Tuesday, May 5, 2009

IT Wife

Comic relief... written sometime back :

This blog is dedicated to all the IT wives. I speak herein for all the IT wives whose husbands are employed by Indian IT companies. All the other wives whose husbands are elsewhere employed but who share a similar predicament, my sympathies, but I speak here for what I surely know.
I am certain that an IT wife (hubby into programming or into the business side of IT) is such a phenomena that it will soon enjoy a definition for itself in the English dictionary.

I am no wordsmith but my guess is the definition would be something like this:"a woman who is married but enjoys? the life of a single woman, who is a mother who has perfected the art of single-handedly raising her children with the father making an appearance after sunset and usually leaving before sunrise, an excellent communicator who manages to work on and take a decision on critical family decisions in consultation with her husband ...amazingly these discussions will be over the phone while he is commuting or eating if he decided to eat that day and his side of the conversation will be restricted to "is it urgent,..hmm...hmm...yes...no..yes ok...what???..why??? ..the last startled whats and whys if money is involved. An IT wife - a married woman who keeps the institution of marriage going strong despite severe emotional and physical deprivation.(For all those naive people who think I mean lack of nutrition when I say "physical" please be rest assured I am well fed and in fact have to work hard to stay at my goal weight....physical as in hugs, proximity etc. etc. etc.)

I think the definition is a tad bit too long but I guess you get the not so pretty picture. Here I must say that before you condemn the husband, well,he is not to be blamed for trying to make an honest living. There are things that cannot be rested on his already over burdened shoulders like the changing economy, difference in the time zones, for e.g. he cannot avoid making those calls to Bangalore at 11:30 P.M US time, everyday for the last year and a half to be exact...so however seductive a picture you make lounging in bed in whatever...please don't even try ,you only succeed in increasing his frustration and deflating your ego...he cannot tell an entire 12 people team sitting in Bangalore to take a hike and come running to you. Lata ji crooning "Baahon mein chale aoo"........Does not work people !!! In fact is rendered completely useless if bahoon mein there is a kid or two.

He does love his wife and kids and when you complaint and make him feel guilty by reminding him of what he is missing there are chances you will witness either

1. A childishly funny (only in retrospect) outburst of "what can I do ""tell me what to do? "For which you have no answers obviously, so you equally childishly may go hunting for things way back in the past where he was clearly wrong and after endless arguing which is needless to say a total waste of time and energy in a crunch for time scenario. After endless tears on your part,he will apologise,... for what you ask? well by this time the reason as well as the cause for this fight will be lost in a labyrinth of unspoken words, and unsatiated feelings. My take on this scene is and my explanation for why I get into such scenes with such a predictable regularity is .....that at least for that time period I have his undivided attention... I have him for myself... Self destructive I know but aren't we all?

2. The second possible scenario will be him sighing loud enough to be heard by the neighbors and looking soulfully into your eyes and saying "I know.I know, I am frustrated too. Then he will get charged up and say "I have to change something".."I have to do something" ..this lasts only till the next call comes ...from Bangalore..where else? He goes to work with a heartbreaking resignation and you go back to your "Better Homes and Gardens" or whatever you were reading blaming yourself for adding on to his sorrows. This looks like a better alternative as compared to the first volatile scene I wrote above...but my dear ignorant friends this is an uneasy calm ...a lull before the impending storm.

I have to mention here an incident where one of the husband's seniors who is a female and obviously a working woman ,said after hearing me and another "IT Wife" crib about our respective husbands...:"good at least I do not have the time to complaint because of work and neither does my husband" Well I was not smart enough or rude enough to answer her back there and then but I later thought how good it could be for her, if the partners were not bothered about time less spent with each other, not upset about not being able to cuddle and chat into the wee hours, frustrated about not being able to do fun things ...watch a movie together, spending lazy weekends doing nothing but enjoying each other's company......Just Being....... Together....

Anyways (sigh)... some of the funny side effects of being an IT Wife....

1. You develop an insane jealousy of all the innocent couples who walk hand in hand at 7 p.m while you push one crying kid in the stroller, at the same time trying to save the other who is cycling away at a breakneck speed, bent upon self annihilation.Admittedly he takes that from the mother.

2. You spend precious energy and the already depleting brain power wondering where do the guys work and what they do for a living who you see walking/driving home at 6 p.m.

3. You have difficulty recognizing your husband if he comes home before sunset...you actually panic and wildly wonder whether he lost his job or the company went bust..

4. You spend many a days looking at the mirror finding reasons and blaming yourself for the waning chemistry...this changes immediately if any... even a sorry excuse for a man hits on you then you breathing a sigh of relief shift the blame once again on the husband, his job, kids etc etc etc.

5.The lack of romance makes you nostalgic for the long forgotten and defunct Mills and Boons novels.

6. You have trouble explaining to your Mother in Law that something you had to inform her about, after talking to her beloved son can happen only on the weekend...for that is when it is most likely that you will speak to him for half an hour at a stretch.

7. It is ironic that you refused the madly-in-love-with-you guy from your school because he was studying to become a doctor and because you believed that you could not cope with a Doctor's erratic working hours.

8. You know your husband is overworked when he wakes you up in the middle of the night with his sleep talking about some project escalation and while half asleep shushes your crying baby addressing her as Manoj??.....someone from the Bangalore team!!

