Unmesh: “Dude, there are around 1000 people here, but no one seems to be interested in talking like we guys did”.
I laughed and said that I have been wondering the same thing in my new office. Unmesh was my desk partner in my previous company (NS). It was his first day in a new office and he was calling me up in his lunch hour. Actually it was not only Unmesh complaining, but almost everyone who had left NS found the chilling silence a bit more than uncomfortable. My cubicle was probably filled up with the most talkative persons in the company and we did enjoy those years. There were hardly any moments in the last 3-4 years that witnessed a pin drop silence. I have been in the new company for around 3 weeks now and still it is difficult to find people to talk to on completely silly topics. Everyone seems lost in their own world. There is very less work these days. A friend asked me last week about my new job. I told him that one of my uncles would call this a paid honeymoon; but no work, no talk and no net access makes Sudeep a dull and bored
I noticed that the average age of employees in NS was around 23-25, so they were chilled out, were happy to go out on a trip, or were not shouldering a lot of responsibilities at home so could fine time to enjoy outside the confines of their houses. There was still a small child somewhere in the grown up body. In the bigger companies like my current one, the average age of employees might be around 32-38. So what we have here are people who spend time slogging at work and want to spend a peaceful weekend with spouse (and children). There is a child in there, but they are convinced that it is too late to go do something crazy. In just three weeks I have seen so many people having a lonely lunch in the cafeteria. In NS if someone sat for a lunch there would be 3-4 people joining him/her just to give company. The employee strength ratio for NS to the new company is 1:1000 in case you are wondering. I used to go to NS on a bike, now I take a bus which takes around 70-80 minutes one way. People have iPods plugged to their ears, some sleep or some bookworm types try reading in spite of the jerks on the road, but no one talks. I met a friend from NS (he had left NS around 2 years back and joined a bigger company) who was a very jolly fellow. This guy had mellowed down so much that I doubted if I was meeting his twin brother. I asked him why he was so serious to which he replied that he had forgotten how to enjoy life along with enjoying the work, and the work culture in the new company had moulded him that way. For a moment I was scared I too will stop talking shit and become a brain-wired-techno geek. I don’t know what that means, but I guess you get the drift. I am trying to adjust myself to this new change. I don’t rule out a possibility of me standing on my desk and dancing so that the serious ones have something to laugh at, but for now I will maintain a silent desk and keep my hopes alive for some chilled out colleague(s) to come by.
I guess changes in life are inevitable; how much we change for good is what would matter finally.
So this was written when I was 3 weeks old in the company. Now six months have passed after the joining date. In the first project there was not much work to do, and then I got my team changed on request. The new team has many members and each one individually handles a project with teams from other companies. I too do the same now so the ‘talk’ factor is still an issue for me as everyone is busy in their own project work. But the situation is not as bleak as it was in the initial days, though I cannot say I have made a friend here for life like I had made many from the previous organization. I hope the New Year brings in many more positive changes for me and for everyone. Wish you a very happy New Year.