Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The curse of being a Software Engineer

Last weekend, there was an occasion at a relative's place which I had to attend. I say, I 'had to' cos I normally avoid get togethers and not without reason. I believe they are just a platform for people to waste time gossiping about others. However, due to parental pressure, I had to attend this one.

As soon as I set foot at my relative's place, one of my mother's cousins smiled at me. Instantly, I knew that trouble was round the corner. She rushed towards me with a few people behind her. Then she started introducing me to the people around her.

Now, I don't have any problem with people introducing me; Just with the way it is done. They mention my name and immediately start off saying that I am a software engineer in such and such a company (which would naturally mean that I am an extraordinarily intelligent guy!) and the person who introduces me also drops a hint or two regarding my salary!!

I have also observed a common pattern in the people who are asked to undergo the misery of knowing me. If the person is middle aged, he sees me as a villain. He thinks that I am one of those criminals who installs computers at every possible place and hence cause job cuts for people like him!! Alternately, if the person is in his teens, he sees some Nobel prize winner in me and starts dreaming about himself in my position!!

In the days when I had just started working, all this made me proud. It made me feel really important. But as days passed by, this attitude of my relatives started irritating me to no end. Nowadays, whenever someone introduces me, I yearn to hear my father's name, or to know how the person is related to me. But alas, people are more worried about the future of IT companies! Interestingly, people talk of marrying off their daughter to me just on the basis of I working in a software company. To my misery though, the girls don't even give me a second look. Your daughter wants much more, my dear prospective father-in-law!!

Nowadays, I have observed one more interesting feature, given that there is at least 1 software engineer per family. People are now aware of the names of a few software companies. And they compare us depending on the company for which we work!

This is precisely the reason why given a chance I would skip any gathering, specially of my relatives. God knows when these people will understand that software engineers are also normal people who work for a living; In fact, we would work much more than most of the others and accomplish much less. I can take a bet that given a chance, most of the software engineers would opt for an alternate career. And, the so called big pay (which is not so big, after all)- well, it is the only take away for doing such continuous mindless work and inviting so many health problems due to our couch potato life style...


Anonymous said...

that's a nicely written post. i have also experienced something similar.

Anonymous said...

i ve seen the worst...
if u tell that u r working in non-infosys or non-wipro or non-tcs company ppl(esp aunties) extend their pity and tell that u can get into these places once u get some more experience...although these companies are much better and tougher to get into