An elephant is worth the same, living or dead. So are the civil engineers. If there were no civil engineers, human race would have been relegated to natural caves in the forest for living. No business, no roads/transport, no entertainment and never a skill would have existed on earth. Monumental structures, majestic highways, massive irrigation and power generation water spots provide testimony to the hard work of civil engineers. Even the topmost earner in the globe must and should be grateful to the civil engineer who built the premises in which he functions.
In spite of these, civil engineers are the deprived lot, to be termed nothing less than the most unfortunate amogst professionals. Lay-off period – stretching from months to years – haunts them deliberately, project after project. Though we don’t find any other professional accepting salary less than present when he opts for a new employment, we often find civil engineers being pressurized to work for 50 percent of what they are getting! I am the best example for such situation.
To avoid lay-off stretches, I approached an employer after a project and requested him to utilize me for work in the areas like correspondence, marketing, creation of newsletters and all other media related activities. You will be surprised at the reply I got! He asked me to work free of cost and accept commission on revenue generated through those activities. I even became a journalist and assisted media to edit newspapers and periodicals namely Bangalore Sun, National Matters, City Today, Bangalore Eveninger, Bangalore Lines and Move Up People.
An employer will be kind towards his civil engineer and fulfills his every requirement when the project is under construction. The same employer will be hostile when the project nears completion, finds fault in nothing and everything the civil engineer does, and creates a situation which compels the latter to resign on his own. The employer thinks he has nothing more to understand about civil engineering after completion of the project, being calculative that he can have four more female employees around him if he saves the salary he is paying to the civil engineer.
In the present economy it is no wonder if an upper middle class family needs at least Rs 50,000/- per month to live with dignity. But we don’t care if a civil engineer’s family falls into nil earning and ignominy for months and years (after it was used to solely depend on his remuneration earned for a period of time while project work was progressive). When project work is there, there will be no lacking for the daily needs in a civil engineer’s family. Petrol tank will always be full in his two-wheeler. Children enjoy his rare (I say rare since a normal civil engineer’s to and fro from routine will be before children wake up in the morning and after they go to bed in the night) presence in the house as there will always be a chance to roam with him, packed at front and back of his two-wheeler.
But the situation is reverse during lay-off. Due to frustration for this or that could not be bought for the house, his wife may taunt/tease him and ask him to learn how to live from any government employee civil engineer who made a lot of money. Children hate to see him in the house since there is no petrol in his two-wheeler and he ill-affords to take them even for a movie. It is no surprise civil engineers are the most amongst professionals indulging in suicide attempts. To beat the heat of lay-off periods, without hesitating, civil engineers travel from state to state and country to country for work leaving behind their families in native place. They become physically stubborn being forced to get adjusted to frequent change in climatic conditions. They acquire unimaginable communication ability as most of the time they work in a place where they must learn a new language for survival.
Civil engineers could surprise us by chanting rituals and let a marriage ceremony move on smoothly, when a priest is missing! It is possible a civil engineer holds the marketing flag aloft for a new product, when a company is in a sorry state where its director-sales might have eloped with his secretary! Civil engineers become competent in any area we point out, because of their worst situations of living, project after project. But civil engineers get no nod at their present scale even when they prove that they are the fittest for correspondence, public relation, marketing and other managerial responsibilities. We fill these vacancies with people who most of the times produce no result, by paying 5-10 times more than what we pay civil engineers. We discriminate civil engineers like beggars during their lay-off period.
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