Aug 26, 2007 - rant    2 Comments


iRant. It’s not just me, we all whine, whimper and rant. I just do it a little more publicly than most and probably with a little more style, hence a friend suggested that I should call my rants, iRants like CNN’s iReport or an iPod or iGoogle.So what’s the latest in the iRantville (yes, I am adding new words in the language of the Queen)? Well, we have all heard about the brain drain in our country and how all educated and able bodied people are leaving the country in droves. The generally cited reasons for the brain drain are economic, political and security driven but there are other reasons beside. I think the system is driving people away for being educated, intelligent and able bodied because the system does not like people who are educated, intelligent and able bodied.

I could never manage to get time off during summers when one so want to get away from the sweltering heat of the city by the sea, I can take time off in, lets say, February or October but never in June and July. Once, I have had enough and decided to have a word with HR people and was told that summer vacations are reserved for married employees. “Excuse me,” my eyes popped out, but he very calmly told me that single employees are given low priority for summer vacations as they don’t have to arrange their schedules around children, they can take time off any time they want to. Its not as if they have to coordinate everything with school year. “But isn’t the purpose of having a vacation is that you take one when you need one to recharge your batteries and what if you need to recharge your batteries bang in the middle of June, what then? I was told that I should hold onto my batteries very carefully till September when I can get some time off.

This is not all, my colleague gets a longer lunch break every day because he has to pick his children from school and drops them home. Its takes him about 45 minutes and that is beside the designated one hour. If I say that I have to go away for an hour for a hair cut, I would be told stay put and do it over the weekend but not the people with children, they can get away with anything. There are times when I am tempted to put up a picture or two on my desk claiming them to be my children. I have enough nephews and nieces and can come up with at least three who look like me, if need be, I can even come up with a couple of step children if need be.

Recently, I went to a branch of State Bank to take care of my father’s investments and I was not being allowed to park my car in the reserved car park. Its not that it was a car park reserved for bank employees, they just did not have any rules. I stopped when I was told that I cannot park inside the premesis but when I saw three cars passing right beside I went and asked them. I found out that they are letting old people and women with children can park inside and people like me should go fend for ourselves. Those who live and drive in Karachi know what premium does a parking space hold. I would not have minded that it was a standard rule, but they made exceptions and there were no standard grounds for them as well. All it did was send the message across that people who are able bodied can go ^&*($ themselves. No one gives two hoots about them. If I ever leave the country, it would be not because I want to earn more or want to live in some godforsaken little village in Ireland or Canada (the two most popular destinations these days), it would be because I don’t want to be discriminated for being intelligent, educated and able bodied.

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  • In a certain way I can see the ‘civilizational’ logic as to why employers bend over backwards for employees with children. It’s an investment in the future of humanity etc. etc. I’m sure this isn’t the rational they’ve conceived and it still must seem rather absurd at the time.

  • Adios gender discrimination, welcome to the new age of marital discrimination.
    1. I’m single so I’m not eligible for company accomodation. Logically, being single I have one income hence it is even more difficult for me to find comfortable living quarters with my budget. Shouldn’t I be the one getting priority in accomodation allocation rather than a double income family?
    2. I’m single so I’m expected not to take as many holidays.
    Has anyone ever tried to understand how difficult it is to juggle between family and your own life ALONE!!
    3. I’m single so when i ask permission to leave early, I’m asked if I have a hot date (with sniggers I may add). Oh but if my married colleague has to leave early, he probably has some family issue to resolve. Does anyone remember the utilities payment counter doesn’t have special hours for single people?
    But then, I make it up by bragging about my partying and freedom and chilling out (true or otherwise) while all my married friends simply recall those wonderful days. Ah the sweet taste of revenge!

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