I’ve been thinking of writing on this one particular topic for sometime. This is inspired by my fellow Indians working with me in UK.
Working at onsite has it perks and everyone dreams about it when someone joins an IT organisation which has presence all over the globe. The client in UK does give a lot of importance to human life & work-life balance. It could be UK culture that all offices & store open around 09:00 (some even at 08:00) and close at 17:00 (with few exceptions of course). The exceptions in UK are restaurants and superstores. Yes you heard it right, 17:00 and in India it’s like the start of business time. That’s a different story and not considered here.
I’m in large town in UK with presence of client offices in almost 4 different buildings around the town. They are a respectable client and believe in the people. Presence in different buildings mean a lot of travel to those who want to attend meetings. They do not have a booking system in place to avail cabs to take to different office. How backward you might think but not if I tell you they run shuttle service to all the offices with frequency varying from 15 to 30 minutes. That’s where the problem starts.
The shuttle service is for everyone who need to go from one office to other. What if your house is near an office but you are asked to sit in another. You don’t even have access to go inside the nearest office. What you do? Take the bus to the office or board the shuttle?
I took the shuttle couple of times but then I realised I’m not entitled to it – I do not sit in that office, do not have meeting as it’s my regular office time and I’m taking a seat which could be used by someone who actually needs it. Since then I’ve been quite vocal about it but I’ve heard counter like it’s not running full all the time (So?). Who attends meeting at 18:00 (haven’t you heard of meeting ending at 18:00?).
Even all considered, I’ve seen people queuing up to get in shuttle to avoid situation of in case it gets full and they get left behind. There are people who use this shuttle as cab/office bus regularly. I came up with theory Use, Misuse and Abuse.
- Use is to attend the meeting at different office.
- Misuse is to use it as office transport.
- Abuse is using it regularly for office transport without a conscience regularly.
Of all those people who take the shuttle, if I ask how do they come to office, the “Use” will be honest, the “Misuse” will be dicey but will eventually agree that they did wrong. I’ve some hope for them but the “Abuse”, they will not agree, become Don Quixote and speak of it plying empty, company pays for it et al with cheeky smile AND will never say they came by it. The client trusts its employee and does not ask if they are the intended user but that doesn’t mean company doesn’t care. Who know there may be some new policy which will impact everyone for the deeds of a small group of people.
Imagine using a company service but not paying for it – Company will do the needful to your salary and character certificate. Imagine you taking a bus and not paying for it because your office is enroute – Driver & conductor will kick you in the a**. Imagine someone sharing a ride in your car but not sharing the fuel cost because he works in your building – You’ll kick out this other guy. If you can’t accept things that happen to you, don’t do it to others. We as humans take most of the things for granted and live like “not guilty until proven”. But then there are things like doing the right thing. If you can’t speak of what you did means you are doing wrong. Such small incidents when taken note of become stepping stone of something big and then come new rules which apply to everyone. The folly of some, shame of many.
Be sensible, Use don’t Misuse and certainly do not Abuse.