Thursday, April 23, 2009


There Is No Such Thing As A Free Lunch.

It was the day when we had our fingers’ marked with ink as we had just cast our ballot. Yes. It is election time here in India. The Indian government had declared a holiday. Unfortunately it was not a holiday for me as the company for which I work for couldn’t afford to declare a holiday, considering the time bound, outsourced business it is into. To be fair, the company had asked the employees who had a broadband internet connection at home, to work from home. The company had also insisted that we exercise our right to vote and come in late to the office. Meanwhile other companies had said [according to certain news reports] that their employees will be compensating for the lost of a working day by putting in hours on a Saturday. I have a broadband connection at home, but the frequent unscheduled power cuts makes’ it impossible for me to work from home.

So here we are, a bunch of work-a-holics smashing away on our keyboards when a colleague of mine walks past and remarks “ If ever there was such a thing called as free lunch, that was it.” I pointed out that we had already paid for that lunch by working on a holiday. In other words we had earned it. My colleague had just enjoyed a sumptuous lunch which was sponsored by the company, prompting a chain of thoughts.

Catering to overseas clients, sometimes we need to compromise, owing to cultural differences and of course the age old saying – The customer is the king. By downing its shutters and providing lunch for its employees, the company obviously had a lot to gain for. By requesting employees not to venture out, the company was only making sure that no undue attention was drawn towards itself on a holiday. The official explanation was to prevent any untoward incident from happening. Providing the employees a sumptuous lunch was a gesture drawn towards easing any resentment an employee might posses [like working on a holiday].

I am pretty sure that there is no such thing as a free lunch.

Image Source: Free Clipart Now

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