Friday, November 10, 2006

Work Hours: India vs USA

  • I had to work from 2pm to 11pm for this project. Pay was not encouraging for working in these odd hours, where we had to miss of our personal life for this work.
  • Initially we were given cab to commute from home to work and back to home. But the signs were that even that would be discontinued in some time. There will be a bus which will pickup employees from common points spread across Pune city and drop them at work, and same way bring them back home. At odd hours, dont know who will take the bottomline of security and safety of employees walking back from common point to home. For this pay, who would like to go that extra mile in extreme danger and very demanding work environment?

  • In US, you can land in office anytime between 7am and 9.30am. You can come back home by 6.oopm (earlier if you are a BA or in a cool project).
  • Pay is satisfying though.
  • Commuting is no worry, once you are through the dependancy phase i.e you have your own car.
  • At times you may need to stretch week days and week nights, but you atleast have the money to keep you cheered to go through that extra mile.
Just finished some ab crunches and dips. Can sniff the aroma of eggplant rice siffling across the kitchen. Yummy...dinner in some time.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Commuting to work: India vs USA

Its so different commuting to work in India and in the US.

In India:
1) I used the office bus to commute from a common point (near home) to office and back home from office. It took close to 1 hour per trip, but could take more time depending on the road traffic and other extraneous conditions.
2) The gas prices are way too much to be affordable for a low mileage yielding Fiat Uno, so driving down to work day in and day out would be stretching myself too much. Especially after whatever that remains from my monthly paycheque after the homeloan EMI's.

In US:
1) If you are in a small town like Middletown, you can use the local Middletown Area Transit bus to take you to work at Aetna. Timings are not that flexible, but much better for one who wants to reach work between 7am and 9am and wants to leave anytime between 4pm and 6pm back home.

2) Most of us have a car. So it becomes really easy and convenient. The total driving time is not more than 10 minutes for each trip and the roads hardly have any traffic.

3) Gas prices aint that big a pinch in your pocket. But one has to go through the initial pain of obtaining a drivers license and more importantly searching for a good vehicle. Insurance costs and vehicle registeration costs are very much, but then you dont have a choice if you want independance do you?

4) In the long term the comfort, flexibility and freedom that your own car provides in the end rules out all pains mentioned in 3) Another important advantage is that when you have your car, you can drive down home for afternoon lunch. Its indeed very comforting after the kind of food we have in our cafeteria. Its not that food in cafeteria is bad, its just that i am a vegeterian and that limits my options!

More later :)

Monday, November 06, 2006

Its all coming back to me now..

It would have been a little after the second week of September 2006. I was at home, spending some time with my parents, who had just returned from a 2 month trip to London, UK visiting their daughter( in other words my sister), neice and son-in-law. It was a memorable and never to forget experience, re-living the older days, when i had the luxury of staying at home during my schooling and college days. Got to taste some of the best food that my pallate could every have had till now, re-live the banter, fun and enjoyment with my folks. I had missed it for so long, for my close to 4 years of stay outside home - in Bangalore, Pune and Middletown. It was paradise. Its so easy and comforting to have all the fun, joy and family experience staying at home that who wants to go out for vacations? Of course family vacations are a good change, but when you have so much of aura associated in spending time in your own house which is more than 1200 square feet, what more does one need?

Its too sad to see parents growing old and accepting this simple piece of fact is indeed hard. I want them to be as young as they were before, but alas its like being an adamant child asking for the moon. Childhood days were so much fun, when all your overheads like worrying about finances, paying your bills, being cautious of poachy colleagues and the external world were outsourced so willingly to our parents. All you needed to do was enjoy everything and throw tantrums and create more problems for them. In spite of that, the way the situations were handled by them was indeed awesome and i suspect if i may be as mature and kind with my kids.

Coming back to now, well am in the US now and away from home since the above mentioned good times with folks for more than a month. Today had given the customary weekend call to mom and dad and spoke to them their sunday evening (my sunday morning). Dad sounded ill and he indeed was. Nice to hear mom stronger and being able to do things on her own. This is the part about being abroad. You have all the money, good life you may want, but somehow you however cannot be at home when they might need you.

Though now am not on a commitment state with this abroad stint and can be sent back or i may opt to go back whenever i want, it still gives me the freedom to take my own decision and be by my family when the time may arise. Had it been that i would have agreed to someones demands, i may have had a relationship on, but not this freedom, which would be a call of duty no true son will shun down.