Isn’t a job just a job?

About a couple of weeks ago, I had been to meet an IAS officer on a short meeting. I was waiting in the visitors room and was hoping to get a meeting soon. You all know how it is in a govt office with the wait, I am not going to complain about that today, but I promise you that I am going to complain about something else :D.

An observation about an IAS officer’s chamber

Something I have always admired about an IAS officer’s chamber is the beautiful buildings they are housed in, sometimes I also like the protocol and about the rest, I completely hate them. You would be surprised to know that I was not allowed to walk in the corridor same as the officer’s chamber. Trust me the chamber is a huge one and not even the shadows would be visible to the person sitting inside. Apart from this when I entered, I was made to remove my shoes which is perhaps reasonable considering that they want to keep the offices keen. To my surprise what I saw was the everyone who entered the office had their head bowed, not one of them showed their face to the officer. And it was just the peons and office boys, even the professors, the immediate juniors who would bow their head before entering.

Are we still in the pre independence era?

I was quite taken aback at the whole presentation and stood there in awe while I had my 1 minute meeting of which I got yelled at for 40 seconds cos the officer was busy with something else :D. I wouldn’t complain about that either cos poor guys have a lot to handle on their shoulders. But I am still amazed with the aura of it, people move away to make way for their vehicles, no one overtakes them and when someone does the others try to pull them back. I am really wondering if it is the same country which was in the British Raj around 1930’s!

Why the association with a job?

There seems to be so much of a stigma associated with an officer, so much fear about them and they are always kept on a pedestal! My question is – WHY? Why give so much of importance to someone? – Just cos they cleared an exam and landed a public service job? What makes them so special? Isn’t it just another job? While someone like me would choose entrepreneurship as a choice, a person like the officer who has social service or any other reason in mind would choose a job and appear to work in these places. That doesn’t mean that someone doing some other job is in any way smaller than them!

What leaves me perplexed about this

I still fail to understand the thoughts associated with the people in power here, politicians are saluted wherever they go, administrators are pampered while an activist is shunned and sometimes even arrested cos he was very active! Talk about equality of work, dignity of labour and all other high sounding words which don’t seem to make any sense at all here. It looks like I am cribbing a lot here – Maybe I am.

Isn’t a job just a job?

question cartoon, what is this world, world, good or bad?I am still of the thought that a job is just a job we do, some jobs may have impact on people’s lives while some others don’t, that doesn’t make any job smaller or bigger. We do some things cos we either like it or we are bound to do it for a lot of other reasons, reasons which we are convinced about. That doesn’t say anything about us. Our professional life is a marker for our professional capacity alone and it has got nothing to do with our character or who we are as a person. Maybe it tells that some people don’t aspire but that doesn’t give anyone the right to judge someone else ( How to stop judging people! ).

Shouldn’t we respect a person just for the person and not what he/she does?

Wouldn’t we be better off in a place where we are all the same and we respect a person for the innate person he or she is and leave the tag of what they do for a living away? I would like to talk to someone cos the personalities match and there is something to talk about and nothing else. I don’t know if I am sounding too idealistic here, I don’t even know if I would do the same with someone else. I am not trying to blame an officer here, I am trying to blame ourselves cos we give so much of importance to some silly things which don’t make any sense at all! I am sure the officers too are simple people and are tired of these fake respect and behaviours, why not simplify the entire approach? Why give undue importance to someone just cos they cleared an exam or wrote some nice answers?


14 Responses to "Isn’t a job just a job?"

    1. Thats always there mate. Sometimes I feel that we have let them to take control of us and that is perhaps why they behave like that. If they are responsible for taking advantage of the system, I guess at some part maybe we are responsible for letting them..

  1. well i can understadn we shud respect a person just for the person BUT their ways , what they do and how they behave also matter a lot .. a person might be very good at heart but is corrupt .. he may help millions of poor but is doing dodgy things .. that does not deserve respect ..

    1. In a way true Bikram, however a person and his values are inseparably related. It also depends on how you define a good person and also depends on someone being a good person and pretending to be one.

      I guess a lot of things form a personality and also a lot of things which define a good or bad person. Sort of a whole definition theory which confuses me ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. I don’t know who you are but to tell you the truth I too am confused by all sorts of theory and definitions. When everyone has different perception how come the definitions, and theories could be universal. I was bit perplexed about these sorts of things where we are entangled in all sorts of rituals, morals etc. We try to look and judge our self through these theories. We forget to enjoy life, we fail to feel the joy in falling and then rising. We really fail to understand why we are here. Like manual attached with every new gadget, there are manuals in the form of holy books. But then again the perception changes, we don’t look at it to know the ultimate aim but to find the solution of the misery we are suffering from.
        I want to join IPS, just to put forward an example that even Civil Services could be deliverd without wanting respect, name, fame or wealth. I want that in future Civil Services characterizes its name and that We all are serving someone or the other, so we should only take pride in serving to our best.
        After going through your post I found that the vibrations of our thoughts are limited and it may match someone’s else :-p

        1. Thank you for the lively thought, it is very heartening to see an honest response and resonance of ideas. You got me there when you said even you don’t want to be sucked into the vortex of definitions. I think too much has been said about these definitions in life already. Almost to an extent that they have stopped having any meaning at all.

          I agree, there is a lot of perception in almost anything we do and somehow the jobs have started to define capacity, achievements, social presence, personality and what not. I sometimes question myself to ask whether it is a move toward the dreaded materialistic economy?! But having said that, there are always people who look beyond the visibility of truth and when a vibration like that resonates, it is nothing short of an amazement indeed :).

          Thank you for the thoughts my friend, look forward to hearing more from you ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Very good post Vinay. I always think whatever you expressed today. ๐Ÿ™‚ We should respect a person just for his nature, personality and not for what his job is. After all it is okay that a person became an IAS, or CEO, or MD, or VP of any private sector company, but then we all do have some unique quality which is not even present with those.

    1. Thanks Alok :). I do believe in the theory that each one of us is completely unique and need to be respected for the same. If we do something big in our lives, those achievements are personal and we do not have the right to shove it on to the society or the people around us. We did it for ourselves for the better quality of lives or maybe to answer a few questions in our lives. But that rarely has got anything to do with the other person.

    1. Funny thing Abhijit, the officer was transferred, but for a different reason though ๐Ÿ˜€ ..

      I guess this sort of a thing exists in the society and I am not even angry at the officers. I am really angry at the environment which has given the officer such an image and that includes me as well to a certain extent.

  3. This is so true and so sad. And what makes it even more painful is that good educated people also seems to get intimidated by officers and people with political power and high positions. Whole generation needs to change their mindset.

    1. Its quite unfortunate Roohi but having said that I guess it happens and like it always does it keeps going on at different levels of exploitation. I don’t think I would ever blame the officers, but I would certainly blame the ones who allow them to be that larger than life image they claim for themselves. Isnt life supposed to be simple and even?


We'd love to hear your thoughts below..