"What!! No Graduation Party for our batch", yelled one of my batch mate when we came to know that Fidelity is not giving Graduation Party for 2007 batch freshers. This was September 2007 and we were litle aware of the implications of market performance leading to the fall of financial giants like Lehman Brothers, merging of Merrill Lynch with Bank of America, billions of dollars in form of bailout and the entire Iceland country going bankrupt and many major companies laying off employees in large numbers.
Today on 9th January 2009, my position has changed from spectator to one of the participant in this economic turmoil which shook every country across the globe. My company has announced to sell of its India back office to other IT players in market and the finer details of which is still awaited. There has been a budget cut in my project and I have been moved to ON-BENCH (for non IT Professionals, being On-Bench means you don't have project to work on, you are a liability to the company and you go everyday to office and sit idle and get frustrated).Some of the behavioral changes which I witness (better to say I have forced upon) in myself are :
1) I no longer go to Shanti Sagar (High end restaurant in my resident area) and have moved to cheaper options.
2) I go to Reebok showroom which is now running at 40% FLAT Discount, only to embrace the apparel, shoes and caps etc.. I wish to own but let it go after turning over the price tag which overshoots my estimate (less than $4).
3) I recently bought a bicycle for Rs. 5000/- and have vowed to restrict my expenditure for coming 3 months to balance out this purchase.
I must admit that I am having an overall increase in mental pressure and decline in self-confidence when I think of what am I going to do if I am laid off. My plans for post graduate studies is also running in doldrums looking at the meager chance of getting scholarships or funding from universities who themselves are struggling to keep the system running at these times. One thing which I appreciates about the present challenging period is "Trouble times makes oneself tougher and more efficient". It is now that the companies/individuals are able to realize some of their suicidal decisions or spendthrift attitude which can jeopardize the business/personnel life in long run or god forbid can leave them struggling to survive. Moreover, it is at this time when some frauds and inefficiency of the system gets on headlines. Looking at the case of Murdoff and Satyam Computers which have been sponsoring their frauds program smoothly for years now find it hard to conceal it in trouble times like at present and end up getting exposed to public. The world begins to reflect on their decisions which acts as a learning curve and more efficient laws are laid out for future security.
It was not far but just 7 years ago when the world saw its first modern day economic crisis in 2001. There were allegations, reformation and reflection but no one anticipated a worse crisis so soon. The reason lies behind the human psychology of "Forgetting" and chase for "Pleasure". The lessons learned where soon forgotten, the bull was charged, not knowing where its heading to, leading to the fall on face.My take-away from my learning is, the entire universe is a "Chakra", it will come back again and again to its starting point in time to time. I should learn to live in bare minimum and nothing competes self-employment.