This write up is sent by an employee of TCS.
With increased focus on cost cutting to maintain margins and availability of many graduates ready to work for low salaries, Indian IT majors put more and more pressure on employees, or as they call it, “resources”. “Resources” are meant to be exploited to extract maximum profit. Employee’s concern about their career, their demand for professional practices are all disregarded while the managers chase quarterly numbers.
Those who seek to work sincerely and build their career can relate to this experience.
How to put an end to this and guarantee a healthy work place in IT companies?
I am writing this article about my current situation in my company.
This should not be happen to any person, especially for a physically challenged person. I also want to ensure that this is not repeated for me in future.
Tata group boasts that they are the first ones to introduce worker friendly policies in the country (such as 8 hours working day, minimum wages etc) even before they are mandated by law. But today the reality in the Tata group company I work for is far from what the labour legislation say. My experience below gives a serious instance of what is happening.
I have 5 years of experience in SAP ABAP (Advance Business Application Program – 4th level program language). I worked in more than three development projects in my career. I have worked in a SAP CAR (Customer Activity Repository) implementation project for a US client before joining the current project.
I was trained for SAP CAR in the last project. I am interested to work in SAP ABAP development project.
I was referred to current project by my delivery manager.
I received a call from my current manager for assigning to this project. My current lead took interview along with their colleague. I requested her that development is my interest and area of focus. I also stressed that I have been trained in SAP CAR in the last project. Therefore I requested that it would be in the interest of the company if I am given opportunity to work in that technology.
I was assigned to CAR integration work. But, I did not receive Knowledge Transfer training for integration part of CAR which I was expected to handle in this project.
In my opinion, before assigning to a new technology or domain, there should be a comprehensive training in end to end flow of the project. After training is completed, initially least priority work should be assigned, once the employee becomes proficient in handling issues, all kind of work can be shared.
But in the current project I was provided information only about how to get access to different systems but not about project flow – end to end training and others.
Manager and other senior may pass the blame on my team members for failure to provide knowledge transition. But in reality, my colleagues do not have enough time to provide knowledge transition because of the heavy work pressure on them How can team members provide me knowledge transition? They may be threatened by manager now, but you will understand their situation after reading this article.
I was working with my colleague till I got system access. I was forced to work on analysis and resolving issues in different modules, without having given any knowledge transition that is end to end flow of each module. Some employees formally requested such training to carry out their duty, but there is no effect. I am also one of the victims, and I have a lot of evidence of for this.
Friends, you can also understand the situation from my experience, or you might also have faced similar situation, or you can ask your friends who are similarly affected.
Even though knowledge transition was not properly handled, I spent more time outside office hours to analyze the incidents and problems. I logged in through remote system from home till night 10 pm after working for more than 9 hours in general shift. I successfully cleared all incidents and problems with client appreciation. Most of these issues which were assigned to me are out side my area of expertise, that is, I did not get training prior to handling these issues.
Thus, I was deep into my work. One day my lead pinged to me and asked me to come to her place. She insisted me to take incidents and problems from yet another module and start work immediately. I was shocked. I told her that how many modules can I work for which I have no prior experience, nor proper training. I stressed that I want to learn more about SAP CAR and specialize in that area which will be beneficial to the company also. I can not keep working in ever new modules with superficial understanding about them.
She kept saying that too many incidents are pending for resolution every day. So you might take knowledge transition for new module and take up those incidents and problems. I also have been seeing for the past few days that many incidents are in queue without getting resolved. But throwing an inexperienced person on the problem is not a solution.
She told that you must take incidents with any module and work on that because project has shortage of resources. She insisted that I should take KT from another module and start work on those incidents and problems immediately.
In my opinion, the company should hire enough resources to handle client requirement, shouldn’t put burden on the same employee with more and more work without proper training.
Further, my lead knows me well and that I am physically challenged person. I can’t stand for long time. But during this discussion she did not even give me option to sit in a chair. She pressurized me and tried to simply force me to work on the issues from new module.
I told her that I am already occupied with current work and need to be trained better in SAP CAR itself, and not made to work with new module without proper training. She did not accept my concerns. She said manager also insisted for the same. I was shocked to know this. This has been pre-planned in such a shabby manner from higher management, which disturbed me more. I know this will impact my health and daily life.
I asked time with my lead to discuss about my concerns one to one. I told them that I am interested to continue work in development project or SAP CAR where I have experience in the previous project. If there is no work here for my scope, better release me and move me to another project. But she just ignored my opinion and said that my concerns will be forwarded to manager who will speak with you regarding this.
After a few minutes I received a call from the lead saying that manager wants to speak with you regarding what we discussed. They brought me to the conference room where no chair was available for me to sit. I looked around for a chair to sit because I can’t stand long time due to major surgery in my leg. But the manager and lead kept me standing and spoke to me, treating me like a slave. I held the wall for support and continued speaking to them.
Initially the manager asked me that what are your concerns about handling incidents in new module. Her tone itself was hostile.
Manager simply threatened me by asking various questions. I repeated the same explanation that I am occupied with work in another area and need training to handle SAP CAR related issues so that can perform better.
After that Manager asked team lead to un-assign all problems and incidents that are related to any other module except new module, those unassigned incidents are assigned to others. She asked the team lead to provide KT for new module, which I know from experience that is just an eye wash. It seemed that she is determined to impose her decision like a dictator, she was not ready to even consider my concerns.
I got many appreciations for my work from clients. But the manager tried to question on my work and try to imply that I did not do any work. This was meant to demoralize me. The rating of those who deny their work because of no proper training, will be reduced or their leave request will not get accepted which means we are not treated in a professional manner.
I managed to find a gap in their continuous talk and request for a chair only towards the end of the meeting. They allowed me to leave the conference room only after I accepted to look into new module incidents and problems. We can clearly understand that they have not treated me as professional during the meeting in conference room.
I was not able to answer their questions in that situation. Some of the arguments by the manager in the meeting and my response here:
1. Manager : No budget allocation to new resources so need to adjust with existing people to manage work
Ans: There is competition among managers about who is handling resources with minimum budget. That means less no of employees and deliver project. On that basis managers get higher rating and salary hike.
Employees are made to work unreasonable and impossible hours so that manager can get more salary.
Employees alone can deliver project without manager. But is it possible for a manager to run project without employees.
Instead of making employees work more, better recruit new resources. More job opportunities will be created and project will also be delivered properly.
2. Manager : I know all people and have all kind of data. Shall I speak about in and out of office time
Ans: I am not interested to speak in depth, but you people forced me to speak about it. If you ask me such a question we will discuss about below
Shall we speak about how much client billing is done as compared to the salary of employee?
How much subsidy company is getting from government from initial?
Do you people follow industrial dispute act 1947 labor law in handling employee issues.?
3. Manager: Experienced person you should be flexible
Ans: I want to ask reverse. Why manager is not flexible to employee?
Instead of threatening team member, hire new resource and provide them work
4. Everything is ABAP programming only, right. Why can’t you work in new module
Ans: I have informed multiple times that I have experience in development project also have knowledge in Store and SAP CAR. It is in the interest of my career as well as the company’s interest that I develop my skills in SAP CAR, Store module further.
But you people trying to force me to work in another area in which I have no prior experience and not trained for that.
– A Voice from Corporate Slavery