One of the big reasons why onsite opportunities are craved in the IT industry is the potential of making and saving money. Many Indian IT majors are forced to pay minimum wages abroad for the skills that our engineers bring to the table which our enterprising engineers in turn find quite plentiful enough.
Though I like making good money, I would rather it came to me by its own accord whilst I pursue a higher ambition, whatever that means. On the way I hope to enjoy a comfortable, that’s all I ask, comfortable life.
There are few things I would rather not do. One of them is sharing rooms, if I can avoid it. Somehow, I have been a bit lucky in this regard. Dad was making enough money by the time I was 14- an important age, I tell you- for me to have my own room. Providence made me join engineering and B school hostels with that same circumstance. So apart from the odd occurrence here and there, I – or others, depends on your opinion of me- have been well shielded.
The point of all this is – apart from trying to sound cool, that is- the fact that while six Indians in my client’s office –two from my company- are sharing a 3 bhk flat, I have taken separate digs in Bristol in a 1 bhk. Soon enough, the two colleagues of mine wanted to move into my place as they couldn’t get along with the others. I said fine as long as I could at least keep the bedroom for myself. I think they got “Don’t come near me” vibes and changed their mind. Pity, could have learnt some culinary skills from them.
Coming back to thrift, sometimes it could go to ridiculous levels and when you are staying in a group and want to make decisions for the whole group, the lowest denominator always prevails since the cost has to be shared. So the cheapest rice is bought, which results in poor results in the kitchen, though I am the last person who should be making a comment like this. Sometimes, it’s even competitive, who spends the least, or even, you spend more, you are a fool.
As for me, it ensures an entertaining stream of conversation.
“D&C, the other day the four of us went looking to buy plates. We saw the cheapest offer at buy three, get one free. When we decide to go for it, D decides that he no longer wants to eat out of a plate but will manage out of the small bowl that he has. Next day, I see him eating out of OUR plate. I could have almost hit him.”
I laughed and laughed.
“D&C, even I am getting worse by the day. The other day, after reconciliation, he owed me nine pence, which he was writing off. I said – I want my nine pence back!-.”
We were going out for lunch everyday. But for the last few days, we have been eating tortillas and yoghurt, not the best combination. After one such repast, my colleague calculates and says happily,
“We have managed the lunch in 90 pence each.”
I just stared back. I had thought we were eating this shit to avoid going out into the cold.
I didn’t give him the ninety pence.