Monday, May 18, 2009

Cost Cutting......

Again, they switched off the AC. Another most innovative way of cost cutting. When I joined the company, the corporate world went upside down(not because of me, c'mon). There were news of economic slowdown and companies on firing spree. When we were making plans as to when to switch to another company, exactly then the "experience holders" advised to stick to your seat till the situation becomes better and the economy gains strength again.
But then, most of the companies took it as an excuse and started "cost cutting", to save resources and money. Slowly and slowly the coffee cup became smaller and thinner. We would get one mail daily from our Technology team with the list of all the workstations and which of them were on during the non-working hours and we were reminded to shut down the systems properly before leaving the desk. One fine day, the coffee machine was shifted to the eight floor- our dining area (our office is on the 4th floor). This actually discouraged most of the people, as very few wanted to take the strain to climb upto the 8th floor for such a tiny cup of tea/coffee. Another brilliant and out-of-the-box idea of cost-cutting. Employees of last four grades were now not allowed to "fly" between Chennai and Bangalore, rather they should travel by bus/train (well, this is acceptable) but what about those people, who keep on flying for every small distance (that too not settling for the anything less than Jet and Kingfisher flights). Quantity and quality of food was being compromised.
To add to the fun, I once travelled to one of the states (not the United States.. an Indian state) and stayed in the company guest house for few hours. Next day, other guests staying there told me that they could not find the remote of the ACs there and then the care-taker informed that he has been ordered to do keep away the remotes so that no one could switch on the ACs. God....!!!
For each stationery item you want, you are asked for the group head's approval (now who is going to ask for the group head's approval for a small little file or eraser, so forget it).
The examples can go on and on and on. No one can gather the courage to tell the "management" that these are useless measures and cost can be controlled with numerous other thoughtful ways. Because everyone is scared to be shown the door. So, again, just stick to where you are.
I agree that the companies have their own reasons to fire huge mass at one go. But are they in such bad shape all of a sudden that they cannot sustain the employees for atleast one month. They had lost the project, so call all the people on the project in the most suspicious way, make them sit in a closed room and inform that their services are no longer required by the company and no need to come to the office from next day. For God's sake, he/she has loans to pay, families to take care, and bills to be paid.
What amuses me the most is that we call ourselves IT companies but make no effort to go paperless. Once I went to my intranet for settlement of my travel claims. Completed the process and thought that it was over. But no. I have to "courier" the original boarding passes and other bills to Mumbai office and submit their "photocopies" and the printout of the tickets (which I anyways got from the travel desk through e-mail, which I could have forwarded, but no, I have to submit the print out) with the local CFO team. I could have saved these courier charges for sending 3 pages to Mumbai and could have instead forwarded the scanned copy of each one of them to the concerned stake-holders. The "management" again can show the concern by taking a cut in their heavy salaries. Sorry to say but their monthly salaries run upto lakhs, even when their travel and phone bills are taken care by the company itself.
I can survive in the office without AC and travel in train but please don't make me feel that I am the burden on the company and reason for higher costs, when I am the one working day in and day out sitting on same seat. Rather make a collective effort to "save the cost" and not "cut the cost"....

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