Thursday, 1 December 2011

French Leave … The Indian version



There was an article in the papers this morning which reminded me of an incident from a while back. I had just joined the work force then.


Some folks had come to work in jeans that day. Not standard regulations. Turned out that they were on leave. They were on leave as they could not claim their LTA otherwise. But apparently had too much work, were too busy, were too important to actually go on leave. Wearing jeans at work was their honour badge. The vacation … only on paper.


It was the 90s.


Kolkata actually. Not Mumbai.


Then a new century started. A new city for me. Mumbai. Another corporate concept… ‘Half day’.


I remember at least two occasions…in two different companies where folks went all the way to the office gate taunting their colleagues, who were leaving just a bit after official closing hours, with a kindergarten bully-like taunt of ‘half day … half day’. A very prevalent form of sledging then.


Luckily I only once worked in a place where holidays were a four letter word. Bought my first cell phone with the leave encashment money when I quit.


I think things have changed a bit now. Having a life is not always considered to be a social evil in corporate India. And some day folks would realise that by letting people go on vacations companies can save a lot of money that they would otherwise spend on employee motivation workshops.


What’s your take on this?