I recently took a day off from my work as I did not have anything to do at my work place.
I thought that I would go out and finish off my pending chores at the bank/post office etc.
I assumed that being a working day for the rest of the people, these places would be less crowded, but what I saw was a reminder of the fact the world is not made only of people in the software industry !!
Most of us who are there in the software industry would agree with the fact that a typical day in the life of a software professional ( hereby referred to as SP) begins with the travel to the office overcoming huge traffic jams , reaching the office and taking a cup of coffee, drawing the blinds and start the tap-tap on the keyboard, taking a few coffee breaks, one lunch break and then again returning home battling the traffic jams, having dinner, toying with the remote in a futile search for something interesting on the idiot box and then falling asleep, not forgetting to set the alarm for the next day.
Generally the companies are located outside the city and you do not get to visit the city for tasks such as paying the bills, going to the bank if the need arises ( for whatever is not possible with the internet/mobile banking), the postal works, couriers etc.
Now, the positive aspect of this is that it has created employment opportunities for some entrepreneurs,who got this big idea that they can provide the SPs with the facilities of paying their bills, doing their banking/postal chores, delivering flowers to the sweethearts, and some more mundane things ( one such agency even claimed to provide services like getting the toilets of the house cleaned while you are at work ). For such chores they charge some fee and depending upon the need of the SPs and their distance from the city , the charges vary.
This came as a brilliant business idea as we SPs are saved the hassle of going to the city, stand in queues and come back to the office, (as not all the things can be done over the weekend and somethings might be urgent).
We get so much used to all this, that we forget that there were days when we were not professionals and used to do our things all by ourselves.
So the other day, when I took the day off, I was really brought back to the world outside the cubicle of the software companies.
I went to the bank to find such a variety of people that had I been RK Narayan, I would have found lots of subjects for my stories :-).
Thankfully the bank had good seating arrangements so I could peacefully sit and watch the proceedings around me and wait for my turn.
Ah yes, my work got done easily , thanks to the good banking software of that bank :-).
But yes, there was that good ol’ token system, but instead of the usual brass tokens that used to be given a few years back (another nostalgia and it left me wondering that how long back it was that I had actually gone to a bank 🙂 ) , the people simply had to take a paper token and the number was announced along with the counter to which to proceed.
From there, I proceeded to the post office and there again found a great variety of people.. housewives who had come to withdraw some money from their savings accounts that are maintained by the post offices ( I actually saw it for the first time, people making use of the facilities provided by the post office ).
Someone had come for some form that costs 25 paise only, it was amazing to see that something like this still exists, when we SPs are used to paying Rs.20/- for getting a card posted, through the agencies ( providing facilities to do your chores ) that I mentioned above.
Also I saw the van coming to collect the letters from that red colored letter-box :-).
Then I finished my work there and walked towards home, watching so many things that were part of my pre-software job life and I used to see all that everyday without ever having thought that I would be so much absorbed in my work that I would start thinking of my way of living to be the only way of living that exists !!
Scenes such as housewives bringing vegetables from the shops, children going and returning from the schools, vendors shouting to sell their wares, dogs, cows, grocery shops, and so many more things brought nostalgic memories.
Oh how I have missed all that !!!
Just to keep myself from forgetting what how is life other than banging on the keyboard, I plan to take another day off to do my own chores, instead of taking assistance from the agency :-).
Till then, I will do some more tapping/typing on the keyboard and have coffee-breaks and continue with the rest of the routine of a Software professional 🙂 .