Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Those feared questions...

Since I have joined an IT company after completing my M.Tech.; there are few questions that which I fear, few which annoy me a lot.
Probably the most annoying question I face is, which platform do I work on? I feel like answering "hey, I don't beg like you."; I know it might sound rude, but why always assume that an engineer in an IT company must always be doing coding or testing.
Success in an IT company is measured by number of times you have been onsite, normally parents who have their children in IT company and IT people who have been onsite, will always ask this question "So, when are you going abroad?" or "How many times have you been abroad?" following with remarks like "what? not even once?", "what, you don't have chance, what work you do there?" (here they really don't want to ask me what work I do, they are just doubting the fact that I work in an IT company). It starts getting funny, when they start telling stories of how well their son or daughter were doing and how many times and how different places they have been. Now, being in an IT company I know how exactly people live there, but I still have to say yes, yes etc.
One question that always left me speechless is "what exactly is the work you do?". In fact, after my futile attempts to explain satirically my work; one of my cousins simply concluded that I don't work (well, it might be different issue that she might not be that far from reality). Being part of an IT company everyone expects me to be doing something in some programming language and I not doing anything like that just shocks them. On top of that saying something like working in research group ends up in a disaster leading to questions like, "Oh!!! so you develop some technology?" then I try to explain something related to modeling. Unfortunately nobody has yet mistaken it as modeling as in 'fashion modeling' (probably my physique is too good to believe something like that for somebody), and one who doesn't understand modeling give me the look 'what the heck is that?". I have always avoided telling something about 'systems thinking'; anticipating that might prove to be last thorn in the flesh.
Another of those dreaded question is, "So, what are your next plans?", an annoying version of the same question is, " So, when are you switching?" (for ignorants and unfamiliers, switching here means switching the jobs and the frequency with which most IT people change jobs I think you can't find more appropriate term for changing jobs by IT people) . And what is really the most fascinating is the look these quizmasters give when I say "No, I don't have any plans for switching?" and that look is nothing when I say " Well, I want to do PhD, let's see how it goes?". Except my very close friends and my family who know me very well, I haven't yet seen anybody who is familiar with IT scenario and able to digest that statement. The obvious questions follow, "what the heck, why do you want to leave field like IT which is full of money and do something like PhD, do you want to become lecturer or what?" Going into deep, just worsens the situation, so I normally stop by answering "You know, how crazy I am?" to which nobody argues, afterall I have earned this reputation by hardwork of so many years.

So, if you happen to be one of such quizmasters, please don't ask me these questions.

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