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To be or not to be…

…in a government job, that is the question I grapple with every time I have to meet a bureaucrat

Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair…

In seventy-seven and sixty-nine, revolution was in the air…

I was born too late, into a world that doesn’t care

Oh I wish I was a punk rocker with flowers in my hair…

That’s the chorus of a ridiculously (at least that’s what I think) famous song from 2005. It made us remember the days that were, where people fought for their rights, and for others; a great impassioned song.

And this played in mind on a loop, while I sat down to write about whether I wanted a government job. Either being a babu or a boss.

But the words were switched, from being a punk rocker to a government employee and the rest with… well here it is…

Oh I wish I was a government employee, with power in my hands…

In 2019 I would be flying high with perks like a home and pension for when I grow old…

I was born into a world where money rules…

Oh I wish I was government employee with power in my hands..

And if I was a government clerk? Well then, I would like to be the one I met while I still had an MTNL mobile number and finally decided to port it. Thought 10:30 am would be a good time, where most early risers would have got their jobs done and left, and the late risers would be a long way away.

But alas the problem was not the people queueing up, but the administration of the joint. The one woman present on her seat decided the morning was still too early or perhaps the hour of siesta came early, and she was knee-deep in a dream.

She was woken from her slumber by this ungracious person. And without a quiver of embarrassment shouted out for a cup of tea.

 Oh I wish I was a government employee…with power in my hands…

Then came a time I went to an Assistant Commissioner of Police’s office. Yes, there are many instances, and yes, it’s not to say they don’t put in hard work. But let’s forget about all that for this article.

He hadn’t yet arrived at work, and I was asked to wait in his office until he did. It was a hot summer day and the room was ready for him with the AC running, the fan too, the TV on, a glass of water ready and his chair embalmed with the traditional sweat proofing of a white towel.

Oh I wish I was a government employee with power in my hands…

Then there are those we see with their own state or Centre issued cars, many even have homes given to them. No rent to pay, no fuel money to spend, no maintenance costs… all the money which can be saved to see a home ready for you when you reach 60 — and then you can happily retire.

Oh I wish I was a government employee with power in my hands….

How can I forget the all-important pension? You can be assured that after the number us private employees think of as treacherous arrives (60), there will be enough funds to see you through the rest of your days. No post-retirement blues because there would be enough to travel, buy unnecessary things like a golf obsession and live out your life
with ease.

 Oh I wish I was a government employee with power in my hands…

But then again. Would I want to be a stuck-up bureaucrat who hates speaking to people like us (reporters)? And who have to be answerable to every elected government that comes in?

Maybe it will be better to be a top babu who works 9 to 5 and goes home knowing there’s nothing to do until the next day of stepping in to work.

Apart from the perks and the morning siestas… a fixed schedule is not the happiest of consequences. But oh, the possibilities make my eyes water…

Oh I wish I was a government employee with power in my hands…