9. The measure of how bad things really are, is when he tells his about-to pop-nine months pregnant wife if she could possibly go into labor after his really critical bid/presentation.

10. And finally you do not know whether to laugh or cry every time you see the monogrammed wall clock your husband brought home ..his reward for long and faultless service to the company.

Helpful Tip: Let some steam off at regular intervals.What works for me is pretending I am at a Jon Bon Jovi concert and hence follows an intense head banging, prancing around and your regular strumming the pretend guitar.

Warning: Please close the windows and pull the blind and put on the music and if possible avoid onlookers at all costs, before you decide to act upon my suggestion. Viewer discretion is strictly advised because witnessing this strange what shall I call it number/act/dance therapy/ancient wife stress buster ritual?... can be pretty traumatising.I have done this with the music playing only in my head ( I am really good at this but its a complete no, no since it makes everything scarier) and have risked being straitjacketed and sent off to a mental institution.

So I end with my empathy for all the IT Wives, ...you are not alone girl...and my best wishes for the future IT Wives ...Be Strong Sister.


Jayeeta said...

i was blog hopping when came across urs... must say wonderfully fresh and very humourous...

I belong to the "IT wives" clubs though my hubby doesnt work for an Indian company any longer.. BUT..can u believe still tries to sort out technical issues with his old collegues in the middle of the nite.. he says.. its goodness of heart.. i call it workoholism...

I work for as an IT consultant as well... but draw line to my 7.5 hrs each day so that i can transform into SuperMommy after that.. Dont knw y my beloved hubby cant do that as well :(

Poonam J said...

Ha, ha ...made me smile and laugh out loud..you should have dedicated it to just Wives..I keep telling my husband , once men become husbands they have no zodiac...they all belong to the same zodiac sign, they are species of a kind..am still figuring out which one....and this one I really found amusing and so close to my life.... You have difficulty recognizing your husband if he comes home before sunset...you actually panic and wildly wonder whether he lost his job or the company went bust..For me, if my husband calls me I wonder, all is well with him, or who is he getting home for lunch....good post as always dear..enjoyed reading it.

Anrosh said...

the problem is the work culture. no american would do this work -hence outsourcing.Every service industry has this issue - many did not know until IT became one of the largest employers. (Think Hotel, airlines etc)
Another reason in an IT industry is - it is considered shirking responsibility if you say a NO- especially if you are the service provider. So the clients take advantage of it --

Anonymous said...

lol!!will comment in a year or two to see if all this is true :D:D

great post:D hilarious:D

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anrosh- it has to do with the work culture.. And believe me, in a lot of ways, our IT work culture has evolved in such a way where people are 'expected' to stay at work - whether there is work or not.. I remember I had bosses who would actually set store by the number of hours people spent at work.. When I started leading teams, I would make sure that my teams had to try and deliver within the hours and of, course, the work demands long hours a lot of times - but I would discourage people from staying on at work - just for the heck of it - because it spoils the general culture..
As for the time difference, yes, can't do much about it.. I guess I have got too used to it - doesn't even bother me :)
You know what, when I decided to quit - these aspects of being an IT wife did not even faze me - as it was much better than being an IT professional :)

Amrita said...

hehehe i am thoroughly in the club :D

N said...

WOW !! My first visit to your blog.
This is an awesome post :) :)
I would like to fwd the same to my husband with your permission. I couldnt have said it any better :) Can so relate to every word of it.

Chrysalis said...

Jayeeta : Thank you and welcome to my space.

Poonam Ji: Thank you. And I guess u r right this is a universal trait with men. But this IT work culture is even worse because of the working hours.

Anrosh: U r so right you just cannot say NO in this industry. If you do it will come at a price you should be prepared to handle.

Indyeah: Thanks. You will know in a year or two? U still have not eaten the 'shaadi ka laddoo'? Al the Best then.

Smitha: Not sure if its better to be an IT wife than an IT professional. Speaking esp. in terms of a Professional who stays back at home to take acre of a family which would have to suffer if both are absentee parents. But being abroad the role of an IT wife can be pretty lonely. Not an enviable position.

Amrita: He he Hello Sister :)

N: Thanks and welcome to my space. You are most welcome to send your husband the link to this post:)

Viv said...

Good one!! Makes me thing about how a "consultant's wives" would describe their significant other half:
1.People who are only "weekend visitors" to the home and are never seen during weekdays
2.Pop up in the middle of the night on a Friday and pick up their stroller bags at 4 am on Monday morning and vanish in no time!
3.Saturdays and Sundays are spent in 14-hr sleeping sessions, recharging batteries for a week gone by that has been really tough and hectic. Available "wake up" time is consumed in working for a "Monday morning meeting"
4.Standard response to any phone call on a weekday is "I am in a meeting, I'll call you back", even if you call at 3 am, and the "callback" never comes
5.People who have accumulated enough frequent flier and hotel miles to take an all expense paid trip to Hawaii but can't do it and their miles lapse
6.People who drink at least 15 cups of coffee in a day (smokers replace it with the same number of cigarettes)
7.People who claim to handle 4 different clients at a time but don't remember which class their kids study in
8.Their blackberry is always switched on, it is a given that a "Blackberry break" has to be taken even if the husband and wife are in the middle of "something"
....and the list is endless :D