead of the whole day) on his own "Mangaani Chakkouba", and on the day of "Swasthi Puja" of his daughters and sons, but not everyone is like that!

Can you imagine our society if all of us can be a fraction of what that gentleman is? I can. I can see progress.

And after all said and done, I am still struggling to get the better of my "festival loving self", and to get my work done.

It is hard, but I know I am on the way!


Satyajit Aribam contributes regularly to e-pao.net
He can be contacted at [email protected]
This article was webcasted on July 17th, 2006


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