Sunday, June 5, 2011

My first day experience in IT industry

ACG Speech #3 - Humorously speaking
Make them Laugh
June 5th, 2011
Do you work for a software company? Raise your hands if you are.


I’m like you. I joined the IT industry 14 years ago with a dream to learn new things, a dream to earn money, a dream to own a car, and a dream to lead a quality life. Looking back, I achieved all of them. But, the price that I had to pay was HUGE. It is absolutely impossible for me to recoup what I lost. Yes friends… in a quest to be a successful software engineer, I lost a precious treasure… I lost god’s gift… I lost a crown jewel… Yes... it is nothing but my shiny black hair.
Today, I’m going to share a page from my IT industry experience.

Getting ready on the first day 
June 15th 1998 – a memorable day in my life. The day I started to earn my living. I got up very early and started to get ready. Neatly combed hair - yes, I had lots of hair at that time; clean shave;  wore neatly ironed formal wear including a tie; and squeezed into my newly bought black shoes. With a pile of certificates and mark sheets in hand, I started walking to office.

Dreaming about office environment 
While walking to the office, I started dreaming about how the office would be - a young lady at the reception with a beautiful smile welcoming me; my HR manager in coat, suite and tie eagerly waiting for my arrival; my team members lined up on both the sides of the walkway and cheerfully clapping their hands and I walking between them like a hero; my manager standing with a flower bouquet in his hand to receive me. 

Surprise / Shock after reaching office 
With all these dreams, I reached office by 8 am and opened the doors of HCL Technologies.
What I saw there was shocking. There was a lady near the reception, but with a mopping stick and a bucket full of water cleaning the floor. My HR manager wasn’t there, but an old security guard sleeping at the reception desk. The whole office was empty. Oh! What happened to my team members? Are they hiding in the rooms to give me a surprise? What happened to my manager? Has he gone out to buy a flower bouquet?
With all these thoughts going in my mind, I shook the security guard and woke him up. On seeing me in full formals and tie, he thought I am the CEO of the company. In a shock, he got up and gave me a firm salute. I said “Sir! I'm a fresher and today is my first working day”. When I told him that, he gave me a very strange look. He looked at me from top to bottom and asked me to sit in the lobby.

People entering office 
I started to wait for the HR manager. I waited … waited… and waited… Time is now 10 o’clock and I saw the first soul entering the office. He was in his mid 20s and looked like our Pravin Mani. He looked as if he just got up from bed and didn't even have time to take a bath. His hair was standing stiff with spikes. He was wearing shorts and a T-shirt. I couldn't understand why he was wearing coolers even when he is inside the building.
Minutes passed… another guy entered the office. He looked like our Rajesh. He was wearing a tight red T-shirt and a jeans pant that was torn all over. My first impressions on seeing that guy was... "May be he is from a poor family. He doesn’t even have money to buy good clothes". Later, I was told that it is a fashion to wear tight T-shirts and torn jeans pants.
In the few hours that I waited in lobby, I watched nearly 100 people getting into the office. The HR manager came in at 10.30 am and took care of all the formalities.

Lessons / Conclusion 
Friends, I learned 3 lessons on the first few hours of my IT career:
•    Never go early to office – software engineers start their day at 10
•    IT engineers dress up STRANGE - none of them wear formals, none of them wear polished shoes, none of them wear a tie, and above all, none of them even comb their hair.
•    The IT field is staffed primarily by men; the ratio of male to female software engineers is on the order of 10 to 1. There are a number of good looking girls. But, pretty much all the guys are average. So, for the girls who want to find a man "The odds are very good, but the goods are odd"

Friends, I lost a few hair strands right on the first day at work - because of the excessive stress caused by waiting. This is just the first page from my IT industry experience. You'll see many more pages in my subsequent speeches.