Is good work all we want from our workplace?
I have written a few blogs last year but published none. That is in part because of some "technical" problems and in part because last year was extremely busy. A lot changed. A lot happened. I got to meet my niece for the first time ever. I switched jobs and got into consulting, something I wanted for a long time and lastly, I got married. Yay! Anyway, I wrote this particular blog around September, when I was about 5 months into my new job.
I cannot believe that this is one of the few blogs I have written this year. You can totally and completely attribute this to my pre-martial bliss in life. That man makes me happy, and I cannot write. I recently saw a video of Ian McConnell singing a really nice song and there is a line that goes,
“Wish I didn’t have to be sad a fuck to write my funniest jokes”
And I felt that. I end up writing only when I am overwhelmed, depressed, sad, annoyed, or irritated. Sometimes the good kind of overwhelmed but mostly the bad kind. But getting back to the point of why I am writing this blog.
It has been about 5 months since I left my previous organization (a small boutique consulting firm) and joined a behemoth of a consulting firm. So to say my team went from 68 people to about 600. And my entire company went from 250 to forty fucking thousand. That is quite a bit. This is not a unique journey, people make changes and switches all the time, but I felt about writing this down.
It goes without saying that the perks are fucking amazing. The infrastructure is made of things I think of in dreams. The work is much more impactful and very real. But there is something quite absent from my work here. And this could be a function of the size or also the function of the fact that in my industry, people are still working largely from home. It is very isolating. I am doing great work, but I am doing it alone. I haven’t been able to forge any kind of relationship with anyone I am working with or anyone on my team. And that is so far off from my previous organization. And just to give you a frame of reference, a former colleague of mine, we call him “Guruji” because he gave us all Gyan and helped solve our problems. He had a daughter on the 4th of September, and he called me within 5 minutes of him becoming a dad. And I was elated with joy and so happy for him that I ended up crying. That is the kind of relationship I had with my colleagues. We were invested in each other’s lives, and it was a very warm environment. It made you want to work with those people.
A large part of our work has to do with work, but a large part is also the people. Personally, I would prefer people and my team over a good project. Work is a significant part of our lives and though we are not on the border fighting for our lives, camaraderie goes a long way. That feeling that this person has my back, or I can lean on them. Or just celebrating with a cup of coffee or ranting over that same cup of coffee. Intense and opinionated lunch discussions where you can express your thoughts and then equally dumb conversations during the post-lunch walk trying to ward our sleep off.
I remember discussing personal problems over a sutta with a
boi, I am now marrying at the end of this year. So you can understand the level
of closeness we had in our small team.
Now cut to my new job, my team is good, but even after 5 months, there is a formality in our conversations. We’re mostly polite. And definitely do not bother about anything beyond the 9 to 5 or in my case 9 to 9?
But yes, there is a distinct lack of camaraderie and relationships in the office, that I for one think does end up impacting our work life.