Friday, May 05, 2006

My Days on Bench

One may wonder what a 'bench' is, so for people who are not aware, it means being without work in an IT company. It is also the most dreaded situation to be in, no place to sit, no computer to pass your time and since you are not doing much there are no credit points to add to your annual appraisal. Most people on bench are seen loitering about in the canteen or in the library. The people blessed with more respectable designations do not have to suffer similar indignities but it still feels miserable to be out of the mainstream delivery drama and generally forgotten. The other day I bumped into the CEO at lunch, we exchanged greetings and he asked which project I was associated with and I said that I was on bench, to which he responded "Oh! Finally you found a place to sit!" Well, that’s a lighter way to look at things I suppose!

It’s been two loooooooong months since I have been sitting and wondering how to kill all of 8 hours. Talking to others was definitely out as everybody looks awfully busy (even if they are not). Watching TV in the canteen was also out as the wafting smells made me hungry and I am on a diet. So I attended every organizational meeting I was invited to without fail (earlier I found smart excuses to avoid them). I bugged my boss about state of various internal tools and zealously (pretended) planned to set it all right, that took care of my visibility within the organization. I sat and looked awfully busy to the extent that nobody dared to come and disturb me - one must always look busy, that's what I have learnt.

The things I did while I 'looked' busy were of course blogging and browsing blogs; it has been a great way to devote some time to something I had just been planning to do for years. I also managed to learn all about mutual funds and online trading and have gone and used my new found knowledge which I hope will make me rich. I downloaded a tarot card reading tutorial and religiously go though lessons each day, I also try one card readings on myself which have been quite accurate till date. I googled on some of my good friends and some I have lost contact with to see if I can get in touch with them and where they have gotten to in life.

So in general, it’s been a fruitful 2 months with lots of additional knowledge and skills which may not be useful in the corporate domain but it sure adds layers to my persona. Sometimes it is good to switch off completely and focus on things which are 180 degrees away from work; it may help us to bring creativity and fresh thoughts when we get back to work.


that girl in pink said...

Hey! I know that terrible feeling of not having anything to do while the rest of the world looks oh so busy! (Un)fortunately I haven't had that feeling for a long long time now. But yeah, thank God for the internet! Dunno what people did to pass free time before its birth.

Arunima said...

I was doing that this Jan. So, you know why I was playing settee-settee.

Thanks to the internet.

Patient Portnoy said...

"...tarot card reading tutorial..." was hilarious

Good for you. Making the best of the worst, or looking like it, whatever

rishabh_flop_ruler said...

i dont get it. if you have no work, y are you going to the office?

Kausum said...

Thats my only complaint when I was working that I never got to sit on the bench. Slogging for 4 years, I used to actually crib to atleast sit on bench. I used to look at my friends who joined with me and be envious of them. Infact, later on it was so pathetic that I said if not on bench then also a maintainence project should also be fine.

ichatteralot said...

@That girl in pink: Guess they gossipped - internet is a good way to look busy!

@Arunima: Pity they dony have settees at work!

@Patient portnoy: Just hunting for an alternative source of income - and tarot is hot these days :-)

@Rishabh: I wanted to save my privilege leave for diwali vacations!

@Kausum: This was the first time in my career that I experienced the bench! Now I am off to the USA next week for a new project...

Kausum said...

Awesome .. Its summer here .. at least if ur on bench here, u will enjoy it

ichatteralot said...

@Kausum: Apparently I'll be stargazing in Hollywood, LA :)

Albatross said...

Just like Kausum, I too never got to sit on the bench ! There were days when both of used to discuss if we would ever see the day !

ichatteralot said...

@Albatross: Then both of you are LUCKY! Now I am forced to say that being busy is good :)

Kausum said...

@chatterbai: I hate to say that and albatross can vouch for it, you dont want to be as busy as we were.

Imagine spending the new year in the restaurant at 2 am to return back to the office.

Enjoy while it lasts

Anonymous said...

sorry for intercept your chat
could any one here can translate
the meaning of these bangali song
compose by hemant kumar

it's musics are very impressive

thank you very much

a visitor from Thailand