Sunday, 8 February 2009

Hai Guarantee?

There is a flashy but equally scary word that we hear today in almost every sphere of life – ‘Recession’. Be it the luxurious five star hotels, the expensive airlines, the automobile manufacturers or the real estate developers, every one is facing a downturn in their businesses that were once thriving like honey bees in a flower garden. Its not just these luxury segments though – even the service industry like the banks, the software sector, the call centers, the textiles and garments, small scale industries – everything in sight has been gobbled up by the ever hungry recession. No wonder then that it has not even spared my already receding hairline ;)

Coming to the more serious matters, I personally feel something like this was definitely bound to happen. Not that I expected it or wanted it to happen so badly. But at this juncture, I am just reminded about a small scenario that happened during my college days:

It was during the end of our penultimate year of engineering and the placement season had just begun. All of my friends including me were filling up our details at a big register kept at the placement office. The placement cell of our college (supposedly the third best in the state) had hung up a huge board inside the newly furnished office indicating the number of students who had been placed year upon year. Apart from the few years in 1999-2001, courtesy the dotcom crash, the percentage was almost 100 every year. Naturally we were all thrilled and happy. Going by the industry demand, there was no way we were going to miss the cent percent record that year.

Our college used to charge some money as placement fees for each offer that a student got. Most of my friends had a problem with that. I asked them, “Isn’t it a good thing that we are all getting employement? What is wrong if we pay a small part of that as fees?” But they dint think so. “These days, if you join an engineering college and score decently, employment is guaranteed. Since we are in one of the best colleges, it is just how much you get as your starting salary that matters. These authorities just want to make money out of us. Look at other colleges. There are no placement fees. Then why are we the only ones paying for it? Placement is not a favor – as students of a reputed institute, it is our right

So those were the times then. The season started in july and within a week, almost everyone in our batch were placed in reputed companies. Even then, there was discontent and disappointment in most of us. Just a job was not enough. Students had to make sure that their package was the highest in the college and studied day in and day out to get placed. In other colleges, there used to be instances where the students carried offer letter of one company to the interview of other company and bargained for a better salary. I had once asked a friend of mine, “So now that you are placed in xyz and have the best package among all of us, arent you happy?”. He replied,”Yes I am. But my ultimate target is company abc. I will use xyz for two years to get experience and then jump to abc! You see, theirs is the best pacakge available right now”

How quickly have things changed since then. Getting an engineering seat no longer means that you have secured a job. Not even the prestigious IITs can assure you a job right now. Students don’t bargain for jobs neither do they complain about colleges charging fees for placement. Students just want a job. Both abc and xyz and many companies in between have now bitten the dust. There are many more getting bankrupt almost daily. It is a scary world out there.

If there is one thing that this recession has taught the youth of today, it is just that life does not come in packages. What goes up has to definitely come down sooner or later. Nothing is guaranteed in life. The enginereing seat, the high paying job, the luxury apartment, the costly sedan, the platinum credit card - you have to earn each one of this slowly and with hard work. Not everyone becomes a millionaire by 30 and starts living in palaces. Most of the youth of today have just seen the good things in life and have had it easy – naturally they are drawn to mindless consumerism and unrestrained spending. They just want to have everything in sight whether it is of use to them or not. Atleast this slowdown has made everyone of us realize the true value of things.

Ultimately what matters in life is what we learn out of it. What matters in life is how our learnings and how well we adapt to the situation – be it happy or sad. This recession has taught us some nice lessons till date and there might be more to come. The situation is going to be tough. But let us face these tough times with renewed enthusiasm and work hard to find a way out of it. I am sure when these dark days end, there will be jolly days again. Wish we see them soon :)


Anantha said...

a dekko at the recession through positive shades ehh.. :)

Anonymous said...

A very positive way of looking at recession :)

We should be content with what we have. We should definitely aim for bigger things in life, but we should not crib and complain about the things we already have; or else life will teach us a lesson in a very hard way.

Saravanan said...

Nice one dude..

Agreed.. Recession has indeed taught us many things..

Shashia said...

Thanks for your comments.

Cool! We have a rare agreement :)

Sachin said...

As you said, this makes sense even today (after 3 years) .. I liked the way you have directed ppl to look for the light at the end of the tunnel :)