When I got back to the Bangalore office from Singapore, I was greeted by scores of new faces wherever I went – in the corridors, at the cafeteria, the crowds going back home etc. That’s when I learnt that 450+ campus freshers had joined in July. Aah! No wonder! I thought…
And then, come October 15th, hundreds of new faces came streaming out of the 10 brand new big buses added to the cab service. What’s happening?? we wondered… it was the first day at work for another 590 freshers, we heard.
These days I hardly find a known face amongst the hundreds whom I encounter everyday at lunch. Inexplicably, this thought always saddens me… I am taken back in memory to my first year at work… when all of us worked out of only the Banashankari office. Cafeteria used to be a 150-200 seating capacity-hall in the ground floor of one of our first facilities there. We would go in a gang, meet up with other friends, colleagues, discuss odds and ends, gossip, complain about the food, rue about our workloads… and what not! Late evening teas would be accompanied by biscuits, savoured in the soothing company of a cool breeze at the small pool side, chit-chatting with cronies. Lunch and tea times were relaxing and a time to savour during the day’s routine, something that all of us eagerly looked forward to.
These days lunching has become a stressful exercise – one encounters lifts filled to the brim going upwards or downwards, and has to most often taken the stairs five stories up. Once u get to the cafe, it’s time for the “who-gets-hold-of-an-empty-table-first” contest. And this is when one carries one’s own lunch, my mercies are with those who brave the long queues and manage to sustain their hunger and appetite till they can actually get to the counter serving food! But the worst part surely is being lost and unrecognized in a huge mass of the unknown all around.
Add to that the rush that ensues in the evenings once it is time to go home. Yesterday I was dumb-struck to see a crowd at the exit, waiting to swipe out with their access cards, the staircases had people climbing down taking one step at a time! Phew! Is this the same place where I have worked the past four years? All this is so new and strange to me, I mused, not so happily, disliking change as much as everyone does.
I guess I shouldn’t be complaining – we’re still just a 5,500+ employees company… things fall into perspective when I imagine the plight of a similar employee in places like Infy/ Wipro/ TCS where the crowds are roughly around 5 to 10 times more.
My thoughts also sobered when I remembered my initial days at office – the time when I was fresh from college, naive and a little scared of stepping into the big-bad corporate world. Even today I am filled with a warm feeling when I remember how nice everyone was to us, the old-timers didn’t treat us like kids, they welcomed us into the folds of the company, made us feel at home, told us we were no different from them and an equally important part of the organization.
Now I know I have exchanged places, I am where my seniors stood and at my place are the scores of fachchas who have joined, their eyes all a-star with dreams and spirit as enlivened and enthusiastic as only the college crowds’ can be. But I find it’s not so easy, I feel I am losing out on exactly all that I loved so much about my workplace – the feeling of being a part of a mid-sized, closely knit company which in turn led to the strong close bond I shared with the people and the environment around me, I feel like all of us will soon be lost in this huge oceanic mass of numbers.
I know this growth is essential for the company to take rapid strides to combat the ever-increasing competition and stay ahead, it is very much a part and parcel of any company’s road to success and prosperity; but it is the transition that is arduous for people like me! 😦