April 25, 2006

Handshaking Vs The Corporate Life

I miss Siemens. Rather it would be more appropriate to say that I miss the Siemens culture. My day at Siemens began by shaking hands. I was the first person to board the company bus and so anybody who came onboard would shake my hand.

It all began with induction, where the HR Director, Mr Anil Nadkarni would shake our hand first thing in the morning. A firm handshake, it almost jolted you out of your lethargy. You could actually feel the zing of the man. Then everyone would greet you with a handshake. I had never done so much handshaking before.

On the job, everyday from 8:15 I'd go to inspect my line. And being at the end of the factory farthest from the office, I had to pass through the relay, contactor and switches lines. On the way I shook hands and greeted many. You could actually feel the warmth of the place. Over the next year handshaking became a way of life. It is really a good way to greet people. I was told that it wasn't prevalent in the offices. (Today I understand what that means)

The office culture is very different from the shop floor at Semens (I say that coz I have seen shop floors at other companies and though it looked great it didn't feel great). Desk jobs suck! All you interact with (rather most of the time) during your work is a stupid box which will accept anything you type and show it back to you on a screen (How brilliant!). Your arse pains from the constant sitting and you can actually feel your tummy expanding in all directions. Worse, everyone seems to be engrossed with their boxes. There is no shouting, hollering, ranting that takes place. The clanging of machines, pneumatic devices et al is replaced by the dull humming of the AC. There are no opportunities to roll up your sleeves and indulge in grease and oil.

Worse still no one shakes hands. I still remember my Boss coming first thing in the morning to shake hands with each member of the department. Pity, it never happens in an office!

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