IT layoff and depression – Union as solution : Dr. Rudhran

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Part 1

Part 2

Part 1

Those youth employed in IT face various psychological problems. Primarily the whole process starts not just after joining, even much before. The root of the problem, if you look at the boys and girls who join IT, they will be joining in the very early twenties. That is just after finishing their college education.

Throughout their school years, after 12th they have been mechanically studying and doing nothing else. They have no clue about the external world. Nor were they having interest in the external affairs, social political or even personal. Next phase during college, their focus again is to get good marks, get a good campus interview, get selected, join a job. This process does not allow them to think about learning new things, about social issues, personal issues, or even about their own personal likes and dislikes. They do not show any passion for other things.

dr-rudran-3Now, this boy or girl joins an IT firm, starts working. Immediately there is a pressure. He has to perform. And Unless he performs he will not be able to go abroad like his peers. And going abroad is a fantasy for every kid who joins in IT. Now when working towards that, he gets into a anxious state. He has to perform well, that pressure of performance, automatically results in a residual anxiety.

This gets heightened when he is reprimanded, if he is not producing, the way company wants him to produce. Now this would ultimately lead to a state of anxiety, and anxiety can be exhibited as a mild fear, and uneasiness a restlessness, and at times sleeplessness. Generally if someone is not sleeping well, he or she would know that something is wrong I am not able to sleep. But in these cases these boys and girls are used to spending long hours of the night without sleep, and so they will not even be able to identify that sleeplessness is a symptom of a psychological problem. Therefore they would not even know that they are getting depressed. Not only they would not know, even their family would not be able to identify that the boy is sleepless and having a problem.

The pressure comes to them in a different form also. These boys and girls at one point of time say about 5-6 years before, even 10 years earlier, they were able to wait for an opportunity to move to another company and grow further, if this company is not good enough for them. Now if this company says that you are not good, they know that they cannot move on to another group, or another company and get a better salary or even the same salary. They are living in a fear of their job.

A job cannot be enjoyed if it is approached with fear and anxiety. This would automatically reduce their performance level. When the performance comes down they face the danger of expulsion, they may loose the job. What happens when a person is suddenly is ablut to loose the job. Initially there will be extreme anxiety. This anxiety would further provoke personal discomfort. He would not even be able to interact, relate and have good inter personal relationship with his family and friends.

The next phase is the person looses the job and he goes into a depression. Depression need not be sitting in a corner and crying. Depression can be lack of energy, lack of motivation, lack of direction, sleeplessness, lack of appetite and a general apathy towards the world and disinterest in self. He would stop taking care of himself psychologically and physically. This would further worsen and in some cases causes suicidal ideas to come. All is this because they have not focused on anything else right from their school days. They do not have other avenues to enter relax and rejuvenate themselves. Moreover once upon a time in IT field there was an opportunity to move on, get another job.

Now it is not so. If you are going to loose the job you are in trouble. You wont get any other job. You wont get the same pay. And then you cant even start a business. Because already you are in a financial crunch. You have a loan for a car, for a house and for whatever, and your credit cards are maxed. You are in trouble. That cheque which is going to solve the problem is not going to come at the end of the month. This fear, this panic would tend in severe depression.

Part 2

All the IT professionals, the youngsters in the IT field, have a lot of inter personal problems, not because they are not capable of showing love and affection, primarily they do not have the time, or they think they do not have the time to show that love and affection.

dr-rudran-2In many cases it is true that they spend a lot of time in office, rather than at home. This would lead to a lack of communication, a reduction in communication, reduction in quality time being spend together. Because the guy or the girl who spends long hours in office, in the weekend would rather prefer to take rest than go out with the family and have fun time. This causes a disruption in the communication pattern in a family between husband and wife and at times in the children, who start feeling neglected.

This distancing  is not deliberate, but once the distancing sets in the person would automatically not have the same empathetic feeling towards the other member of his family, and so he would not even be able to identify that his children are feeling sad, or his wife is angry, his pre occupation would be, be in the job, do better, move to the next step in the ladder.  All these inter personal problems again gradually lead to a deterioration in self care, because the vasic unit of the person, the family, is getting disrupted, even without his knowledge. It need not disintegrate and go into a divorce. It can still be a disrupted family where the people are not close, but rather distant from each other. This would again lead to a severe depression.

These interpersonal problems would in a way reflect even in his work place. When both the husband and wife are working in an IT firm, in different IT firms, one firm might close off at 5 pm, and the other firm might even start working only at 5 pm. So the way they even see each other and spend time with each other becomes less. This is the time when they spend more time with the colleagues, sometimes whoever the partner is, the husband or wife, sees the husband or wife spending more time with the colleagues of the same sex or the opposite sex, a mild paranoia sets in and they start feeling that they are neglected, they are not given importance, the person is giving more importance to somebody in the office, and this would again lead to a disruption of marital life.

dr-rudran-4All these problems are not addressed by these people,  they are not even thinking about it, and they do not even consider this as a problem. This would affect things in the long run. Once upon a time it was in the long run, they could understand it when they are in the late forties. Now people in their late twenties and early thirties are facing this problem. Compounding this problem, is the fact that they might not be continuing in the job, or they wont be safe enough in the job, and this is not the security which they imagined.

Now would trade unions be an answer? What exactly is a trade union? It is not just a group of people waving a red flag and starting a strike. No. That is a myth. It is a myth propagated deliberately by the material world, so that the workers unity can be suppressed.

An ideal trade union would not just take care of your salary your job, and would not be simply fighting with the boss. It could take care of you. You as a person. It could start providing you enough to nurture yourself  and make yourself comfortable in your social and personal environment. That is the ideal trade union.  It is a group.

Man as a social animal is not an individual. He cannot survive alone. He needs a group. And this group, this humanity should be the focus of every trade union. Since a man is an individual, he would be some times be inside the group, or sometimes outside the group. But the basic unity which is needed, is what makes a man secure.  I am living in this street,  I belong to the street, I belong to this city, in the same way, ‘I belong to this group of people’. The sense of belonging is itself is strength. That gives a security.

And this security if excercised properly, and if used properly, if exhibited properly would definitely solve a lot of problems. In fact some people mention that there is a study which says, that those who are in a trade union suffer less depressive disorders, and face less psychological and inter personal problems, which is very much possible and true. Because in a union there is unity. It’s a society by itself. A miniscule  society which takes care of itself. And this gives a security which your fantasy employment may not be able to offer you for lifelong.

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