It became clear to me this week why IT jobs are outsourced from first world countries to cheap labor markets such as India and the Philippines. Writing source codes is tedious and strenuous mental work. You face the computer for 9 straight hours, and get an overdose of radiation. Your back and butt hurt from perpetually sitting and slouching. By the end of the day, all of your brain cells get depleted. You look like you've just waken up in the morning, cranky and bleary-eyed from all the free caffeinated coffee you drank. You finally get rest after that. You face radiation again, this time in front of the TV, unusually mentally awake, like you've just taken drugs. You want to sleep early but you eventually slumber at around 12-1am. Then you wake up again by 5:30am to do this all over again.
I don't want to give up yet. Beneath all of the negatives, I'm trying to discover elements that can make this job a vocation rather than just plain work. Quoting Mr. Kent Nerburn, "Find out what it is that burns in your heart and do it. Choose a vocation, not a job, and you will be at peace."
For instance, when I create a program that actually works, there is a sense of achievement and satisfaction. This week, 2 very difficult case studies in my MS .NET training placed me at breaking point. The first case involved incorporating 3-control-break routines (say what?) in sorting, merging, updating and printing out business documents. When I failed to meet the deadline for this case, I got so depressed. But still, I insisted to myself to finish this case even if I already passed the deadline. I said to myself, the worse case scenario is accumulating so much unfinished cases, that in the end, I don't finish a case at all.
Being an IT graduate, I should be the first to know of this kind of stress due to the mental calisthenics and the emotional roller coaster. Hence, I said to myself that I will never give up. Pwede ni, kaya ko ni. A day later after the deadline, I eventually finished the program to my utmost relief.
Going back, IT jobs are outsourced, in my opinion, because as a nation progresses, citizens have more disposable income to enjoy life. They have the money to hire laborers to do jobs that they do not want to do. As an example, doing household chores, a very boring and exhausting task, are delegated to domestic helpers. Customer phone servicing, a job that you might hate, are outsourced to call centers here in Bacolod. This job can make you feel guilty at first because intruding random strangers and going through humiliation and verbal abuses are new territories. But as you go on, you become numb to insults and eventually get used to being rudely hanged up at the other end of the line.
At the end of the day, I find it difficult to pinpoint where you contribute to the greater part of society with these kinds of jobs. Maybe being a breadwinner in the family, your salary, contributes to society, not your job per se.
Unfortunately, being in a third world country limits my choices. These are the only jobs available in the market. I can only persevere and work hard to go up the corporate ladder so that I can acquire that longed-for sinecure spot. For now, my motto is work hard, party later.